Greens at war with regional Australia
27 January 2019
By Nyunggai Warren Mundine AO
For two years America has been fixated on alleged Russian influence of US elections. In Australia, concern over China’s influence on our politics ended Sam Dastyari’s career and relegated him to reality TV. Last year the federal government banned foreign political donations.
I’m equally concerned about foreign-funded sabotage of our economy by Green activists determined to destroy regional Australia’s future.
Green activists are fighting mining, industry and agriculture every step of the way, consistently opposing new projects and undermining existing business. Often with funding from foreign organisations and wealthy elites with deep pockets.
I once challenged Green groups to name one place in Australia they’d support a new mine. Silence.
In 2013, Woodside abandoned its James Price Point gas hub after a relentless activist campaign. Native title agreements delivering $1.5 billion for business development, education, healthcare and culture for Kimberley Aboriginal communities were lost.
Also lost was the much-needed local economic boost and job opportunities in the oil and gas industry and secondary industries servicing it.
The Australian Conservation Foundation and its multi-millionaire, harbourside mansion-dwelling president Geoffrey Cousins led the campaign. ACF fought the traditional owners who’d voted overwhelmingly in support of the project, instead backing and funding a minority group of opponents who the full Federal Court found aren’t even traditional owners.
ACF and GetUp! are trying to prevent North Queensland’s Carmichael mine — even though it’s passed all environmental hurdles, is fully funded and has agreements with four traditional owner groups to support the project. It will create thousands of jobs and business opportunities, especially for local Aboriginal people and Townsville.
A small number of traditional owners who oppose it tried unsuccessfully to overturn the native title agreements in the courts funded by Green groups such as The Sunrise Project. They’ve now been abandoned and face bankruptcy.
Climate activists recently advised human daily red meat intake must be reduced to a tiny 14g to reduce emissions. The Paris Agreement will require substantial reductions in Australia’s livestock herds.
Our beef industry supports 100,000 jobs and is hugely important to regional Australia’s economy.
Last year Greens senator Lee Rhiannon led a delegation to Europe promoting the shutdown of Australia’s kangaroo meat industry. She claimed kangaroos (population 50 million) are under threat of extinction. The Queensland town of Surat (population 430) is home to kangaroo meat business Warroo Game Meats, owned by an Aboriginal family and Surat’s biggest employer, pumping $1 million in wages into town annually. Activists want it shut down.
I know several Aboriginal-owned businesses in regional Australia producing bottled mineral water from local springs on their traditional lands under threat from Greenies opposing “water mining”.
You hear lefties gush about Aboriginal people as custodians of the land. But they don’t respect our custodianship if we want to use it as an economic resource.
In 2011, Gunn’s woodchip mill in Triabunna, Tasmania closed. A union organiser blamed Green activists who’ve “run a propaganda campaign for some time now that has very cleverly brought the forestry industry to its knees”. Almost 80 per cent of Triabunna’s economic activity relied on forestry, including mill employees, suppliers, contractors and local businesses where wages are spent.
Environmentalist millionaires, Graeme Wood and Jan Cameron, purchased the mill for $10 million, outbidding a local logging company by $6 million to stop it being used for milling again. They promised to start a tourist business but never did.
ACF lobbied furiously against the foreign donations ban saying it would have “significantly impacted ACF’s advocacy work to protect nature and raise the money to do it”. In other words, ACF relies on foreign donations. It celebrated when charities such as itself secured an exemption. WikiLeaks has revealed The Sunrise Project is funded by US-based Sandler Foundation.
Recently GetUp! took a $95,000 donation from the European Climate Foundation for “research” and a $495,000 donation from The Sunrise Project for campaigning in the next federal election. GetUp! has a hit list of federal MPs who it intends to campaign against. Talk about foreign interference in elections.
In 2015 India banned foreign donations to Greenpeace India and froze its assets. India’s Intelligence Bureau concluded foreign-funded NGOs were “negatively impacting economic development” in India and “a threat to national economic security”. It identified seven areas stalled by NGO campaigns, including mines, power plants, farm biotechnology, industrial projects, hydro-electric plants and India’s technology sector and estimated a 2-3 per cent negative impact on India’s GDP growth per annum.
Regional Australia faces the same threat.
And when Green activists fight regional Australia they also fight Aboriginal people, the poorest people in the country and the most in need of economic development.
The Green movement comprises well-off elites from Western countries trying to stop poor people attaining the economic prosperity they enjoy.
Make no mistake. Green activists are at war with regional Australia.
This article was first published in the Daily Telegraph on 23 January 2019.