• Seed Mob Director Amelia Telford (NITV News )Source: NITV News
Indigenous climate justice group slam 'bullying tactics' after the Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan's latest tirade against climate justice activists.
By
Rachael Hocking

Source:
NITV News
4 Sep 2019 - 8:44 AM  UPDATED 4 Sep 2019 - 8:44 AM

Barbs were exchanged during Minister for Resources Matt Canavan's address at the Queensland Resources Media Club luncheon in Brisbane on Tuesday when he labeled anti-coal protesters "illegal" and "immoral". 

"If the goals of the protesters are ever achieved - that is the end of coal mining - the result would be millions of more people without a home, without access to electricity and without as much hope as they otherwise could have," he said. 

"All denied by rich, western people who take all of these things for granted."

"Our modern day protesters are engaging in acts that are illegal, immoral and ineffective. A trifecta of tantrums from teenagers that will, you would hope, one day grow out of this nonsense."

Indigenous climate justice group Seed Mob fired back, calling out state and federal governments for using "scare tactics". 

"It's the same old bullying and scare tactics they've been using to try and make as much money from coal and gas as they can, sacrificing communities along the way," Seed Director Amelia Telford told NITV News. 

Ms Telford says the Minister's speech purposefully mis-characterises the people in the climate justice movement, particularly Indigenous people on the front-line in remote locations like the Torres Strait. 

"We're definitely not polished, privileged people. If anything it's the most vulnerable people who are often in positions that they don't choose to be in, to stand up and fight for their country or their rights," said Ms Telford.

"A lot of the time we don't have any choice." 

Mr Canavan's speech on Tuesday was made at the inaugural lunch for a newly launched media club under the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) which aims to "straighten up" reporting on the sector.

It follows recent attacks the Senator made on engineering firm Aurecon, calling it "weak as piss" after its decision to cut ties with mining giant Adani, amid ongoing protests from climate activists. 

Last month, the Queensland government announced plans to crack down on climate change protesters by granting police stronger search powers and implementing harsher penalties for activists who disrupt traffic or enter agricultural properties.

In particular, devices deployed by protesters to lock themselves together and make it harder to be removed from roads and train tracks will be outlawed in the state.

Over the weekend it also moved to extinguish Wangan and Jagalingou native title in the Galilee Basin, paving the way for the Adani Carmichael coal mine.

Ms Telford said continued efforts to silence protesters won't slow down the climate justice movement. 

"What this tells us is we're having an impact," she said. "We're actually making a difference and they're scared." 

Traditional Owner bankrupted by Adani continues protest
Wangan and Jagalingou man Adrian Burragubba remains defiant after being ordered to pay $600,000 in legal costs to the controversial mining company.
Qld to outlaw traffic-stopping devices
Devices used by protesters to lock themselves together and block traffic during a protest will be made illegal in Queensland.