It feels relentless
When we were in Queensland last week on the road we heard word of an article that had been printed in the Sydney Morning Herald, presumably at the prompting of the mining industry. We were not contacted and given a right of reply, despite rhetoric and unfounded allegations being lifted directly from material provided by the “voice of the oil and gas industry”, the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association.
Then on friday we were contacted by the Daily Telegraph with a list of questions, also at the behest of the mining industry.
If you are interested in reading their submissions we have re-uploaded them here – Minerals Council Australia – Queensland resources council – Australian Petroleum Production & Energy Exploration Association
They are watching our social media channels, hunting us on linked in, trawling through reports on our website, and have their substantial PR resources focused on our small grassroots organisation.
Because we educate and train activists to take action for themselves. Peaceful protest has played an incredibly important role in our democracy for decades, and we encourage people to actively take part. The mining industry knows they have government in their pocket, but not the people. And we work to support the people who resist their destructive projects, who stand up to them stealing water, devastating farmlands and destroying aboriginal culture.
We will be writing more on this. In the meantime, here is our statement in response to the Daily Telegraph questions…
CounterAct provides training and support to grassroots groups and communities advocating for the environment and for a safe climate.
CounterAct is an affiliate of Friends of the Earth, who recently cooperated with investigations by both the ATO and federal environment department, and were cleared.
We believe that regional communities where the vast majority of residents surveyed don’t want dangerous unconventional gas, should be supported if the government won’t protect their health and farmlands.
Civil disobedience has been part of creating positive social change – the eight hour day, voting rights for women and aboriginal people, and has protected iconic places in Australia such as the Franklin River, Kakadu and James Price Point.
The Federal Environment Department, under an Abbot led government, stated in the parliamentary enquiry last week there aren’t issues of concern to be investigating.
But the mining industry, and the coal sector in particular is seeing the writing on the wall, and they have come out swinging against people who care about a safe climate and environment. The fossil fuel industry gains far more money in tax subsidies than environmental organisations. Let’s investigate that.
CounterAct is currently running “The Change Course” and advocacy course for grassroots campaigners with Friends of the Earth. Accessible education and training is important for those who seek to create positive social change, along with everyone else in our society.