Greens leader says Albanese government is ‘hellbent on opening more coal and gas mines’ and people must ‘fight back’
The Australian Greens leader, Adam Bandt, has called on people to join disruptive climate protests to pressure the Albanese government to stop opening new fossil fuel mines, saying he plans to help blockade the country’s largest coal port.
He has also written to the leaders of 16 Pacific Island nations suggesting they should make any support for an Australia bid to host a UN climate summit conditional on the government “taking stronger climate action”.
Speaking to climate activists in Melbourne on Wednesday night, Bandt said Labor was “hellbent on opening more coal and gas mines”.
He said more people needed to “get in behind” groups that engaged in nonviolent civil disobedience, naming Disrupt Burrup Hub, Rising Tide and Extinction Rebellion.
“The Liberals and Nationals were kicked out of office for thumbing their nose at the climate crisis … but with Labor it’s somehow more disappointing because you know they know what they’re doing is wrong,” he said, according to speech extracts shared in advance.
“Some Labor MPs might not get into politics to help out [oil and gas company] Woodside, but sure enough they end up there.
“Now we need to embrace the importance of protest and civil disobedience. We must come together and fight back.”
Bandt said the “law is often complex, but the morality is simple”.
“We might not all want to climb a coal bridge or sit in the foyer of Woodside, but we need to back the right of people to do so, and celebrate and feel joy from their action,” he said.