What a spectacle we had during the 2008 Gippsland by-election campaign. All candidates (except the Greens) were grovelling in front of the logging and coal industries. Michael O’Connor (CFMEU) huffed and puffed on radio for one 30 second news grab and the next day pollies were buckling at the knees pledging their loyal devotion to logging and coal burning.
The, Nats, ALP and Liberal Parties all ignored the wishes of the wider electorate and fell in behind the two worst climate destroying industries in Australia.
The CFMEU also demanded that any carbon-trading scheme would not affect their jobs. They know that forest protection is THE most effective measure that can be taken to reduce CO2. Gippsland’s coal industry is also demanding that any new carbon trading scheme exempts them!
Brendan Nelson said the Labor party was hijacked by greenie latte sippers that find it fashionable to attack people who work in the logging industry. There was certainly no sign of that as the ALP disappeared up the backsides of the forestry union.
EEG, GEG and the Latrobe Valley Climate Action group sent an environment questionnaire to all five candidates three weeks before the election. Only the Greens responded. So we appropriately beat the others up in the media. They’d thumbed their noses at thousands of voters, not just three enviro groups.
There’s been no change of attitude towards our environment since Ironbar Tuckey was in control. The ALP sacrifices our forests as union pacifiers and exchanges for political donations. The only thing that’s being ‘sustained’ is the parties’ submission to the logging industry.