February 11, 2020

Bushfire Survivors To Use Burnt Debris to Create ‘Trail of Destruction’ Outside Parliament calling for an end to Coal Lobby Influence

Bushfire survivors create “trail of destruction” from Parliament to Minerals Council
Those on the frontlines of the climate crisis deliver an invoice to the coal lobby for bushfire damages

What: Bushfire survivors will use burnt debris from the recent bushfires to create a symbolic “trail of destruction” that leads from Parliament to the Minerals Council of Australia’s head office.
When: Press conference Tuesday 11 February 8:30am followed by a procession to the Minerals Council.
Where: Front Parliament Lawns, Canberra

Bushfire survivors are converging in Canberra to shine a light on the coal lobby’s “trail of destruction”, and call for an end to the influence of the Minerals Council of Australia and the coal lobby over politicians and our democracy. They will deliver an invoice to the coal lobby group’s office for $1.3 billion – the most recent estimate of bushfire damages from insurers.

Joined by Pacific Islanders and those on the frontlines of the climate crisis, they will launch a new campaign to get companies and politicians to cut all ties to the lobby groups. The #CutAllTies campaign is supported by grassroots climate organisation 350.org Australia.

According to Jack Egan, who lost his home in the recent South Coast fires, “we have all the solutions and public support we need to become a renewable energy super power – but the coal lobby is holding us back, blocking action on climate change at every opportunity. These fires are the trail of destruction that results when vested interests have too much power.”

“Our message to politicians and companies is simple: cut all ties with the fossil fuel lobby or we will continue to suffer the consequences of the climate crisis.”

The campaign is supported by the Pacific Climate Warriors, a network of young people across the Pacific and diaspora calling for climate justice.

“The devastation the world is seeing unfolding in Australia is heartbreaking, and similar to what the Pacific has experienced for a while now. In the Pacific, the increased frequency and intensity of natural disasters have become so common, that we seem to live in a state in-between recovery and preparation mode. We stand in solidarity with Australians who are affected by the horrendous bushfires – which are the results of inaction by a government who continues to support a fossil-fuelled economy instead of putting people first,” said Jacynta Fa’amau, spokesperson for the Pacific Climate Warriors.
According to climate group 350.org Australia, there is a clear connection between the Minerals Council of Australia and the Government’s unwillingness to take action on the climate crisis.

“Australians and the rest of the world have been astonished by Scott Morrison’s refusal to take action on the climate crisis even as our communities and ecosystems burn. But his utter failure of leadership makes sense when you consider that Scott Morrison’s Chief of Staff and special advisor have both come to him from the Minerals Council of Australia,” said CEO of 350.org Lucy Manne.

The group has launched a website cutallties.350.org.au that provides a “dirt file” on the Minerals Council of Australia’s history of undermining climate action, the companies paying millions in membership fees to support their lobbying and advertising campaigns, and the people behind the revolving door between the coal lobby and Parliament House.

Research by 350.org Australia has found that:
The Minerals Council of Australia has been undermining climate action for more than 20 years – from opposing the Howard Government signing the Kyoto Protocol, to recent campaigns against the carbon price and providing Scott Morrison with the infamous lump of coal he brought into Parliament in 2017.
In addition to the former CEO and Deputy CEO of the Minerals Council currently holding senior roles in Scott Morrison’s office, there are 14 individuals who now hold senior roles in the Minerals Council who previously have held senior political or government roles.