House debates

Thursday, 23 March 2023

Statements by Members

Environmental Activism

1:51 pm

Photo of Michelle LandryMichelle Landry (Capricornia, National Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Manufacturing) Share this | | Hansard source

Every Australian has a right to go to work and feel safe. It goes without saying that this is the expected norm for every workplace right across the country. Yet workers at the Carmichael Mine in my electorate of Capricornia have been faced with physical and verbal abuse from a group of anti-coal activists whose beliefs are of utter contempt for the laws which have upheld our great country for over a century. For 18 months these activists have been terrorising workers with physical harm while boasting online of their altercations. I wholeheartedly believe in free speech. This is what makes our country what it is, and it's something that we see in action every day in parliament. These extreme activists hold dangerous anti-government and anti-authority ideologies which are a significant threat to our society. The laws should be applied equally, without fear or favour.

Extreme activists are no strangers to me. Late last year, I too was targeted by activists who are also linked to this group. At an event I was attending, these activists were verbally abusive while shaking their spears. It left me fearing not only for my safety but for the safety of my staff also. Again, in our place of work we felt fear. We felt terrorised by a group of people who show no respect for anyone's views that do not align with their own. More needs to be done by the government to hold these people accountable for their actions and ensure that people feel safe in their place of work. These people are not above the law and should be dealt with by the full force of the law. Everyone should be safe in the workplace.