Coffs Coast Residents Call On Hartsuyker To Rule Out Fossil Fuel Money
On Thursday 19 May, concerned voters converged on the Coffs Harbour office of Luke Hartsuyker MP, calling for a ban on taking donations from and giving subsidies to climate polluters, a ban already supported by members of parliament from several political parties.
Over 40 residents participated in the action, which included a street theatre performace. This action was part of Pollution Free Politics, a nationwide campaign to clean up the polluted relationship between Australia’s parliament and fossil fuel companies.
“The failure of our governments to tackle climate change is directly related to the political influence of the coal and gas industry. If we want a safe climate future, we must end the fossil fuel industry’s polluting influence in our democracy,” said John Ross.
According to analysis by 350.org, over the past 3 years, fossil fuel companies have donated $3.7 million to the major parties. In return, the Federal government will provide $7.7 billion in subsidies to the fossil fuel industry in the coming financial year. “For every dollar donated to the major parties over the past 3 years, the fossil fuel industry will receive over $2000 in return from the public purse this year,” explained Mr Ross.
Polling shows that moves to separate polluters from parliament are supported by the public. Numbers from late last year showed that over three quarters of Australians support ending fossil fuel subsides. And a poll conducted at similar time showed that 6 in 10 Australians think the mining industry has too much influence in public debate.
The residents were calling for Hartsuyker to sign the Pollution Free Politics Pledge, which calls on incumbents and candidates to “personally support, and call on all politicians and parties to support, a ban on donations from fossil fuel companies, and a ban on subsidies to fossil fuel companies.” Other candidates for Cowper have also been approached to sign the pledge, and so far it has been signed by The Greens Candidate, Carol Vernon.
For a list of politicians that have supported the ban see - www.pollutionfreepolitics.com
 Essential Media, 27 November 2015
 The Australia Institute, 25 September 2015, <http://www.tai.org.au/content/australian-public-support-environmental-advocacy>
See our facebook page for videos of the street theatre.