Bush Matters – “Green, mean, fighting machine”

20 February 2015

You don’t have to be in parliament for long to see the lengths the Greens will go to push their corrupted view of the planet.

On each morning that parliament sits, the Greens gather in a boardroom to discuss their political attack strategy for the day.

Then, throughout any sitting day, as each speaking opportunity arrives in the chamber, the Greens senators take turns calling for the end of live exports, coal mining, uranium exploration, budget reforms and whatever else happens to be the news of the day.

This negativity on steroids continues hour after hour.

It never matters that the consequences of ending coal mining or live exports would be disastrous for our nation’s economy and that tens of thousands of Australians would end up being unemployed as a result of their contaminated ideology.

The Greens do not have to provide a positive alternative. They do not need to be realistic. The Greens don’t have to be practical either because the party will never form government.

They will never have to make hard choices. And they know and understand this all too well.

Last week I had another run in with the Greens over the kangaroo industry. I (successfully) put a motion before the Senate to recognise the ability of Australia to expand our kangaroo meat and hide industry.

The motion serves the purpose of putting a spotlight on the industry during a sitting week, and Senators can speak on the topic in the chamber, if they wish.

Needless to say, the Greens did not approve of this motion and the Greens’ spokesman on animal welfare issues, Senator Lee Rhiannon, voiced her opposition in a media release last week.

In what can only be described as a truly mind boggling claim, Senator Rhiannon professed to have data that categorically proves kangaroo numbers are in decline and are an ‘at risk’ species.

“The major parties should learn the facts about the commercial kangaroo industry and about kangaroo reproductive biology and ecology before perpetuating the myths of abundance and super-fecundity,” she wrote.

These claims are not new. Consider her comments to the Senate in February 2014:

“The commercial shooting industry continues to empty local landscapes of kangaroos in what has been described as the world’s largest commercial slaughter of land based wildlife,” she told the parliament.

“Often landowners mop up what the commercial shooters fail to kill. But it seems that the idea that macropods—various kangaroo species—might be in trouble is one that simply does not register.”

Senator Rhiannon then utilises a regular tool of the Greens, which is to claim that there is somehow, something untoward going on inside the government because it is lobbying for improved market access for an industry the environmental movement has deemed as wrong.

She claims: “There is growing concern about how the Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia shapes government kangaroo policy, with trade, foreign affairs and environment ministers actively going overseas to promote this market. That is work that, clearly, a lot of public money goes into.”

Pushing these conspiracy theories is generally popular among the Greens’ support base, who seem only too willing to angrily express themselves in letters and emails, which have littered my inbox in the days following my kangaroo motion.

But while the Greens are quick to attack government relations with industry groups, it rarely discusses its own links with the strong network of environmental activist groups, which peddle misinformation and abuse.

There are quite a number of these organisations in the kangaroo space. Some are not even Australian.

For example, Vegetarians International Voice for Animals is based out of Bristol in the United Kingdom.

It has successfully pressured David Beckham to stop wearing boots made from kangaroo hides and continues to launch campaigns against manufacturers, such as ADIDAS.

The Australian Society for Kangaroos, based just outside of Melbourne at Castlemaine, repeats the Greens’ claims that kangaroos are “Victims of the World’s Largest Wildlife Massacre.”

In fact, for $20 (plus $5 postage) you can purchase a t-shirt from the group that reads “World’s Worst Wildlife Massacre: Since 2001, kangaroos have declined by 55%”

It is in this almost hysterical environment that we must push for our side of the story to be told.

But I have not given up hope. I believe a bit of real world experience for Senator Rhiannon is all that is needed to change her mind.

And so I’ve challenged her to drive between Winton and Longreach at midnight so she can experience the sights and sounds of a plague of kangaroos. I made the offer a few days ago and it still awaits a reply.

We could even print matching t-shirts for the drive, “I survived the World’s Worst Wildlife Massacre.”