Green, mean, fighting machine

The Greens do not have to provide a positive alternative - they do not need to be realistic

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.”

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Barry O'Sullivan

Barry O'Sullivan

is a Queensland-based Senator for the Liberal National Party
Date: Newest first | Oldest first


20/02/2015 6:22:50 AM

You can tell by their comments, that a fair slice of the Greens supporters don't even live in Australia.
20/02/2015 7:02:07 AM

Well said Barry
Joy R
20/02/2015 7:50:25 AM

While I agree with O'Sullivan about having a 'roo meat industry, as there are many good ecological reasons for this, his enthusiasm for environmental destruction is mind-boggling. It is unfortunate that so many of the LNP are totally clueless about science. As money is their bottom line they need to know: No environment = no economy!
20/02/2015 8:28:42 AM

Thanks Barry, keep up the good work! The Greens are professionals at formulating statements that create emotion. Facts and reality are not required.
20/02/2015 10:46:06 AM

Facts and Reality? Some sort of a myth in the LNP. Bully boys who support mining, mining, oh - and a bit more mining, and to hell with land, air and water. Cant live without any of them. Offer a farmer $500,000 instead of the lost water from his now dry bore, and he will tell you he cant farm without water. How do I know? Heard a farmer say just that yesterday at the Senate Hearing in Toowoomba. We need people to think green, so that we keep land and water clean.
20/02/2015 12:06:49 PM

Antagonising and belittling others because they don't agree with your world view is actually the ethos of a bully. Our democracy takes all types and debate is appropriate, but it’s pretty unwise slandering an entire section of our community who are worried about the environment. I would point you to the fantastic work WWF are doing in Qld with cane farmers to reduce sediment run-off as a great, bipartisan example. And in the words of the Oz following the drubbing of the LNP at the Qld election – “The Abbott government will ignore the environmental lesson from the Qld election at its peril".
20/02/2015 2:05:26 PM

Bazza, the populist king. Come tell the farmers around here with falling groundwater why you support CSG over agriculture.
Koori Woman
23/02/2015 1:10:25 PM

Barry O Sullivan you have NO clue re Kanga's I work with Ecologists & Elders across Country & have done for over 40yrs & I'm tellin you Kangaroo Populations are crashing.Check the Murray Darling Report Recommendations & wake up to yourself.Barry,enough of the "plague" propaganda it's old.Push for your side of the story to be told?all I've heard Barry is your usual spool about Kangas in "plague"proportions & they are "pests" Blah blah..And anyone that disagrees with your views are treated like morons.The only one that needs some "real world experience" is you Barry??
Koori Woman
23/02/2015 1:33:23 PM

That was meant to be two exclamation marks at the end of my comment..not question marks??????
23/02/2015 5:39:19 PM

Koori Woman your mob may think roos are not a pest and in plague proportions,but try telling that to drought affected farmers. Any bit of feed they had will be cleaned out by hundreds of kangaroos. They are also pretty thick on the ground down south in bluegum plantations.
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