The unlikely ‘profession’ offering big bucks
GREEN activism has become big business, with new analysis revealing not-for-profit environmental groups have advertised professional activist jobs worth $9 million this year.
The bulk of the 230 jobs advertised since January were in Sydney and Melbourne, with just three in north Queensland, where mines some of the groups seek to disrupt are located.
The jobs, for groups including Greenpeace, Australian Conservation Foundation, Climate Council, GetUp! and Australian Youth Climate Coalition, have an average salary of almost $80,000, well above the median wage.
Jobs range from stop-Adani campaigners, people to look after donations, lawyers and even a "places you love campaigner".
The data was compiled from publicly advertised jobs since January this year.
Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission data shows that in 2016 there were about 1450 registered environmental charities with revenue topping $1.1 billion and more than 10,000 paid staff.
Queensland Resources Council boss Ian Macfarlane said there needed to be greater scrutiny of who was bankrolling the anti-mining campaigns and the tax-deductible status of the organisations.
"These extraordinary figures show the lengths professional activists will go to just to stand in the way of other people's jobs," he said.
Resources Minister Matt Canavan said it showed the environmental movement had become "big business".
"All of these jobs are run out of boutique coffee shops in Sydney and Melbourne, not the factories, farms and mines in regional areas," he said.
Australian Conservation Foundation's chief executive Kelly O'Shanassy said places like the Great Barrier Reef had been preserved because environmental groups campaigned for their protection.
"Our community of more than half a million Australians won't stand by and let multinational mining companies run the country," she said.
"Australia is a democracy with a strong and vibrant civil society, of which environment groups are an essential part."