League legend lines-up greenies
AN Australian and Maroons league legend is spearheading a movement to counteract the influence of activists like inner-city greens and GetUp! ahead of the Longman by-election.
While not a political party, the fledgling movement is made up of farmers, landholders and others in agriculture who are fed up with people in cities having all the power.
Headed by former Queensland prop Marty Bella, dozens of rural activists wearing green shirts will descend on Longman tomorrow and Saturday to tell people to vote against Labor and the Greens.
Earlier this year, the Palaszczuk Government enacted vegetation management laws, which the rural sector says created onerous red tape putting financial pressure on farmers.
Mr Bella, who is now a Mackay councillor and co-owner of a farming operation, said the Green Shirt movement had already gained interest from interstate and even overseas.
He said the group did not support the LNP - instead it opposed political parties which backed anti-tree-clearing laws.
"I'm not a member of the LNP, I'm not a member of One Nation. I'm totally anti-Green and their influence on political parties," he said.
"Where it gets to the point where the government won't listen, it's time to make them listen."
Mr Bella said Green Shirt volunteers would talk to voters at polling booths.
"We need to start telling our side of the story. It's time to start playing hardball," he said.
"We'll be telling people, if you want to eat clean and green, talk to an Australian farmer. If you want to eat manure, talk to an Australian Green."
Mr Bella said the group was a loose organisation and were not asking for donations.
But volunteers are expected to come from up to 1500km away.
Farmers advocacy group AgForce last month announced it too would campaign against Labor due to the vegetation management issue.
At that time opposition environment spokesman Tony Burke said there was nothing new in AgForce having a different position to Labor on landclearing.
"Protections against large-scale landclearing are essential to defend the Reef and the tens of thousands of jobs that rely on it. Labor will not turn a blind eye to landclearing," he said.