PM to read riot act to climate activists

SCOTT Morrison will forcefully signal a crackdown on a new breed of "apocalyptic" climate activists who are cruelling the economy, and will needle big business for buckling to noisy protesters.

Drawing a line in the sand in Brisbane today, the Prime Minister will publicly unleash his strongest views to date about bullying activists, and forewarn them they are testing the limits of the right to protest.

After days of shocking footage of activists spitting and pushing workers in Melbourne trying to attend an international mining conference, and in Queensland where activism has been ground zero for over a year, Mr Morison reveal he is working on a plan to outlaw the "indulgent and selfish" practices.

In a speech to a 1000-strong audience attending the Queensland Resources Council's economic contribution launch, Mr Morrison will not sugar-coat the challenges faced by the industry and the Queensland economy directly because of aggressive activism.

 

Scott Morrison says he will not let activists’ tactics go unchecked. Picture: Dean Lewins/AAP
Scott Morrison says he will not let activists’ tactics go unchecked. Picture: Dean Lewins/AAP

 

"New threats to the future of the resources sector have emerged. A new breed of radical activism is on the march,'' Mr Morrison will say.

"Apocalyptic in tone, it brooks no compromise. It's all or nothing. Alternative views are not permitted. It's a dogma that pits cities against regional Australia.

"One that cannot resist sneering at the wealth creating industries of regional and remote Australia.

"Let me assure you this is not something my Government intends to allow to go unchecked. "Together with the Attorney-General, we are working to identify mechanisms that can successfully outlaw these indulgent and selfish practices that threaten the livelihoods of fellow Australians, especially in rural and regional areas, and especially here in Queensland.

"We will take our time to get it right, but be assured we are on the job."

As many other politicians dance around the issue, Mr Morrison today calls out the unacceptable behaviour that is seriously disrupting people's lives.

"There should always be a place for peaceful protest. But in Queensland and elsewhere, one variant of this new absolutist environmentalism is testing the limits of the right to protest.

"The right to protest does not mean there is an unlimited licence to disrupt people's lives and disrespect your fellow Australians.

"There is no place for economic sabotage dressed up as activism."

Mr Morrison will share his concerns about secondary boycotts, in which environmental groups target businesses that provide goods or services to the resources sector.

 

Protesters target an Adani-linked company in Brisbane’s CBD earlier this month. Picture: Jono Searle/AAP
Protesters target an Adani-linked company in Brisbane’s CBD earlier this month. Picture: Jono Searle/AAP

 

"They are targeting businesses of all sizes, including small businesses, like contracting businesses in regional Queensland," he will say

"Businesses providing well-paid jobs in Rockhampton, Mackay, Bowen and Townsville.

"It is a potentially more insidious threat to the Queensland economy and jobs and living standards than a street protest.

"Some of Australia's largest businesses are now refusing to provide banking, insurance and consulting services to an increasing number of firms in the coal sector ‒ the nation's second largest export sector.

"I think some of our largest corporations should listen to, and engage, their quiet shareholders, not just their noisy ones."

He warned when Australian corporations denied services to other Australian companies under pressure from environmental groups, jobs could be lost and prices higher.

Mr Morrison will also announce today a skills organisational pilot to sandbag mining's future.