How is this legal?

A stranger enters your home.

They throw over your furniture. They tear down paintings and artworks. They break objects and rip items out of draws. They smash your possessions and make a mess that will take for ever to clean up.

They steal what is most vaulable.

Days later, the police catch them. Mug shots and finger prints are taken. Their identities are confirmed. You don’t know them, nor did you invite them into your home. You certainly don’t want them to keep your valuables.

They are not punished.

They do not have to return the valuables they stole.

They do not have to pay a fine.

They do not spend any time in jail.

They don’t even have to clean up the mess, or pay for someone else to do so.

They don’t have to fix or pay for the damage they caused.

This could never happen in Australia could it?

It does.

Every day.

Outsiders steal from Australia. They take what is valuable. They cause enormous and often irreparable damage and refuse to fix what they broke. They also refuse to clean up the mess they made, or pay for it to be done.

Who are these people?

They are mining companies.

Australia’s mining industry is 86% foreign owned. They get away with his behaviour because they have spent over $541 million in the last ten years on lobbying Australian governments.

In addition, foreign companies hold 10 out of 14 position on both the Minerals Council board and the Queensland Resources Council board.

A 2011 report estimated 83% of mine production in Australia was attributable to foreign owners, including BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto. yes, even ‘Aussie’ companies such Rio Tinto and BHP, which called itself ‘The Big Australian’. BHP is 76% foreign owned, and Rio Tinto is 83%. Between them they constitute 70% of listed mining company resources.

This means that less than 10% of mining projects are solely owned by Australian owned companies, while over 90% have some level of foreign ownership. Foreign investment accounts for 86% share of ownership of major mining projects, including 26% from the US and 27% from the UK.2.

If the mining companies are based off shore, the profits go off shore. Australians are left to clean up the mess.

Protect Australia from foreign ownership.

Clive Palmer wants to protect Australia from foreign powers and to save Australia. He makes this promise in advertisements on TV, online, in the print media and on massive billboards throughout the country.

However, while he promises voters that his United Australia Party will protect Australia from foreign ownership and foreign interference, he himself has benefitted enormously from foreign companies operating in Australia.

The UAP website states:

“Our precious assets including our hospitals, ports, schools and power companies cannot be in the firing line, they need to be protected. We cannot have the Chinese government or any foreign government deciding how much we pay for essential services and how we live,’’

On a side note, does any foreign government or company want to buy an Australian school?

The UAP also boasts about preventing the sale of Australian assets to Chinese state owned companies, including a campaign launched in January 2015 to stop the potential sale of $50 billion in Queensland and NSW assets to the foreign government.

The UAP statements are true on the surface.

But dig a little deeper and it’s clear to see how Palmer himself has benefitted from foreign ownership in Australia, and used that money to fund the United Australia Party. The UAP website lists only one country specifically: China. This is interesting because China made Clive Palmer one of the richest people in Australia, and the world.

Economics experts claim that Palmer’s Mineralogy company was at one stage earning a million dollars a day from a Chinese mining company. According to Australian Financial Review, Palmer did a deal with Chinese company CITIC in 2006 in which he sold a series of mining claims for $415 million with ongoing royalties payable on every tonne of ore mined.

Despite earning so much money from a deal with a foreign company, Palmer did not pay many of his own employees. As a result, the Commonwealth Fair Entitlements Guarantee scheme, funded by the taxpayer, paid $65.6 million to workers. Logic tells us that Palmer, their employer, will repay the money to the government, and to the taxpayer, but he indicated on numerous occasions that he was reluctant to do so.

Palmer’s business deal also allows a Chinese company, and thus a foreign company, to expand its iron ore mining activities in Australia.

Where does that money go?

How much of that mining money goes to the ‘foreigners’ Palmer and his UAP are trying to warn us against?

A lot of it. Foreign companies do employ a certain percentage of Australians in their operations on Australian soil, in accordance with Australian laws, but they also employ their own people. Mining operations make millions and millions of dollars per year, and when this much money is at stake, companies don’t take a risk when hiring employees. They won’t take a risk on hiring an Australian who may or may not be the best person for the job. They bring in their own people, and often those people are foreigners, who send the majority of their earnings back home.

This sobering statistic applies not only to Clive Palmer and his comany. It applies to the entire mining industry in Australia.

86% of Australia’s mining industry is foreign owned.

BHP, for example, is 76% foreign owned and Rio Tinto is 83% foreign owned. Furthermore, according to the Australia Institute:

“A 2016 Treasury paper on Foreign Investment in Australia stated that less than 10% of mining projects currently underway is solely owned by Australian owned companies, while over 90% have some level of foreign ownership.”

Thus, if Palmer plans to save Australia and protect it from foreign ownership, he might first need to warn his colleagues in the mining industry.

What does this all mean?

If you’re Australian, and if you’re eligible to vote, it matters. If you vote for the UAP, for any of their candidates, you are voting for increased foreign ownership of Australia’s resources, and you are voting for Aussie money to be taken overseas.

Controversy surrounds Moana Pasifika.

The Moana Pasifika Super Rugby team has decided to boycott its first ever game just hours before kick off in order to protest inaction on climate change. The players from Pacific Island nations are demanding that countries like Australia do more to reverse climate change which threatens Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and the Cook Islands.

“Sea levels are rising and already threatening the homelands of the players which make up this team,” began a statement from the new franchise.

“This is caused by climate change, and climate change is being driven by wealthy countries such as Australia, where we will play many of our games and where some of the players have played and lived for years. We made this difficult decision after much discussion and in order to draw attention to this urgent issue.”

The statement went on to explain how Australia has the highest per capita carbon footprint of any nation on earth and is contributing greatly to the climate crisis. The country, which is home to four Super Rugby franchises, continues to burn and export coal, and is planning to expand the fossil fuel industry.

Furthermore, various members of the new Moana Pasifika team have played for the Wallabies.

“Our players are already seeing the lands of their ancestors adversely affected by rising sea levels. Salt water from the ocean is mixing with fresh water and ruining the crops on which people have relied for generations. If fossil fuels continue to be dug up and burned, entire low-lying islands could be underwater and residents would lose their homes.”

“For this reason, we have put family and country head of the sport we love and decided to boycott our first ever game. We hope the boycott will convince rugby fans and rugby loving politicians to move Australia away from fossil fuels and other destructive practices, and towards a future with renewable energy.”

Players from other Super Rugby teams expressed their support for the stand via social media, as many of them have Pasifika heritage.

In response, Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison tweeted a photo of himself in his Cronulla Sharks rugby league jersey.

Image: http://www.moanapasifika.co.nz

AGL creates gender-neutral coal.

Energy company AGL has been applauded for creating the world’s first gender-neutral coal as a source of energy for commercial and residential use throughout Australia.

“AGL is a leader in corporate diversity and inclusion, and gender-neutral coal is just another exciting initiative in our quest to embrace the LGBTQ+ community,” announced the company, on the same day thousands of school students across the country protested against AGL and other fossil fuel companies.

“Gender-neutral coal does not identify as male, female or any other gender. It was developed by our outstanding research and development team, in close consultation with our marketing department, and cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Every Aussie should be enormously proud of this, and the fact that Australia has the largest per-capita carbon footprint of any country on earth.”

AGL then explained that gender-neutral coal damages the planet as much as gender-specific coal, and helps the company to debunk myths that the mining industry is male-dominated and not welcoming of other genders. It also looks like ‘normal’ coal

“…but we transport it in rainbow-coloured containers.”

It is not the first accolade AGL has received in this sphere. The company was recently awarded Gold Employer status for LGBTQ+ inclusion at the AWEI Awards while simultaneously earning the title of Australia’s biggest domestic contributor to climate change by Greenpeace. Greenpeace argues that AGL emitted 42.2 million tonnes of carbon emissions in 2019-2020. Greenpeace data confirms that the energy company creates,

“…24.6% of electricity sector emissions and 8% of Australia’s total emissions, which primarily comes from the coal burned at the energy giant’s three coal-burning power stations: Liddell, Bayswater, and Loy Yang A. AGL’s own data confirms that 85% of energy generated by the gentailer comes from burning coal.”

At the same time, AGL boasts publicly that:

“This is the third year we have been awarded Gold Employer status, and the fifth year that we have participated in the AWEI. Our employee-driven LGBTQ+ network, AGL Shine, was created in 2014. The network focuses on providing a safe and inclusive environment for all our employees – while also advocating internally and externally for gender inclusion beyond the heteronormative binary.”

The announcement provoked a mixed reaction.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Energy Minister Angus Taylor and Environment Minister Sussan Ley welcomed the news, despite being famously conservative and reluctant to embrace non-heteronormative agendas. The three leaders applauded AGL for using the LGBTQ+ community to distract Australians from their environmental destruction, and thanked the company for giving the Australian delegation something tangible to take to COP26 in Glasgow later this month.

Critics argue that gender-neutral coal is not real, and never will be. They claim that coal is an inanimate object with no gender, and thus cannot be declared gender-neutral. Many suspect the announcement is yet another attempt to win public favour while the rest of the world appears to be transitioning to renewable energy.

AGL rejected assertions that gender-neutral coal is not a real thing, stating;

“It’s as real as Clean Coal”

Angus Taylor launches Pay Now Pay Later.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor has announced a world-first national energy supply system called Pay Now Pay Later, under which Australians will pay more for their electricity in the present while paying for climate change in the future.

Pay Now Pay Later is a game-changer,” boasted Taylor, from outside a newly-opened coal mine.

“The world-first energy consumption system ensures that Australians will pay higher electricity bills in the present and will pay for the environmental costs of the energy grid well into the future. We will soon be the only country in the world which forces its citizens to pay with their wallets and their futures.”

Taylor was confident that Australians would embrace Pay Now Pay Later, just as they have embraced systems such as AfterPay, BPay, Before Pay, Buy Now Pay Later, Pay It Forward and even the old-fashioned Lay-By.

“Plus, it’s not like they have a choice,” he scoffed.

The system relies on one central component: the burning of fossil fuels. Taylor and his LNP party will ensure that the majority of Australian businesses and households are forced to secure their energy from fossil fuels such as coal and coal seam gas, rather than from renewable energy. Consumers will therefore pay more for their electricity now, and will contribute the destruction of the planet.

“We will continue with our plans to open new coal mines, to push the fallacy of clean coal, and to burn fossil fuels to supply energy to Australian businesses and households. We will do everything in our power to ensure that the majority of Australia’s energy grid is supplied by fossil fuels.”

For the system to succeed, renewable energy such as wind and solar must be suppressed for as long as possible.

“We will employ myriad tactics to suppress renewable energy. We will utilise our propaganda wing, which Australians know as NewsCorp, to spread fear and misinformation regarding renewable energy, and to perpetuate the falsehood that fossil fuels will keep energy prices down for the everyday Aussie. We also thank former rugby league player Darren Lockyer for his valuable service in this regard.”

“What’s more, Pay Now Pay Later will have the greatest impact on people who are not even paying for electricity now – children.”

Taylor also promised to use the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to funnel more taxpayers money into the fossil fuel industry, for the benefit of fossil fuel companies, under the guise of a gas led recovery.

“We will also continue to wind back schemes such as the solar rebate for Australian households, and will instead use this public money to prop up the fossil fuel industry, most of which is foreign owned.”

Australians will pay later as climate change causes more severe storms, droughts, floods and fires, which will cost the country millions of dollars. Australians will also pay later when the international economy deals primarily in renewable energy.

“While Australian energy consumers will Pay Now, the whole world will Pay Later.”

Adding his support to the scheme was current Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who helped lay the groundwork for the scheme as long as six years ago. Frydenberg used his power as federal Minister for the Environment to prevent energy company AGL from dumping coal and embracing renewable energy in 2016.

His underhand tactics were exposed in an article in The Saturday Paper by Mike Seccombe on July 10, 2021, and they centre on the appointment of chief executive Andy Vessey. The article outlines how Frydenberg called board members of AGL personally and pressured them to remove Vessey because the boss planned to transition the company to renewable energy, and to close the Liddell coal-fired power plant in the NSW Hunter Valley, which is described as:

“…one of Australia’s oldest and dirtiest coal-fired power stations.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison was also present at the announcement and was asked for a comment. All he could do was smirk and hold up a lump of coal.

Image: Darren England

Are Australia’s Olympic medals tainted?

Aussies screamed at their TV screens as yet another Australian athlete strained for gold at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Aussies cheered and wept for joy as athlete after athlete collected gold, silver and bronze medals while wearing the green and gold.

Most of these medals were won in Swimming and Rowing.

Most of those medals are tainted.

Most of those medals were funded by Gina Rinehart. Swimmers won 21 medals and rowers won 4 medals, making them our two most successful sports.

Rinehart is one of the world’s richest people and amassed her enormous personal fortune through two of the most destructive industries in the world – mining fossil fuels and farming livestock. Rinehart’s mines and farms are not small. Some of them are the size of small countries, and she owns or has a financial stake in businesses scattered throughout Australia.

Rinehart’s business interests are contributing greatly to the climate crisis which will harm the standard of living of people in Australia and throughout the world in the near future – including swimmers and rowers. She also wields enormous political power in Australia and has helped prevent the nation from making the smart environmental and economic decision to transition to renewable energy.

Rinehart’s businesses, operating under the banner of Hancock Prospecting, have helped earn Australia a reputation as one of the world’s worst polluters. Australia has the highest per capita carbon footprint in the world and the highest rate of native mammal extinction in the world. Australia’s contribution to, and inaction on, climate change has made it an international pariah in recent years. Rinehart’s businesses are central to Australia’s environmental destruction.

Hancock Prospecting is the major sponsor of Swimming Australia and a major partner of Rowing Australia. Rinehart is swimming’s patron and is openly called the “matriarch” of the Australian Dolphins Swim Team. She was pictured front and centre among the PODS (Parents of Dolphins Swimmers) during Channel 7’s coverage of the swimming events in Tokyo, and ran her own long ads during the games. She has sponsored Australian swimming since 1992, and her ‘generous direct financial support’ is described as ‘especially critical to Swimming Australia’ for it allows athletes to ‘focus on their on their training and performance and not be distracted by financial pressures that most athletes face.’ With Rinehart’s assistance, several swimmers were also granted private scholarships to attend Bond University.

In recognition of the amount of money Rinehart has given to sports such as rowing and swimming, she was awarded an Order of Merit by the Australian Olympic Committee (interalia), and is described as an ‘inspiration’ to Australian swimmers.

Rinehart’s sponsorship appears to be central to Australia’s record medal haul in swimming at the Tokyo games, and to the impressive results of the country’s rowers. The ebullient language of Swimming Australia cleverly praises their largest sponsor, and implies a dependency on her funding.

The question must be asked:

Would Australia win as many Olympic medals without financial support from Hancock Prospecting? Would Australia win any medals in swimming and rowing without Hancock Prospecting? Are Australia’s medals tainted?

A more pressing question is:

What is more important to Australia, Olympic medals or a livable planet?

Image: Charles Deluvio

AGL awarded Gold Status for including LGBTQIA+ people.

AGL has been officially recognised for actively including the LGBTQ+ community in its destruction of the planet. The energy company was awarded Gold Employer status for LGBTQ+ inclusion at the AWEI Awards while simultaneously earning the title of Australia’s biggest domestic contributor to climate change by Greenpeace.

Greenpeace argues that AGL emitted 42.2 million tonnes of carbon emissions in 2019-2020. Greenpeace data confirms that the energy company creates,

“…24.6% of electricity sector emissions and 8% of Australia’s total emissions, which primarily comes from the coal burned at the energy giant’s three coal-burning power stations: Liddell, Bayswater, and Loy Yang A. AGL’s own data confirms that 85% of energy generated by the gentailer comes from burning coal.”

At the same time, AGL boasts publicly that:

“This is the third year we have been awarded Gold Employer status, and the fifth year that we have participated in the AWEI. Our employee-driven LGBTQ+ network, AGL Shine, was created in 2014. The network focuses on providing a safe and inclusive environment for all our employees – while also advocating internally and externally for gender inclusion beyond the heteronormative binary.”

Data from the environmental activist group indicates that:

AGL is accelerating the climate crisis for Lesbians

AGL is accelerating the climate crisis for Gay people

AGL is accelerating the climate crisis for Bisexual people

AGL is accelerating the climate crisis for Trans people

AGL is accelerating the climate crisis for Queer people

AGL is accelerating the climate crisis for Intersexed people

AGL is accelerating the climate crisis for Asexual people

AGL is also accelerating the climate crisis for hetero-normative people and for any other possible definition within the gender and sexuality spectrum that has not been acknowledged above.

The company reinforced its commitment to treating everyone on the planet equally.

“AGL understands that the natural environment in crucial to the survival, prosperity and wellbeing of every single person on the planet, regardless of gender, sexuality, race, religion, colour, age or nationality. This is why we have ensured that no one single group or sub group of Australian society or any other global society is discriminated against by our destruction of the natural environment.”

“We will all suffer together.”

AGL is the biggest polluter in a country with the highest per capita carbon footprint on the planet.

Critics of the energy giant highlighted the futility of supporting the rights of one particular group of society, when every group in society will suffer from the burning of fossil fuels, to which AGL replied:

“Even toxic rain makes rainbows.”

Image: Vector Stock

LNP destroys highly-paid occupation.

The Liberal National Party (LNP) is being blamed for killing off one of Australia’s most lucrative careers after it forced fossil fuel lobbyists out of work.

“The LNP is the fossil fuel lobby,” stated a representative of the resources industry.

“We don’t need lobbyists advocating on our behalf in Canberra anymore.”

Fossil fuel lobbyists were until recently a common feature of Parliament House, and sought meetings with politicians on all sides to persuade them to create policies favourable to activities such as coal mining, natural gas and coal seam gas extraction. The lobbyists were highly-skilled operators who earned substantial salaries courtesy of the enormous profits of resource companies. They also represented some of the most influential people in Australia such as Gina Rinehart and Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest.

That has all changed.

“All of our lobbyists were given substantial redundancy payments in recognition of their valuable contribution to our cause, and invited to seek alternative employment, because the LNP is now firmly under the control of the fossil fuel industry,” continued the spokesperson.

“Politicians from Morrison down now take orders directly from Gina and Twiggy.”

Experts suggest the LNP became a branch of the fossil fuel industry when Tony Abbott became Prime Minister. It wavered slightly under Malcolm Turnbull, and has strengthened under Scott Morrison. Many claim the close relationship started during the era of John Howard, like so many of Australia’s current ills.

“Tony is a great advocate for coal,” the spokesperson explained. “He is so committed to coal that he rode his bike all over the country to promote coal mining, and Matt Canavan is another disciple. Others like Keith Pitt and Angus Taylor are also devoted to fossil fuels, so any LNP member who is not will never be heard.”

“That said, it’s not just the LNP who have made lobbyists redundant. Joel Fitzgibbon is under the thumb of coal, and Labor as a whole will not commit to ruling out coal as an energy source. If Labor do manage to win the next federal election, our lobbyists may be called upon gain, but as of now, the job of the fossil fuel lobbyist is done.”

As for the plight of the lobbyists themselves:

“One of our former lobbyists has seen the writing on the wall, and last I heard he was working for a solar energy company.”

Image: Mark Nolan

Does China need to invade Australia?

The drums of war are beating. Australia is preparing for war with China as politicians and senior bureaucrats warn of armed conflict with the emerging superpower. Citizens are stockpiling weapons or boycotting their local Chinese restaurant and the tabloid media is disseminating fear to increase sales.

But would China ever invade Australia militarily? Would it ever need to?

China’s global ambitions are undeniable. Its construction of islands in the South China Sea and its actions in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang indicate plans to expand its influence. Counties throughout Africa, the Caribbean and the South Pacific are also being heavily courted, and China watched on with glee as its major rival self destructed under the disaster of Trump’s presidency. Boris and Brexit must also have pleased Xi Jinping.

China will not need to launch a military attack on Australia because the land Down Under is following Britain and The USA down a path of self destruction. China simply needs to wait and pick off the weakened state when the time is right.

Numbers

China can dominate Australia numerically. Millions of Chinese people comprise the diaspora which has created entrenched communities in Australia, as in other countries. Chinese people came to dig for gold in the 1860s, and since then to seek better opportunities for their families. Chinese influence will continue to grow as the number of migrants, students and tourists from China continues to grow.

Economics and trade

Chinese dominance of Australia will be achieved primarily through economics and trade. China is Australia’s biggest trading partner – and statements from Beijing remind Australia that it is the junior partner in this relationship. Indeed, when the Australian government made ill-timed and thinly-veiled racist comments towards China recently, Beijing imposed restrictions on Australian exports, and many Australian businesses suffered significantly. Some of the comments mirrored those of former US president Donald Trump, and were deliberately designed to appeal to the same demographic: ignorant, racist, narrow-minded, bigoted, lowly educated citizens whose influence has grown in Australia in recent years.

Australia has itself to blame for this situation. Australia has a ‘dumb’ economy. The nation exports almost nothing that requires a university degree to make, and its exports consist mainly of natural resources from mining, and the products of agriculture. Australia’s refusal, inability or reluctance to diversify its economy has made it dependant upon China, and this grants China economic control. It is also another reason that China does not need to invade Australia militarily.

One economic opportunity Australia continues to squander is renewable energy. Intelligent countries, including China, recognise the future economic as well as environmental opportunities inherent in renewable energy, but Australia remains fixated on fossil fuels which will destroy the environment and the economy.

The abundant sun light which attracts so many tourists to the land Down Under each year, especially from China, could be captured as solar energy and even exported for profit, but the fossil fuel industry controls the current government, and the semi-literate Australian mainstream believes the government’s rhetoric about the need for fossil fuels in Australia’s energy market. This is a situation entirely of Australia’s making, and one which weakens the country and makes it susceptible to Chinese dominance.

Education

Academia and intelligence are not prized in Australian culture. This is the reverse in China. Public education is poorly funded in Australia and more money appears to be stripped from government schools each year, especially under a conservative government. There are young Chinese people, studying at Chinese schools in China, with higher standards of English literacy than native-speaking Australian students studying at schools in Australia. Many Australian students don’t read, and won’t read. Their parents don’t appear concerned, the students are not concerned, and both major parties continue to strip money from public education and to further damage literacy rates across the country. Numeracy rates also continue to fall in Australia, and without succumbing to national stereotypes, China’s prowess in mathematics is well known.

In addition, many young Australians lack resilience. Too many primary and secondary students are diagnosed with stress and anxiety disorder, ADD, ADHD and myriad other academic or behavioural conditions. Some students genuinely suffer from these conditions, but many don’t. Australian society has allowed the over-diagnosis of these conditions, and a generation lacking resilience will inherit this country, making it ripe for the picking from a country that does not allow the same exceptions for its students.

A solution to this problem is to fund schools adequately, and to increase wages for teachers – as a starting point.

In a globalised world, Australia is weakened. Young Australians now compete for careers with youth from across the globe, including China, and need to form habits of resilience and dedication in their daily lives in order to protect their own futures and the future of the country.

Universities

Disrespect for academia extends to tertiary education in Australia. Public universities are inadequately funded, and this has further weakened the country. Universities are subsequently forced to operate as businesses and chase international fee paying students, most of whom come from China. Lecturers are pressured to award qualifications to international students even if they fail, because universities rely on their continued income. University staff tell tales of students from overseas, and from Australia, who lack the necessary English literacy skills to pass a course, but are awarded qualifications regardless because the universities need the money. The result is a decline in academic standards which will eventually devalue the qualifications international students have paid a fortune to receive. Soon, international students will seek degrees in other countries, and another lucrative source of income to Australia will be lost. This is a situation of Australia’s making.

Poorly funded tertiary education creates another problem for Australia – brain drain. If the country’s best and brightest are denied opportunities for research in Australia, they will take their intelligence overseas.

Historical pragmatism

China is not a coloniser. Not traditionally anyway. History reveals China’s focus on establishing trade and extracting resources from other lands instead of colonising those lands. Colonisation requires the invading power to manage the lands they invade and to manage the government, as well as transport, health, education, communications and other public services, which all require personnel, money, time and effort. China knew it could still enjoy the economic benefits of dominance over other lands without having to deal with the mess of governing the country. It is likely to do so with Australia.

Pacific Island footballers refuse to play for Australia.

Players of Pacific Island heritage are refusing to represent Australia in various football codes until Australia takes action to halt the climate crisis which threatens the lands of their ancestors.

Players from Rugby League and Rugby Union whose families hail from countries such as Tonga, Samoa, Papua New Guinea and Fiji have united in an attempt to force the Australian government and its people to take real action which protects the environment and their homelands.

“Pacific Island nations are under threat,” began a joint statement from the players.

“Australia must stop causing the climate crisis, and must start fixing it. Until this happens, players of Pacific Island heritage will not make themselves eligible for national teams such as the Wallabies, Wallaroos, Kangaroos and Jillaroos – or Rugby Sevens teams.”

The climate crisis is already having a devastating impact on island nations throughout the South Pacific. Rising sea levels carry saltwater into fresh water lakes and onto farms where crops are destroyed. Unpredictable seasons make farming more difficult and more severe weather causes human and economic damage throughout the region. Natural disasters are an increasing threat and entire nations could be underwater as sea levels continue to rise.

Australia is a major contributor to the climate crisis. It has the highest per-capita carbon footprint of any nation on earth, due largely to a dependence on the fossil fuel industry, land clearing and traditional agricultural practices. It is lagging in the adoption of renewable energy and electric vehicles, and incentives for household solar installation are being removed. Alternative transport is not being embraced, and new coal mines are being proposed, even on the fringes of world heritage listed national parks.

Average Australians continue to vote for the politicians which implement the destructive policies, and Aussies create substantial waste and pollution in their daily lives.

“Three politicians even joked about our islands going underwater,” the players recounted.

“Peter Dutton was caught joking about it to the current Prime Minister, who claims to be a fan of rugby league, and a former Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, who loves rugby union. We’ll see if they’re still laughing when there are no Pacific Island players in their national teams – and whether Morrison will want to run water for a team that is always losing. Our players will also refuse selection in the Prime Minister’s XIII and XV”

The move will severely weaken national teams. 19 of the 44 players in the men’s rugby union team, the Wallabies, have Pacific Island heritage, while the women’s team, the Wallaroos, contains 14 of 31 squad members. Players like Ellia Green will also withdraw from the women’s rugby seven’s squad, as the team defends its Olympic gold medal in Tokyo later this year.

Indigenous Australian players have joined the move. The farms and mines driving climate change sit on their land, and Aboriginal people witness the destruction first hand.

“So, now you have to imagine a Kangaroos team without players like Josh Addo-Carr, Latrell Mitchell, Daniel Tupou, Blake Ferguson, Xavier Coates, Jack Bird, Kotoni Staggs, Jack Wighton, Cody Walker, Dane Gagai, Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, Tyson Frizell, David Fifita, Felise Kaufusi, Payne Haas, Daniel Saifiti and Josh Papali’i.”

The players stressed that this was not an easy or spontaneous decision.

“We love playing for Australia. We are proud Australians, and put our heart and soul into every game we play for this country. We did not take this decision lightly, and only did it because the situation is desperate and action must be taken now. We still have family in the Pacific, and we took this action in the hope that the Australian people and politicians will start taking notice, and start taking action – now.”

The talented players will still play the game they love, even if not for Australia.

“We will play for the nations of our ancestors. Jason Taumalolo and other league players went back to play for Tonga a few years ago, and they beat Australia fair and square. A lot of league and union fans have long wondered what would happen if the Islander players united for their homelands, soon we will find out.”

The players are acutely aware that most Australians want action on climate change.

“When that happens, we will proudly pull on the green and gold.”

Image: Getty Images