Sitting Richmond Labor MP Justine Elliot and Page Labor candidate Janelle Saffin yesterday signed the ‘pollution-free politics’ pledge of environmental organisation 350.org.
The move breaks ranks with the Labor Party, which accepts fossil fuel donations and join the coalition in providing the sector with fuel subsidies.
Crossing Party Lines
Mrs Elliot’s office commented, ‘Justine resigned from her role as the Parliamentary Secretary for Trade because she felt so strongly about fighting for a CSG free north coast, and her role as the Parliamentary Secretary for Trade was incompatible with this position.’
Breaking Labor party policy can result in having to resign from a ministerial position.
Mrs Elliot also says her office runs without any mining donations or union money.
Sydney Morning Herald reported yesterday that it could be a ‘headache’ for Labor leader Bill Shorten ‘whose campaign has been hindered by Labor candidates opposing the ALP’s hardline stance on border protection.’
Ms Saffin told SMH ‘Coal is dead. It’s over.’
The gofossilfree.org.au website reads, ‘Despite more than two decades of talking, our climate is at a crisis point because our leaders have allowed themselves to be captured by the fossil fuel industry. If our politicians are serious about climate change, then they need to stop taking money from and giving money to the big polluters.’
The pledge has been adopted by all elected Greens members and three retiring Labor MPs.
The website claims that ‘$3,700,000 was donated by the fossil fuel industry to the major political parties since the last federal election. $7.7bn in taxpayers’ money will be paid to the big polluters as subsidies in 2016-17 –$2,000+ for every dollar donated to our politicians since the last election. The big polluters will receive $2,000+ in return this year.’