on Jan 10, 2012 ; Category: Uncategorized

The Saturday Age has revealed that The Labor Party’s Energy Minister Martin Ferguson has requested increased surveillance of anti-coal environmental groups such as Quit Coal after coal industry lobbying, citing the need to protect critical infrastructure and ‘economic activity’ from what he calls ‘issues-motivated activism‘.

In response today, Quit Coal’s Shaun Murray from Quit Coal published this op-ed in The Age, and Quit Coal volunteers paid a special visit to Mr Ferguson’s office in Preston to do some ‘spying’ of our own (though we believe the police at the scene may have been on to us).


It is deeply dissapointing to hear that our government is spying on us at the request of the coal barons. Our government is elected to serve the interests of its constituents, and decisions about how and where to deploy public funds and police resources should be made to serve the public good.

But that is clearly not how Minister Ferguson operates. In his world, those with the deepest pockets call the shots, even to the extent of dictating who and what are threats deserving of surveillance. As a result, hundreds of thousands of dollars are being wasted spying on peaceful and harmless community activists motivated by altruism and compassion, and diverted away from preventing real crime with real victims and real terrible consequences.

Our government needs to be reminded of who it works for, and if it continues to act on behalf of wealthy international coal companies and not the people it must be removed from office. And the coal companies pulling the strings of puppets like Martin Ferguson need to be reminded that they can spy on us all they like, but we are not going to stop fighting to protect life on earth from their destructive gluttony.


We at Quit Coal will be cooking up many more ways to take action against Martin Ferguson and his coal baron bosses, but till then please take part in a couple more actions coming up this week:

  • On Thursday Occupy Melbourne is holding a rally on the issue at Minister Ferguson’s office, more info here.
  • And on Friday some local climate smart alecs are organising an hilarious ‘check in with Martin Ferguson day‘ where anyone interested in action on climate change can eliminate the middle man and tell the Minister directly everything they have been up to lately. Sounds like fun!

Quit Coal: Because we’d rather be ‘issues-motivated’ activists than ‘greed-motivated’ coal barons or ‘stupidity-motivated’ politicians any day!