Time's up: Labor conference opens to union and climate protest

August 17, 2023
Time's up Labor: climate protest outside national conference
Time's up Labor: climate protest outside national conference. Photo: Alex Bainbridge

“Protect Country and our climate” was the headline message of a protest outside the opening of the Labor Party national conference on August 17.

More than 100 people gathered to call on Labor to stop funding coal and gas projects and to phase out fossil fuels. Every entrance was covered by people leafleting delegates as they arrived.

Speakers called on Labor stop funding coal and gas and to organise a genuine transition away from fossil fuels.

Justice for First Nations was a strong focus with a Welcome to Country by Aunty Deb Sandy and speeches by Aboriginal activist Sam Watson and Pacific Climate Warriors.

Larissa Balwin from GetUp! spoke about the campaign against gas fracking at Beetaloo.

“We want Labor to urgently fix our cultural heritage and environmental laws,” the rally MC told the crowd.

Then the mood turned electric when 2000 construction workers marched in with the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU).

The CFMEU had two main messages: ban “killer stone” (also known as engineered stone which causes silicosis); and to fix the housing crisis by funding more public housing via a super profits tax.

Climate protesters echoed the CFMEU chant for "union power" when the march arrived.

Organisers called on rally goers to support the September 15 climate strike and members of Newcastle's Rising Tide attended promoting the November People's Blockade of the coal port in Newcastle.

More photos can be seen on the Green Left Facebook page.


The construction union called on Labor to fix the housing crisis
The construction union called on Labor to fix the housing crisis. Photo: Alex Bainbridge


Rally MCs say: "Time's up Labor"
Rally MCs say: "Time's up Labor". Photo: Alex Bainbridge


GetUp!'s Larissa Balwin at the rally
GetUp!'s Larissa Balwin at the rally. Photo: Alex Bainbridge


Sam Woripa Watson speaking
Sam Woripa Watson speaking. Photo: Alex Bainbridge


Electrical Trades Union speaker at the climate rally
Electrical Trades Union speaker at the climate rally. Photo: Alex Bainbridge


Protect Country and our climate
Protect Country and our climate. Photo: Alex Bainbridge

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