Victorian Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe has been kicked out of Parliament on Monday for wearing a white T-shirt with the words ‘Black Lives Don’t Matter in the Beetaloo’ while chanting the slogan.
The Gunnai, Gunditjmara and DjabWurrung Senator used her time in Senate to protest Labor and Liberal voting to give $50 million in public money to gas and mining corporations to set up exploratory drilling in and around the Northern Territory’s Beetaloo Basin.
That is despite a lack of consent from the 60 or so First Nations communities living in the area and evidence that drilling could add 13 per cent each year to Australia’s total carbon emissions.
The gas-rich area, Empire Energy has been given the green light to frack is approximately 500km south-east of Darwin and roughly the size of two Tasmania’s.
Unlocking the gas which is a fossil fuel, mostly made up of methane and a key driver of climate change would be counter to the recent global climate pact to move away from fossil fuels.
Thorpe said the major parties were beholden to donations from fossil fuel companies which had lied to the basin’s Traditional Owners about the likelihood of environmental damage.
“If you really really care, you would listen to the Traditional Owners of the NT who don’t want their country fracked … and to protect sacred sites and the environment,” she told parliament on Monday.
“Vote like black lives depend on it because they do.”