Miners and Graziers – Next Gen Climate Activists

It's What Queenslanders Do

Content can be accessed at links below:

Interview transcript – Grant Howard

Interview transcript – Mick Alexander

Interview transcript – Bruce Carrie

  • Three years on from the Stop Adani convoy arriving in Central Queensland, there’s a new crop of climate activists making their voices heard in the lead up to the 2022 election – they’re local and you might be surprised by their background and their future.
  • Mackay miners and cattlemen from Capricornia are shaking up the climate change commentary – it turns out they’ve always been there, it’s just we weren’t listening.
  • “It’s What Queenslanders Do” is a climate action campaign, featuring local miners and graziers from Central Queensland.

​​Australia’s recent policy jostling around COP26 has affirmed one thing – we have a long way to go! And while international agreements are critical some three years on from the Stop Adani Convoy, there’s a new crop of climate activists in Queensland making their voices heard in the lead up to the 2022 election.

Sparked by a review of the last federal election campaign, recent research from the University of Queensland and the University of St Andrews focused on the psychology of climate change communication. The research informed a new climate campaign – ‘Its What Queenslanders Do’. The campaign seeks to tone down the divisiveness, displace outsiders, and give locals a rightful voice in shaping their future and that of the land.

To frame this new campaign within the context of the Stop Adani Convoy and those images of angry protest outside a pub in Clermont, this new climate campaign responds by bringing the conversation, at least metaphorically, ‘inside the pub’ and among locals.

“It’s What Queenslanders Do” features local miners and graziers from Central Queensland – locals who share regional Queenslanders’ identity, pride, and attachment to place – locals like Grant Howard a miner from Mackay, and Mick Alexander and Bruce Currie – beef farmers from Rockhampton and Jericho respectively. They all have a highly dependent relationship to the land, and to the resources it provides – be they material or agricultural, as the land sustains their existence and their identity.

The campaign gives voice to real people and their stories, bringing regional Queensland communities together around the cause of “protecting the land, and protecting our loved ones”.

Grant Howard, a miner at Bowen Basin says “it’s a challenge in terms of employment for us coal miners, but as an Australian who, like every Australian, like all coal miners, appreciates the Australian natural heritage it’s also difficult to watch that heritage being damaged and dying.” Grant goes on to say that he sees “politicians being divisive and using coal miners more for their own outcomes, than for the general wellbeing of mineworkers”.

Mick Alexander, Rockhampton Beef Grazier has a similar message. He comments that “we have all these industry bodies that are basically owned by corporations, so the average farmer just doesn’t get listened to. We’re just being driven by people who don’t understand the future of agriculture and where climate change fits in.”

Bruce Currie, a Jericho Beef Grazier wants us to understand the immediacy of the issue – “the 2011 fires decimated our production system. Not 10 years in the future, it happened 10 years ago and we’re still suffering consequences.” “The way I see it, people have to get mobilized and take the issues seriously, because us farmers, we produce food, not for the right to farm, but for the right for people to eat.”

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