Australian Notes

Australian notes

23 April 2022

9:00 AM

23 April 2022

9:00 AM

As I was driving home on Saturday after a busy day, I realised that everything I had done that day, the Greens want to ban. I had not had this much fun campaigning since Bob Brown came to town.

I had started the day at RockyNats. A worthy successor to SummerNats, the annual car festival of burnouts, drag races and drifting that comes to Canberra once a year. The SummerNats organisers have squeezed in a second event in Rockhampton to be held over Easter. They’re perhaps getting in more festivals before the Greens want to ban the sale of petrol cars by 2030.

I then headed over to Paradise Lagoons just west of Rockhampton, where a massive horse ring and grandstand emerges from the Fitzroy river floodplain. Built by the visionary cattle king Graham Acton, the Paradise Lagoons campdraft this year celebrated its 20th anniversary and people come from all over the country to compete.

I am not sure whether the Greens know what campdrafting is but when they find out I am pretty sure they will want to ban it, too.

I finished the day at the Professional Bull Riders rodeo at the Great Western Hotel, the only pub in Australia with a rodeo ring inside the pub. After sadly shutting due to Covid, the Great Western is back and it was pumping on Saturday night. It takes a special kind of guts, or perhaps insanity, to jump on the back of a 800 kg raging bull for eight seconds.

The Greens have introduced legislation to ban rodeos.

The Greens wrap their self-appointed roles as the fun police in concern over the environment and animal welfare. The truth is more prosaic, however; the Greens just want to have power to tell people what to do.


The Greens are a modern form of the Temperance movement that succeeded in disastrously outlawing alcohol in early 20th-century United States. Their aims were well intentioned. Our society remains afflicted by too much consumption of liquor and drugs but you cannot remove human sin through the law book.

All prohibition did was create a thriving underground industry run by criminal organisations that led to more violence than ever committed by drunks.

Notwithstanding this sobering tale, the modern day Temperance movement in the Greens wants to outlaw much more. The Greens want to ban or restrict cars, red meat, coal, gas, oil, zoos, factory farming, horse and greyhound racing, dams, forestry, fishing, plastics, live exports, bawdy jokes, smoking and guns. And that is just a selection from five minutes or so on their website.

It would probably be simpler to write a list of the things that you will be allowed to do under a Green dictatorship. Whatever is permitted, there will not be much fun.

In the Greens world you will be able to watch all sorts of violence online but you had better not go hunting to provide food and clothing. In the Greens world you will be able to consume all sorts of exotic illicit drugs but dare not have a smoke at the end of a hard day’s work. In the Greens world you can invest whatever money you like in carbon credits but putting a bit on the dogs at the pub is the work of the devil.

When you make this comparison you realise that the Greens are afraid of the real world. Their obsession with drugs, virtual experiences and the latest climate fad all allow them to escape from the harsh realities of the need to provide food and energy.

That is how their policies are so often disconnected from reality. They do not know how things actually work because they rarely do any hard yakka – aka ‘work’ – in the real world. They are not – or do not know any – people who drill for oil and gas. They are not – or do not know any – people who raise and slaughter cattle for food.

The Labor party used to have people who grew food, made things with their hands or mined coal. That always helped to keep the more crazy parts of their left wing in check. However, the modern Labor party is full of people who have gone straight from university to union activist to parliamentarian. They have lost touch with the real world.

As a politician in a country area, I visit mines, factories and farms regularly. I hear from people on the frontline how hard it is to deal with uncaring bureaucrats, unethical banks and unprincipled unions.

The same people that want to take away our fun want to take away our work. The Greens and their friends in the Labor party are on the ultimate power trip thinking that can control everything, including the temperature of the globe.

Carbon traders are the successors of the Temperance activists. Just look at how the authoritarian left are salivating at the prospect of Central Bank Digital Currencies, which could be weaponised to give us all carbon budgets of 14 grams of red meat a day, as recommended by the United Nations.

In the meantime, Labor has consoled itself by promising a new carbon trading scheme for over 200 businesses Australia-wide. These include almost all our iron ore mines, coal mines, gas facilities, major factories and our last two oil refineries.

Just like Prohibition, if we tax these industries to oblivion they will just move to other countries. It is like the old Hale & Pace joke, ‘no, I don’t think we should ban mining because it would just go underground then, wouldn’t it?’ By sending our mining industries offshore, more Australian jobs would be lost to overseas.

And we would be poorer for it and would not be able to afford to buy cars to do burnouts, buy bulls to use in rodeos or have the money to travel to a campdraft. Maybe this is the Greens plan then. The Greens will never get popular support to ban fun, but if they scare us so much about the climate, they just may make us too poor to have any.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

Matt Canavan is a Nationals party senator for Queensland

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