CFMEU - Mining and Energy Division
Mining union sticks up for billionaires in ad campaign launched today
Although the mining magnates of Australia have grown used to running ads in recent years, a campaign entitled 'Fair Go for Billionaires' may prove to be a little too direct for their tastes, CFMEU National President Tony Maher said today.
The satirical ads feature fictional billionaire Allan Billison launding Tony Abbott for being sympathetic to his agenda and will kick off across Australian screens from today.
Mr Maher, whose Union is funding the campaign, said the idea was to allow people to have a laugh at what is an absurd situation.
"In recent years mining billionaires have somehow decided they are capable of convincing Australians that their self interest is aligned with the national interest," Mr Maher said.
"It was never a sustainable idea and I get the sense that people are now just ready to laugh them off the stage.
When Gina Rinehart talks about serving the national interest through setting up 'special economic zones', in which guest labourers from overseas can work for below minimum wage, it's tough to see how she manages to keep a straight face.
"But while she might be able to, we don't think that should apply to the rest of us. So I hope people are able to get a chuckle out of this campaign."
Mr Maher conceded that in the process of deciding to produce and run the ads, tough calls had to be made.
"If left unchecked, there is no doubt that untold damage will be done to future generations through the self-interested campaigning of the ultra-wealthy," he noted.
"Yet there is similarly no doubt that untold damage will be done to future generations through exposure to the image of Mr Abbott, in a white dress, feeding grapes to a reclining billionaire.
"In the end we had to make a call on the lesser of two evils and I hope we got it right."
Visit the Fair Go for Billionaires website.
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