The new voice of Australia’s conservative movement has vowed to go after radical left-wing groups in a national campaign against “climate alarmists”, after accusing members of activist group Extinction Rebellion of being criminals who pose a menace to society.
Liz Storer, a 36-year-old former Liberal councillor and ministerial adviser, will be announced on Wednesday as the new national director of centre-right campaign machine Advance Australia, which has positioned itself as the political counter to GetUp.
Her appointment comes as GetUp’s national director, Paul Oosting, fronts the National Press Club on Wednesday amid internal inquiries into its failed campaign to unseat a list of targeted conservative MPs at the May election.
But Ms Storer said while GetUp was on her radar, her first campaign would be aimed at Extinction Rebellion, which has risen from obscurity to prominence in the past week by closing down traffic in the CBDs of Brisbane and Melbourne.
These people are seriously unhinged,” Ms Storer said. “They are going to be one of our first campaigns … These guys are very strategic but the truth is they are not a climate change action group.
They may market themselves that way. They are hell bent on deconstructing society as we know it … they operate on a manifesto of delusions based on a rejection of European colonisation and traditional values that most mainstream Australians hold dear.
They are a menace to society … We saw last week the Victorian police saying they had to stop normal policing to deal with them. ER are proving to be the real criminals …. Gluing themselves to streets (and) hanging from bridges.”
Ms Storer, who has a masters degree in human rights and was elected to the suburban Perth council of Gosnells before becoming an adviser to conservative federal Coalition senator and assistant minister Zed Seselja, said the militant advance of climate activism had not been effectively challenged and that Advance Australia’s mission was to be the voice of “mainstream Australia”.
It would also run counter campaigns against MPs with “radical agendas” and run lobbying and public campaigns against state governments over activism in the education system.
A mate of mine called me this morning to tell me his daughter had texted him from school to tell him that her teacher said a third of their class would be dead by 2050 because of climate change,” Ms Storer said. “Climate anxiety is becoming a real thing.”
While Advance Australia is heavily outgunned by established groups such as GetUp, it quickly raised $2.5m in donations with a 45,000-strong supporter base in its first 12 months of operation since being formed in November last year with the backing of prominent businessmen including Maurice Newman and James Power of the Queensland brewing dynasty.