30 May 2024

'Tea Ladies' join Knitting Nannas for Parliament House protest over gas and coal

| Chris Johnson
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Two white haired women with Tea Lady uniforms standing outdoors in front of a tray of tea cups.

The ‘Parliamentary Tea Ladies’ are joining the Knitting Nannas to protest against the government’s support of gas and coal. (Photo supplied)

So-called ‘Parliament House Tea Ladies’ are ‘walking off the job’ to join the Knitting Nannas in a protest stunt over the Federal Government’s support for fossil fuels.

Insisting there is already “too much gas in the House”, the uniformed ‘tea ladies’ featured in the Nannas’ latest outing in Canberra’s city centre on Wednesday (29 May) to draw attention to their fight.

In distinctive black-and-white outfits, they have started a campaign to highlight their cause while being out and about offering cuppas to local shoppers.

This is all before taking to the lawns of Parliament House on Thursday. There the ‘tea ladies’ will join the rest of the Knitting Nannas at their ‘Kitchen Table Cabinet’.

“There were already unacceptably high levels of gas in the House, and not just in the kitchens, and now the Future Gas Strategy has pushed us over the edge,” the ‘tea ladies’ said jointly in a statement.

“We’re done serving up cups of tea to politicians captured by special interests. They can get the Minerals Council to bring them their elevenses in future.”

The Future Gas Strategy maps the Federal Government’s plan for how gas will support our economy’s transition to net zero in partnership with the world.

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Finding humour in the situation, the ‘tea ladies’ made a few jokes at the expense of a few parliamentarians.

“We’re inviting Canberrans to share our love of a High Tease,” they said.

“We have a number of special blends available, including the LNP Peaked Tea, Barnaby’s Brew, and the Chris Bowen Boxed-In Set.”

Knitting Nannas Against Gas and Greed (KNAG) began in 2012 when a handful of senior women joined an anti-coal seam gas group in Lismore, NSW.

Frustrated by the inaction and indecision of their male colleagues, the Nannas rallied and grew and have campaigned around the country.

They even have a ‘Nannafesto’ that declares their aim and helps to guide their activities.

Describing themselves as an “international disorganisation”, Knitting Nannas bring people together to fight for clean land, air and water.

“We sit, knit, plot, have a yarn and a cuppa, and bear witness to the war against the greedy, short-sighted corporations that are trying to rape our land and divide our communities,” their website says.

“Knitting Nannas happily support other anti-greed groups at their protests and meetings or online.

“We are non-party political. We annoy all politicians equally. Any selfies taken by pollies with the Nannas are a show of their enthusiasm to be seen with real celebrities.”

The Nannas aren’t big on using their full names, however, and refer to themselves as Nanna (first name).

In reference to their stint in the capital this week, they say they are keen to talk with politicians – in a non-threatening way, of course.

“If the honourable members are missing their cuppa, they can join us and the tea ladies for a fresh brew and a serious yarn about what climate change is doing to our country,” Nanna Maree said.

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Nanna Judi from Eltham, near Lismore, NSW, had water through both houses on her property and was evacuated during the February 2022 floods.

She says she is still feeling the trauma of that day.

“Prime Minister Albanese came to Lismore during the floods and told us that because of climate change, we’re getting more weather events and they’re more intense,” Nanna Judi said.

“But his government is still approving new coal and gas projects.

“We’re inviting him to come on down for a cuppa and listen to Australians like us who are directly affected by climate change.”

The Knitting Nannas and the ‘tea ladies’ have one simple message for the government: you don’t have to read the tea leaves to know there is no more time.

Original Article published by Chris Johnson on Riotact.

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