The Greens are refusing to remove a mural from their office wall that depicts Queensland premier Annatascia Palaszczuk pointing a gun at Pixar character Nemo with the tagline "reef killer".
Painted by renowned street artist Scott Marsh on the wall outside the Queensland Greens campaign office in New Farm, the mural protests the Queensland Labor government's role in the proposed Adani Carmichael coal mine.
If it goes ahead, the controversial mine will produce 60 million tonnes of coal a year, which will then be shipped through the Great Barrier Reef to India, where it will be used to provide electricity for up to 100 million people.
Scientists and environmental activists say the mine will greatly contribute to global greenhouse gas emissions, putting the final nail in the coffin of the Great Barrier Reef.
There's tension between the federal and state Labor parties over whether the mine's potential for jobs outweighs its environmental impact.
Queensland industrial relations minister Grace Grace says the Reef Killer mural is “offensive and inflammatory".
“The Greens are completely out of touch if they think this kind of violent imagery is in line with community expectations,” Grace told the Courier Mail.
“It risks inciting violence and sends out the completely wrong message about how to bring about political change.
“By all means let’s debate and discuss the important policy issues of the day – but without reverting to disrespectful and offensive images."
Federal Greens leader Richard di Natale told BuzzFeed News the street art won't be removed, because it's giving Queenslanders the truth about Labor's position on Adani.
"Good art holds a mirror up to society and forces us to confront some inconvenient truths, in this case Labor choosing dirty coal over protection of the reef," Di Natale said.
“The reason the Labor Party wants this to be taken down is because it demonstrates the stark reality that their support of the Adani mine will lead to the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef."
He added: "Queensland Labor is already putting the interests of a mining corporation ahead of Queenslanders who desperately need action on long-term jobs, housing, education and health.”
Marsh is known for his murals depicting politicians and current affairs, and has previously drawn prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and former New South Wales premier Mike Baird.
The Greens told BuzzFeed News they invited street artists to use their office wall, but were unaware of what the finished artwork would be.
Candidate Kirsten Lovejoy also said on Facebook that she won't be taking down the artwork because that would be an act of censorship.
Instead Lovejoy is hoping it sparks debate in the community about the mine.
A ReachTEL poll commissioned by left leaning think tank The Australia Institute last week found a majority of Queenslanders have strong opposition to state and federal subsidies for the controversial Adani coal project.
59% of Queenslanders opposed federal and state taxpayers’ money being used to "fund" the mine; 37% said they were strongly opposed, and 19% supported subsidies.
Alice Workman is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Canberra.
Contact Alice Workman at email@example.com.
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