Australia’s conservative party is throwing a fit against, of all people, Cate Blanchett.
The 42-year-old actress is up against the ropes after drawing the ire of those against a carbon tax plan she supports to limit greenhouse gas emissions from Australia’s largest polluters. In a new $1M “Say Yes” campaign paid for by environmental groups, Blanchett, along with fellow actor Michael Caton, encourages citizens to support the government’s proposal. And even though she’s in the clip for less than five seconds, she’s received the most criticism because of her celebrity standing.
“People who live in eco-mansions have a right to be heard,” Opposition Leader Tony Abbott told Parliament, in reference to Cate’s eco-friendly home in Sydney. “People who are worth $53 million have a right to be heard but their voice should not be heard ahead of the voice of the ordinary working people of this country.”
Blanchett, however, is undeterred and swinging back – telling the Sydney Morning Herald that she has ever right to voice her opinion regardless of the amount of cash in her bank account. ”Everyone will benefit if we protect the environment. There is a societal cost of increased pollution and that’s what I’m passionate about as a mother. That’s where it gets me in the gut,” she said. ”I can’t look my children in the face if I’m not trying to do something in my small way and to urge other people.”
“Yes, I’ve been fortunate in my career but that’s no reason not to stand up for something that I deeply believe in,” she added.
Blanchett’s passion for all things green has been well documented on this site. Besides her eco-friendly home and support for various initiatives around the world, the actress spearheaded a green makeover for the Sydney Theatre Company and helped fund the successful California-based solar energy installer Sungevity.
Australia’s carbon tax, which the government hopes to enact next July, will reportedly charge $26 per tonne – with half of the $11.5 billion raised in the first year returned to low and middle income earners. Check out the “Say Yes” PSA below: