A group of mining protestors have dressed as clowns to highlight 'joke' of Australia's mining industry.
Activists from the group Friends of the Earth (FoE) dressed up to protest outside of foreign minister Bob Carr's office and to condemn the country's focus on mining at the recent Rio+20 summit, according to NineMSN.
It also delivered a letter to Carr imploring him to halt Australia's mining push at the conference.
"Mining's got no place in a sustainable and environmental agenda," environmentalist Liz Barrett told AAP.
"We've also got an issue with $127 million of aid money being poured into a sustainable mining program."
The group went on to attack's Australia's aid of mining industries in other countries.
"They should be trying to minimise mining, not promoting it to the UN," one protester said.
"There's no such thing as sustainable mining. Using up our natural resources is not sustainable."
In an FoE official statement, the group said "foreign minister Carr and DFAT have prioritised mining interests against Australian and global sustainability. They have pushed for mining to be accepted as ‘sustainable’, ignoring the link between fossil fuels and climate change. They have advocated for markets and pricing as the fix-all. They have promoted the use of aid to impose conditions on developing countries and to restrict government action for sustainability".
The group was swiftly attacked by the NSW Minerals Council.
(Image edited by NSWMC)
"Today’s planned Sydney protest of the Rio+20 conference by political activists ideologically opposed to coal mining deliberately ignores the thousands of families across NSW who rely on mining for their livelihood," the council said.
It went on to call the protest ironic for its demand to an end of coal mining, as Rio+20 is focused on reducing poverty and ensuring environmental protection.
"Australians should be proud of the positive role our exported coal plays in providing cheap and reliable energy to some of the poorest parts of the world," it stated.
"Nothing does more to alleviate poverty and increased living standards than the provision of affordable and reliable energy. It’s also hard to see how threatening the jobs of hardworking Australians furthers the cause of reducing poverty and improving social equality."
The Minerals Council added that "organisations protesting today, such as Aidwatch and Quit Coal espouse the need to reduce poverty in Australia and across the globe. Yet advocating the end to responsible coal mining in NSW represents a direct threat to the jobs and livelihoods of thousands of workers and their families across NSW".
Friends of the Earth has yet to respond to the Minerals Council's statements.
Image: FoE protestors at a similar event in Poland, protesting at the Global Day of Action.
Source: Friends of the Earth.