Oscar-winning actor Cate Blanchett has found herself in boiling hot Australian political waters, after appearing in a TV commercial asking Australians to support the government’s proposed tax on carbon. The Say Yes Australia campaign was initiated by environmental groups.
The conservative federal opposition party, and some parts of the media, have criticized Blanchett for appearing in the ad and supporting the government’s carbon tax so publicly. The main criticism has been that while Blanchett is supporting the carbon tax from the position of being a multimillionaire, the tax will raise the cost of living for “ordinary working people”. Opposition leader Tony Abbott also pointed out that there is no carbon tax in Hollywood.
Blanchett reportedly lives in a multimillion dollar mansion in Sydney, which is equipped with the latest in solar technology and other eco-friendly essentials. As artistic director of the Sydney Theatre Company, she has also helped see to the installation of solar panels, which provide a larger percentage of the theatre’s electricity.
Blanchett has hit back at the criticism via SMH, saying there is a societal cost of increased pollution and that’s what she is passionate about as a mother; ”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.” Blanchett added, ‘Yes, I’ve been fortunate in my career but that’s no reason not to stand up for something that I deeply believe in.”
Blanchett mentioned that a condition of her support for the carbon price is that there be generous assistance for low and middle-income households, which the government has stated will be the case.
Not surprisingly, the Prime Ministier, Julia Gillard, whose policy Blanchett in supporting, has indicated that Blanchett is entitled to have her voice heard on the topic.
It has also been pointed out to Mr Abbott that he did not complain when Australia’s richest person, mining magnate Gina Rinehart, spent millions campaigning against a proposed super-profits tax on booming mining companies.