Conservative radio host Alan Jones has uncharacteristically moved against the Abbott Government, fronting a campaign against proposed changes to environmental protection legislation.
The campaign from Lock the Gate Alliance is protesting changes from the Coalition to prevent activists using legal action to stall coal mine projects.
“It means we’re not allowed to care,” Mr Jones said in the televised ad.
“It is quite simply unbelievable.”
Last month, the Abbott Government announced it would try to repeal provisions in the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act that allow for third parties to protest coal mines.
If passed, only parties directly affected by coal developments could challenge them.
Mr Jones said this would put “at risk not just our environment but our very democracy”.
The advertisement came as the Minerals Council of Australia launched its own pro-coal campaign.
“This little black rock can do amazing things,” according to the ads.
The campaign advocated the economic and social benefits of mining.
Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce remained tight-lipped on Mr Jones’ apparent diversion from the Coalition on Tuesday morning.
“I get along with Alan Jones … I’m a friendly guy,” he said.
Earlier this year, the Minister opposed the conditional approval of the Shenhua coalmine in his electorate of New England.