Chalk 'graffiti' left by Extinction Rebellion members protesting Woodside energy (Image: Twitter)

I guess it’s a question of perspective. Some people, including various mining companies and most of our governments, do genuinely consider many environmental activists to be indistinguishable from terrorists. It results from a kind of corporate narcissism: the confusion of self-interest with the public interest.

If you’re in power, as both major parties and some corporate players are accustomed to being, then it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that what is good for you is good for the country. Conversely, a threat to your interests is not only un-Australian -- it’s dangerous.

It's this instinct that drives governments to repeatedly try to slide through new laws designed to prevent or deter environmental and other advocates and activists from even speaking out on, let alone engage in non-violent protest against corporate ventures like logging or mining. It is behind the most recent push to make it easier to deregister charities if their members commit even petty offences in the course of protest action.