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A former Labor operative and partner of Labor front bencher Tony Burke. A former Getup operative. Now a senior manager in public advocacy at AGL. That is shorthand for spin doctor. Shaping and delivering the message. To complete the circle it was Bill Shorten who, when head of the AWU  was a founding member of Getup and also donated $100,000 in union funds as start up capital.


“…A senior manager in charge of promoting the energy policy of Australia’s largest electricity producer previously worked for activist group GetUp!, which is committed to shutting down the coal-fired power industry.

 Self-described political strategist Skye Laris is an executive member of AGL Energy managing director Andy Vesey’s team as he sticks with the company’s plan to shut down the Liddell power station in the NSW Hunter Valley, despite protests the planned closure threatens energy supplies.
Ms Laris, who joined AGL in February as senior manager, digital engagement, is now a senior manager, public advocacy for the company. She is a former campaign director for GetUp! and has worked in a series of senior ALP jobs, including leading the party’s digital campaign for the 2013 federal election campaign and during Bill Shorten’s first few years in the Labor leadership.

Immediately before joining GetUp! in March 2011, she was chief of staff and policy adviser to Labor frontbencher Tony Burke, who is also her partner.

This week Ms Laris has ­re-tweeted messages from Mr Vesey’s Twitter feed that have declared “we’re getting out of coal” and “keeping old coal plants open won’t deliver the reliable, affordable energy our customers need”. She has also tweeted high praise for an AGL TV ad in which the narrator says: “Let’s be honest, things need to change. So at AGL we are getting out of coal. Starting 2022, ending 2050.”

The ad says the company has started a fund that will put $3 billion into creating more renewable energy. Despite AGL promoting itself as anti-coal and marketing its commitment to renewable energy, GetUp! calls the com

Ms Laris was campaigns director at GetUp!, working on anti-coal strategies and other climate-based issues for almost a year in 2011 during the latter part of Simon Sheikh’s term as GetUp! national director. Mr Sheikh’s successor, Sam McLean, served three years in the job before joining Mr Shorten’s staff as a political adviser.

The Opposition Leader has a connection to GetUp! as a founding director and donor after he gave about $100,000, and possibly more, of union funds to the activist group as start-up capital when he led the Australian Workers Union.

Ms Laris has an extensive background in the ALP as well as working for GetUp! and now AGL. After four years as an ABC journalist in Adelaide, she was appointed chief of staff and policy adviser in 2002 to Jay Weatherill, now SA Premier. She joined the Climate Institute in 2006, working as communications director for two years before joining Mr Burke’s staff. After GetUp!, Ms Laris was chief of staff to Labor minister Kate Ellis. On LinkedIn, she says: “I am among Australia’s leading digital campaigners, having led campaigns at GetUp! (and) taken Labor’s online engagement from thousands to millions.” Skye’s limit for AGL to GetUp and get out of coal