Cate Blanchett to speak at Tanya Plibersek fundraiser

Oscar winning actress Cate Blanchett will appear as the star attraction at a major fundraising event for the opposition’s most senior woman in Federal Parliament – Tanya Plibersek.

Blanchett is billed to appear at the Margaret Whitlam dinner in Sydney next month. The online promotional material for the fundraiser highlights Blanchett’s climate change activism.

“As an actor, story teller, climate change activist and leading voice for women in public life, Cate Blanchett brings a unique and interesting experience to our event,” the website says.

“As co-artistic director of Sydney Theatre Company, Cate not only helped shape the artistic vision of the company but took on a responsibility for the company to address their impact on the climate.”

Conservatives, including Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce, singled out Blanchett for criticism when she and other prominent Australians urged ordinary voters to support a price on carbon in a national advertising campaign in 2011.

The Coalition argued a price on carbon would push up the cost of living for poorer Australians. Labor said the compensation built into the scheme would more than recompense those on the lowest incomes.

Blanchett also spoke at the state funeral for former prime minister Gough Whitlam last year and said she owed her tertiary education to his policies.  The speech is said to have angered former Liberal prime minister John Howard who says access to free university studies occurred before Whitlam came to power and is under-recognised.

Attendees can expect to pay up to $150 per person or $2000 for a table to hear Blanchett speak at the event in Darling Harbour in June.

Blanchett won the Oscar in 2014 for her performance in the Woody Allen film Blue Jasmine.   She called for Hollywood to make more films centred on female characters.

“To those of us in the industry still foolishly clinging to the idea that female films with women at the centre are niche experiences, they are not,” she said.

“Audiences want to see them and in fact they earn money.”

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