Manic Studios – Larry Is Sad

Australian Workers Film Guide


A spin off from the Fair Go For Billionaires campaign, this satirical commercial highlights how mining bosses hire overseas 457 visa workers instead of locals, thereby denying apprenticeships and training opportunities to young Australians. In a send up of the Save the Children commercials, mining boss Larry Pines mocks the idea of young people getting into apprenticeships, “where their minds are corrupted by ideas like safety regulations or a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay.” After seeing images of young children with work tools in their hands, Pines says, “But together we can stop them. For as little as $2 a day or the price of a 457 visa a week, we can replace our child labour force with adult contractors from overseas.” This workforce will be happy to work for whatever they can get no matter how poor the working conditions. Standing next to a young worker, Pines tells viewers to employ more 457 workers and “help save our children.” 

The final title card is ‘The Mining Boom is Australia’s Boom. Let’s spread it around.’

Fair Go For Billionaires was a CFMEU – Mining & Energy Division campaign opposing Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s promise to repeal the new Resources Tax, thereby diverting tax dollars intended for public purposes back to rich and powerful mining companies.

Special Notes/Achievements

Manic Studios was established for the trade union movement with the goal of producing satirical films and videos for union campaigns. Charles Firth, an Australian comedian and member of the famed The Chaser satirical comedy show, was the company’s creative director.

Author: J Bird, 2023

Duration: 1 min 5 secs

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Film Producer: Piers Grove, Xanon Murphy,

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