Three hundred marked present in Byron for climate action
THE message from the School Strike for Climate Action in Byron Bay on Friday was loud and clear.
"We want Australian politicians to take climate change seriously, take our future seriously and stop ignoring us,” co-organiser Vindi Ferguson, said.
More than 300 students from across the shire together with supporters skipped school to join in the nationwide student inspired action hitting the streets to protest against what they see as Federal and State Government inaction on climate change. Many were dropped at the protest action by their parents.
Despite being told by Prime Minister Scott Morrison that, "What we want more is more learning in schools and less activism in schools”, the well behaved but vocal group marched along Jonson street from Railway Park to Apex Park in Byron Bay for a rally.
"They told us to go back to school and learn, but what they need to do is go back to parliament and actually do their jobs and preserve our future so that we have an earth to live on when we get older,” Ms Ferguson, a Year 10 student from Byron High School said.
"This is just the beginning, we are going way further than this and we are not going to stop until we see real change.
"We have had a lot of support along the way but this is a fully student based protest, that has come from the students, its our message and we want to get it out there.
"We have spent many lunchtimes speaking with most of our fellow students and what we hear is that everyone is worried about climate change. We see the reports from international scientific bodies saying it (climate change) is getting worse and it's not going away.
Ms Ferguson said climate change was not a fringe issue for school students today.
"We absolutely believe the science, we have studied the effects of everything we do has on the planet.
"But our government is ignoring the scientists and all the signs of climate change, like all the recent storms, and we are scared we may not have a planet to live on in the future.
Ms Ferguson said she was "disgusted” by this week's announcement that Adani would self-fund its $2bn Carmichael coal mine in Northern Queensland saying construction would begin before Christmas.
"Why are we investing in coal when we have sun and wind- the best resources of all, here in Australia?”
"Their support for this coal project is just proving that our government is more interested in what Adani and big businesses want rather than their own people's well-being and future.”