“The youth are rising”: Bunbury young people & community call for more climate action from leaders

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Ailish DelaneyBunbury Herald
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Organisers Lachlan Kelly and Bella Burgemeister speaking at the climate action.
Camera IconOrganisers Lachlan Kelly and Bella Burgemeister speaking at the climate action. Credit: Ailish Delaney / South Western Times/Ailish Delaney

“What do we want? Climate action.”

“When do we want it? Now.”

Those were the words of a group of Bunbury students and community members who joined the National Climate Strike today.

Organised by the School Strike for Climate network, the rally encouraged young people to skip school for the day to advocate for more climate action from the State and Federal governments.

Crowd members at the National Climate Action Bunbury rally.
Camera IconCrowd members at the National Climate Action Bunbury rally.

Event organiser Bella Burgemeister said young people had three main demands of leaders: 100 per cent renewables by 2030; no new coal, gas or oil projects; and a just transition for all fossil fuel workers away from the industry and moving them into renewables.

“(Climate change) is such a serious issue and its affecting us all right now,” she said.

The 15-year-old activist said the rallies across Australia were to show those in power the youth were strong and would be coming out to vote in force.

“We’re rising and eventually we’re all going to be able to vote, and lots of us are voting right now, and if they want to stand a chance in the next election they’re going to need to start taking action,” Bella said.

Students protesting the government's climate response.
Camera IconStudents protesting the government's climate response.

About 40 people turned out call for change, but Bella said the small number of school students in attendance would not deter the movement.

“We’re hoping for a bigger strike next time and we’re always trying to build on the momentum,” she said.

Casper Atkinson, 18, attended the day because she was “fighting for my future”.

“We’re watching the world be destroyed... we need to fight to stop this so we all have an equal future.

“(Today) is one day compared to the rest of our lives.”

Forrest MHR Nola Marino said Australia was continuing to reduce emissions by investing in clean and renewable energy and new technologies like hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, batteries and healthy soils.

“We are dealing with this in an Australian way, not by imposing taxes or destroying industry but by investing in game changing technology and backing Australian ingenuity,” she said.

“Emissions are at the lowest level since 1990 – when records began.

“While ambition is important, achievement and outcomes are what matters.”

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