600+ School Strike for Climate events taking place today in biggest-ever national action against gas
New national YouGov polling shows over 6 in 10 Australian voters support student demands of no public funding for gas or other fossil fuels (61%). Almost two thirds believe Australia should rely on renewables not fossil fuels to power us in the future (65%), including nine in ten Gen Z voters (92%) [full details below].
Over 600 colourful actions in capital cities, regional centres and small towns around Australia.
THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS and supporters will join forces today to demand that the Federal Government fund their future, not the gas industry, with hundreds of actions taking place across the country.
The September 25th: #FundOurFutureNotGas day of action will see over 600 powerful, Covid-safe actions around Australia.
With last year’s school strikes ranking amongst some of the largest protests in Australia’s history, this year with Covid-19 restrictions students have had to find new ways to have their voices heard, with powerful socially distanced actions, Instagram livestreams, banner drops, “climate classrooms” on the lawns of State Parliament, and art installations.
School strikers are calling for the Federal Government to spend economic stimulus money on clean energy to create thousands of jobs, rather than propping up the failing gas industry that puts our climate and economy at risk.
Brisbane student Neha Pauly, Year 11, said: “Students here in Queensland want Scott Morrison to invest COVID-19 recovery funds into renewable energy, creating thousands of jobs that would also help tackle climate change. Giving billions of taxpayer dollars to the polluting gas industry is putting the interests of the gas industry ahead of the public interest,” she said.
“In the lead up to the Queensland election we are also calling on all our state MPs to rule out public funding for gas and commit to clean energy jobs for Queenslanders. We are the Sunshine State, we need to make the most of it!”
Anjali Sharma, 16, one of the lead organisers of Friday’s Melbourne Day of Action, said that the Federal Government’s lack of action on climate change was forcing young people in Melbourne to continue to protest, but in Melbourne online given the city's lockdown laws.
“Although the pandemic has brought the world to a halt, it certainly hasn’t brought the climate crisis to a halt and that is why we cannot stop protesting this and demanding that the government prioritise our futures over anything else,” she said.
The students’ actions have been endorsed by institutions representing 3 million Australians, including 25 union bodies, and businesses such as Patagonia and Ben & Jerrys.
National YouGov polling
The poll of 1015 people, conducted between 14-16 September, to a nationally representative sample of Australian voters found:
Powering the country
The majority of Australian voters believe that Australia should rely on renewable energy sources to power the country in the future (65%), rather than fossil fuels such as coal and gas (20%). Younger voters are the strongest supporters of Australia moving to rely on renewables, including nine in ten Gen Z voters (92%) and three quarters of Millennials (74%). Whilst support is lower among older voters, the majority of Baby Boomers (60%) and Gen X (55%) still support the move to rely on renewables over fossil fuels.
Support for student demands
Just over six in ten voters (61%) support student demands for the government to not use public funds for gas, and instead take urgent action on issues such as guaranteeing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander land rights, creating jobs that focus on tackling climate change and backing renewable energy projects.
MAJOR MEDIA EVENTS
Media are invited to join in media events with interviews and vision opportunities available. Hundreds of regional events are taking place around the country, including in gasfields communities such as North West NSW. A full list of events taking place tomorrow can be found at ss4c.info/sept25
National Media enquiries: Fiona Ivits, 0487 003 872
More info: Visit the national day of action website: ss4c.info/sept25
Photos: Best vision from the day can be found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ss4c/albums/72157715482575817
Video: Best footage from the day can be found at https://vimeo.com/showcase/7587992
NSW - 206 ACTIONS STATEWIDE
Friday Sept 25th, 10am sharp AEST,
Martin Place outside Channel 7 (near Martin Place / Elizabeth St Intersection)
Students: Veronica Hester, Natasha Abhayawickrama; Narrabri farmer Ed Nankivell; Steve Murphy, National Secretary, Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union; Linda Whitten, Gomeroi woman, whose lands are under threat from gas in NW NSW
VISION: Speakers + socially distanced crowd of 20 max holding a large banner saying Fund Our Future Not Gas. Behind everyone, a tableau of 100 placards hanging from washing lines to represent all the students who can’t be there due to the pandemic.
NSW event photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ss4c/albums/72157716012891081
On-site contact (strictly till 11:30am only): Alison - 0432 332 104
For all other media queries: Vai - 0452 290 082
VICTORIA - 211 ACTIONS STATEWIDE MELBOURNE ONLINE EVENT
Friday 25 September 10am-3pm
School Strikes for Climate Melbourne and Victoria Instagram
Livestreamed talks on gas and climate, free livestreamed concert with Melbourne band Husky, demos on how to lobby politicians to demand they fund the future, not gas.
Victorian event photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ss4c/albums/72157716013475318
Media enquiries: Fiona - 0487 003 872
QUEENSLAND - 61 ACTIONS STATEWIDE
Friday 25 September 1pm
Parliament House, George St, Brisbane
School Strikers for Climate speaking out in front of Brisbane Parliament House
Queensland event photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ss4c/albums/72157716012956216
Media enquiries: Elly - 0407163 921
TASMANIA - 16 ACTIONS STATEWIDE
Friday 25 September 10am-3pm
Lawns, Tasmanian State Parliament, 1 Salamanca Pl, Hobart TAS 7000
Students will set up their own “classroom”, structured like a school day, with a series of talks on how climate change is affecting Tasmania, how they can take action and why the Tasmanian Government must do more to tackle climate change.
Tasmania event photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ss4c/albums/72157716013477138
Media enquiries: Fiona - 0487 003 872
ADELAIDE EVENT - 11 ACTIONS STATEWIDE
Friday 25 September 11:30am
Hindmarsh Square, Adelaide
Students and supporters will gather at Hindmarsh Square to hear from speakers, then together will march to Origin Energy’s headquarters to protest their plans to frack the Northern Territory.
South Australia event photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ss4c/albums/72157716012962451
Media enquiries: Kelly Albion, 0422 636 775
CANBERRA EVENT - 14 ACTIONS TERRITORY-WIDE
Friday 25 September 10:30am
Parliament House Lawns
70 school climate strikers with protest placards positioned across lawns and a massive Fund Our Future Not Gas banner
ACT event photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ss4c/albums/72157716017348117
Media enquiries: Rosie Brady, 0491 122 026, [email protected] or Minna Featherstone 0422 526 246.
NORTHERN TERRITORY - 3 ACTIONS TERRITORY-WIDE
Friday 25 September 12-1pm
Shop 5/36 Parap Place, Parap
Students, workers, Aboriginal leaders and community members will confront Chief Minister Michael Gunner at his Parap electorate office
Media enquiries: 0447 355 565
The demands of September 25th are that no public funds are spent on gas or other damaging fossil fuels. Instead, recovery funds should be spent on:
Resourcing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led solutions that guarantee land rights and care for country,
The creation of jobs that fast track solutions to the climate crisis and help communities recover,
Projects that transition our economy and communities to 100% renewable energy by 2030, through expanded public ownership.