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Byron Shire
June 1, 2023

Greens back students protests as government condemns youth

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TAKING ACTION: Jonah Asha, Elsa Bertram (back) Dylan McConville, Jess Dunn (middle) and Ivy Bertram will join students from around Australia for the School Strike 4 Climate Action. Photo supplied.

There is ongoing support for the National School strike 4 climate – an action created by students encouraging other school students to get out on the streets and make their voices heard during school hours – following prime minister Scott Morrison’s condemning the action. Prime Minster Morrison said ‘We don’t support the idea of kids not going to school… for things that can be dealt with outside of school.’

A quick response to the PMs comments came from the Senate led by Greens WA Senator Jordon Steele-John, who is the youngest sitting member of the Australian Parliament, declaring support for the strike.

Democracy depends on participation

‘It is important that our young people are empowered to participate in our democracy and speak out about the things that are important to them,’ said Greens candidate for Lismore Sue Higginson.

‘Striking and protesting are very traditional and powerful ways to participate in a democracy and are usually engaged when governments are not listening, injustice is being felt and time is running out.

I commend our young people across our region for organising to come together in a powerful way on a matter of such importance. If any of you can hear me, please know, I hear you and I will be standing with you on 30 November wherever you are.

Lismore and Byron 10am

Hundreds of students are expected to gather at Lismore’s Spinks Park and Byron’s Railway Park at 10am to make their voices heard this Friday.

‘How incredibly out of touch is the prime minister to suggest that young people are not activists in their own right?’ said Member for Ballina Tamara Smith.

‘Has Scott Morrison not talked to Year 6 students lately? I have found as the Member for Ballina and as a teacher that it is children and young people who have the most passionate concerns about the environment, climate change and inequalities in society.

‘Instead of shaming young people for wanting to have their voices heard, the prime minister should be welcoming the input of children and young people, since the future belongs to them.

‘I’m very disappointed in the NSW Minister for Education for taking such a draconian approach to the voices of young people and their absolute right to draw attention to their future on a warming planet.

‘I encourage these courageous young people from my electorate and I am proud to be their local MP. I will be there supporting them during their School Strike on Friday at Railway Park at Byron Bay.

‘Labor’s approval of another giant coal mine for the Galilee Basin shows they are just as out of touch with the mood of young Australians,’ said Ms Smith.

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  1. Students should not have to miss classes in order for their voices to be heard. But they have no choice when our politicians aren’t listening to them or the climate experts. Good on them for taking their future into their own hands.

    Scott Morrison, if you don’t want students to miss classes, come up with an energy policy and put strong, immediate climate action at the top of your agenda. Stop supporting the dirty outdated fossil fuel-intensive coal industry.

    Listen to our youth, listen to the people, listen to the market, listen to the climate experts – our children will have a bleak future unless we reach zero emissions by 2050. This can’t be achieved if we keep approving new coal mines. The only party with a ‘no new coal mine’ policy is the Greens.

  2. There’s little point in polluting the planet if we expect
    it’s our ‘right’ to allow others to do so. The kids have
    a right & a life to live.

  3. No surprises that Jordan Steele-John is supporting climate change action, as a young person with a disability he would be acutely aware of the need for train transport and how it reduces carbon emissions.
    Unfortunately, there is a generation of children in the Northern Rivers have never seen a train on their tracks. It appears the solar train in Byron for the resort isn’t designed to fit a wheel chair.
    I truly hope the school kids of the Northern Rivers one day can genuinely call the area an environmentally sustainable region but no one can when the only form of transport is road. Shame


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