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Byron Shire
February 1, 2023

Reclaim Our Future koalas pay a visit to Federal MP

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Today Extinction Rebellion Lismore will make sure the federal member for Page hasn’t forgotten about the black summer bushfires and their devastating impact on NSW’s koala population.

After marching from the Lismore Quad from 11am, activists dressed as black wraiths and koalas will occupy Kevin Hogan’s office with a dramatic and potentially messy reminder that we must immediately begin to transition away from fossil fuels if we want to limit extreme weather events such as the fires two years ago.

‘It’s about time our government earned some respect by acting on climate change like the
emergency it is,’ said Daniel Berg, ex-Lifeline phone support worker and grandfather.

‘We need massive subsidies out of fossil fuels and into renewables. We need urgent protection of old-growth and State forests.

‘We need a seriously strong and scientifically-informed stance at COP26 and COP15
(biodiversity) events. There is no time to waste.’

There will be koala-focussed actions around the country today, as part of an escalating series of ‘Reclaim Our Future’ events, coinciding with important national climate policy developments and the lead up to international climate talks in Glasgow.

Today is also the start of Environment Minister Sussan Ley’s appeal against the Federal Court’s finding that she has a duty of care to protect young people from climate harm. The ruling on the case will be announced on Thursday.

In addition, there are two important parliamentary votes during this term – a Senate vote to disallow $50m to kick-start the huge Beetaloo Basin fracking project in the Northern Territory, and another attempt to pass MP Zali Steggall’s climate action bill.

Yesterday, Ms Steggall tabled a revised draft of her Climate Change Bill to federal parliament.

The revisions reflect feedback from the inquiry process and introduce a new, short-term emissions reduction target of 60 per cent by 2030 vs 2005 levels.

In the absence of any policy from the government, the revised Bill provides Australia with an opportunity to adopt a meaningful climate commitment ahead of COP26.

Local XR activists have planned Covid-safe actions for the coming fortnight, and are prepared to do whatever it takes to motivate our political leaders in the lead-up to November’s international climate negotiations.

‘I never thought this was how I was going to spend my retirement,’ said Susie Gipton, a 71-year-old local grandmother.

‘I do this for your kids, my grandchild and the inheritors of the planet. I also think and am hopeful we will get there despite our government.

They need to get out of the way, and let private enterprise drive our journey to zero emissions.

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