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Byron Shire
May 22, 2022

Students vow to continue fighting

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Eight high school students who took the Federal Environment Minister to court claiming she has a duty to avoid causing harm from climate change have promised to keep fighting for stronger climate action in Australia.

Today, the Full Federal Court decided in favour of Minister Sussan Ley who appealed the decision of the Federal Court that established she had a duty of care to reasonably avoid harming children when determining whether or not to approve a new coal mine project. The first instance decision established that the carbon emissions expected from the Vickery Extension Project create a real risk of personal injury and death to today’s children.

‘Today’s ruling leaves us devastated, but it will not deter us in our flight for climate justice,’ said Anjali Sharma, 17, one of the students.

‘This case demonstrates that young people are determined to be heard on this issue at the highest levels. We’re proud of representing young people in Australia and fighting to hold people in power responsible for their actions.

‘Climate change is already wreaking havoc on the lives of Australians. Two years ago, Australia was on fire; today, it’s underwater. Burning coal makes bushfires and floods more catastrophic and more deadly. Something needs to change. Our leaders need to step up and act.’

Much to celebrate

‘While today’s judgment did not go our way, there is still much to celebrate,’ said Izzy Raj-Seppings, 15, another student involved in the case.

‘The Court accepted that young people will bear the brunt of the impacts of the climate crisis. The Court’s recognition that extraction and burning of fossil fuels will cause future climate impacts is an important step in the fight for climate justice in the courtroom.

‘Climate inaction has devastating consequences for young people. While today’s judgment is disappointing, we will keep fighting harder and louder than ever to demand that those in power protect the most vulnerable and ensure a safe future.

‘Regardless of today’s outcome, the ground is shifting. Governments around the world are stopping new coal projects and rapidly shifting to renewables. We call on the Australian government to do the same.

‘Our lawyers will be reviewing the judgment and we may have more to say in the coming weeks.’

Science has not changed

David Barnden, the students’ lawyer said, ‘Independent climate change experts established that Whitehaven’s Vickery coal mine will create a risk of personal injury and death to young Australians. The science has not changed. Irrespective of today’s decision, adults should do all they can to create a safe future for our children.

‘We will continue to support young people in their fight for a safe future and will carefully review the decision.’


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11 COMMENTS

    • The Anjali was a guest on last night’s (15/3 ) ABC 7.30 show and the Anjali was bang on topic.
      The Court hiding behind this notion that it isn’t their job to act on ‘Duty of Care’, that it is the job of government.
      Which is exactly why the Anjali is in Court, the Governments failure of ‘Duty of Care’, that needs Courts to remedy the situation.
      In the Netherlands, a different climate case in court, the Court delivered a ruling that orders the Shell reduce its global emissions.
      Great result…until the Shell decides not having any of it, is appealing the decision so it can carry on its polluting ways.
      The one constant is, look no further than Australia, that FF Industry and their political boosters will not willing stop their ways.

  1. If the Minister for Environment doesn’t have a duty of care for future Australians, then what IS her purpose ?
    I believe her actions of ‘wilful indifference’ are recognised as a war-crime by the Geneva Convention, but so was Howard’s invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan , I suppose this is just another indication that we are The Evil Empire.
    Cheers, G”)

    • ‘Honest John’, his ghost still haunts us – we still digging to find those Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq; we still scouring the oceans to find those “Children Overboard” and dare we bring up the ” Weapons for Wheat”.

  2. Kudos to these wonderful young people, doing all the can to stand up for their future. The system is faulty and its clear as glass to them.
    I hope many many more young people stand up with them and blow these old die hard coal mongers the boot!

  3. The political activism of these students is to be applauded.
    Do not be discouraged by this loss.
    How about a campaign to free Julian Assange?
    Successive governments have been negligent by ignoring his plight.

  4. Having a bit of a whinge here. A little bit late. ….. So it’s not up to the the judges. The law. Have to be seen to be respecting the law. Yeah I agree with that. It’s important. So , is that like trump appointing his own judges. So they swung in his favour . Luckily not all of them. .. Is that it. If it was a fair system then there’d be a few left leaning judges wouldn’t there ? A judge that cared about his children and grand children and their grand children , . That preferred wind and solar etc , the average people rather than coal and oil and big business. Did scomo pick them like he did in nsw lib seats . A trump move . …. Yknow America US , he was so obvious about being corrupt, he didn’t care , he thought everyone was like that . And if they weren’t , just give them a narcissts , gas lighting explanation. Like , no your imaging it , it’s not happening. It’s for your own good . I’m thinking about you while I’m ripping you off. It’s your fault ( the common people ) the planets overheating it’s not mine ( sco mo , barney , judges , big business. ) And the planets not overheating , your imaging it) ,, it’s not coal , gas , oil, wipe out forest , pollute rivers and streams , burn rubbish for power , burn trees for power., non of that counts . That’s actually helping to put less pollution in the atmosphere . ………… And that’s what he says ? How does that work out ? It’s like my vege garden ,, the bugs are eating it and I can spray the approved chemical poisonous spray on it. And it’ll kill the bugs , but it’ll kill me in 20, 30 , 40 years . Best Practise , approved by a Professor of agriculture . See here’s his degree from some American university. Best Practise , NOT,, . Yeah you bueady, lovely looking veges ..while my family and me are dying slowly ……. Or I can spray garlic and chille spray with a tiny bit of soap , and it’ll kill 95 % of the bugs , and I just gotta wait a month before I eat them , 2 months better . And the organic spray ( Coz I sprayed it early morning ) hasnt killed the jumping bullants , preying mantis , beneficial lady bugs , wasps , bees , spiders , lacewings , Etc , the predators . …………………………….. For sco mo and dutton and barney , I can still achieve the same outcome without the pollution, poison option . ….. It’s the same with coal oil gas . We can transition. We can make more money by doing it than by not doing it. ….like that big solar farm selling power to Singapore , and Drill a hole 2 or 3 ks deep and hit boiling water and make power out of that . Earth power , for free. … No pollution , …………..Like surfing when it’s big. It ain’t us against each other , it’s us against the ocean . We have to help each other to survive . Yeah , calm , cool , respectful . helpful .. Which way ya going . Or ( when the wipeout sets are coming ) which one do you want .. That’s how you do it.,

    • Yes, Scummy has been manipulating the balance of justices for years. Yet another way he’s copied Trump.
      Hope these students win eventually!

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