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Byron Shire
April 19, 2024

Young people rally for a climate-positive budget

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AYCC climate rally. Photo Olivia Hill.

On Sunday hundreds of young people took part in a rally in Brisbane with a clear message for Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers: protect our future by ensuring no new funding for fossil fuels in the October budget update.

This action was organised by the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC), as part of the organisation’s Power Shift youth climate summit, at which over 350 young people built skills to take action on climate change.

The AYCC says that in the previous term of government, Scott Morrison committed millions of dollars in public money to expand new fossil fuel projects, which would blow Australia’s carbon budget and contribute to worsening climate change.

‘Whether we live far in the bush or in the middle of a city, all of us want clean air and water, a healthy environment, and a safe future to grow up in,’ said AYCC Director Alex Fuller. ‘But pollution from burning coal, oil and gas is causing a warming world, with more extreme weather like bushfires, drought and floods.

‘That’s why young people from across the country gathered in the treasurer’s local city to call on the newly-elected Albanese government to ensure no new funding for coal and gas expansion is included in their October budget update,’ she said.

AYCC climate rally. Photo Olivia Hill.

National action

Alex Fuller said that along with the rally of 150 young people in Brisbane, many more activists from across the country took action online, flooding Treasurer Jim Chalmers’ calendar with event invites reminding him to “Fund our future, not gas” in the upcoming budget.

Tiahani Adamson is the Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network State Coordinator and also the MC of the Power Shift event. ‘Right across this continent, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are on the front lines of fossil fuel extraction and climate change impacts,’ she said.

‘We need this government to follow the leadership of First Nations communities fighting to protect Country and the climate, instead of bankrolling more fossil fuels.’

Alex Fuller said, ‘Instead of lining the pockets of big polluters, public money should fund things that matter to all of us, like publicly-owned renewable energy, services like health and education, and support for those already hit hard by climate change.’

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