Daley Vs. Berejiklian On School Strike 4 Climate Protests

School strike for climate change action

Image: School Strike 4 Climate Australia

NSW Labor leader Michael Daley has voiced his support for Friday’s school student climate action strikers, while Premier Gladys Berejiklian says the kids should stay in class.

Tomorrow will see thousands of Australian students ditching school to call on politicians to say no to all new fossil fuel projects – including Adani’s Carmichael coal mine in Queensland – and to commit to powering Australia with 100% renewable energy by 2030.

In Australia, students from hundreds of schools in more than 55 cities and towns across the nation will be participating according to organisers; part of a broader global protest occurring in more than 90 countries.

Last November, more than 15,000 Australian school students went on a similar strike, defying Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

In New South Wales, the myriad threats posed by climate change aren’t just concerning school students – many of their parents share similar concerns. 57.5 per cent of NSW voters recently polled say their vote will be influenced by climate change and environmental protection issues.

Daley: Young Leadership

NSW Labor leader Michael Daley spoke at the National Press Club on the issue yesterday, saying it was a demonstration of young leadership.

“They do have a democratic right to assembly, they do have a right to protest,” Mr Daley said. “I support these young people and their action.”

If you have 59 minutes to spare, you can catch Mr. Daley’s full speech here (it didn’t just cover the school climate strike issue).

Berejiklian “Appalled”

The view of NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian was quite different. Perhaps throwing caution to the wind after the reaction to PM Morrison’s admonishment last year and the precarious election situation she faces, the Premier is quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald as saying:

“Children are there to go to school and I absolutely support their rights to have views about the world and I absolutely support them expressing themselves, but not during school.”

According to School Strike 4 Climate Australia, more than 800 academics have signed an open letter in solidarity with the student strikers, with additional signatures appearing each day. As Facebook was having a hissy fit at the time of publishing, I wasn’t able to view or link to the letter.

Beyond tomorrow’s event and post-NSW election, City of Sydney Council has reportedly waived a $20,000 fee for the use of the Town Hall for an event to be held by Australian Youth Climate Coalition in the leadup to the federal election.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

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