500+ School Strike for Climate events taking place today in biggest-ever national action against gas
New national YouGov polling shows over 6 in 10 Australian voters support student demands of no public funding for gas or other fossil fuels (61%).
Almost two thirds believe Australia should rely on renewables not fossil fuels to power us in the future (65%), including nine in ten Gen Z voters (92%) [full details below].
Over 500 colourful actions in capital cities, regional centres and small towns around Australia.
THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS and supporters will join forces today to demand that the Federal Government fund their future, not the gas industry, with hundreds of actions taking place across the country.
The September 25th: #FundOurFutureNotGas day of action will see over 500 powerful, Covid-safe actions around Australia.
With last year’s school strikes ranking amongst some of the largest protests in Australia’s history, this year with Covid-19 restrictions students have had to find new ways to have their voices heard, with powerful socially distanced actions, Instagram livestreams, banner drops, “climate classrooms” on the lawns of State Parliament, and art installations.
School strikers are calling for the Federal Government to spend economic stimulus money on clean energy to create thousands of jobs, rather than propping up the failing gas industry that puts our climate and economy at risk.
Brisbane student Neha Pauly, Year 11, said: “Students here in Queensland want Scott Morrison to invest COVID-19 recovery funds into renewable energy, creating thousands of jobs that would also help tackle climate change. Giving billions of taxpayer dollars to the polluting gas industry is putting the interests of the gas industry ahead of the public interest,” she said.
“In the lead up to the Queensland election we are also calling on all our state MPs to rule out public funding for gas and commit to clean energy jobs for Queenslanders. We are the Sunshine State, we need to make the most of it!”
Anjali Sharma, 16, one of the lead organisers of Friday’s Melbourne Day of Action, said that the Federal Government’s lack of action on climate change was forcing young people in Melbourne to continue to protest, with Melbourne protests taking place online due to the city’s lockdown laws.
“Although the pandemic has brought the world to a halt, it certainly hasn’t brought the climate crisis to a halt and that is why we cannot stop protesting this and demanding that the government prioritise our futures over anything else,” she said.
The students’ actions have been endorsed by institutions representing 3 million Australians, including 25 union bodies and businesses such as Patagonia and Ben & Jerrys.
National YouGov polling
A poll of 1015 people, conducted between 14-16 September, to a nationally representative sample of Australian voters found:
Powering the country
The majority of Australian voters believe that Australia should rely on renewable energy sources to power the country in the future (65%), rather than fossil fuels such as coal and gas (20%). Younger voters are the strongest supporters of Australia moving to rely on renewables, including nine in ten Gen Z voters (92%) and three quarters of Millennials (74%). Whilst support is lower among older voters, the majority of Baby Boomers (60%) and Gen X (55%) still support the move to rely on renewables over fossil fuels.
Support for student demands
Just over six in ten voters (61%) support student demands for the government to not use public funds for gas, and instead take urgent action on issues such as guaranteeing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander land rights, creating jobs that focus on tackling climate change and backing renewable energy projects.
MAJOR MEDIA EVENTS
Media are invited to join in media events with interviews and vision opportunities available. Hundreds of regional events are taking place around the country, including in gasfields communities such as North West NSW. A full list of events taking place tomorrow can be found at ss4c.info/sept25