Following the announcement of the Federal Government spending $600 million on the new Kurri Kurri gas plant in the NSW Hunter Valley, young people in the School Strike 4 Climate (SS4C) network have reacted with outrage.
Alexa Stuart, 17: “I have grown up in a region dominated by fossil fuels – living in Newcastle, on the edge of the world’s largest coal port. I have seen the health, economic and climate impacts of dirty fossil fuels like coal and gas, and I can’t bear to see my future wasted by more public money invested in gas.
“This investment of public money in gas is not only a danger to us in exacerbating the climate crisis – it’s also not needed and not a good investment. Private companies are refusing to build the plant, it has been identified as unnecessary by AEMO and it does not make economic sense: it will operate only 2% of the time or about a week per year, and employ only ten full-time workers.
“The Hunter region is already transitioning to renewable energy and hydrogen and we need investment in the jobs of the future, not the past.
It is a waste of public money, an unnecessary step in exacerbating the climate crisis, and shows how out-of-touch the Morrison Government is in planning for our future.
“On Friday, we’re striking to tell the Morrison Government that if they care about our future, they must stop throwing money at gas.”
Natasha Abhayawickrama, 16: “Prime Minister Morrison and his government should and could be protecting our climate, land, and water – whilst creating thousands of new jobs by growing our renewable energy sector and backing First Nations solutions to protect Country.
“Instead, the Federal Government is wasting Australians’ taxpayer money by unnecessarily investing in polluting gas in the midst of a climate crisis, the day after the conservative International Energy Agency predicted a decline in gas demand and announced that no new fossil fuel projects could be approved if we want to have a chance of reaching net zero emissions by 2050.
“The claims by the Morrison Government that investing in gas will support Australian households to access affordable power are wrong. Only recently, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) reported that gas generation saw the lowest output across my entire lifetime – sixteen years – because of rising gas prices, lower power demands and competition from renewable energy – the way of the future.
“Gas has been on the way out for my entire 16 years of living, Prime Minister, and now is not the time to spend more public money on it. We want an investment for our future, not a step back into the past.”
Young people are set against this irresponsible waste of public money, and will be making their discontent heard on Friday when we strike in major cities and towns around the country.
This mass strike will mark the biggest protest for climate action since the emergence of COVID-19. 50+ strikes are to take place in capital cities, regional centres, and country towns across the entire continental expanse, with many strikers participating because they have seen first-hand the impacts of the climate crisis:
Media are invited to join the action for photos, videos, and interviews in their local area.