CQ kids skip school for a vocal excursion
ABOUT 40 students from Rockhampton and surrounds skipped school yesterday to mobilise for action on climate change.
The protest across Australia called for a stop to the Adani Carmichael mine, no new coal or gas, and 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030.
The march was organised by Indianna Brydon, a Rockhampton State High School student, and involved multiple students around the region including a trio of Trindall children from Boyne Island who made the 100km journey to join the March from Dinosaur Park along the waterfront.
The most vocal of the Trindall family was Dougie.
Unlike others who attended the march, hell-bent on stopping Adani, the young man had a balanced view on the issue and believed working towards a future of renewables was the most important thing.
"I'm here because I'm all against pollution, I don't like pollution, so going on this march is a big thing for me,” Dougie said.
"It's definitely worth having one day off school to do this march.
"Mining shouldn't be stopped completely because we still need electricity so when we can work towards technology like batteries, then we can stop the pollution.
"We do need it (mining) for now, but we won't forever and then we can stop it.
"We need to make the (renewable) technology with not that much pollution.”
Dougie's mother Suzy Boyes said halting pollution was a common conversation piece around the family dinner table.
"We have been having conversations about this since they were born so they all know about recycling and they know about trying to look after our planet,” she said.
"Gladstone is very industrial and we try and get the kids' heads around how we live with that.”
According to Ms Boyes, the voices of the youth were being left unheard by political representatives all too often.
She said the march was the only option a lot of Australian youth had.
"We are constantly trying to work out ways to be heard, why have an education if you're not going to use it like this,” she said.
"This march is a safe way that we can do something with the kids.”
Ms Boyes said her family had roots in mining and their goal was not to stop the industry, but make it more sustainable in its operations.
"The boys' father is actually a coal miner in New South Wales, which sparks good conversation in the family,” she said.
"The boys aren't against industry and mining but we believe it can be done a whole lot better.”
Labor candidate for Capricornia, Russell Robertson said he was glad to see the children were politically active despite not necessarily agreeing with their agenda.
"I have been a long-time advocate of action and it would be hypocritical of me to say that kids shouldn't take action on issues that are extremely important to them,” he said.
"It's exciting seeing kids wanting to be involved in the political process.
"If they want to air their opinions on important subjects, that should be applauded - it's an exciting turn for the future.”
A troop of teen activists also mobilised on the coast, swapping their pens for placards.
Lahnee Stoyles, 15, was among the loud and proud crowd of protesters in Yeppoon.
The Year 10 Yeppoon State High Student wanted to take part in the strike to "make a change about climate change and our future”.
"I strongly believe that we need to make a change now before it's too late,” she said.
Lahnee's stance on climate change stems from a passion to protect her hometown.
"It's predicted that in about 170 years the sea levels will rise and our town will be flooded and under water,” she said.
"I believe more cyclones will hit our town due to the warmth and temperature rising.”
She said the strike was a way of giving everyone an idea how important it was to share the awareness of the issue.
"And how us as children are making an act upon it,” she said.
"I believe that the strike has made a difference to the public, but on a national, worldwide level I think governments are starting to realise what impacts climate change has.”
She hoped others can get on board too.
"I would like to see more plastics being recycled, cutting down on energy and using more renewables like solar panels on houses,” she said.
"It cuts the costs as well so there are many more benefits as well.”