Tuesday 4th February 2020 was an important day for Australia. It was the first sitting day for Federal parliament this year. It was also the day that thousands of concerned Australians travelled from many places far and wide to be in the national capital. Why? Why make the journey to Canberra from the West, the far North Coast, the South Coast, the Central West?
No – not to enjoy the many tourist delights of the region! – thousands came to ‘show our government that action must be taken to address the climate emergency and that the people of Australia will no longer accept complacency and denial of the truth’.
They gathered on the lawns outside Parliament House in a People’s Climate Assembly: Climate Emergency Rally. They came from all walks of life and ‘presented a united front against the ignorance shown by our government in the face of this climate emergency, and to demand that they step up and do something’.
The demands were simple – ‘that the government: Tells the truth; Declares a Climate Emergency; Acts now according to the science; Implements a just transition to a renewable and sustainable future’.
The evidence is clear from all scientists, and there are many well thought out responses by other countries e.g. Last year New Zealand passed ‘The climate response zero carbon bill’. Communities around the world and here in Australia are already implementing transition strategies in co-operative undertakings e.g. Hunter Renewal is a project to bring people, businesses, and organisations of the Hunter Valley together to envision a diverse, resilient, and thriving future for their region.
Those who attended the People’s Climate Assembly enjoyed music, dancing and drumming. They heard from a range of passionate, inspiring and informed speakers. The irrepressible Dr Karl MC’d and introduced Uncle Bruce Shillingsworth, United Firefighters Union President Greg McConville, John Hewson, Adam Bandt, Father Rod Bower, Sophie Taylor Price (Bob Hawke’s grand-daughter), Bob Brown, Zali Steggall and others.
The Red Rebels (a sub-group of Extinction Rebellion) led the encircling of Parliament House – a peaceful and respectful end to an incredible day. A complete circle was created on Parliamentary Drive, while our Indigenous brothers and sisters conducted a smoking ceremony in front of the doorways, signifying the Assembly’s presence and unity of all involved.
Don’t get left behind! These groups are part of the People’s Climate Assembly:
- ARRCC (Australian Religious Response to Climate Change)
- Extinction Rebellion (including ACT, NSW [including a number of regional groups] and VIC)
- School Strike for Climate (ACT and nationally)
- Front Line Action on Coal
- Knitting Nannas and Friends
- The Conservation Council
- The Greens
- Architects Declare Australia
- Engineers Declare Australian
- Parents for Climate Action (AP4CA)
- Climate and Health Alliance
- Doctors for the Environment
Make your voice heard!
Find out more: Mudgee District Environment Group (MDEG) Contact: 0427 920 887.