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12 May, 2021

Students to strike over gas-led recovery

Next Friday, May 21, Cairns school students will join thousands around the nation when they rally on the Cairns Esplanade to protest about the federal government’s 2021 budget.

By Tanya Murphy

Local Year 12 student Ava Shearer says the government must stop investing in gas.

The federal budget released today promised to invest $58.6 million in a gas-fired recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, with more investment to unlock gas sources and drive down prices.

The student strikers said they would be creating an art installation demanding the Morrison government to say no to funding gas and coal projects, and instead invest in clean renewable energy, secure jobs and First Nations solutions to protect Country.

“As a young person who has grown up alongside the beautiful Great Barrier Reef, it’s incredibly disappointing to see the Morrison government line the pockets of multinational gas companies, when dirty gas and fossil fuels are fuelling the climate crisis and continue to have devastating impacts on our beautiful reef,” said Year 12 student Ava Shearer.

Year 10 student Samara Cross echoed her sentiments.

“On May 21, we’re striking to tell the Morrison Government that if they care about our future, they must stop throwing money at gas,” she said.

“Public money should be invested in things for public good, like education and healthcare”.

The student school strike will be the biggest national climate protest since COVID-19, with actions planned in capital cities, regional centres and country towns across the continent.

The day is being organised by the School Strike 4 Climate network, with support from unions, parents, and everyday Australians.

All community members are invited to support the students at the family-friendly event and dogs are welcome, starting at 1pm at Muddy’s Event Lawn on the Cairns Esplanade next Friday, May 21.

School Strikes for Climate have become regular occurrences since September 2019, when an estimated five million protestors at 4500 strikes across 150 countries, including 1500 protestors in Cairns, left school and work for the global climate strike initiated by Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg.


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