PRIME Minister Scott Morrison’s scorn for Australian students striking from school to demand climate action has further raised their campaign’s profile.
Australian Youth Climate Coalition spokesperson Alexandra Fuller said media and community interest in the School Strike For Climate Action – an initiative driven by students from Castlemaine – had heightened since question time yesterday.
“We don't support the idea of kids not going to school, to participate in things that can be dealt with outside of school,” Mr Morrison said in response to a query by Member for Melbourne, Adam Bandt.
“We do not support our schools being turned into parliaments.
“We think kids should be in school learning, whether it's about those issues or maths, science, English, literature, Indigenous history, Australian history. That's what they should be there doing.
“What we want is more learning in schools and less activism in schools.”
.@AdamBandt: Students will go on strike from school calling for emergency action on climate change. Prime Minister will you join me in praising these kids?@ScottMorrisonMP: What we want, is more learning and less activism.— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) November 26, 2018
Miss Fuller said the campaign’s organisers were expecting thousands of students to join in strike action to call for urgent action on climate change.
She said least 500 people were expected to attend major events in Melbourne and Sydney on Friday, and there were more than 30 events nationwide.
“Students around the world are going on strike in solidarity,” Miss Fuller said.
She said there was a possibility the events would grow even bigger in light of Mr Morrison’s ‘outrage’.
“It was disappointing to see the Prime Minister condemning students,” Miss Fuller said.
She said the students, who were at school when the Bendigo Advertiser called, did not want to have to strike.
What they wanted was for their voices to be heard, and Miss Fuller said federal politicians did not seem to be listening to them while they were in school.
“This is what we’re forced to do when there’s no climate policy in Australia right now,” she said.
She said the campaign’s objective to make politicians from all sides stop and listen to young people and what they wanted for their future.
“It really has given young students a voice,” Miss Fuller said.
“I think they’re pretty overwhelmed by all of the support.”
Scott Morrison almost blew up in Question Time when asked about our school strike "We don’t support the idea of kids not going to school … for things that can be dealt with outside of school." - you're not dealing with it so we're striking! #climatestrikepic.twitter.com/nGcw2Wruwk— School Strike 4 Climate (@StrikeClimate) November 26, 2018
A small group of students went on strike outside the Bendigo offices of both Senator Bridget McKenzie and Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters earlier this month.
The upcoming events are also part of the School Strike For Climate Action campaign.
Mr Bandt had asked: “Prime Minister, will you join me in praising these students for having a go, and will you meet with and listen to these kids, who are demanding action from your government to keep coal in the ground? “
He said the ‘brave and courageous’ campaigners were joining young people around the world who were angry at the failure of governments, including the Australian government, to secure their future from global warming.
“Climate change is a very real and serious issue which demands the attention of governments at all levels,” Mr Morrison responded.
“It has the attention of this government, through the Emissions Reduction Fund, the renewable energy target, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, our Snowy 2.0 initiative, energy efficiency measures, and our commitment to 26 per cent of an emissions reduction target, which we remain committed to.
I asked the PM in #qt if he would meet with these brave students going on strike for climate action.— Adam Bandt (@AdamBandt) November 26, 2018
As Deputy PM exploded and was almost kicked out, PM said students should just do what they’re told and trust gov on climate change.
I’m with the students on this one.#Greenshttps://t.co/JYEzPXBhhg
“We're committed to all of these things. But I'll tell you what we're also committed to: kids should go to school. That's what we're committed to.”
More than 500 students are expected to gather at Parliament House in Melbourne on Friday for two hours from 12 noon.
The Australian Youth Climate Coalition is assisting School Strike For Climate Action with the campaign.
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