With Sydney blanketed in smoke and falling ash, and firefighters battling more than 100 fires across the state, the realities of global warming have become unignorable. Tomorrow Sydneysiders will be channeling frustration into action, in a rally in the CBD to address the government's inaction on climate change and the ongoing bushfire crisis across NSW. Protest organisers are expecting upwards of 5,000 people to gather outside Sydney Town Hall at 5.30pm on Wednesday, December 11, to protest against prime minister Scott Morrison’s disregard for climate action and the NSW government’s cuts to fire services.
“This rally is urgent because we are facing the human and health cost of the climate crisis and the Morrison government is refusing to acknowledge the connection between mega-fires and climate change, let alone take action,” says rally co-chair and Uni Students for Climate Justice representative Chloe Rafferty.
“Sydney is being poisoned and people across the state have lost their homes, and some have lost their lives. We need urgent action on the health crisis and a transition to renewable energy.”
The rally is a joint effort from Uni Students for Climate Justice, Extinction Rebellion and Greens MLC David Shoebridge. Speakers at the event will include high school activist Amy Lamont and Indigenous activists Gavin Stanbrook and Uncle Bruce Shillingsworth, alongside representatives from the unions for firefighters, waterside workers and nurses, and activists from fire-affected areas. Rafferty and Shoebridge will co-chair the discussion.
“Our rally is demanding no new coal, oil or gas projects including Adani, a just transition to renewable energy and end to fossil fuel exports with a jobs guarantee for fossil fuel industry workers,” says Rafferty. “We need an immediate increase in funding for fire services, a mass expansion of paid firefighters and protective equipment for all firefighters. We're also demanding safety provisions for workers suffering through the smoke, including provisions to cease work at unhealthy AQI levels, an expansion of emergency sick leave and air-conditioning and filters for all public buildings.”