SOUTH Gippsland and Bass Coast climate activists converged on Warragul town centre last Saturday, November 7, to keep up the pressure on local MP Russell Broadbent to “respect the climate science and back-pedal on his government’s plan for a gas-led recovery from COVID-19”.
The campaign started in October with a Gippsland-wide climate action that saw hundreds of Gippslanders come out to support climate action.
Lynn Atkinson, of Foster, organiser of Saturday’s event, said: “We want the truth about climate change from our politicians, and we want action.
“Russell Broadbent is our representative. He must tell our government that its plan for a gas-led recovery is unconscionable when the impacts of climate change can be seen all around us in last year’s catastrophic droughts, bushfires and coastal erosion.
“We need a renewables-led recovery for our economy and our futures, and a meaningful carbon emissions reductions target.
‘We all want a planet that is liveable for our future generation,” she said.
“So, our message for Russell is: listen to us, represent us, take our message to Canberra. We want evidence-based action to ensure we have a liveable future.”
The action included a circus performer, Tara Silcock from Fish Creek, whose foot juggling was a spectacular drawcard.
Tara said: “Through my work with Circus Oz, I have toured all over Australia and seen the devastating impacts of climate change especially in rural and farming communities. We brought smiles to people in the wake of their disasters, but what they wanted above all was real action by governments on climate change.”
She said she had lost all her work during the COVID-19 lockdowns but “the COVID disruption is nothing compared to what will happen if we don’t face the climate emergency now and act on it together”.
Michael Nugent from Cape Patterson urged a Russell look-alike on a stationary bike to back pedal away from a gas-led recovery, while another Bass Coast resident, Neil Rankine, urged other Russell look-alikes to turn their backs on gas and support renewables.
Fishy juggling apprentice (another Russell look-alike) kept dropping the ball on climate change, while Tara urged Russell not to juggle with our future.
“We hope Russell starts to act on our concerns,” said Sandra from Leongatha.