Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon has supported national action on climate change by students, which includes a protest outside her Newcastle office today.
Ms Claydon said she “absolutely supports the right of students to engage in peaceful protest”.
“These kids are an inspiration. They’re not sitting back and accepting what adults are doing – they’re making their voices heard,” Ms Claydon said.
“If more young people got engaged in the political process, the Liberals mightn’t be so cavalier in selling out their future and the future of our planet.”
Ms Claydon said she was disappointed that she wasn’t able to be around to meet students at the end of a Parliamentary sitting week, but had held a meeting with a group of concerned students from Newcastle East Public School earlier in the month.
“I met with around 30 concerned students aged between 5 and 13 who told me how they are concerned about the future and the impacts of climate change on the environment and our oceans,” Ms Claydon said.
“It’s a sad state of affairs when primary school students are more informed than many members of the government about the dire implications of climate change, but that’s the grim reality of where we are on this issue.
“The time for climate denialism in our Federal Government is over. The time for an end to the war on renewables is here. And the time for real action on climate change is now.”
Ms Claydon said the Government had ‘betrayed’ future generations by actively stifling any real action on climate change.
“In the last five years, not only has the government failed to deliver any energy policy, they’ve also tried to dismantle every mechanism Australia has to reduce emissions to stem the impacts of climate change,” Ms Claydon said.
“Under the former Labor Government, emissions reduced by more than 10 per cent, but since the Liberals took government, they’ve risen year on year.
“The government’s own data shows that under its policy void, carbon pollution will keep rising all the way to 2030, which is the furthest date of projections.”
Ms Claydon said it had become clear that the only way to get action on climate change would be to change the Government.
“As long as the dinosaurs on the hard right of the Liberal party calls the shots, the Government will never be permitted to act on climate change.
“Only a Shorten Labor Government will take real action on climate change, and reduce carbon pollution in line with our plan for a minimum of 50 per cent renewables by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050. We will also invest $10 billion in renewable energy projects and deliver rebates of $2000 for households to buy energy saving battery systems.
“Labor’s plan will drive Australia into a new age of renewable energy which will lower power prices and create tens of thousands of new jobs.”