By Margaret Maccoll
Chanting “we will stop Adani” and holding up placards more than 1000 students walked out of schools from Gympie to Maroochydore and Nambour to descend on Peregian Beach on Friday to call attention to climate change.
The Sunshine Coast School Strike 4 Climate was part of an international student strike involving more than 60 Australian cities and towns and more than 100 countries demanding politicians take action on climate change.
Local organiser Year 12 student Shellie Joseph spoke to the gathering, calling for politicians to listen to their demands to stop mining coal, gas and oil and in particular Adani Mining’s proposed coal mine in the Galilee Basin in central Queensland.
“Our civilisation is being sacrificed for a small number of people to keep making enormous amounts of money,” she said.
She said Adani would likely deliver only 1500 jobs not the promised 16,000 jobs, would use 12 billion litres of water each year, expel 200,000 tones of CO2 into the air annually and dump its waste into the waters of the Great Barrier Reef.
Future generations will be asking their grandparents what was the Great Barrier Reef, she said.
“People are protesting on the streets,” she said. “Nobody wants Adani.”
Shellie said her education was very important to her but she was willing to put her study on hold to fight for the future of the planet.
“Solve the climate crisis,” she said. “We already have the solutions. We just need to wake up and change.”
Students, parents and teachers joined the protest. They put their signatures to a banner, signed letters calling for action from politicians. More than 20 unions across Australia endorsed the students strike action and more than 800 academics signed an open letter of solidarity with the student strikers.