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Adjournment - Climate Change Student Rally

20 March 2019
Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr WOODRUFF (Franklin) - Mr Deputy Speaker, I pay tribute to the 8000 
students who were estimated to have flooded the lawns of Parliament House 
and marched around the streets of Hobart last Friday. This was a truly 
momentous occasion, probably the largest march that has ever been seen in 
Hobart and they joined together with approximately 1.5 million children 
from around the world in 2233 different cities, over 128 countries. Every 
country in the world was represented in some form.

I do not think I saw you there, Mr Deputy Speaker, but what this display 
was, and it is hard to describe the absolute enormity, the waves of young 
people from primary school to high school to young adults. About 90 per 
cent of the people were children, about 10 per cent were adults. The 
energy of the young people was incredible, their passion and their 
incredible, clear words. They know what they want and what they want is 
leadership from politicians. They want action from politicians. They 
want the people who have the ability to change the way we do things, to 
change and dramatically bring down our carbon emissions. They want us to 
act. 

I want to share some of their beautiful signs, because children can be so 
humorous and playful and they used their words. I saw a sea of signs - 
Losing Nemo: One of the year's best disaster films; Denial is not a Policy; 
There is no Planet B; Time is running out; Wake up to the climate crisis; 
We cannot drink oil and we cannot breathe money; Santa: Homeless by 2021; 
The oceans are rising and so are we; Scott Morrison, you are three times 
our age and three times as naïve, and a special message to the minister 
for Education: I am sorry I cannot do my homework, I am too busy saving 
the planet.

Mr Deputy Speaker, those children learnt so much more by striking, going 
and meeting with other children and sharing their collective energy and 
are getting positive action and support in communing with other children 
than they would ever have achieved by staying in the classroom that 
afternoon. Children, thinking children, children who look at what is 
happening in the world and who read social media, they understand the 
planet is in a very dark place; time is running out, so is the time for 
action. 

We have been given just 11 years to take dramatic action on carbon dioxide 
emissions. Thanks to Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old girl in Sweden. This 
is where it all started, she has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. 
Her action alone has started this global movement because if adults will 
not act, children will force us to. There are solutions there; there are 
things we can do. It is not an unsolvable problem and I, and the rest of 
the Greens, will spend every day we are in Parliament talking about this 
until action happens.