Hundreds of climate change protesters have taken to State Parliament to protest greater government action against climate change.
The rally organised by environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion WA follows on from recent protests in both Brisbane and London which caused mass traffic and lead to several arrests.
Similarily, the National Union of Students held a rally in the Perth CBD last Friday which ended on the doorsteps of energy company Chevron, just one of many nationwide university student protests.
A spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion Jesse said the rally today stemmed from a letter which was sent to the Premier two weeks ago which outlined three demands.
“The demands include Parliament acknowledging there is a climate and ecological emergency, legislating to cut emissions to net-zero by 2025 and delegating off tasks related to climate change to a citizen assembly to ensure they are fulfilled independently,” he said.
Due to previous public disruptions caused by Extinction Rebellion a heavy police presence was clear in the lead up and during the rally.
Jesse said their goal of the day was to be disruptive and cause the government to react.
“Basically we’re saying, look, the disruption now is nothing compared to the disruption that is going to come if we don’t act,” he said.
“It’s like if you’re on a bus that is heading over a cliff, you wouldn’t stare out the window, talk to your neighbours and pretend it is fine. You would break a window and get out there.”
He said they weren’t too worried about not being taken seriously.
“I reckon I can see 25 police officers and counting and many media organisations, I think we are being taken very seriously,” he said.
Extinction Rebellion member Khris said she was at the rally because she believes the science of climate change is undeniable.
“Soon the tipping point is going to be reached and our whole society is in danger from it, it is our duty to do something about it,” she said.
She said she is just hoping parliament will realise there are a lot of normal people who are worried about climate change and are prepared to take action.
Indigenous and homeless advocate Herbert Bropho said he was at the rally because he wished to communicate to people they needed to look after the land more.
“If the way it is these people are going, you’ll have no parks or places to go for and look at nice things because eventually, it will all fade away,” he said.
“There needs to be a greater understanding and relationship of the area, animals and waterways to ensure we have these resources for the future.”
Professor Greg Morrison, the director of the Curtin University Sustainability Policy, said he hasn’t got an issue with the climate strikes but thinks it is a step too far when people start harassing their local politicians.
“I think it’s unacceptable to send out letters and door knock politicians but I have no problem with the school strikes and movements because they’ve been democratic and reasonable,” he said.
Professor Morrison said he supports the WA public being so vocal.
“Climate change is a real concern the people in WA need to be aware of especially because we are home to many unique biodiversity hotspots,” he said.
“We know we have a dry climate but that has been the reality for the last 50 years which has made Perth one of the most challenged places in terms of water use.”
He said as a city we need to look at transformational change across the way we recycle, consume water and create energy, something he said is being done effectively in Sweden.