Thousands of students, as well as adults, are planning on skipping school and work today to take part in a massive rally about climate change.
The strike in Australia is being led by youth activist group School Strike 4 Climate (SS4C), who is calling on the government to introduce three things: No new coal, oil and gas projects, including the Adani mine,100 per cent renewable energy and exports by 2030 and a just transition and job creation for all fossil-fuel workers and communities.
There will be rallies all across Australia, in capital cities and regional towns, showing that the hunger for action on climate change is felt right around the country.
Alexa Stuart, a student organiser for the Newcastle strike, explains: "While it's really important that we recognise that students are feeling scared about the impact of the climate crisis on our future, it's also very important to recognise that there are a lot of jobs in the coal mining industry."
The Australia-wide protest is inspired by Swedish activist and teenager Greta Thunberg, who recently told off members of the US Congress for not doing more to protect the planet.
There were around 150,000 Aussies who joined roughly 1.5 million students who skipped school in March for a similar global protest.
Today's march is different because there are about 2,000 businesses in Australia alone who are supporting the rally and allowing their employees to attend.
Bookstore Readings manager director Mark Rubbo is one of those companies and says without action, politicians in Canberra won't listen.
He's told The Age: "Of course we'll lose trade from the shops that are closed but that's how important we felt the issue is.
"Unless serious action is taken, the science is pointing to the world as we know it will not continue. I've got grandchildren and children. I want them to grow up in a safe environment."
Lead Organiser at School Strike 4 Climate, Jean Hinchliffe, remains optimistic and realistic about government response to their efforts.
"I think that it's going to be an enormous journey and we don't know when [political change] is going to happen, at some stage it will, it's just when," she said.
It is expected these rallies will bring traffic to a standstill however measures will be in place to ensure vehicles aren't put out by the events.
Most of the events will kick off on or close to midday so if you're keen to add your voice then here's a list of all the places holding an event.
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