Perth climate change action supporters call for more progress despite protests

Advocates for climate change action have continued calls for government and industry to address the issue, claiming there would be “harmful impacts” from a lack of progress.

Supporters say governments have “failed them in a lot of ways” on the issue, calling for government policies and industry action.

Demonstrators from climate change activist group Extinction Rebellion protested throughout the country last week.

In Perth, protests culminated in a march in Perth’s CBD last Friday, where the group aimed to “flood the city” through a peaceful demonstration in a “creative way.”

The demonstrations began at Elizabeth Quay and continued up William Street, where they were stopped by police.

About 65 people were arrested as the protest resulted in a sit-in at the intersection of William Street and Hay Street.

However, Greens member for the East Metropolitan Region Tim Clifford said it was broad range of the community calling for action.

“Climate change is an issue,” Mr Clifford said, speaking to WAMN News during Friday’s protest.

“The State Government should be doing more about it.”

Mr Clifford said not enough had been done.

“We haven’t heard a meaningful renewable energy target, we haven’t had a net zero emissions target, which is going to make the big polluters reduce their emissions,” he said.

“The community wants those sorts of policies.”

He said that the Greens had been advocating for change since the 1980s and had been putting forward policies, stating that “we need to break our addiction to coal.”

“At the end of the day, as a member of parliament, you have a duty of care to the people that you represent,” Mr Clifford said.

“If you don’t put forward policies to address this climate change, you’re failing your duty of care.”

Extinction Rebellion WA media co-ordinator Jesse Noakes said that the protests were just the start.

“I don’t think we’ve got anywhere near the start of the journey convincing governments and business or the media even to come to the table and do what needs to be done,” Mr Noakes said.

Mr Noakes, who was arrested at the offices of Seven West Media in Osborne Park during a rally outside the building on Wednesday, stated that the issue was bigger than the protesters.

“It’s way more important to do something about the climate crisis than it is to worry about the implications of the arrest on my personal life,” he said.

Mr Clifford said the feedback has been positive about the protests but “there’s always going to be naysayers.”

Mr Noakes said “the very first step is declaring a climate emergency.”

“They (government and businesses) need to tell the truth about it, they need to allow all of us to tell the truth about it, we have to change how we talk about it,” he said.

“ That means treating it as an emergency putting us on crisis footing.”

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