A crowd estimated at upwards of 2000 turned out in Castlemaine’s CBD on Friday demonstrating support for the day’s global Strike 4 Climate with rally numbers across the nation recorded in the hundreds of thousands.
Castlemaine’s Victory Park rally drew entertainers, school children, local business and community leaders alike and coincided with far larger events across the nation include Strike 4 Climate, Melbourne where crowd numbers were estimated at 100,000.
Castlemaine secondary students played a significant role in the Melbourne event with some of them among the key speakers addressing the huge crowd.
“I fight for climate justice because everyone deserves a safe future. The government is not supporting it yet, but together we will change that,” Castlemaine’s Niamh O’Connor Smith, 17, told the crowd.
Hundreds of local students attended – using public transport to reach the Melbourne rally – and seven former Mount Alexander Shire mayors and current mayor Cr Bronwyn Machin came together to demonstrate their support for the students in person.
The former mayors were Stephen Carthew, Peter Skilbeck, Jim Norris, Dave Gittus, Philip Schier, Janet Cropley and Sharon Telford with two other former mayors – Michael Redden and Christine Henderson – sending their apologies.
“The basics behind gathering together a number of ex-mayors is simply to show some support from the former and current leadership of the community, the shire, towards the youth who are supporting something that we thoroughly believe in – some action on climate change,” Mr Norris said.
“We want to show our support for their leadership,” said former mayor Norris who then boarded public transport to Melbourne to march alongside his three adult children at the Strike 4 Climate.
Mayor Cr Bronwen Machin also attended the local Victory Park rally and said she wanted to demonstrate her support for the students “fighting for a safer world”.
“They deserve to have a safe world and a rich world,” Cr Machin said.
“Any action we take by adapting to climate change or reducing our gas emissions always has three, four, five other benefits. So it shouldn’t be scary.
“It should be a really good thing that we look forward to working together with new technologies, new ways of being to solve this problem.
“We’ll be richer. If we solve this problem, we’ll be richer.”