HISTORY MADE: Climate strikes trickle into Whitsundays
IT'S being hailed as the biggest climate mobilisation in Australia's history, and it kicked off in the Whitsundays.
School Strike for Climate has reported more than 300,000 Australians took to the streets on Friday, as part of the global climate strikes that have gained considerable momentum around the world.
Inspired by Swedish school girl Greta Thunberg, teenagers in regional Victoria launched the school strike movement in Australia last October, which led to 20,000 students across the country striking in November and 150,000 in March.
It's reported that 4 million people around the world joined the strikes; 4 million people from every corner of the globe called on their governments to commit to no new coal, oil and gas projects - including the Adani mine.
The Whitsundays was no different, with reports of 300 people hitting the streets in protest against climate inaction.
Student Karrah-Lea Vinnicombe said it was 'inspirational' to see the sheer gathering of people and age was no barrier with children as young as two rallying alongside a 94-year-old grandmother.
"I truly believe that, while Airlie Beach probably had one of the smallest gatherings, it had one of the biggest impacts for we are standing up for our home, our family, friends, our future and one of the seven wonders of the world,” she said.
Student Jonathan Naranjo said being at the forefront of the strikes, and leading the way while being supported by a community that shared one vision, was a 'privilege'.
"I do not doubt that we have touched the heart of many and we will keep raising our voices until the concrete framework to protect the health of the Great Barrier Reef is put into action,” he said.
Whitsunday Conservation Council chair Jessa Lloyd said the Whitsundays was in the heart of the world heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, placing the community in a unique position.
"Tourism and associated service industries rely on its survival to uphold our economy,” she said.
"In tandem to that we also have many families here, who are involved in the mining and sugar cane industries - both of which have been highlighted as industries of threat to the reefs ultimate survival.
"There is an opportunity here, for the government to step up and lead, by creating a just transition for these mine workers to sustainable and renewable energy industries.”
Whitsunday Police Acting Sergeant Jason Colley said there were no incidents at the strike, with protesters keeping it 'peaceful and respectful'.
"We had no issues with members of the march, or members of the public,” he said.