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Sydney residents demand federal election candidates to #StopAdani

As it is becoming evident that climate change is one of the leading issues amongst voters this federal election, community groups have been seeking responses on environmental issues at candidates forums across Sydney. A tangible black and red Stop Adani theme dominated the audience at the recent “Meet the Candidates Forum” last month at the Alexandria Town Hall.

University of Sydney climate strike action group at the Meet the Candidates Forum in Sydney. Photo: Supplied

The event was organised by Alexandria Residents Action Group, REDWatch and Friends of Erskineville. The panel included the current member for the seat of Sydney, Tanya Plibersek; the Greens candidate, Matthew Thompson; and the Science Party candidate, Aaron Hammond. The Liberal Party candidate, Jacqui Munro, did not attend.

The leading issue of the evening was the climate crisis and the lack of action taken by the current government. Results from the pre-event survey showed that the proposed Adani Carmichael coal mine and related climate change issues were top of the list, making up nearly half of all total entries.

About 30 local residents wore Stop Adani T-shirts and held placards with the enduring red hexagonal logo during the talks. As questions were taken from the audience, members of the University of Sydney climate strike action group unfurled a banner demanding that the Labor party dump coal and commit to reviewing the Adani project.

“The Stop Adani movement has become a symbol for the fight to transition away from fossil fuels into renewable energy. It is clear that Sydney residents expect their politicians to match rhetoric with action, and not just say they care about climate change but to commit to keeping fossil fuels in the ground,” said Carrie Tsai, a local #StopAdani community organiser.

A 14-year-old school climate striker, Gus, voiced his concern about climate breakdown and what it meant for his future and asked why the Labor Party had not made a clear commitment to reviewing the Adani project since the majority of Australians were against it.

“Both the Greens and Science Party candidates made sense when they stated that they would move us quickly away from coal, oil and gas, but I was very disappointed with Ms Plibersek’s refusal to commit to reviewing the Adani coal mine. I feel that she is not listening to us young people whose futures will be wrecked by destructive projects like Adani,” said Gus after the event.

Another community member, David Tran, stated, “If Adani went ahead it will have terrible consequences on our climate and the Great Barrier Reef. The vast majority of Australians understand this, and I am heartened to see the strong community support against Adani at the candidates forum, and applaud young school strikers like Gus fighting for a better future.”

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