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Rally at Plibersek’s office – voters oppose new coal and gas

New polling shows voters in Tanya Plibersek’s Sydney electorate want Environment Minister Plibersek to stop approving new coal and gas projects.

Move Beyond Coal and the 350.org network publicly released and delivered the results of the poll to Tanya Plibersek’s Sydney office at a rally on September 21. The rally launched a billboard advertisement opposite Plibersek’s office reading: “What the heck Plibersek? We voted for climate action. Not new coal and gas.”

The poll shows eight out of ten Labor voters in Sydney think Australia should stop approving new coal and gas mines. Minister Plibersek has approved four new coal mining projects this year: The Isaac River coking coal mine; the Ensham thermal coal mine; the Star coal mine; and the Gregory Crinum coal mine.

In response to coal approvals, student representatives from the School Strike for Climate movement have announced their next national strike on November 17, which will target key Labor ministers.

Karin Steininger, filmmaker and long-time Sydney resident, said: “Australians voted for climate action at the last election, but the Albanese government is still approving new climate-wrecking coal and gas projects.

“Sydney is already suffering through unseasonal early spring heatwaves and anxiously awaiting another potentially catastrophic bushfire season, but Tanya Plibersek is denying the links between coal mines she is approving and their devastating impacts on the climate.”

Chris Black, a 16-year-old school striker, said: “It’s clear Labor is still picking the side of coal and gas billionaires and selling out the future of young people.

“That’s why thousands of students across the country will be striking on November 17 to demand all Labor politicians step up and follow the leadership of our Pacific neighbours who are calling for no new coal and gas and a fossil fuel phase-out. Here in Sydney, we will be marching on Tanya Plibersek’s office.”

Thea Ormerod, chair of the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC), said: “It’s great Labor’s committed to reducing our domestic emissions, yet our exports are doing twice the damage we’re doing at home, and more exports keep being approved.

“People of faith want the Labor government they thought they were voting for! Pope Francis, the World Council of Churches, Parliament of World Religions, Anglican Communion, Catholic Religious Australia, Pacific Conference of Churches and others have called for an end to new fossil fuel mining and a just transition for workers.”

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