Strike that advice

• Caroline Perks at the first School Strike for Climate in November.

THE Greens’ Perth candidate has urged school kids to attend a climate change “strike” on Friday, despite the WA government warning parents they must legally be in class.

Ms Perks says the School Strike for Climate on Friday coincides with her birthday, and “there’s nowhere I’d rather be”.

“Growing up in the Perth Hills, bushfires were a very real threat. Recently, I saw the first-hand devastation of the increasing intensity of bushfires due to drying climate conditions,” Ms Perks said.

“The Parkerville bushfire was what locals had always feared.”

Wildlife

Ms Perks said volunteers bravely put their lives on the line to protect other people’s homes, even while their own were being razed. Wildlife and the local environment were also devastated.

“This hit me hard, and if I wasn’t determined enough before to fight for climate action, I was newly resolved to do everything that I could.”

Mr Perks has eight years’ experience in climate change policy development, but says she’s been involved in the issue longer and laments a lack of political will.

She believes that’s down to big donations to the major parties from miners and big resource companies, which the Greens want banned.

“Since 2012 — two years before the carbon price legislation was repealed — the Liberal and Labor parties have taken over $100 million from big corporations, and $5.9m specifically from big resource companies,” she says.

“In exchange for these donations, it seems that the fossil fuel industry don’t have to pay for their increasing greenhouse gas emissions.

“They also get subsidies! National tax-based subsidies that encourage fossil fuel production and consumption that add up to $12 billion every year.

In recent weeks the WA Labor government’s “jobs first” campaign has seen premier Mark McGowan reject the Environmental Protection Agency’s call to make big new resource projects carbon neutral by paying offsets for carbon emissions. “We have had some feedback from some of the major investors that it could impact future projects, and of course I have to create jobs and that is my number one priority,” he told the ABC.

by DAVID BELL

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