School climate strike to return to Toowoomba today
A SMALL number of Toowoomba school students will today take part in the city's first climate strike since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Local Year 11 student and Australian Youth Climate Coalition member Murphy McDonald-Smith said the small COVID-safe group would protest outside the Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise office, due to its support of the gas industry.
"We saw that TSBE's CEO Ali Davenport supports Scott Morrison's plans to give billions of taxpayer dollars to the gas industry, but we're confused about why," Murphy said.
"Economists and experts say spending money on gas will create very few jobs while also risking huge investment losses and causing extensive environmental harm.
"This puts the future of my generation and our job prospects at risk.
"We would love for TSBE to stop supporting gas and fossil fuel expansion and instead build on the great work they are already doing supporting renewable energy in the region."
The Toowoomba protest will be one of 400 actions happening across Australia as part of the School Strike 4 Climate network's national day of action.
TSBE CEO Ali Davenport said she had offered to meet with the students next week.
"I'm more than happy to catch up with them and discuss their concerns," she said.
"I hope they come.
"TSBE and I fully support the Queensland Government's plan to get to 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030, but that's still nine years away and at that stage it's 50 per cent renewable energy production, so we still need our resources."
Ms Davenport said gas was instrumental in transitioning to renewable energy.
"Estimates show gas is instrumental in bringing in renewable energy probably for the next 20-30 years," she said.
"It's about the science of how we transition to renewables and that has to include gas."
Ms Davenport said it was refreshing to see young people engage in energy policy debates.