Climate change protest in Sale

People protesting in Sale on Friday over what they see as inaction over climate change.

Josh Farrell

The building which houses the office of Gippsland MHR Darren Chester was the scene of a climate change protest on Friday.

The group of 10 arrived with signs and placards to protest against Australia’s inaction over climate change, and to implore Prime Minister Scott Morrison to attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.

The protesters were from Wellington Climate Action Network and had 10 people in attendance.

Network treasurer John Gwyther said the protest was part of attempts to push the government to set net zero targets.

“… they have four weeks to come up with a policy,” he said.

The four weeks relates to the November 1 start date of the Glasgow Climate summit, where world leaders will come together to discuss climate change and policy.

Wellington Climate Action Network members attend markets and public events throughout Gippsland to discuss climate change and understand public perception and concerns.

“98 per cent of people we speak to agree that we need to do more for the climate,” Mr Gwyther said.

Gippsland MHR Darren Chester last week took a hiatus from The Nationals party room and its meetings, over growing frustration with the party’s leadership.

Mr Gwyther, while saying no one should have to put up with a difficult workplace and is sympathetic to Mr Chester stepping away, said this could not come at a worse time for Gippslanders.

“His absence comes at a critical time for Gippsland … it’s a very bad time for Gippslanders to be disenfranchised with the government,” Mr Gwyther said.

The group received regular honks of support from motorists as they drove past on Friday.

Mr Gwyther was critical of the government’s handling of climate change.

“These targets could set the climate for political debate for the next decades,” he said.

“If he [Scott Morrison] doesn’t go [to Glasgow] it would be embarrassing — he can’t not go,” Mr Gwyther said.

The group estimates it has about 150 supporters throughout the region, either through their mailing lists or social media.