Labor’s ridicule of student protesters a new low


The Greens say Labor is hopelessly out of touch with Australia’s young people, after the government today mocked students preparing to walk out of classrooms for the national Climate Strike this Friday, November 17.

Stephen Bates MP, Greens Youth Spokesperson, asked the Education Minister if he supports students’ right to strike for a safer climate and leave school this Friday to protest new coal and gas projects jeopardising their future. 

In response, Labor MPs jeered from their seats and the Minister merely responded that “that school students should be at school during school hours.”

Comments attributable to Greens spokesperson on Education (Primary & Secondary), Senator Penny Allman-Payne:

“Kids are worried about the future. They know that Labor's plan for more coal and gas will make global heating worse and on Friday, thousands will leave their classrooms in protest.

“While the Prime Minister and the frontbench laughed, the education minister mocked the idea that students should exercise their democratic right to protest and said he wanted them ‘at school’.

“We’ve grown used to Labor’s cowardice in the face of the climate crisis, but telling kids they should just shut up while they continue to open up new coal and gas shows how hopelessly captured and out-of-touch they are.

“If the government is going to ignore calls from young people to act on climate, then young people should ignore the education minister and take to the streets on Friday.”

Comments attributable to Greens Youth spokesperson Stephen Bates:

"The decisions of this Government to push more coal and gas is harming the future of young people. Most high school students can’t vote, climate protests help make their voices heard.

"Young people deserve to have their voices heard. Right now, they’re inheriting a broken environment, economy, and worsening living conditions.

"Clearly Labor needs to be reminded of their roots if they don’t get why people strike."