The 2010 Walk against Warming in Melbourne was different from previous years, being in fact largely symbolic. Instead of the usual march through the city, participants, addressed here at the old City Square by Oxfam Australia Executive Director Andrew Hewett, gathered in three critical electorates, Melbourne, Deakin and La Trobe before engaging in a mass letter-box with a message for climate change. In central Melbourne the initial rally attracted a large than expected number, about 500, and there was a short backwards march to hightlight the direction the major parties have been taking the country.
Mark Wakeham of Environment Victoria, Andrew Hewett of Oxfam, and Don Henry of the Australian Conservation Foundation spoke, and there was a live blog on the event on the Walk against Warming website.
Three ‘crowd shots’:
And the crowd moving backards, to the chant of “Talk to the People, not the Polluters; Cliamte Action Now!” –
Media release from the organisers:
At today’s Walk Against Warming events Victorians are putting the hard word on Tony Abbot and Julia Gillard to commit to a credible climate policy that will cut greenhouse pollution in the next term of government.
Thousands of people are taking to the streets nationally as part of the Walk Against Warming. In Victoria, 1000 local people are coming together in the three key electorates of Melbourne, Deakin and La Trobe to letterbox the entire electorate with a message for action on climate change.
In the seat of Melbourne, 400 walkers will take part in a backwards march to highlight that both major parties are taking Australia backwards on climate change.
Speakers at the event will include Don Henry, Australian Conservation Foundation Executive Director and
Andrew Hewett, Oxfam Australia Executive Director.
Environment Victoria’s Campaign’s Director Mark Wakeham said today:
“Poll after poll shows that Australians want action on climate change yet just one week from the federal election both major parties are still failing to produce plans that will reduce pollution,”
“So this year we’re changing tack and taking our message straight to the people who matter the most – the voters,” he said.
This year’s The Great Suburban Walk Against Warming will gather walkers for short rallies in Melbourne, Deakin and La Trobe before the 1000 participants fan out across the suburbs to deliver leaflets asking voters to send a strong message to the next Prime Minster about climate change.
“We’ll be reaching 300,000 voters in electorates that will be key to the outcome of the election and letting them know what our leaders need to do about climate change.
“That gives Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott five days to get their act together and put a climate policy on the table that will actually make a difference to Australia’s pollution problem.”
Mr. Wakeham called on Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott to commit to replacing Australia’s most polluting power station, Hazelwood, with clean energy in the next term of government.
“There is a big opportunity here for Julia Gillard or Tony Abbott to put the money on the table to replace all of Hazelwood, to cut our pollution by three percent, and to create thousands of clean energy jobs,” he said.
The Melbourne Walk Against Warming is organised by Environment Victoria in partnership with the Australian Conservation Foundation, Oxfam Australia, Australian Ethical, Alternative Technology Association, Friends of the Earth, Hepburn Wind, Moreland Energy Foundation, the Climate Action Network Australia, World Vision, The Wilderness Society and Greenpeace.
See the Walk against Warming website