Vigil outside Kirribilli House calls for climate action
Representatives of the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) held a silent protest outside Kirribilli House in the early hours of Thursday, 31 March.
Around forty people gathered before dawn outside Kirribilli House. Demonstrators said that they were there to stand in solidarity with flood-affected people in Lismore, Byron, and the Northern Rivers region.
Rabbi George Mordecai led the group in song, prayer, and silent reflection.
“At the heart of the religious impulse is love and compassion for humanity and our planet,” Rabbi Mordecai said.
“We’re leading a candlelight vigil this morning to pray for the survivors of the recent floods in the Northern Rivers. Our thoughts and prayers must also motivate us to action, not just empty words. It is in this spirit that we call upon our government to urgently support impacted communities to recover and rebuild.”
The vigil comes in response to ongoing extreme flooding events on the East Coast of Australia. It is part of a growing criticism of the Australian government’s handling of climate change policy.
Gillian Reffell is a spokesperson for ARRCC. She said that people of faith needed to take “urgent action” to address the root cause of climate change.
“The Morrison government has increased fossil fuel handouts and subsidies to $11.6 billion last financial year, which is more than 50 times the National Recovery and Resilience Agency,” Ms Reffell said.
“This is simply unacceptable, and frankly immoral. Our government must take responsibility for supporting and protecting communities, which means funding climate solutions, not climate pollution.”
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