St Christopher's Catholic Primary School pupils joined more than 600 gatherings across Australia condemning Prime Minister Scott Morrison's plan for a gas-led recovery from the COVID-19 recession, saying the funds should be going into renewable energy.
Their School Strike For Climate protest saw them gather outside the school for 90-minutes on Friday morning with signs asking motorists on Heathcote Road to 'Honk for climate action'. In total they had 555 honks from trucks, motorbikes, buses, cars and people on bikes.
Mr Morrison announced last week delivering more gas where it was needed at an internationally competitive price was the next plank in the government's JobMaker plan and would "help fire our economic recovery".
He said the government would establish a gas distribution hub, a plan to unlock new gas supplies, invest in new pipelines, bring in a "use it or lose it" rule for gas licenses for companies sitting on reserves and build a gas power plant in the NSW Hunter Valley if the private sector did not.
The school student protest called on the federal government to "fund our future, not the gas industry".
Patrick Field, a year 6 pupil at St Christopher's, said "the environment is not replaceable and won't last forever."
"At this rate the earth's end is only getting closer," he said. "However there are a ton of things you can do to stop this such as switching to renewable solar energy."
Mr Morrison said the new initiative was "about making Australia's gas work for all Australians".
"Gas is a critical enabler of Australia's economy," he said.
"Our competitive advantage has always been based on affordable, reliable energy.
"As we turn to our economic recovery from COVID-19, affordable gas will play a central role in re-establishing the strong economy we need for jobs growth, funding government services and opportunities for all."
Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said reliable and affordable gas was more important now than ever. "A gas-fired recovery will help Australia's economy bounce back better," he said.