• Climate activist Gadrian Hoosan traveled from the Top End to address a mass crowd at the Global Climate Strike in Sydney. (NITV News )Source: NITV News
Almost 300,000 people marched in cities across Australia in rallies calling for the government to more aggressively to combat climate change.
Brooke Fryer

23 Sep 2019 - 11:20 AM  UPDATED 23 Sep 2019 - 3:40 PM

An Indigenous protester travelled for three days to join tens of thousands of school students in Sydney calling for action on climate change.

Organisers said 80,000 people rallied in Sydney on Friday as part of the Global Climate Strike.

The movement makes three demands: no new coal or gas projects, 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030, and a fund for a “just transition” for fossil fuel workers and their communities.

Gadrian Hoosan, a Garrwa Yanyuwa man from Borroloola in the Northern Territory, said remote Indigenous communities were “suffering the most” from mining projects in Australia.

Residents in his home town - 70km from one of the world’s largest lead mines - have been warned that the tap water is unsafe to drink. 

Activists seized on the situation as part of a campaign against coal seam gas fracking - which they argue could contaminate water and have dangerous health implications on a larger scale.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a technique which involves drilling into the earth before injecting a high pressure water and chemical mixture to fracture rock layers and release the oil and gas inside.

“I’m uniting with a lot of people around the world, around this country in Australia together to stand up for what we believe in, protecting the climate and protecting the water, protecting the environment,” Mr Hoosan told NITV News.

“We need a clean environment, if we want to get a good job in the community, in our community, we need a sustainable job that is going to last for a lifetime because we know fracking is not going to last for  a lifetime, it’s going to create a short term job and long term pollution and everyone knows that.”

At the Sydney event, Mr Hoosan thanked the students leading the strike.

"Old and young, we are united, we are strong," he told the crowd. 

“We are all one family, black and white. A climate justice family." 

"Our youth give us hope. How can this government ignore all of us all around the world?" 

"Enough is enough."

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