By Luke Voogt
More than 100 pairs of shoes could cover the steps of City Hall tomorrow in protest of federal government’s “gas-led” recovery, organisers predict.
Geelong Sustainability Group climate action co-ordinator Sally Fisher encouraged locals to join the “COVID-safe” shoe strike to show support for a renewables-led recovery instead.
“The Earth has warmed by one degree Celsius because of human activities, and we have seen disastrous impacts here in Australia already,” Ms Fisher said.
“We must phase out fossil fuels quickly to avoid a catastrophic future. Reducing demand for gas is important if we wish to save money and protect our environment.”
With COVID-19 restrictions limiting outdoor gatherings to 50 people, Ms Fisher encouraged locals to leave a pair of shoes on the steps of City Hall throughout the afternoon from noon in a national day of action.
Geelong Sustainability opposes federal government’s recently announced gas-led recovery, which lists dozens of potential gas projects and proposes subsidies for the industry.
The government intends the plan to help Australia’s economy recover from COVID-19 and ease its transition to renewable energy.
Ms Fisher quoted a recent Deloitte Access Economics study stating Australia could experience up to 880,000 job losses by 2050 if climate change continues unchecked.
She also pointed to an Australian Institute statement that gas is one of the most “jobs poor” industries.
“So investing taxpayer money in it will do little to restore jobs,” she said.
But Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association Victorian director Ashley Wells said removing natural gas from the future energy mix would make Victorians more reliant on coal.
“Rallying against the use of gas and the role the industry can play in Australia’s economic recovery won’t help reduce energy costs, cut emissions or create jobs in Victoria.”