Candlelit Vigil Held Outside ScoMo’s Kirribilli House In Solidarity With Flood Victims

“Our government must take responsibility for supporting and protecting communities, which means funding climate solutions, not climate pollution.”


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A candlelit vigil was held outside the Prime Minister’s official Sydney residence on Thursday to show solidarity with flood survivors in regional NSW.

Around 40 people from multi-faith group Australian Religious Response To Climate Change gathered in front of Kirribilli House in the early hours of the morning to express outrage on behalf of communities in Lismore, Byron Bay, and the wider Northern Rivers region.

“At the heart of the religious impulse is love and compassion for humanity and our planet. We’re leading a candlelight vigil this morning to pray for the survivors of the recent floods in the Northern Rivers,” said Rabbi George Mordecai in a statement. “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.”

Residents in affected areas were forced to evacuate for a second time this week, after homes, lives, and businesses were lost in what was meant to be a one-in-1000 year flood earlier this month.

The NSW Government identified that “climate change is expected to make storm and flood events more severe” in the years to come, due to warming temperatures, increased thunderstorm risks, sea level rises, and intensified natural cycles and disasters. Yet the Morrison Government has been criticised for refusing to strengthen its climate action plans and reduce emissions faster.

“Dealing with climate change isn’t just about getting emissions down. It’s about resilience and adaptation,” said the Prime Minister on March 13 in an interview. “You want to deal with resilience on bushfires, you have to do fuel load management. You want to deal with floods, you’ve got to build dams. Now it hasn’t been the Coalition that has been against reducing fuel loads and building dams in this country.”

Morrison was recently poorly received on his trip to Lismore on March 9, with protesters demanding the Prime Minister declare a climate emergency.

“We know that burning fossil fuels is driving the climate crisis and the escalating climate disasters that we see hitting our communities. We call on all people of faith in the government to not only reach out to help and support the people impacted by the floods, but to also take urgent action to address the root cause of this climate catastrophe,” said ARRCC spokesperson Gillian Reffell.

“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. This is simply unacceptable, and frankly immoral,” said Reffell.

“Our government must take responsibility for supporting and protecting communities, which means funding climate solutions, not climate pollution. All fossil fuel funding must be immediately redirected to supporting climate disaster survivors, rebuilding resilient communities, and urgently transitioning our energy system to clean, renewable energy.”

Photo Credit: ARRCC/Supplied