Students to walk out of class for Gold Coast climate change protest

Hundreds of Gold Coast school students are expected to skip class on the final day of term to take part in a major climate change protest today.

More than a thousand people, including the students, local residents and workers will descend on Victoria Park at Broadbeach from midday as part of a global day of action.

They’ll then take part in a march through along surrounding streets.


Zac Fahey, local spokesperson for Global Climate Strike says similar protests are being held right around the country on Friday.

“It’s a way to raise awareness for climate change and it comes a couple of days before the UN Summit in New York,” Mr Fahey said

“We’re trying to put pressure on politicians to take more action on the climate crisis around the world.”

Mr Fahey apologised in advance for the disruption, but says it’s a small price to pay.

“We’re not not taking up a lot of space, but we will be on the road so there might be some minor delays, but it’s the least people can expect for trying to save the world.”

Police say they have authorised the protest and will be on hand to keep an eye on things.

“Police are working with organisers to ensure the activity is conducted safely and with minimum disruption to traffic,” they said in a statement

“The Queensland Police Service (QPS) supports lawful and peaceful protest and is committed to working with groups to plan and facilitate these activities.”

Mr Fahey has defended the right of students to take part despite it being an official school day for public school students.

But Deputy LNP Leader Tim Mander says they shouldn’t be skipping school.

“Queensland NAPLAN results would suggest that these students should be in classroom,” Mr Mander said.

“If they are fair dinkum they’d stage these protests in the school holidays, let’s see how many people would turn up then.”

Some Hinterland residents affected by the recent bushfires will also be taking part in the action.

Binna Burra local Sally Mackinnon says the bushfire crisis is proof we have a serious problem.

“Do not let anyone bully you into thinking what happened at Binna Burra in the last 10 days is normal in any way,” Ms Mackinnon said.

“The Binna Burra community, overrun by wildfire, is a living symbol of the global climate emergency in our own backyard.”

The protest will start at Victoria Park at midday before the march begins at 12.30.

The march will travel through Broadbeach mall, south along Old Burleigh Road, west along Elizabeth Avenue and north along Surf Parade back to Victoria Park.