Over 70 enthusiastic renewable energy supporters cheerfully set out from Rozelle Neighbourhood Centre to walk in SOLARdarity with the Repower Port Augusta walkers in South Australia. Amongst the crowd were Greg and Robyn, parents of Cameron and Aja, two of the hundred walkers who've spent the last 2 weeks walking 325kms from Port Augusta to Adelaide.
Arriving in Adelaide today, they are asking the Premier of South Australia, Jay Wetherill, to get behind the construction of solar thermal power stations and wind farms to replace the coal-fired power stations in their town. I could see the respect these parents felt for their children’s actions and how they’d been moved to also put their feet to the pavement today in support of the Repower Port Augusta walk.
Together we all walked the few kilometres down the hill from the Rozelle Neighbourhood Centre, past the old closed-down Balmain coal fired power station, around the harbor foreshore to gather under a wind turbine in Bicentennial Park, in Glebe.
This group of ordinary Australians could have been doing any number of things on this glorious Spring Sunday morning – but everyone there knew that today they could make a difference. They know that, as crazy as it seems, we DO have to actively get up and ask our politicians to do all they can to get this transition to renewables happening. They know that with coal barons lobbying like crazy in corridors of power, we have to be bold and demonstrate loud and clear that we want this transition to start now… and will not let opportunities like Port Augusta pass Australia by.
Our own MP for Sydney, The Hon. Tanya Plibersek MP, could not be there today but sent her apologies and a message to us:
Dear Climate Change Balmain-Rozelle,
I am sorry I cannot be there with you today to show my support for a stronger role for renewable energy and solar power in our future energy mix.
I know the value of the work that you do in building community support for the transition to a clean energy economy. Without that effective advocacy – at its best a partnership between community and government – we would not be where we are now: having won the difficult fight to put a price on carbon pollution, establishing the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and creating the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
I wish you all the best for a successful walk – including sunny skies – and look forward to working with you to support Australia’s transition to a clean energy future.
The Hon. Tanya Plibersek MP
Federal Member for Sydney