The following is a speech delivered outside the office of federal Senator for NSW Concetta Fierravanti-Wells at the Wollongong climate rally on 29 November 2019.
We gather here today on the lands of the Wadi Wadi and Dharawal people. We stand here in solidarity and respect, acknowledging elders past, present, and emerging. Sovereignty was never ceded, and for that their country was poisoned, they were murdered, and their futures were stolen.
To address this ongoing trauma and all that comes with it, we must put an end to the centuries of colonisation that transformed this once thriving land into a place of death, deserts, and destruction.
First Nations people have been here since time immemorial, and yet because of European invasion, we have only a few short years left to act if we are to undo the hurt.
Always was, always will be Aboriginal land.
And so it is for this reason that we say we will not wait for those in the halls of power to take action on the climate emergency. Their opinions, their policies, their votes have been bought and paid for by climate vandals across countless industries.
We have seen the blatant lies and horrifically offensive accusations wheeled out so often by the Liberal and National Parties, and then picked up by those in the mainstream media and given legitimacy by a broken system that prioritises profits over the people of this nation.
We are trapped in an abusive relationship with the people who own the police and the military. We have seen how violent they are prepared to become to suppress the voices that speak out against their inaction and denial of facts.
The Prime Minister Scott Morrison brought coal on to the floor of Parliament and laughed about how Greenies are scared of it. He’s laughing at those who died in these bushfires, and at the native species being driven to the brink of extinction.
For that man, the idea that Australia is barrelling towards a climate disaster is so funny that he wants to burn more coal even as it becomes economically unsound.
Any action to offset or prevent the tens of thousands of deaths that will flow from climate change over the next decade are ignored or misrepresented. They lie as often as they open their mouths.
They will waste billions of dollars on useless stunts and in efforts to privatise government work to grow the profits of their donors, but then turn around and say they have to cut funding to vital services like the RFS so that they can claim some mystical budget surplus.
This government, the Liberal Party at state and federal levels, and their billionaire donors who pay no taxes have stolen our votes and sold our democracy to line their own pockets.
We are faced with unprecedented corruption that they aren’t even bothering to cover up anymore, and yet we see nothing changing.
We, the people, the First Nations, the voters, the migrants, the locals, the students, the workers, the older Australians, the quiet Australians, the generations of neglect, every single one of us will be needed to take power back.
We must end their corrupt deals and transform this nation so we are ready for what is coming.
We need radical action, immediate change, and a complete overhaul of how this country is run. A new constitution, new laws, new manufacturing, and a new city to build here in Wollongong.
We don’t have a choice. If nothing changes, we are going to die.