TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Thousands of people took to the streets of Sydney to protest against inaction on the climate crisis, after months of bushfires and hazardous smoke in New South Wales and Queensland.
On Tuesday, the level of dangerous PM2.5 particles in Sydney’s air was as high as 10 times normal. Fires have burnt through nearly 3 million hectares of land across NSW and Queensland this season.
Outside Sydney’s Town Hall, protesters gathered wearing face masks, asking the government to act on the role global heating had in making bushfire seasons longer and more devastating, the Guardian reported.
Speakers called on the state and federal governments to increase funding to the Rural Fire Service, and provide P2 masks and Hepa air filters to firefighters, hospitals, aged care facilities and schools.
The NSW environment minister, Matt Kean, said earlier on Tuesday the fires were “not normal” and that we “need to reduce our carbon emissions immediately”.
On Tuesday, the prime minister, Scott Morrison, was asked about concerns over how long the tens of thousands of volunteer firefighters – many who have been away from work for weeks now – were expected to continue without pay.
Morrison said volunteer firefighters “want to be out there defending their communities” and told media he was “pleased with the way those arrangements (between state and federal governments) are being worked out”.