Fast action

Jan Rodda with XRWA’s Red Rebels this week. Photo by Kim Hamilton

AN East Fremantle grandmother who went on a four-day fast to prompt WA’s politicians into taking action on climate change says nothing else seemed more important.

Jan Rodda said her heart started pounding and she got the jitters after sipping nothing more than water with some electrolytes for 80 hours, but her concern for her grandkids’ future inspired her to keep going.

Other members of her group XRWA Grandparents – an offshoot of climate activists Extinction Rebellion WA – fasted for seven days, but Ms Rodda says they were regularly checked by medicos who ensured they wouldn’t keel over.

Ms Rodda said devastating bushfires in Australia and California, super typhoon Goni hitting the Philippines with 310kmh winds this week, Verkhoyansk recording 38C in the Arctic Circle in June and the discovery that the long-feared release of frozen methane gasses near Siberia may have been triggered, showed it was no longer acceptable to sit back and hope things might be ok.

The grandparents ended their protest at the steps of Parliament House on Thursday morning as the state’s politicians debated a climate change act put forward by the WA Greens.

“They have to adopt it, otherwise we are going to be dictated to by the fossil fuel companies again,” Ms Rodda said.

But premier Mark McGowan and his colleagues saw it differently and the bill was blocked.

Greens MLC Tim Clifford said the legislation would have set hard targets for emission cuts and had wide support from scientists, doctors, academics, environmental organisations and thousands of average Sandgropers.

“But with the environment minister noticeably absent from debate, the McGowan government took the opportunity to dismiss the legitimacy of legislating emissions reduction targets, and instead promoted the work being done by some of Australia’s biggest polluters,” Mr Clifford said.

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