Around forty people gathered before dawn outside Kirribilli House this morning, to stand in solidarity with the people of Lismore, Byron and the entire Northern Rivers region hit by the current flood disaster. Rabbi George Mordecai led the group in song, prayer, and silent reflection.
Rabbi George Mordecai, from the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC):
“At the heart of the religious impulse is love and compassion for humanity and our planet. We’re leading a candlelight vigil this morning to pray for the survivors of the recent floods in the Northern Rivers. Our thoughts and prayers must also motivate us to action, not just empty words. It is in this spirit that we call upon our government to urgently support impacted communities to recover and rebuild.”
The vigil comes in response to ongoing extreme flooding events on the East Coast of Australia, and a growing chorus of international concern at the Australian government’s failure on climate action.
Gillian Reffell, ARRCC Spokesperson:
“We know that burning fossil fuels is driving the climate crisis and the escalating climate disasters that we see hitting our communities. We call on all people of faith in the government to not only reach out to help and support the people impacted by the floods, but to also take urgent action to address the root cause of this climate catastrophe.”
“The Morrison government has increased fossil fuel handouts and subsidies to $11.6 billion last financial year, which is more than 50 times the National Recovery and Resilience Agency. This is simply unacceptable, and frankly immoral. Our government must take responsibility for supporting and protecting communities, which means funding climate solutions, not climate pollution. All fossil fuel funding must be immediately redirected to supporting climate disaster survivors, rebuilding resilient communities, and urgently transitioning our energy system to clean, renewable energy
Background information: The Australia Institute report on fossil fuel subsidies