Yass March Against Climate Change draws crowd of 200

Organisers estimated just over 200 Yass Valley residents joined the March Against Climate Change on Friday.

The march was part of the global day of action led by Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg three days before the United Nations Climate Change Summit in New York.

Babies, school children and adults joined the peaceful march that started in Riverbank Park at 3.30pm.

Cars honked in support as marchers walked from the park up the main street of Yass and towards Trader & Co. to hear from a range of speakers.

There was plenty of singing and chanting of the motto: "We can all do more, we can all do better."

The march aimed to provide information on what people can do at home, in their places of work or at school in terms of climate change action.

Marchers also hoped their action on Friday would motivate Yass Valley Council to do more.

Local mother Ania Wardle took her 18-month-old son Olek to the march.

Ania and Olek Wardle (18 months) are ready for action.

Ania and Olek Wardle (18 months) are ready for action.

"I'm doing it for the next generation," she said.

There were even a couple of four-legged friends, Luna and Sniffles, at the march with Tegan and Atticus Gilchrist.

"It's important for our future," Mrs Gilchrist said. "Atticus has been learning about the importance of looking after the environment at Scouts. I hope this teaches him the importance of participating and speaking up."

Tegan and Atticus Gilchrist bring along four-legged friends Luna and Sniffles.

Tegan and Atticus Gilchrist bring along four-legged friends Luna and Sniffles.

Ten-year-old Eden Robinson stood with a poster reading: "Drowning in plastic - not fantastic."

Kacey Robinson said Eden would come home from school sometimes worried about the environment.

Young marchers Katie Payne, Julia McGregor and Aulikki Laver said "Yass to climate action" on their poster.

"Our planet, our future, right?" Ms McGregor asked.

Katie Payne, Julia McGregor and Aulikki Laver say Yass to climate action.

Katie Payne, Julia McGregor and Aulikki Laver say Yass to climate action.

Crookwell farmer Charlie Prell attended the climate strike in Goulburn and Canberra before joining the Yass march.

He is a member of the Australian Wind Alliance and deputy chair of Farmers for Climate Action but was marching as a private citizen.

Mr Prell said Friday's action was all about building a movement.

Crookwell farmer Charlie Prell speaks about what people can do to change opinions.

Crookwell farmer Charlie Prell speaks about what people can do to change opinions.

"Politicians only react to votes and people are realising they're not a minority. There are a lot of people that are part of this movement and eventually politicians will realise it's a threat to their vote," he said.

Mr Prell also said there was a general perception that farmers don't care about the environment.

"But they do care about drought and drought is the symptom, not the disease; climate change is the disease," he said.

Maddie Diamond talks about the changes she's made to her lifestyle.

Maddie Diamond talks about the changes she's made to her lifestyle.

As part of the speeches at the end of the march, a young woman Maddie Diamond talked about the changes she was making to her lifestyle.

"I started to question if I was living my life in-line with my views and I wasn't, so I've started to try and make a positive difference to the impact I have on the environment. Everything we do and buy has an impact," she said.

Councillors Michael McManus, Rowena Abbey, Kim Turner and Mike Reid joined the end of the march to hear what people had to say.

Cr McManus said he thought the numbers at the march were "significant".

"I can see how strong the desire is for change, especially among young people. Yass' impact on climate change is tiny but if every tiny does something, things will get better," he said.

Cr McManus said he was "furious where the debate ended up on the renewable energy policy", referring to the council's decision to say no to more wind turbines in the region.

March organisers had also been calling on the council to declare a climate emergency.

Cr Abbey said she was still against the declaration because of the emotive nature of the words but was all for action.

"These are good ideas to be shared around. Recycling as an example is a basic thing we can do. Most people do it, but can we do it better?" she said.

Jack Child wears a t-shirt saying 'There is no planet B'.

Jack Child wears a t-shirt saying 'There is no planet B'.

Residents had been asking why the council wasn't picking up recycling from local schools.

"Some are already paying for it and if the council took it over we'd be taking it away from other businesses. We have to be very careful and mindful about how we go about these things," Cr Abbey said.

Cr Turner said he supported "just about everything" that was suggested on Friday.

Although, like Cr Abbey, he didn't support the council declaring a climate emergency.

He was one of the councillors supportive of the council's policy against more wind turbines in the Yass Valley.

Jarvis Cross and Maggie MacMaster want their voices heard.

Jarvis Cross and Maggie MacMaster want their voices heard.

"We don't want to see the visual beauty of Yass Valley lost from wind turbines. Burrinjuck used to generate electricity, why isn't it now? And, if we're serious about permanent energy, we've got the sun," Cr Turner said.

Cr Reid, like the other councillors, was also surprised by the turnout.

"It's good that this has generated this much interest. I've been agreeing with this for a long time," he said.

"We can't stop using coal today or tomorrow but we've got to look at it at some point."

He was one of the councillors against the council's wind turbine policy.

"I don't believe we can single it out but I do understand the other side. There are big issues with wind turbines killing birds and they're making turbines bigger and bigger.

"I'm really concerned about plastic. I went on a cruise recently and there were plastic bags floating in the sea."

He said he wanted to understand more about the climate emergency declaration.

"I do think we need action and if that's what we've got to do then we've got to do it. I am very annoyed at the ultra-conservative lobby that doesn't want to do anything."

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