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Boonah sisters plea to bankers and MPs on farmers and reef

EARTH WATCH: Boonah sisters Kirri (left) and Tallara Gray play a role in the Australian Youth Climate Commission.
EARTH WATCH: Boonah sisters Kirri (left) and Tallara Gray play a role in the Australian Youth Climate Commission. David Nielsen

YOUR choice, our future - a simple yet powerful message Kirri and Tallara Gray delivered to Canberra politicians earlier this month.

The sisters from Boonah are members of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and have always had a passion for the environment.

Kirri, 18, is currently studying wildlife science at the University of Queensland's Gatton Campus.

"I am passionate about environmental issues because I have been brought up in the outdoors and was taught to truly appreciate nature," she said.

"Nature needs protecting and there are so many ways in which we can lessen our impact on the environment.

"The best part of Canberra for me was meeting so many other like-minded people, I found them so inspiring."

Kirri and Tallara were among a group of 200 young Australians who had made the trip to be a part of the AYCC movement in Canberra.

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"Rarely are young people's views about these things expressed," Tallara said.

"We had 22 senators make the journey from their warm, comforting offices to the icy open lawn where we all stood before 10am.

"At a time when young people often feel displaced within society and perhaps too small to even have a voice, it was extremely empowering to hear such promising words."

The sisters enjoy bushwalking, kayaking and camping around the Scenic Rim and say environmental damage will affect farming regions like Boonah the most.

"We are already feeling the effects of climate change with hotter, drier summers and more severe weather events," Tallara said.

"Farmers rely on the land to make a living and we rely on farmers to provide us with all the crops and resources we need."

Tallara and Kirri are now working with the AYCC on their "Don't Risk the Reef" campaign, designed to prevent major banks from funding the expansion of the Abbot Point coal port on the Great Barrier Reef.

"We are the generation carrying the burden of climate change; it's realistic for us because we are and will be living through it," Tallara said.

"We need to live with the earth, not just on it."

For more information on the AYCC or to volunteer with the youth organisation, visit aycc.org.au



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