WATCH: Hervey Bay students protest over climate change
"NO MORE coal, no more oil. Keep your carbon in the soil," was chanted in a chorus of 40 voices at Hervey Bay's School Strike 4 Climate protest yesterday.
Students from Torquay State School, Hervey Bay Special School and home schools throughout the region joined together holding home-made signs and slogans campaigning for action against climate change.
In the words of nine-year-old Talia Storoy, "because even a small change can make a difference for the future".
The event was organised by Hervey Bay's Charmaine Savage outside Hervey Bay MP Ted Sorensen's Scarness office as part of an estimated 150,000 students and adult supporters protesting throughout Australia.
Although the gathering was not without opposition as members of the public walking past shouted "those kids should be in school" at participants.
In response, Hervey Bay mother Vicki McMurtrie said her children would learn more by being at the event than in school.
"The science is being ignored by the people who are in power. I don't want to perpetuate that system," she said.
"My children are six and one. They aren't going to have a political voice for 17 years and by that time it's too late.
"I think the parents need to speak on behalf of them and encourage those who are old enough to speak.
"The objective is to ensure our kids can live the life they want and not inherit the disaster that is impending.
"I say trust the children. They learn by example, they learn to look after the world from their parents then they will also do that but if they learn to not give a hoot then that is what they learn."
Speaking to the Chronicle yesterday, Hinkler MP Keith Pitt said children should be in school and "take those opportunities to learn and not be idealists".
"Schools are there to teach our kids how to think and not what to think," Mr Pitt said.
"A strike is when someone takes away their paid labour. This is not happening here.
"This is being driven by a group of idealists in the Greens.
"I'm very happy to meet with anyone concerned about these issues, as I have done over the last six years, but kids who are school-aged should be in school during school hours."
Along similar lines, Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien said he respected the student's passion but said he didn't believe "the place and time for political protesting" was in school hours.
"I believe they should be at school learning what school teaches, which are the skills that will set them up for life," Mr O'Brien said.