Environmental activists groups are organizing several protests across Australia from Friday, January 10, through Tuesday, January 14, to demand greater government action regarding the ongoing nationwide bushfire crisis. On Friday, participants plan to gather in the following locations (all times are local):
- Adelaide from 17:00 at Parliament House
- Brisbane from 17:00 at King George Square
- Canberra from 17:30 at Garema Place
- Geelong from 17:30 at Malop Street Mall
- Melbourne from 18:00 at the State Library of Victoria
- Newcastle from 17:30 at Newcastle City Hall
- Perth from 17:30 at Forrest Place
- Sydney from 17:30 at the Sydney Town Hall
On Saturday, January 11, activists are also due to gather from 15:30 in Wollongong's Arts Precinct. A similar environmental protest is scheduled in Parramatta on Tuesday, January 14. Participants plan to meet at 17:00 at the Town Hall.
A heightened security presence and localized transportation disruptions are expected near all protest sites. Similar protests are possible in other major urban areas in the coming days.
Over 3 million hectares (7,413,161 acres) of land have been burned, and at least 1298 houses destroyed since the wildfires broke out in NSW on October 9. At least 15 people have also died in the region as of January 1. Authorities have indicated that the fires were due to high temperatures and droughts.
Wildfires are an annual event in Australia between December and February; however, authorities have been on high alert since September 2015 over unseasonably warm temperatures, prompting scientists to speculate that climate change could be extending and increasing the intensity of the fire season.
Individuals in Australia are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests and demonstrations, anticipate disruptions to transportation, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.