Thousands 'say yes' to carbon tax

KATE CAMPBELL

Thousands of people, from young families to the elderly, voiced their support for a price on carbon at a Perth rally yesterday, part of the second phase of the national Say Yes campaign demanding climate change action.

Many children were among the estimated 3000 people who packed the Perth Cultural Centre in Northbridge, waving signs and banners with messages including "Kids get it, why don't adults", "Pay Now for Our Kids' Future" and "Say Yes to cutting carbon pollution".

About 45,000 people attended rallies in capital cities around Australia yesterday on the Say Yes campaign's national day of action after its launch last week with the controversial television advertisement featuring actor Cate Blanchett.

Australian Youth Climate Coalition WA spokeswoman Sandy Chambers said the only way to win the community debate on climate change was for individuals to spread the word - to their parents, grandparents, work colleagues and friends - about the importance of a price on pollution.

"Young people have the most to lose from climate change but also the most to gain from effective action," she said.

Unions WA secretary Simone McGurk said unions accepted the science of climate change and urged against further delays on action.

She said a carbon price needed to be fair on workers, communities and the environment.

World Wildlife Fund Australia WA director Paul Gamblin said a price on carbon would mean less pollution and more money for clean technology and innovation.

The time for political arguments was over, he said.