A WARRNAMBOOL firefighter has told a student climate strike that the region's fire risk will increase without significant leadership to curb emissions.
Paul Chapman, a career firefighter and member of Warrnambool's Extinction Rebellion group, organised a climate strike for students outside Federal MP Dan Tehan's Warrnambool office on Friday as part of nationwide strikes.
"Most firefighters like to think we can help, but with the fires in New South Wales and Queensland, it's getting the point fires are getting worse and we can't do much about them," Mr Chapman said.
He said when he first began to worry about climate change, few people publicly shared their concerns in the emergency services.
"Being government employees it's hard to talk about what your government is doing," Mr Chapman said.
"People rightly listen to firefighters around emergency, so I feel I'm in a position of privilege where I should be talking about it.
"The fire risk will definitely increase in this region. But the mote immediate thing is sea level rise and inundation."
While about 40 people attended the strike, only a handful of students were present. Mr Chapman said this was because the protest was hastily organised.
"I'd say young people are very interested in it. Most of them are terrified speaking to them. The reason they're not here is we only started organising it two weeks ago," he said.
The strike's demands included a call for the government to ban new coal, oil and gas projects, and commit to transitioning to 100 per cent renewable energy and exports by 2030.
The protesters also called for funding to help transition workers and communities that rely on the fossil-fuel industry.
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