Thousands of Australians demonstrated Saturday in Sydney, on foot and even on horseback, to call for the halting of coal and gas mining projects in rural areas and the development of renewable energies.
The show was unusual in the city center, with horses trotting along the main avenues to join the protest, titled "Time2Choose" (It's time to choose) and which brought together environmental activists, aboriginals and grandmothers with their knit.
Across the continent, activists protest against developing mining projects near residential or agricultural areas, fearing that they will damage arable land.
"The coal and gas market is changing and global approaches to energy are changing, "one of the organizers of the demonstration, Georgina Woods of the Lock The Gate anti-coal group, told AFP.
"We do not want our country to sacrifice sustainable agriculture and the population with short-term financial interests linked to mines that bring only long-term degradation environmental term, "she added.
Australia is one of the largest producers of coal and gas in the world, but projects under development, particularly for gas, are raising concerns and resistances due to extraction techniques and the use of hydraulic fracturing.
Some states and territories have banned these techniques in the name of environmental protection, others have increased their investment sustainable development projects
"Our farms are ruined, without water, there are drilling platforms or coal mines in the middle of the fields," Clare Twomey told AFP , one of the founders of Knitting Nannas Against Gas (grandmothers knitters against gas). "This is a huge disaster for our planet."
The debate has taken on a new dimension since last year with rising household energy bills, which some attribute to domestic shortages related to the suspension of onshore gas projects
Non-renewable energies such as coal and gas are the main source for electricity in Australia, despite a rise in recent years in the share of renewable energies.