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Premier says kids’ climate emergency fears are ‘entirely healthy’

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‘‘I think it’s an entirely healthy thing to have people motivated and concerned to shape policy and to stand up and make sure their views and opinions are counted,’’ the Premier said.

‘‘It’s their planet too, it’s their future.

Although not directly referencing Mr Morrison, Mr Andrews disputed the ‘‘snide commentary’’ about young people not being engaged.

‘‘Young people not being interested in the future, on devices, in their own little world – I think that’s wrong,’’ he said.

‘‘[But] so many young people are absolutely focused on the future.

‘‘It’s uncomfortable for a lot of adults because it tests us, it pushes us, it forces us to perhaps evaluate if we’ve got the right settings, if perhaps we are doing as much as we could be.’’

The Labor leader was speaking at the former Ford factory in Geelong to open a wind turbine assembly plant that will provide parts to two wind farm developments in the region.

‘‘We should be pleased that they [young people] want to see more jobs like this, they want to see more renewable energy. That’s a good thing.’’

Ms Thunberg scorned global leaders for inaction in a speech that captured global attention and said the science had been ‘‘crystal clear’’ for more than 30 years.

‘‘How dare you continue to look away and come here saying that you’re doing enough, when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight,’’ she said.

The 16-year-old activist has inspired young people to advocate for climate change around the world.

Last Friday, school students organised a protest in Melbourne where more than 100,000 people marched through the CBD.

Mr Morrison told the general assembly he had received many letters from ‘‘children in Australia concerned about their future’’ but said his view was that children ‘‘had a right not just to their future but to their optimism’’.

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