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Several members of the Grafton Knitting Nannas file pic. Image: Emma Pritchard.

Knitting Nannas knot going anywhere in fight to raise awareness of climate change

Emma Pritchard|


The click, click, click of knitting needles and friendly chatter was prominent outside Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan’s Grafton office on March 4 as members of one of the most unique activist groups participated in their first official get together for 2021.

Peacefully protesting against the destruction of land and water resources as a consequence of mining activity and raising community awareness of the impacts of climate change, members of the Grafton Knitting Nannas Against Gas group spent the morning speaking with passers-by as they worked on their individual creations.

“We usually knit either in front of Mr Hogan’s office or in front of Mr Gulaptis’s (Member for Clarence) office because they are the gentlemen who supposedly work for the people of their electorates and we’ve got lots of issues with things we don’t feel they’re doing as they should be doing,” Knitting Nanna Leonie Blain said.

“Climate change is a big issue, and we need to encourage more people to start talking about it.

“It’s very useful to talk to passers-by and we had some good interaction during the morning.”

Ms Blain said the group often knit and they also write letters, adding she planned on emailing a letter to Mr Hogan later that day regarding climate change concerns.

“We’re here so the politicians know we’re watching them,” she added.

Describing the group as “small but fairly noisy from time to time in a polite manner”, Ms Blain said members believe in annoying all politicians equally to make themselves heard and promote awareness of what they stand for and against.

“We are a small group, but we’re growing,” Ms Blain added with a smile.

“Climate change is real, and people need to know about it.”

Mr Hogan, who was not present at his Grafton office on March 4, said Australia has deployed new renewable energy ten times faster per capita than the global average and four times faster per capita than in Europe, China, Japan and the United States.

“Because of our Government support, Australia has the world’s highest uptake of rooftop solar per capita,” he said.“Nearly one in four Australian homes have solar on their roofs.“Emissions per person are also at their lowest levels in 30 years, falling by over 44 percent since 1990.“Australia beat its 2020 Kyoto targets by 459 million tonnes, and we are also on track to meet our Paris Agreement on climate change to reduce emissions by 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.”