School Strike 4 Climate holds Solidarity Sit-Down in Cessnock

More than 40 students and supporters sat down outside Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon's office in Cessnock on Friday, putting climate back on the agenda as Australia is about to attend the latest climate conference in Madrid.

The 'solidarity sit-down' was part of the School Strike 4 Climate movement, which had held three previous events in Cessnock this year.

Organising committee member and former Greens candidate for Hunter, Janet Murray said the sit-down was inspired by the recent drought and bushfire crisis.

Outlines of humans and animals were chalked onto the pavement to symbolise the loss of life in the bushfires, as were the words "If not now, when?".

"Now is the time to talk about climate change!" Ms Murray said.

"We want our Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon to stop advocating for lower CO2 emission targets and get real on climate action. We also want Joel Fitzgibbon to acknowledge that we can't continue to open new, or expand old, coal mines no matter whether the coal is burnt here or overseas."

The sit-down raised $137.15 for the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund.

Mr Fitzgibbon was not available on the day, but said he supports the right of Australians to peacefully protest.

"I always encourage young Australians to have their say and contribute to the climate debate but I urge them to understand that we can take meaningful action on climate change while also supporting our local coal industry," he said.