The next federal election has just been called for Saturday May 21st. Over the next six weeks, you’re going to be bombarded with messaging from politicians, the media, friends, and family, all sharing their views on who you should vote for and why. 


Well, we’re going to throw our two cents in too, because although we’re facing multiple crises as a nation and as a world, climate change is the one that will drastically affect every single life on Earth, in more ways than we realise. 

We reckon action on climate change should be your top priority when it comes time to vote – we want you to Put The Planet First – and we’ll help you do it too.


Five Lessons to Get Your Mates Frothing the Outdoors - James Tugwell, Main Range Trail, Kosciuszko National Park, Mountains, Lake, Thoughtful, Woman

Photo by James Tugwell

Put The Planet First

For many younger people, this is possibly the most important federal election since we’ve been allowed to vote. The stakes are high, not just for the future, but for the present. 

Every single vote counts, and with Australia’s preferential voting system, you can make sure your first preference is counted, and your second, and your third, fourth, and fifth. 

I remember the first time I voted, I put the Sex Party first because I liked a video they posted on Facebook. That was back in 2013. The leader I actually wanted in power didn’t win. 

Despite supposedly learning how voting and the parliament worked in school, I felt like I’d gone into the voting booth totally blind, with only a viral video for reference when it came to party policies. 

We don’t want that to be you. 

Over the course of the election campaign, we’ll be providing information on;

You’ll be able to find all the resources on our Put The Planet First page – check in weekly for updates!

A Lot Has Happened Since The 2019 Election

A lot has happened since the last election – across the world, but also in terms of climate change in Australia. Let’s not wait to find out what’s in store over the next three years before taking action. 

Flood, fires, drought, Australia bears the brunt of it all – Australia IS bearing the brunt of it all. And yet we continue to dig up coal, frack for gas, and burn through oil like there’s no tomorrow – which sometimes feels scarily accurate. 

That’s why waiting for another election in 2025 will be too late. 2022 is already pushing it.

Since the 2019 election, Australians have experienced the Black Summer Bushfires that burned for months along the East Coast and across the country, killing 33 people and 3 billion animals. Whole cities endured weeks of smoke-filled skies which killed another 445 people.

Then there’s been the ‘gas-led recovery’ the government has been trying to install after the pandemic-induced recession. With fossil fuel projects proposed everywhere from the Sydney coastline, to the 12 Apostles, and the Ningaloo Reef.


Have You Heard About the Oil and Gas Project Proposed For The Sydney Coast?, PEP 11, Patagonia, Photo by Jarrah Lynch

PEP11 would’ve seen offshore drilling stations on the Sydney coastline | Photo by Jarrah Lynch


As part of that gas-led recovery, $50 million in grants are on offer to fossil fuel companies to entice them to frack the Beetaloo Basin in the NT, despite the opposition of the Traditional Custodians. 

Biodiversity across the nation is in decline. In 2021 alone, 34 native species were added to the country’s threatened species list – a 2.9% increase on the year before and a 39% increase since 2000. No species were removed from the list and koalas were upgraded to endangered. The causes of this biodiversity decline include water extraction from rivers, feral cats and foxes, urban development, the ever-warming climate, and logging of habitat.

Attempts to log precious tracts of habitat for development have been hard-fought against by small communities like that of Manyana, on the NSW South Coast, where a crucial pocket of unburnt bush has been under threat of logging since May 2020.


Manyana development

Photo thanks to Manyana Matters Facebook page


Communities in the Northern Rivers are still cleaning up the mess left behind by the 14.2 metres of water Lismore found itself under less than two months ago, as part of extensive flooding across NSW and QLD that killed 22 people.

Yet since then, Environment Minister Sussan Ley has appealed her court-ordered ‘duty of care’ to mitigate the effects of climate change on current and future generations, which was overturned

And just weeks ago, the Great Barrier Reef suffered its sixth mass coral bleaching event, and the fourth since 2016.


This is Not Normal

This level of environmental devastation is not normal. The amount of natural disasters young Australians have already witnessed in their lifetimes is not normal. 

But it is the new normal. We have to try to put a halt on climate change before it spirals out of control. We have to be willing to adapt our lives to this new climate we find ourselves in. 

And we need people in government who are brave enough to lead us through what is to come. 

We deserve leaders who have our best interest at heart and who want to see us live and thrive, not fend for ourselves when the waters rise and the flames arrive. 

Let’s make sure we vote for them. 


Feature photo by @henry_brydon