Page: 22yo Green on climate and youth
May 21, 2022
Anxiety-driven fear about climate change and distrust in Australia’s current government actions for welfare of the youth, are all the reasons Kashmir Miller is taking a stand in politics with hopes for impactful change in the future.
A true political enthusiast, Miller became curious about the state of Australian politics from a very young age, joining the Greens at only twelve years old.
“I was always under the impression that the government would be doing what’s in our best interest, that’s what we learn in school. But I was surprised to know the government is instead putting money into coal and gas companies in return for political donations and they’re not really fighting for us.” she says.
At 22, Miller is currently a full-time Law student at Southern Cross University in Lismore. Running for the Page electorate, she combines her studies with promoting policies on affordable housing, climate justice, inclusion of dental and mental healthcare into Medicare as well as free education.
A fearful threat of coals and gasses fracking the community of the Northern Rivers in 2011-2012 was enough for Miller to understand the current Parliaments stance on climate justice. “Tony Abbott who was our Prime Minister at the time was doing nothing to help us, instead he was promoting it,” She says.
“Thousands of our people camped out in Bentley to stop these large coal and gas companies from fracking our community and that made me realise how much local people are doing for our climate than people higher up in Parliament”.
With continued political despair at heart, Miller believes the Greens are heading towards all directions that are significant and truly align with the values of young Australians. This evident in their long-term advocacy for children’s voices and the inclusion of their rights to decision and policy making within the community. “The Greens represent a brighter future for Australia’s youth which has been threatened by manipulation from both major political parties,” says 20-year-old Nathan McCarthy, a Greens supporter from the Central Coast.
According to the 2022 Climate Change Performance Index, which measures emissions, renewables and energy use, Australia rates poorly and is currently ranked 58th out of 64 countries. If successful in the upcoming election, Miller says, once in Parliament, the Greens will push their goals for climate justice.
“Net zero emission by 2035 which is 15 years earlier than the other major parties have planned because 2050 is way too late as the damage has already been done,” she says.
“The only way we can do this is by banning political donations from coal and gas companies because the government continues to accept these donations which means newer coal and gas companies are created”.
While the policies for climate justice and welfare of the youth have been carefully implemented on paper, funding for these policies remain a concern for the Greens Party. When asked how her party plan on executing their policies, Miller says the idea is to introduce more stricter taxes for the billionaires who have been profiting off low-income earners during the pandemic as well as subsidising major corporations who are avoiding their tax liabilities.
With the Greens party being politically active for almost 30 years, Miller has full confidence that with the work of members and assisted by young voters, change for the future is foreseeable.
“My advice to first time voters and the youth is to do your research about all the parties and carefully align your values with each party and see which one you relate to the most, and please do not listen to your parents,” she says.