Extinction Rebellion Ipswich branch members Robyn Whale, Vale Wheatley and Dr Clare Rudkin.
Extinction Rebellion Ipswich branch members Robyn Whale, Vale Wheatley and Dr Clare Rudkin.

Extinction Rebellion comes to Ipswich

ROBYN Whale would much rather be spending time in her garden and looking after her nine grandchildren in her retirement.

The retired nurse has been protesting social and political issues since the Vietnam War in the 1970s.

Ms Whale said she isn't being afraid of being arrested again.

She is a member of the recently established Extinction Rebellion Ipswich branch, made up of experienced protesters and newcomers of all ages.

The group is part of a global movement urging governments to take action on climate change.

Ms Whale, 70, took part in protest action that shut down the Brisbane CBD last month.

"You either step up and do something about it or sit back and let it happen," she said.

"I'm a doer. Every time I look at my two-year-old grandson I think 'what the hell am I leaving for you poor little bugger'.

"The methods are not new. Paddy wagons are very uncomfortable. They're not built for older people. I'm not a professional protester, I'm just a retired nurse."

The group gather at d'Arcy Doyle Place on Friday afternoons, trying to catch the attention of passing cars.

As the local government elections draw closer, the group will quiz candidates as to whether they will push or Ipswich City Council to declare a climate emergency if they are elected.

Ms Whale did not rule out shutting down roads in the future as the local movement grows.

"Not yet … we'll let you know (when)," she said.

Retired disability sector worker and fellow member Val Wheatley, 67, believed many people had their heads in the sand.

"I have retired to do this," she said.

"Because the government and the system won't change, the people on the ground want to change the system.

"We've got nothing left to do. We've got to transition out of fossil fuels as hard and as fast as we can.

"We want a life for our kids and our grandkids. This is a climate and ecological emergency. It should be treated as the same level as World War II."

Dr Clare Rudkin, 80, said she has been worried about the impact of climate change for many years.

"I thought at the turn of the century they'd do something," she said.

"That was 20 years ago and we're still sitting on our hands. We can't export coal and gas and wash our hands of the consequences."