A Riverina farmer has taken up the deputy prime minister's challenge to plant a tree for every protester who took to the streets on Friday to demand action on climate change.
Speaking in Darwin as the acting prime minister at the weekend, federal member for Riverina, Michael McCormack told protesters: "Rather than go down streets and cheer and scream and carry on like pork chops, what they should have done is actually, every one of them, plant a tree and you know what, then look after it."
Following the comments, Grong Grong farmer Gemma Meier made a pledge to turn Mr McCormack's words into reality and leave a leafy legacy for the next generation.
"One tree for every protester in Wagga, that's where we're starting," she said.
After publishing her intentions on Facebook, Ms Meier was met with an enormity of public support.
Now, almost a week later, at least two other farmers in Wagga and surrounds have come on board to pledge a like-for-like donation.
Between the three farmers, Ms Meier estimates between 3000 and 5000 trees will be planted across the region by the end of the year.
"We're calling on more, or even all farmers to do it. From our perspective we're on the front end of the mess, so we need to also be at the front of the change," Ms Meier said.
With momentum continuing to grow and more farmers getting on board with the idea, Ms Meier is hoping her simple action will create cross-country collegiality.
"We're always hearing about the barriers between the city and the country, big business and battlers, and that's what the politicians use to divide us, it becomes their reason for inaction," Ms Meier said.
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