Students present the tough questions

FIVE Dubbo College students have spoken about the environment in State Parliament House as part of a recent sustainability forum.

The South Campus year 9 students tackled everything from population growth to climate and the water price.

Sharnia Dimmock, Jessica Skinner, Linsy Davis, Amber Bunt and Charlie Benton-Bryant were accompanied to Sydney by teacher Susy Yaghjian.

They toured Parliament House and were schooled in parliamentary procedures before beginning the forum with other students from across the state.

"My role was to present a report on the state of the environment in Dubbo," Charlie said.

"I talked about what Dubbo City Council and the Catchment Management Authority are doing to improve the environment through the Dubbo Alive program.

"In particular I focused on biodiversity, water, energy, climate, sustainable growth and exports and imports from Dubbo."

A number of scenarios were presented for debate among other students at the forum.

"We could speak in favour or against the topics and we had the opportunity to interject as they do in State Parliament," Linsy said.

"I took the negative line on a suggestion the water price be raised from $1.50 per kilolitre to $10 a kilolitre."

"My scenario was that learner and P-plate drivers be charged $70 a year for carbon tax and I argued against it," Jessica said.

Amber argued in the affirmative on a suggestion that schools return 50 per cent of their playground to its original state with appropriate fauna and flora.

Ms Yaghjian said the sustainability forum was an excellent experience for the students.

"The keynote speaker was Eric van Sebille from the climate change research centre at the University of New South Wales and his speech on climate change provided a lot of food for thought ," she said.

"But perhaps the most tangible outcome from the forum is that students intend to pursue a bottle bill along similar lines to South Australia where returned bottles score a refund of 10 cents.

"As part of this our students will be starting a petition in the school and throughout the wider local community."

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