Far North Coast school children will be able to explain what climate change means to them in a new competition for students from Grades 3 to 9.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change, Greg Combet MP, and Member the Page, Janelle Saffin yesterday announced the competition – Think Climate Think Change – during a visit to Ballina High School’s Marine Discovery Resource Centre.

Mr Combet said young Australians are very well informed when it comes to the issue of climate change and they understand that we need to take action now.

Ms Saffin said the competition encouraged students to use their creative talents including song writing, poetry, art or short stories to answer the question: what does climate change mean to me?

“We have a lot of young people who are very aware of climate change issues and also very creative, so we should see some great entries from this area,” Ms Saffin said.

The competition winners will be flown to Canberra in August with a parent or guardian to share their ideas with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Climate Change Minister Senator Penny Wong as part of a special award ceremony.

Prizes for each of the three age categories include:

1st Place – A trip for two (winner and parent/guardian) to Canberra including return airfares, 2 nights accommodation, the awards ceremony, a personalised tour of Parliament House, and 2 tickets to Questacon – the national science and technology centre (winner and one parent/guardian)

A Nintendo Wii Console, sports kit and Wii Fit pack

A $1000 Dymocks voucher for the winner’s school

2nd Place – a 16GB Apple iPod touch

3rd Place – an 8GB Apple iPod Nano

Highly Commended (3 per category) – a $50 Dymocks book voucher.

The Think Climate Think Change competition opens on April 28 and closes on June 24, 2009.

Schools will receive a resource kit including information about the competition at the start of Term 2.

More details will be available from 28 April at www.climatechange.gov.au