20 C
Byron Shire
May 6, 2021

Feeding the troops

Latest News

From go to whoa – Norco Primex expo covers it all

Norco and Primex are bringing a three-day sustainable farming and primary industry expo to you.

Other News

Track has morphed

Kathy Gleeson, Suffolk Park I see in a letter, dated 1/12/20, of support to Council, the president of the Suffolk...

Editorial: The beef about meat

Firstly, let me declare an interest: I have been a vegetarian for 49 years, so tasty cow parts are not high on my agenda.

More money for Byron Shire roads and bridges

The NSW government has announced almost $5 million dollars in funding for Byron Shire infrastructure.

From go to whoa – Norco Primex expo covers it all

Norco and Primex are bringing a three-day sustainable farming and primary industry expo to you.

Brisbane Airport green zone breach update

A story The Echo posted this morning about the breach at Brisbane International Airport has been updated as the Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young, has declared the international terminal a venue of concern.

Love flowers at the market

As mothers across Australia look forward to (slightly burnt) toast in bed, the local farmers and producers in our...

camp kitchen

Story & photo Melissa Hargraves

The Rural Bush Fire Service has recently come under fire for supporting police with catering services at anti-coal-seam gas (CSG) blockades. That role has since been picked up by the local area command (LAC), which comprises administrative and volunteer staff.

Friday, when the Doubtful Creek blockade was without arrest and confrontation, proved an opportune time to explore the catering support for the citizens opposing CSG in the northern rivers.

A camp kitchen has been set up to provide nourishing and delicious meals for campers and day visitors. The kitchen receives all its ingredients by donation and volunteers create gourmet sustenance.

Gordon Fraser Quick, who stood in as police liaison officer, talked to Echonetdaily about the basic needs of people in these conditions.

‘The basic requirements for human existence are food, shelter, warmth, companionship and purpose. Out here, the purpose is to save the world. Companionship, we are a community united. Food is managed by a community-owned and -managed kitchen. And shelter we have created many types, but we are also sheltered under the knowledge that the Githabul people care about this place and we are trying to help them care.’

The camp kitchen has received food from many sources and places.

‘As far as southeast Queensland, Tamworth, Armidale and Byron Bay we have received food. We receive fresh food from a large number of local organic farmers. Concerned citizens and supermarkets have donated longlife milk.

‘On a daily basis we receive fresh food, water, ice and frozen meat for those who are not vegetarian.’

A natural hierarchy has been formed in the kitchen, which is an amazing feat when you consider the potential of ‘too many cooks’ in the kitchen.

‘The kitchen operates on a voluntary basis by self-nomination, which we do not interfere with – if people want to cook, that is great!’

Janaki and Chris Vale from near Mt Warning arrived Friday morning and headed straight to the kitchen. They have committed to long-term support of the CSG-Free movement.

‘We will be coming and going when we get spare time, even if it takes years. Come out if you get a chance, bring the kids out; it is very friendly,’ Janaki said.

She was quick to put the call out: ‘We need chai spice and any other Indian spices, instant coffee and frozen water bottles when you come out, please’.

‘Food is the nicest way to give service. I lead a spiritual life so the more I can help people the happier they are. That is for both sides, the police as well.’

Blockading can take a toll on people emotionally and spiritually. I asked Chris about the role of food in sustaining non-violent action.

‘If people are eating well they function better and can cope emotionally with what is going on.’

Feeding the masses, particularly in a camp environment, has the potential to produce mundane food.

‘We have had the most amazing meals,’ Gordon said. ‘It is like a rainbow of colours having come through what we have eaten. There has been Mongolian, Hungarian, Malaysian, Thai, Indian, Vietnamese – it has been amazing.’

Blockades can become active before sunrise with police escorts of truck movements. This naturally concludes that protesters will be up and about and maybe needing some early morning nourishment.

‘The camp kitchen can begin at 4am: there will be pots of percolated coffee donated by local organic farmers, ready for those starting early!’ said Gordon.

Camping with fine food sounds attractive but it does not come without responsibilities. Some people love to cook, but how many like cleaning up? That too has morphed into a participatory operation.

‘The wonderful thing about this camp is that people chip in, they see a job that needs to be done and do it. We have an informal roster system where someone will walk up and ask you have you done any washing up lately and if not then it’s your turn. There are no dramas or resistance to that,’ Gordon said.

‘We ensure that those at the camp are participating.’

Full production cycles of CSG mining are as elusive as snow leopards. I queried how these campers were managing their waste.

‘At Glenugie we purchased a commercial rubbish service, here at Doubtful Creek we have people removing waste daily. We send our compost to people who have chickens, our recycling goes to people with recycling services, and the same for our rubbish. It is all separated.’

To comprehensively cover the camp’s waste removal requirements, the question needed to be asked: ‘What about the human waste?’

‘We have two toilets, the blue loo and the green machine which we rotate around. These need to be hired on a daily rate which isn’t cheap. To buy one outright is over $3000. We would love a benevolent benefactor to provide one for this campaign!

‘People are being asked to make a coin donation “If you crap, put it in a hat!”’

Portable toilets require service. Echonetdaily witnessed a portable toilet allowed through the roadblock for the police camp.

But Gordon told us, ‘When the roads are closed ours are not allowed to be serviced’.

If you would like to get involved in the camp kitchen, contact Jan Fauske on 0429 910 238 or ring the camp phone 0428 941 083.

To subscribe to updates on the Doubtful Creek camp email [email protected].

Previous articleZero Dark Thirty
Next articleMan dies in Ballina crash

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Greater Sydney goes into COVID related lockdown

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has just announced that greater Sydney area will go into lockdown until next Monday.

Board defends its management of Mullum Rural Co-op

The issue of potential fraud and financial mismanagement was a key part of the response from Mullumbimby Rural Co-op board, and Chair Ross Tucker,...

An operetta and children’s theatre for NORPA

NOPRA has announced recipients of the theatre company’s two artist residencies.

Dam doesn’t give a damn about koalas

The proposed Dunoon Dam is still a possibility, though it has been voted against twice by the members of Rous County Council. Now information has emerged which presents another reason to shut down the threat of the dam once and for all.