I was overwhelmed with emotion reading reports of the rally in Lismore to declare the northern rivers gasfield free.
What really struck me were the words ‘protected by community’ and the description of all walks of life marching together with the humblest motivation: to protect country for the children of today and tomorrow.
I feel proud to be a part of the brewing storm that has become the largest social movement in Australia since the anti-Vietnam war.
My thoughts turn towards Uncle Harry Boyd and his friends and advisers, Doug Fergurson, Ian Gaillard, James McKenzie and the late Ross Pepper, who travelled around the region raising the alarm a few years back about the underground water being under threat from CSG mining.
This group of visionaries started asking the question of the nation’s politicians: what protection do we have for our underground waterways in Australian law and what is being done to protect our cultural diversity in the northern rivers?
We have these men and their partners to thank for raising the alarm about CSG in our region.
Then in 2012, a mysterious ‘Wolf Web’ contacted my partner (Jarmbi) and me via our environmental online community called 10,000 Amend and alerted us to a planned CSG well at Doubtful Creek on Jarmbi’s home country. It was a fateful meeting that forged a powerful union between local farmers and local original people.
It was up on the hill behind Angie and Dean ‘Wolfy’ Draper’s place around a fire before the blockade began that my heart first truly awakened to the plight of my fellow country men and women whose lives and land were in the firing line to be gobbled up by corporate greed without their consent.
I have since seen many faces carrying the same burden that Angie and Dean carried that night: people in Narrabri, Tara, Boggabri, Pilliga, Bentley, Chinchilla, Roxby Downs, Leard, Maules Creek, Acland and Gladstone. And more recently Gloucester, Dubbo, north Queensland. So many sweet, kind and thoughtful human beings being disregarded by government in favour of big business agenda and economic growth.
My heart aches for many in Australia, and in fact the world, whose lives have been ruined and or are being deeply impacted upon by the mining machine.
So may the golden glow shining over our region from the brilliant Lismore rally be not only a beacon of inspiration for other communities in Australia but also a healing light for our fellow men and women suffering the effects of mining.
And may we continue in our own way to let them know that we in the northern rivers care about them and their children and will do whatever we can to help.
Iris Ray Nunn, South Golden Beach