The dangerous ‘fill’ situated beside Marshalls Creek stands as a dangerous and stark metaphor and social reality, defining and depicting the denial of the imperative rights of nature, which is recognised within the legal discipline of ‘Earth Law’. This discipline reminds us all that Earth is a living organism with legal rights – equal to those determined, argued, and upheld by the current patriarchal legal system in Australia.
Thus, the creek, when discussed in court, has a voice. It speaks clearly of its rights and the functionality of its existence. Earth Law confirms the rights of sentient organisms to exist, fulfilling their greater role that aids and defines existence of rivers, lakes and oceans in the greater interconnected cosmological design of the Earth. Given the rigidity and blindness of patriarchy to see these interconnections, it is remarkable that after a long struggle, Australian Earth Law practitioners have joined the global community. Marshalls Creek has a right to exist untouched by the politics of mankind. It is a gift from Earth to community.
It is distressing and beyond sad that the four conservative politicians on Byron Council, including the ex-Green Mayor (Lyon) are playing such a destructive power game, using the creek as a political hostage. But is it surprising? I think not.
This is the same conservative mindset that is currently hindering the advance of the Voice in the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
First Nations peoples have always upheld the rights of nature, but so many politicians refuse to acknowledge this imperative. Marcia Langdon, Indigenous activist, perfectly describes this struggle as dealing with ‘the old colonial cult’. It’s a dead weight on consciousness that wishes for a society that upholds care, empathy, inclusiveness and the rights of all. Thank you too Cr Duncan Dey for your lone trip to ecological and legal sanity on this matter.