This is a photo taken in 1991 during the Look At Me Now Ocean Outfall Campaign at Emerald Beach. The Ocean Outfall was just one of the issues that was fought and won during this time. Many people were arrested. Some lost their jobs. They weren’t rent a crowd, or radicals. They were mums, dads and grandparents. The average arrest age was 46. Their actions along with other environmental and community groups accomplished long term benefits:
1. The establishment of the Solitary Island Marine Park
2. The establishment of Bongil Bongil National Park
3. The defeat of the Proposed Pulp Mill in Grafton
4. The defeat of the proposed rock quarry in Emerald Heights
5. Tree Preservation
6. Koala Preservation
7. The defeat of the Proposed Ocean Outfall at Look At Me Now Headland
All these issues were won through community action. I am deeply concerned that under the Abbott Government many of the issues that people fought so hard and sacrificed so much for are at risk.
This is one of the reasons why I will be attending the March in March at the Coffs Harbour Jetty Foreshores on the Sunday the 16th of March.
These are some of the other reasons that I will be there and why I think it’s important for you, your family and friends to attend:
1. Climate Change Denial.
2. The Proposed Repeal of the Carbon Tax.
3. The Repeal of the Mining Tax
4. Cutting Funding to the CSIRO.
5. Removing Sanctuary Zones in Marine Parks.
6. Opening National Parks to Logging Interests
7. Reneging on Gonski Funding Promises.
8. Proposed Cuts to the National Disability Scheme.
9. Proposed Cuts to Medicare Funding.
10. Turning a Blind Eye to the Dumping of Mining Waste on the Great Barrier Reef.
11. Inhumane Treatment of Asylum Seekers.
12. Lack of Transparency in the Manus Island Debacle.
13. Threatening the Autonomy and Public Funding of our National Broadcasters, the ABC and SBS.
14. Cuts to Australia’s Environmental Legal Centres.
There are more. Many more reasons to attend the March in March in your local community. None of these cuts benefit the Australian people. The Abbott Government has shown during its brief time in office that it is the most reactionary government in living memory. It is far more eager to please the moguls, the magnates and the monsters of industry than the average Aussie battler, the working mums and dads who contribute more to this country then all the Rineharts or Murdochs or Packers. The Abbott mindset has put all that is dear to us, our National Parks, the Great Barrier Reef, our environment, our medical care, our public education and many other social benefits on the auction block of greed.
We can no longer sit still and allow the Privileged Few to call the shots for the Australian people.
We can longer sit still when this summer alone 156 temperature records have been broken in Australia while this Government plans to axe the Carbon Tax and extend areas for logging.
We can no longer sit still when hurricanes and cyclones have unleashed unprecedented mayhem and destruction on people, their homes and their lives over the past decade due to Climate Change.
We can no longer sit still while our International Reputation is sullied by the clandestine actions of a Government too ashamed to be open and transparent in their dealings with the Asylum Seekers.
We can no longer sit still and let the wealthy elite pull the strings of a Government that has blatantly ignored the pressing issues of our times.
We can no longer sit still and allow Government to implement a tried and failed ideological policy of austerity on the Australian People. A policy that has failed in every country that has implemented it.
I’ve walked along boardwalks in Australia’s National Parks that have allowed me to experience the stunning, heart moving beauty of our environment. I have been able to see these wonderful things, to feel the chill of the wind blown off the Great Southern Ocean and feel the hothouse humidity of Daintree Littoral Rainforests. I’ve smelled the fresh earth, the scent of plants and trees…I’ve smelled the iodine salinity from the sea and the sweetness of wildflowers on the heath. I want other Australians, elderly Australians, disabled Australians, young Australians, future Australians, all Australians and visitors to our shores to be able to do the same.
It breaks my heart to think that tommorrow’s children will be denied such things…and strengthens my resolve to do all I can to fight for them…
So I will be there on Sunday. I will stand with others who feel the same way. Others from all generations who care and want to make a difference. I will stand not because I’m courageous or brave…but because not to do so would be remiss as a concerned Australian.
(The above is solely my reasons for attending the rally and have not been endorsed or requested by March in March Organisers. Kudos to them for their terrific effort and expertise in organising the March in March. Check for information about a March near you at http://marchinmarch.com.au or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/marchinmarch)