Saturday, December 18, 2010


December 12, 2009
Did you miss the Traveston NO DAM VICTORY PARTY?  No worries - you can read my speech below!

I wanted to come here today to thank every one of you for the campaign that you have waged over the last 3 years to save your beautiful Mary River Valley.  I know that you have all lived through terrible trauma imposed by the  State Labor Govt and no one should have to endure the stress and heartache that the Labor government has put you all through.

My heart goes out to those of you who have already given up your land, to make way for this proposed environmental disaster.   I can't imagine what you people have gone through in recent years.

I also wanted to thank you for your dedication and passion that has resulted in a positive outcome.  Because now you have managed to save the Mary River System and its flora and fauna for future generations to enjoy.

I could never understand how this debate eventuated in the first place.  How could anyone even consider contemplating this proposed dam, knowing that it was going to mean the end of at least 3 endangered species.

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for saving the species of animals that call the Mary River home!!  Because, as you know, this dam would have been the last straw for the River's wildlife.

And I want to thank you for saving the fauna of the Mary River...especially those magnificent ancient fig trees.  Gabrielle and Craig took me to see some of these majestic trees in my last visit here.

I would also again like to thank Peter Garrett and the Commonwealth Government for making the right decision here. Garrett showed courage and true leadership in preserving this beautiful environment and protecting its endangered animals.

Now there's one other thing I'd like to mention here!  You know our koalas are just about extinct in the Southeast due to land clearing, and disease caused by the stress of having their trees cleared, by dog attacks, and by car accidents.

You have a beautiful valley here!  How about keeping this group going now?  Turn it into a Mary River Lets Bring the Tourists in Group or the Mary River Koala Reestablishment Group.

Let's plant the habitat for the koalas!  They'll come back, providing the planting is not left too late.

Let's re-establish a healthy population of our beautiful koalas here.  And I think you should consider bringing the world here to visit the koalas.  At the rate the Labour Government is going, it will be the only wild population of koalas in the Southeast.  

I know some of you won't want to do the tourist thing!!  And that's fine with me!  But I'd really like you to consider the re-establishment of a healthy koala population here in the Mary River Valley.

These koalas of ours, the few that are left in the Southeast now, are running out of room.  Their habitat has been all but destroyed by land clearing.  Our koalas desperately need areas like the Mary River Valley if they are to have any chance of survival in the Southeast.

And who knows?  The Mary River Valley might be the only habitat left relatively untouched, for the survival of our koalas in the Southeast.

Research is showing that koalas in parts of the SE will be extinct in 2 years. 

We unfortunately cannot count on the Labour government to "save" our koalas.  The survival of our koalas, I believe, is dependent on private land holders, re-establishing suitable koala habitat.
You only have to look at the Bligh Government's take on our kangaroos (a resource to be killed and sold to foreign markets) to realize that we can't afford to leave our wildlife's future in the hands of our governments. 

And speaking of kangaroos I would ask you to join me in a total boycott of all kangaroo products.  The kangaroo industry is cruel and inhumane and is not only destroying our most famous tourist symbol, but is also damaging Australia's image around the world.
If we all work together, we can stop this cruelty.

May I also make a suggestion and that is that you form a small group whose duty it would be to keep an eye on development of any sort along the Mary or its tributaries.  Stay vigilant.  The Mary River cod, turtles, lung fish and frogs will only survive in this system if it stays of pollutants!!

And please do keep in touch with me on your progress via my website:  I'd only be too happy to help save koalas and other animals in your beautiful valley.

So I would like to leave you with that thought!!

And once again thank you for your monumental efforts in saving all of my little friends and the Mary River Valley from destruction!! 

I envy you all for being able to live in peace now in this most beautiful part of the world!

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