This is a letter I have just emailed to Environment Minister Greg Hunt, regarding the news that he has approved a massive dredging project at Abbot Point – putting the Great Barrier Reef in danger. I contacted him via GetUp! – see here for more information.
Dear Minister Hunt,
I grew up in Cairns, QLD, and played on the Great Barrier Reef as a child. We were always so careful not to touch the coral, to respect the wildlife, because we knew how important it was to protect our Reef.
My father has always working in the mining industry, and it was he who instilled in me a deep love and respect for the environment. This is not a “mining vs. the environment” issue – this is a short-term thinking vs. long-term thinking issue.
Humankind has been fervently mining fossil fuels for only around three hundred years, and we’ve burned through those fuels at an alarming rate. The world’s population has grown by a billion just while I’ve been alive. How long do you think the profits from this dredging project will last? A couple decades? One lifetime? The Great Barrier Reef has been around for 6,000 years and will continue for thousands more if we just let it.
I know you’re probably under immense pressure from the mining industry to let them “develop” this World Heritage Area. (To be frank, I find that word “develop” suspect – it smacks of “terra nullius”, of the assumption that this space is a static void just waiting for us to intervene. If you’ve swum on the Reef, you know that it is anything but static and void.)
Please remember who the government is meant to serve. No doubt there’s an argument that the profits from this dredging project would trickle down through the mining industry and benefit many Australians. But surely this argument is outweighed when the Australians in question are specifically asking you not to do this. Please listen to us. We know what we want. We want you to protect our Reef.
I look forward to hearing that the decision to dredge at Abbott Point has been revoked.
If you, too, feel strongly about this, you can find Minister Hunt’s contact details on the GetUp! website.
Hey internet peeps,
So, my posts have been a bit sporadic lately. I think that’s mainly because I had set myself the task of posting every weekend, and weekends have become my busiest time of the week. (Such is the life on a non-nine-to-fiver! Your “weekend” is whenever you get a couple days off.) SO, I will try to post mid-week from now on, and keep this blog dynamic. Dynamic. That’s a good word. It’s my favourite term to invoke when someone corrects my grammar. “LANGUAGE IS DYNAMIC!!” I wasn’t wrong – I just wasn’t your kind of right. Wink.
My weekends are happily busy with the best kind of things – projects! Gigs! People! Working, meeting, and talking. I co-host a radio show every Sunday lunchtime (Megaherzzz on 4ZZZ), so I spend a bit of Saturday preparing interview questions and discussion topics and practising my “radio voice”. (Insider fact: It’s my normal voice. There’s a reason I didn’t get into NIDA.) There are also usually a few music/arts gigs to attend, which are mega-fun.
I am going to be in one of these gigs this weekend – a really cool event put together by ubiquitous Brisbane poet, Darkwing Dubs. (Darkwing actually just won the Nimbin Performance Poetry World Cup yesterday, so if you see that guy around, BUY HIM A DRINK.) He is curating a two-part series of performances that centre around gender in art and society. The first part in the series is called ‘Poets Dressed As … Women!‘ and all of the performers are – you guessed it – women! I be one of those such lady women. Also performing are Lucy Fox, Merlynn Tong, and Sydney’s Candy Royalle. I’m excited for this event as it promises to be entertaining and thought-provoking. I’ve been writing new material, and planning some tricks to put up my sleeve (or to tuck into my bra, if I’m wearing a sleeveless top).
The male part (teehee) of the series will be held the weekend after, and I look forward to that event also! It features a couple of poets I haven’t seen before, and a couple I’m keen to see again – Simon Kindt, Robin “Archie” Archbold, Martin Ingle, and self-confessed poetic lunatic Randall Stephens. I did a couple of poetry gigs with Randall years ago in Perth and Fremantle, and I tell you this guy is high energy. Should be another entertaining evening.
LONG LIVE POETRY!
Here’s a poem of mine which featured in The South Townsville micro poetry journal in February. Michael Fitzgerald-Clarke, the editor of the online journal, also asked me a few questions about the poem, which you can read here.
A thundercloud made solid
and fallen to earth.
A wizarded beast.
It hunches in stone,
leaning for the migration south.
They huddle behind curtainous trees,
a threatening presence.
Heads swivel as the train turns,
always keeping them in view.
Always just in view.
If we took our eyes off, they would move
and in a flash, be upon us.