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Continued from Home page: Article Apr. 24, 2014
Spent the most glorious Easter at Wangat Lodge www.wangat.com.au/ 3 hours north of Sydney, just below Barrington Tops National Park.
Our friend Miream celebrated her 40th birthday
there with her partner Chris, baby William and some 30 other friends. Ken
Rubella has been conducting environmental education camps there for 30 years and
took us out each day for bush walks, star gazing, frog identification. Before we
left we planted a Brush Box sapling for River (now 18 weeks old) – you can see
him clutching it in this photo. What a fantastic place for an inexpensive
rainforest holiday with 30 or 40 friends! We’ll be back every year to photograph
River and his brushbox.
Brush Box was the mighty tree that sparked the Terania Creek Blockade in 1979 www.rainforestinfo.org.au/video/trees_v.html which launched the worldwide movement for rainforest protection. www.colongwilderness.org.au/files/news/saving_the_rainforest_pdf_format.pdf
The NSW Forestry Commission claimed that these giants were 120 years old, we sent core samples to Florida for carbon dating and they returned …. 1600 years! http://teraniacreekinquiry.blogspot.com.au/
A few weeks into the action when 2000 people turned up for a rally, we were invited to meet with NSW premier Neville Wran (sadly, Nifty Nev passed away this week). Three of us went to see him (plus Victoria Murphy brought her baby daughter, I’ll never forget the nappy change in Nev’s sumptuous office). So, Nev started talking about his love of the bush and all the great places he’d been bushwalking with Milo Dunphy and so on and before we knew it an hour had passed.
Finally he said, “I suppose you’re here because you want me to save Terania Creek”.
“That’s right” we replied.
“Well, I’m afraid that’s not my job” he said. “It’s up to you to muster public opinion and give me a mandate to save Terania Creek. If you can do that, nothing would make me happier. My job is to keep this state stable in the meantime and stop the Coalition from getting control and totally trash the forests and everything else.”
Then he ushered us out into the lobby where the media were waiting flabbergasted that the premier had just spent an hour with a gaggle of hippies. “What did he say? What did he say?” they clamoured.
“No comment” we replied.
In 1999, on the 20th anniversary of the Terania blockade Nev wrote: “Many thanks for your generous invitation to officiate at the opening of the Anniversary Exhibition on Saturday 14th August. Regrettably, I have been otherwise committed that weekend for some time, hence I can't attend.
I regret this because Terania Creek and the men and women who fought for it, played a critical role in shaping my views and the views of the Government of the day in relation to conservation. Indeed, there is no doubt that Terania Creek was a milestone in the history of conservation in Australia.
When I retired from politics, I was asked what I regarded as the Government's greatest achievement. I had no hesitation in responding that it was saving the rainforests on the north coast of New South Wales, Australia.
Whilst I am proud of what we did, my only regret is that we did not do more.” www.rainforestinfo.org.au/terania_forest_blockade.htm
Vale Neville Wran!
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