Saturday, May 14, 2011

what abc news didn't tell you today ('no pulp mill')

Around 5000 people gathered in Royal Park, Launceston today to call for the return of true democracy and an end to the planned Gunns pulp mill. Dressed in black, they came from all walks of life to mourn the death of democracy in Tasmania and to continue to voice their opposition to the proposed Tamar Valley pulp mill.

Black flags provided the back drop to Bob McMahon's call for tax payer's money to be invested in health, education, police, aged care, and infrastructure rather than continuing to prop up Gunns and an ailing forest industry.

Lucy Landon Lane brought humour with her story of the impact the campaign against the pulp mill is having on its proponents. While she stood calmly and politely ready to say hello to former Gunns chairman John Gay recently, he scurried away from their chance encounter before she could say a word.

Dr Frank Nicklason highlighted both the physical and psychological impacts of the forestry industry on Tasmania's residents, and spurred the crowd on to keep up the fight - the health and wellbeing of Tasmanians must be given priority over industry profit by the Tasmanian Government. Kim Booth, Dr Lisa Searle, and Peter Cundall rounded out the event with their call to stay strong - for the sake of good government, the people and the earth.

As symbolic black balloons bobbed on the breeze of a perfect autumn day, the crowds then marched through the streets to Civic Square. Their message was clear - 'Stop the mill. We can, we will'.

Not that you would know any of this happened if you weren't there... or unless you were one of the cars stuck at the traffic lights while 5000 people marched past. The media have said not a word, while making much of a bridal show happening in Hobart tomorrow, Ashton Kucher being selected as Charlie Sheen's replacement in Two and a Half Men, the best race horse in the world, the beheading of a British woman by a crazed man in Tenerife, and a small student rally in Hobart to support asylum seekers. A sad indictment on the standard of media in Australia.

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