Pete’s dam welcome back in the Mary Valley he saved
TEN years after Midnight Oil frontman turned politician Peter Garrett said an emphatic no to the Traveston Crossing Dam, the former Environment Minister is returning the Mary Valley.
This time a decade ago protest-weary residents of the Mary Valley were holding their breath as the climax to their three-and — half year campaign to stop the shallow water storage from proceeding.
TheKandanga pub erupted in unison when the then Federal Minister said “let’s give it back” after property owners had been forced off prime production land by the State Government hell bent on water security.
Organisers of the Mary Valley River Festival are delighted the environmental activist has accepted an invitation this Saturday to attend the Kandanga event.
Festival organiser and one of the anti-dam leaders Glenda Pickersgill couldn’t be more delighted.
“We sent letters of thanks after the announcement, but this will be the first time we’ve been able to thank him in person,” she said.
“We recognise that he was under enormous pressure from the state government to approve the dam, but he always said that his decision had to be based on science rather than politics, and he was true to his word.”
“He recognised that the dam would have “serious and irreversible adverse effects” on endangered species such as the Australian Lungfish, Mary River Turtle and Mary River Cod.”
The Queensland government had pursued a “full steam ahead” aggressive purchasing policy for properties in the footprint of the proposed dam, ahead of its getting the federal green light, an approach that was to cost it dear.
While the festival, with its theme “A Decade of reflection” runs from 12 noon till 7.30, Peter Garrett will arrive later in the afternoon and will join other guests on stage ahead of the threatened species lantern parade.
The local and extended community came together in so many ways to stop the damming of the Mary River at Traveston Crossing and we welcome everyone to come, connect, reflect and celebrate the Mighty Mary.
“I’m sure I’m not the only one that still gets choked up when I hear Peter’s speech vetoing the dam,“ said Glenda Pickersgill.
“It is just so special that he is able to join us for this milestone festival.”
“ We’re so glad he said ‘Yes’.”
Another musical group, the Barleyshakes are headed for the fFestiva
Festival organisers say the Barleyshakes were generous supporters, playing at rallies during the three and a half year Traveston Crossing Dam campaign, and they’re delighted to see them back.
With gates opening at 11.30, the music kicks off at 12 and also features Dave Flower and Carolyn Trengove, Asa Broomhall, Carl Lynch, the Sheepdogs and more, throughout the afternoon/evening..