It would have looked better if I were digging out the composting toilet or planting organic veggies. But the truth is I was half-way into an egg and sausage McMuffin in Casino when the text came from Bentley.
I had to ring Yollana to make sure I had it right.
We’d won at Bentley.
Or at least, a major victory had occurred. (I’m too old for complete acceptance that “all is now well.” The Bentley Blockade had succeeded. Metgasco’s license was suspended and they were referred to ICAC.
But, you know, your body speaks its mind and in a second I was weeping.
I was weeping in Maccas in Casino.
It took me a while before I realised how much I love this country. How much I love this Earth. Since I migrated to Australia in 1968, I’ve had a few `falling-in-love-with-the-Earth” moments. Deep Ecology rituals specialise in helping that response emerge in reluctant humans.
Tall Tree Country
Nevertheless, having grown up
in “tall tree country” in Canada, I spent a long time coming to love this part of our Earth. It’s not what I was used to.
A year living alone in the bush at Humpty Doo helped a lot and generated a PhD thesis on caring for Nature: https://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/289/
And fog in the valley in Nimbin can do it.
But this weeping in Maccas?
Something else altogether.
- Weeping for gratitude to many protectors who braved discomfort and hardship to keep the vigil at Bentley for so many weeks.
- Gratitude to the canny politicians and wise negotiators who kept seeking a political solution when many thought that was impossible.
- Blessings on the parents who brought children to the dawn gatherings on the hill when warm beds beckoned.
- Gratitude to a brave landowner who made his property available to the protectors.
- Close friends of mine who put their lives on hold to give all they could.
Yollana had another insight into why I was weeping in Maccas.
All of the press reports – and the Bentley Alert text – identified inadequate community consultation as the key factor it the Government’s decision.
Yollana writes me:
Let it be known and remembered loudly and clearly:
Bentley was won,
Not because a politician stepped in!
Not because of a loop hole in the law!
Not because a dirty industry found a conscience!
The official reason for the cancellation of the drilling license is:
Insufficient community consultation!
In other words,
Bentley was won because the people stood up, protested and refused to back down!
Does anybody really care about that? Community engagement has been my life’s work. I’ve written eight books about it.
I often feel like a boring old fart. Banging on about community engagement.
Well — yesterday morning — someone cared about community consultation.
enough to keep me banging on for another 25 years.