Rally gets Australia wide attention

  • Nov 6, 2012

I am sitting back after the rally taping and watching the news broadcasts with Steve, who as a measure of his character started the day early and specifically went out of his way to ensure our oldest speaker got to the rally. He personally picked him up.
Then as a measure of the times we needed to stay to the end - being when all the toilets were carted away and our spit was clean.
You see the toilets needed to be hired for the day but we did not want to run the risk of leaving them out over night in case they mysteriously caught fire or were damaged.
There was also a deposit for the park which as a volunteer organisation we cannot afford to lose.
Paranoid you may say - well the Spit has been torched half a dozen times with recent attempts only a few weeks ago - better to be safe than sorry.

2012 Rally Steve GrationWith all the approvals etc this rally cost about 3 times that of previous rallies.
So imagine our delight to see the news going Australia wide highlighting the communities fight against the loss of public open space to private development.
Thousands of people were there and for every one that turns up there would be 10-20 who wish they could.

The day went very well - I watched the media people work very hard to get the shots and it was hot. The presenters have to dress up (no thongs and singlets for them) so thanks for your efforts.
It is amazing how the presenters can look so cool and calm whilst chasing interviews and organising shots.

We had a couple of great bands at the end (Hinkler and Lucy Gallant) - but many people had succombed to the heat and bull ants by then and just needed to get home.

Whilst watching the broadcasts Steve is taking calls to the left and right - organising interviews for the morning, thanking speakers and thanking other helpers.
I can only imagine what the cost to advertise to get that coverage Australia wide - so a little bit of sunburn was worth it.
Thanks to all of you who turned up, and for the support of others who could not make it.

What next - well who would tender for development of an area held so dear by the community.
People came far and wide to support us.
Judy Spense congratulated Alex Douglas for sticking to his principles (and the recently changed long standing LNP stance of no development North of Seaworld) and said words to the effect it was wrong then and is wrong now.
Dr Alex Douglas member for Gaven stood up for his community - he may well face a viscous backlash but please do not ever say you did not know his stance.
Reports claiming other LNP members were not aware of his stance are simply laughable - he has made his stance abundantly clear and tabled documents in parliament to ensure others are aware also.
The question is when did the LNP change its stance from protecting the Spit to selling it.

A Nine News broadcast with then coalition leader Lawrence Springboard and Jeff Seeney attending our last rally that also included Labor candidate Phil Gray (fighting for Gaven against Alex Douglas).

"We have stood against development on the Spit for 40 years and will stand against development of the Spit for another 40 years and beyond and beyond and beyond..."

View the video of the documented support that is now a 180 degree backflip. Yes Jeff Seeney marching in to save the spit - oh what happened.
So Alex thanks for standing up for your community - who I think some how will do what they can for you come future elections. More leaders like you are needed.


Tom cries foul - Undemocratic I say

Tom was never invited to speak at our rally, all councillors were invited to attend the rally (common courtesy of course) with the explicit inference that the opportunity to apply to speak on the day was wholly reserved for those that were opposed to the terminal and could contribute to our rally's purpose. The rally was not a political debate, it was not a forum for cross examination or a poll to decide a winner, it was simply a group of community representatives delivering their messages to their concerned community and people sharing common ideals and information - hence it's pretty obvious that Tom was never "invited to speak".

Stephen Harrison approached the rear of the stage several times during MP Alex Douglas' speech, attempting to get up and have a go on the microphone, and was politely declined each time as he was not invited to do so, and was certainly not one of our listed speakers on the day. Some would certainly call these actions as unorthodox and intrusive. Sorry Mr Harrison, our rally was clearly not about "consultation", never was and we made that very clear long before the day. I am checking my tapes also as we speak, but there were absolutely NOT "a lot of comments about nuclear ships" - thank you though for raising that issue, we can certainly now consider it as a possible concern, and add it to the the massive list.

We also had to decline many offers by many people to speak on the day, many from other significant people also opposed to the proposals, and we created our short list of speakers based on what we determined they had to offer on the day. It was CLEARLY publicised as a day for people that oppose the terminal to 'have their say' and due to the topical nature of the current debate within this city, it was paramount that we selected appropriate people to do so - that we endeavored to ensure that the rally achieved its goal of allowing issues that our community has raised with us, to be presented to attendees in a safe and non conflicting manner.

We ran a professional day, on a tight run sheet with that was well organised, planned in detail and managed in a mature and civil way. Our main priority was making sure that nothing and no-one brought the day into disrepute for obvious reasons.

Imagine if you wandered back stage at a public presentation by the government, council or a big business and demanded to be allowed to interject mid way, unannounced and uninvited to do so, and take the microphone to throw opposing opinions out to the attendees? Would they let you on the stage? I must ask, have you ever heard of any kind of organisation that would allow you to do such a thing?

As far as being undemocratic? We have had our invitation offered to the current Mayor to meet and discuss the many concerns of those we represent (a large portion of the GC community) and have been flatly denied this opportunity, with an additional response stating that not only he refuses to speak with us, that "we are unable to assist you further". We have never been invited to attend any consultation, discussion, meeting or otherwise at any time throughout this process and have rather been brushed aside as a "minority" group, told to "put a sock in it" and denied every chance to ever engage in anything principally "democratic" with the Mayor in regards to any issue we have raised. We certainly still are not bitter and thought it would be of significant value for the Mayor to attend the rally to listen to the speakers and consult on the ground with the people he represents. We were deeply disappointed he declined to even come and meet with, and listen to such an incredibly large group of his constituents.

It has been said before; democracy is not democracy without transparency, it is not democracy when it is blanketed by censorship, it is not democracy when community consultation, as it would seem, is nothing but a token gesture.

BTW - the rally was great and achieved a lot, the people did get their day that day!

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