There was a sense of history being made at the Jondaryan action near Dalby. In 39 degree heat, Greens stood along side LNP supporters, environmentalists, farmers and local residents – united in a common cause.
A presentation of speakers was masterfully facilitated by Drew Hutton. Indigenous Elder Lois Kelly gave a warm welcome to country. We heard the polished oration of Alan Jones; the impassioned stump speech of Bob Katter; the poised discourse of Greens senator Larissa Waters and Qld Greens spokesperson Libby Connors. The ALP and LNP were notable in their absence.
Lead by locals on horse-back, the group of around 300 then marched to the railway dump of the Acland open-cut mine. The circle gathering at the closed gate manned by police generated a heightened sense of communion. The intimacy and respect clearly shared between people caught in long-term dynamics of antagonism was truly touching.
A man from Allora engaged the group in a sing-along with a rendition of Woody Guthrie’s ‘This Land is Your Land’ with his guitar and harmonica. At the end of each chorus the animated throng yelled ‘lock the gate!’, leaping and waving their placards in the air. There was a sense of joy and camaraderie.
The son of the iconic R.M. Williams – a tall, well-dressed, timid man in his forties – spoke with trembling lips about his love for country.
As a witness to events, I don’t think it is hyperbole to say that the issue of coal seam gas has spawned something of a cultural revolution out here in the west. Stay tuned!