That classic Gough Whitlam campaign slogan “It’s Time”, is as relevant today in 2015 as it was the day his campaign launched in 1972.
The space for progressive political and economic change is once again widening, after having come under repeated attack by conservatives ever since Gough was dismissed via Double Dissolution in 1975.
At Progress, I attended a workshop called “Moving the Rock – Shifting Power for Sustained Change”, hosted by Sam La Rocca and Holly Hammond. Points raised in that workshop provided some of the key takeaways for me. Particularly, a strong reminder about the value and role of radicals.
The WA Liberal Party’s vague new anti-protest laws are a legal over-reach which reverse the ‘onus of proof’ and damage the credibility of the entire legal system.
Having lost several pet projects to public opposition, Barnett has moved from ignoring and ridiculing activist to trying outlaw us.
The Criminal Code Amendment (Prevention of Lawful Activity) Bill means any person suspected of preparing to use a ‘thing’ to obstruct a ‘legal activity’, could be locked up for 24 months and face huge fines.
Additionally, people charged under these laws will be forced to pay costs associated with their arrest; violent criminals aren’t even forced to pay that.
But these laws will not stop activists from putting our bodies on the line in defence of what we believe in. We know this means we are having an impact, our strategy and tactics are working. We will continue.
Some #noWAsharkcull crew today visited the office of the Environment Protection Authority on St George’s Terrace, Perth.
The aim was to deliver a scroll of messages and a book of photos to Paul Vogel. The messages on the scroll came from both here in Western Australia and from others around the world, all calling for an end to the shark cull in WA.
The real aim was to get the campaign back in the media, and combined with yesterday’s media blow-up, it has worked. We got media for what really was just a few people with a desire to see the head of the EPA, who in my opinion absolutely should be meeting with environmental movements.
If the EPA won’t even meet with us, after we break all their records for public submissions, what does that say about them? Maybe they will, we have requested a meeting with Paul Vogel between now and July the 4th, while the Public Environmental Review is still open.
The move comes after a string of controversial decisions by the EPA and criticism that it was “more focused on protecting polluting industries than looking after the community and human health”. I’d agree with that assessment and would say it also applies to the EPA here in Western Australia too.
The town of Collie is not something I really think of when intending to visit WA’s south west.
But that needs to change if the slated ‘SuperTown’ is to survive life after coal.
Even us Perth based locals who travel the South West often, rarely find our way to Collie. It’s a town that’s not ‘on the road to’ anywhere. As a teenager I heard stories of Collies “Friday night fight nights” and never really had a desire to visit since.
To me, Colle predominantly know as the seat of the electricity gods. All our electronic devices are belong to Collie. But the Coal will only last so long.
It’s already caused the State Government trouble, and if they decide the coal should stay in WA and only be used to fire local power plants, it may last 50 or more years. If they don’t, which wouldn’t come as a surprise, the coal will be bound for export and likely depleted within 15-20 years.
That’s not a lot of time to convert a 2 billion dollar+ economy and provide for an expected 15,000 population. But it can be done.