No writing today…
Earlier this year, I was asked to join a panel of authors to discuss exploring stories beyond our national boundaries and why we chose to write about times and places far from Australasia.
I’d never really navel-gazed about my predilection for twelfth century Europe. To me, it just was. When I wrote about Venice, Lyon or Constantinople, bells rang – sounds ranging from soft tintinnabulation to reverberating tocsins, and that was all that was required.
Hell Hath No Fury like an electorate scorned.
And as more and more Development Applications flood the Glamorgan Spring Bay municipality, residents are becoming adept at securing their own specialist advice and opinion and are becoming true frontline fighters. Amongst their number are scientists, town-planners, environmental specialists, journalists and most importantly, lawyers skilled at pulling apart legislation. No longer is a rate-paying base ignorant.
Like many rate payers in the Glamorgan Spring Bay Council (GSBC) area, I am at a loss to understand State Government and GSBC lack of transparency over so much of Tassal’s expansion onto the east coast. The first I heard of it was a casual comment by an acquaintance late in the 2015. By early 2016, a groundswell of concern had begun with the creation of a pressure group called Marine Protection Tasmania (MPT). That group, under the energetic direction of Wilhelmina Rea, has fought tirelessly for answers as to why it could be considered acceptable on any level, that an industrial fish farm be allowed to enter our iconic coastal waters.
MPT has managed to uncover much that is rotten in the industry and whilst the media has proved instrumental in getting that message out, at no point has government at any level, or Tassal, the company concerned, really engaged in depth and face to face with concerned ratepayers. In my view, it has been token consultation showing no sign of really listening.
Today, after hearing our Minister for Primary Industry, Jeremy Rockcliff claim on ABC Radio (14th June, Leon Compton Mornings) that he has listened to and engaged with the community, I decided I was tired of the empty and tiresome political rhetoric.
He has not listened.
This is my bay.
It also belongs to many other people – the people of Tasmania. These are State waters, a beautiful sea that has provided occupation, recreation and ambience for many lifetimes of both indigenous people and newcomers.
When I talk of occupation, I talk of professions. I talk of fishermen – generations who have caught wild fish for a living. I had an uncle who was a professional fisherman. He would take his boat out and fish between the continental shelf and the shore of Tasmania, catching all manner of fish for the markets. But he fished sustainably and treated the ocean and what lived in it with respect, knowing that to over-fish would be cutting his nose to spite his face.
Today, a young family friend is also a professional fisherman, but thanks to climate change and an ecology altering by the day, his catch is sporadic and difficult.
Times have changed…
Sometimes life is for escaping from.
Sometimes it’s for escaping to.
Today was the latter…
Very early this morning, the men decided to go fishing and being totally uninterested in the hunter-gatherer thing, I asked if they could drop me at Maria Island.