Our organisation suffered a huge loss last September when our founder and beloved leader, Hop.e Hopkins, left this mortal coil. We would not exist without him, and his ethical, calm, determined commitment to our cause ensured we stayed largely free from sabotage and foolishness. As a kind of gift to us as he left, his passing has resulted in a rejuvenation for us. Old precious people have returned to help, and new, young ones have stepped up. We are stronger now than we have been for a long time, at least in terms of those who do the work. Our financial situation remains tenuous, and we are keenly looking for sponsors to ensure we keep going for another 24 years. Anything you can do to help will be greatly appreciated.
Overall though our spirits are high. Hop.e would be thrilled with our new councillor, Gary Bagnall, who believes urban houses should have composting toilets. This is something Hop was passionate about, the very basic truth that taking nutrients from the ground and essentially throwing them into the sea is not a viable option.
Another issue close to his heart was the biosphere project, and we now have a dedicated person, Brija Robertson, taking time out from her Phd to ensure it goes ahead.
Hop.e did much with his life, including working tirelessly to protect our precious Tweed. His memory will flourish in our hearts and deeds.
Aside from our inner workings, things are not looking good. All levels of government are proving less than satisfactory, from the council’s short-sighted Planning Laws, to the State government’s tacky decision to allow shooters into National Parks (including ours!)
The Federal government has little more moral standing, given its position on asylum seekers, single parents and the Tarkine. Then there’s the ever-looming threat of coal seam gas, which is proving yet again that it’s the big profits running the show, not the will of the people.
Our political system is in disarray, with big money and big media ensuring the opinionated masses remain illinformed and keen to work against their own best interests. It’s laughably easy to convince people that climate change is a con and asylum seekers are to be feared and loathed.
A meanness has set in in the culture, and it’s difficult to see a way through. All we can do is to continue to speak truth to power, and to not lose heart. The Tweed is more politically active now than ever: the Repco Rally raised a whole new breed of activists, and the CSG issue has galvanised the farming community to join them. United we stand.
See Full PDF: TreeMagazine_Vol-11-Issue-1_Autumn-2013
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