Broggabri Leaves, 2013 :: Pastel on hand-made paper
The year has begun with many inspiring visitors coming through the doors. Activists, musicians, dancers and artists have been sharing yarns, adding art to the walls of the ‘gallery’ (our lounge room) and hanging out under the shade of the mango tree as it’s fruits ripen.
Sakura and Darius (MC Testament from Test their Logik) came through town to share their messages of freedom against oppression, mining and colonisation with the ‘True Cost of Coal’ poster created by the Beehive Collective. Mountain top removal for coal mining in the Appalachian mountain region shares parallels to the coal mining history here. See Mountain Justice for more information.
The True Cost of Coal :: Beehive Collective
I had the opportunity to visit Camp Broggabri on Gamilaroi Land this month. It was an honour to meet local Gamilaroi families. It is heartening to see the local people standing together to stop the expansion of two existing coal mines and the approval of new mines in this area. The Camp is in the Leard Forest, a special place with great significance culturally and environmentally.
Led by Aunty Dolly, we gathered in a circle and swept the ground with leaves from the Camp area, gathering strength together to save this Land. And did the rains come! After we had been out to look at the coal mines, the rain started and continued. The following day, just before the women of the group did our daily sweeping of the earth with leaves, out came a vivid sunset rainbow. It was a privilege to cook for the hardworking activists out there for the weekend and to spend time at that special place.
Jonno and Muzza at Camp Broggabri
My friends Jonathan Moylan and Muzza, have been tirelessly working to save this area. Jonno is currently being put under pressure by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) for a Media Release Hoax that was sent to major Media outlets in January, 2013.
Jonno is being investigated for sending a Media Release purportedly from ANZ stating that the bank had withdrawn $1.2 billion in financing for Whitehaven’s new Maules Creek mine near Boggabri in the New South Wales’ upper Hunter region. The Australian, January 24th, 2013
The share value of Whitehaven dropped 8.9 per cent ($314 million) before the Media Release was officially confirmed a hoax. Jonno is currently being threatened with a maximum fine of almost $500,000 or a potential 10-year jail sentence. We are standing by Jonno’s actions and believe he has done a great job in highlighting the vested interests of the ANZ bank in coal mining projects, as well as raising awareness about the Mines in area. It has to be noted that journalists and media outlets did not do their job and check information before going public with the Media Release sent by Jonathan.
This week I was also sent a Notice from ASIC to produce information in regards to my work and to attend a private meeting with two representatives of ASIC, although I had nothing at all to do with the hoax Media Release. The penalty for not complying with this request in my case is $17,000 or two years prison.
Photographs of Camp Broggabri