Former Greens leader Bob Brown has urged Blue Mountains residents opposed to the Western Sydney Airport to keep up the fight, despite the federal government’s commitment to build the airport.
“We were told that [it was a done deal] with the Franklin dam,” he said, speaking of the successful environmental campaign which saw the controversial Tasmanian Franklin Dam proposal dropped in the 1980s.
“If people have enough concerns about that [WSA] they will be getting a bus to Canberra,” Mr Brown said.
“We are far too complacent really. I hope the people that are concerned about that airport will keep expressing that concern.”
He was speaking to the Gazette ahead of his flying visit to Springwood on September 21 to deliver the Mick Dark Talk for the Future.
The talk honours the legacy of Dark, the founding patron of Varuna, the writers’ house in Katoomba, and is designed to inspire community discussion of environmental issues of local and global significance.
“The earth is being battered by eight billion mammals eating away its resources,” Mr Brown said.
“A lot of people feel pessimistic about that but I’ve set up a new foundation in Tasmania and we’re very active. It’s much better to get active than to get depressed.
“If you want somebody else to do it then you become part of the problem.”
He urged people to voice their concerns, join action groups and hassle their Members of Parliament.
“It’s about being active, stepping off the footpath and taking part in peaceful protests. Speaking out and generally enjoying life by being on the side of making this planet liveable for our grandchildren,” Mr Brown said.
The three biggest environmental issues we’ll face as the future unfolds are climate change, nuclear technology and over-population, the 72-year-old says.
“Climate change comes out of human absurdity. We could stop climate change in its tracks by spending two per cent of our gross wealth in turning it around but we won’t and we’re not doing it.
“People are voting for massive increases in consumption. It’s no good in complaining about the world’s environmental problems if you vote for the people that want to put their foot on the accelerator of a growth economy.”
Born in Oberon, but moving to Trunkey Creek at age two, then on to Armidale, Mr Brown said he has fond memories of the Mountains and was looking forward to returning. “At uni we used to go up to Govetts Leap for the scenic views and the waterfall walk at Wentworth Falls, that’s fantastic.”
Mr Brown will speak at The Hub on September 21 at 7.30pm. To book, visit www.bluemountainstheatre.com.