After the recent Frackman screenings in Melbourne enthusiastic viewers formed two city-based Lock the Gate groups, one in Collingwood and one on the South Side of the Yarra. The South side group has been meeting in Windsor, at the Tyranny of Distance café, where the yellow Lock the Gate signs stand out stylishly against the deep red paint of the back room walls.
From the first evening it was clear that the issue appeals to a broad range of community members and a wide age group, producing many ideas for resisting unconventional gas mining in Victoria, from educating Melbourne communities to direct action in the city, social media, lobbying and street campaigns.
Mike’s creative brainstorming session brought out lots of wonderful thoughts while developing insight and involvement in the issues. We have a list of possibilities for people to follow up, group members involved in planning for submissions, the submission party and our first farmer’s market petition and info stall on Saturday the 27th of June.
At the stall we found that much of the St Kilda community, and visitors from Sydney, France, England and Germany, were engaged, informed and strongly against the process. We met an agricultural historian whose knowledge of Western district aquifers, geology of Victoria and the history of Salination over the last 200 years was comprehensive. One signatory was a documentary film – maker, another a member of a farming family near Portland. Many were keen to sign and exchange information. We only experienced one clamorous and peculiar objection to our position, and that was negated by the irrational behavior of the objector. It was a heartening experience and I’m keen to rise early on a Saturday for the next one. Thanks Mike and the South siders.
We hope the enthusiasm will spread through Melbourne and the South siders will develop into a formidable crew. If you have interested friends on this side of the river let them know.
Next Meeting 6.00 PM 16th July at the Tyranny of Distance Café 147 Union St, Windsor.