A Heartfelt Thanks from Steve Biddulph

I was so proud of us today  (Saturday 23 August 2008).

The rally was a wonderful demonstration of many things... 

First, the staying power and strength of the movement against the pulp mill.

Second, the depth of intelligence informing our struggle. Moral intelligence from Terry Martin, a humble man with a backbone  of steel because he knows right from wrong.  Scientific intelligence and sheer courage from Warwick Raverty.   Emotional intelligence and earthy truths  from Peter Cundall, our spiritual elder.   Raw grief from the young girls, the generation that sees its world destroyed.   Withering rage from the Koori community.   The tireless and heartening capability of the volunteers of TAP, who were everywhere, organized, focussed, active, upbeat.  

Thirdly,  our widening and awakened anger at the astonishing criminality of the Lennon government, and a breathless waiting to see if Bartlett dares to cut to the heart of the rot in his own party.

There was no shyness or ambivalence as we flowed into the streets of Launceston;  the dignity and the sheer mass of the marchers, claimed the city, outnumbering twenty fold the bemused watchers in the emptied out streets.

If I had been an elected representative, a Michelle O'  whatshername  or an Ivan Dean, I would have shuddered in my shoes. There has been no comparable unification of Tasmanians from so many demographics, but especially of middle Tasmania - grandparents, parents, professionals and working people, elderly and young, rural and urban, utterly respectable and thoughtful quiet citizens seething with anger and yet a kind of joy to be making a stand.  These days we represent ourselves.  

Its been possible in Launceston's past, to rally a few  thousand people at the peak of some one-off community outrage, but to bring onto the streets,  over and over again, 10,000 people, means this energy and resolve is increasing, not likely to diminish until it finds satisfaction.    There is a real sense that we are fighting for our state  now, and that this is our chance to make a better life for ourselves and our children.   There is a new hope and spirit abroad.   People were never completely proud to be Tasmanian, it was always an ambivalent thing, and that is about to change.   We will have something to be proud of.   

Perhaps every state needs to go through a cleansing process, the Fitzgerald Enquiry that changed Queensland forever, and the WA Inc.  Royal Commission which proved that Labor can be as crooked as the Right.    Both of those states are different places now.  Its time for Tasmania to throw off the stain of corruption that goes back to colonial days.   Robber barons and sleazebags  don't belong in the modern world.    But it took an activated citizenry to waken up and make a stand.

When the Mill is dead, we should look to make a memorial place on the site at Longreach. Where tourists can watch footage and hear accounts of speeches, and admire what Tasmanians have done.   To see that with the Franklin, this was the start of making an island of hope in  a world on  its knees.    People from all over the world will want to come here, not just to visit, but to live, to help us safeguard the air, the water, the soil, the trees, the ocean and rivers to redeem a  vibrant place that might  one day help feed and heal the larger world. 

Steve Biddulph


We are supporting you

Dear TAP,

What a great letter from Steve Biddulph.  It makes one feel a glimpse of hope that this stupid pulp mill idea will be stopped forever. 
We here on the mainland are just aghast that poor Tassie could be lumbered (sorry about the pun, just came out) with this absurd onslaught on nature at a time when there is so little of it left.  That people will rise up on the streets is stirring stuff,  I would be there with you if I lived closer. 
Don't give up, you must maintain the momentum and stop this behemoth from destroying your beautiful corner of the planet, one of the very few left relatively unscathed. 
I will continue to nag those in power with short and pithy e-mails about the consequences of their actions, Garret foremost, what a wimp.
Keep it up, we are supporting you,
Lemongrove near Sydney.


I too was proud of the stand Tasmanians have taken

It's ten years since I've been to your precious island and it's been inspiring to read about the extraordinary turn of events with Lennon's demise, the brilliant Maiden speech by Terry Martin in your Parliament and your own summing up of the situation.  I too was proud of the stand Tasmanians have taken and while I'm unable to be with you personally on the 27th my heart certainly will be.
Andrew Wade