Righto folks, by now you probably know the news but at last YOUR Unlock Australia is starting to kick some goals. Using money raised from the Red truck raffle and subsequent merchandise sales we funded and held a rally in Newcastle last Sunday to protest the closure of Stockton Bight.
There were 2400 vehicles in the parking area and another couple of hundred in the streets outside. We estimate almost 10,000 people came through during a pretty wet and dismal day weather wise but one that was alive with hope and determination to get our tracks open again. The issues at Stockton are fairly specific to that area but the usual problems - parks closing down access and shutting off camping - were dealt with by offering solutions. Amazingly the local parks office still contends there's beach access and camping while even the TV report on NBN had the reporter standing outside a locked gate.
DID UNLOCK AUSTRALIA MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
Yes, we did. The tide is turning. I'm attaching some of the press clippings from both pre and post event newspapers so you can see for yourself. If you haven't seen it make sure you look at the newsclip which is on our Unlock facebook site. It's not all brilliant but it's a huge turn towards seeing our cause in a positive way. I did three radio interviews on Monday for Newcastle stations and all the DJ's were sympathetic to our cause. This is a big change from the last time we did anything like this.
On a purely practical note, after having meetings with the Worimi and parks representatives Unlock has made a submission - copy below - based on what we think would work for Stockton. The success of the rally itself means we've now been invited to talk to the minister and the local member. This is a huge step and proves that numbers count.
Bigger is better though - make sure you spread the word!
Free camping has just been banned in Victoria so it looks like that might be our next battle. I can see before long we'll almost need a rolling road show across the country to protest all the closures of our public lands.
Meanwhile rest assured your membership counts and Unlock Australia is moving ahead in leaps and bounds. Once again, thanks for being a part of this.
P.S. Some more clippings from the local papers