OPINION PIECE: John Bellamy from Save The Trees And Buses Campaign
It is with a bittersweet sense of irony that we came today to find the Spirit Of Anzac Experience. http://www.spiritofanzac.gov.au/ A touring exhibit where you can discover Australia’s history of courage, service and sacrifice from the First World War to the present day.
One of the striking images from the website, is the picture of a young digger, his body faded away to reveal the trees – presumably of some battlefield where he fought. In 1916, trees were planted in memory of the soldiers who fought in World War One when the Randwick Road was widened and renamed Anzac Parade. In 2016 we are killing these trees planted to remember the soldiers. It seems that we have already forgotten them, despite the 100 year Anniversary Of Anzac Parade being next year.
All of the people working on the light rail project keep coming up with the phrase “We are just doing our job” or “We are just being paid to deliver a project that the government wants”, “It’s sad to see the trees destroyed, but its all for the better – this is progress”
The government may well want this project. Many people may also want this project, but no one, not even the transport minister or the director general of the project wants the trees destroyed.
So why do they continue to destroy these beautiful and priceless trees? Can they not see any other way? Do they feel so trapped and powerless to stop this impossible train wreck?
This project has had so many major modifications, without any or very minimal community consultation. Surely, the government could talk to the community to see if there is another better option.
No one that we know was ever asked if they would like 871 significant, heritage and priceless trees impacted in the heart of our city for a $2.1 billion disaster that is cutting public transport capacity by nearly 60%
So, my question is to all of you building this project, are you happy with what you are doing? Are you quite satisfied that you are destroying hundreds of years of history, when there are still so many other options? Will you be proud when you look back and say to your grandchildren, I killed priceless trees, for this disaster of a tram? So many of you have looked me right in the eye and told me that you really believe that this is a great project and will deliver significant benefits to the community.
But what do you really believe? How would you feel if this was happening to your priceless history and heritage? For so many of you, it is your priceless history and heritage. And that’s what no one can understand. Can you really see this from our perspective? You say you understand, but will you act?
It is never too late to find other options. It will only be too late when the last tree has been killed. It is not too late for any one of you working on the project to try and look for better options and to come clean with the Australian People.
Talk to the community. Come out and work with us for a win win solution to save our Anzac Trees, and Save Our Buses.
It is almost 100 years ago since our 1st war memorial was dedicated on Anzac Parade, Moore Park. In 2016 the NSW Baird Government is killing our Anzac Memorial Trees, and Desecrating Anzac Parade.
We continue to be astounded that all the men and women in this country can continue to let this happen, but our community will never give up fighting for truth, beauty, freedom and love.
John Bellamy Tuesday 6th September, 2012
phone 0414 755 621 for further information.