In an classically cynical action, these national horse trials were sponsored by Hume Coal (and Posco, a huge Korean steel manufacturer). Ironic, that, as the threat of a coal mine hangs over the local community. Their lush green paddocks might well turn to dry dust if the water courses and groundwater in the district are interfered with by underground mining directly underneath this property and neighbouring properties. Wells Creek, a key local waterway, runs right though this property.
As the event was held on the property of one of the most staunch supporters of the Southern Highlands Coal Action Group, the SHCAG sought the approval of the property owner to hold one of their "Shoo Cockatoo" promotional displays on site too.
They set up adjacent to the Hume Coal promotional tent.
Oh dear - the poor Cockatoos took flight.local paper's story here.
Then the SHCAG supporters mingled amongst the crowd of horse owners and signed up another 150 supporters, taking their mailing list to over 3500 members now.
|Everybody was showing their allegiances|
This is the real message from the property owner.
|Shoo Cockatoo sign proudly displayed on the fence of Araluen.|
You would think that Hume Coal outsmarted themselves by this cyncial attempt to buy favour in the community. But that's typical of the way Mining Companies behave, right around Australia. They pretend to care for the locals, but they just want your coal, and they do not want local community groups standing in their way.
One would have to ask if Julie Gander the company's Community Liaison Officer is doing a good job, picking this event to sponsor? I don't think so, as, on the day, she headed off to hide her embarrasment - leaving the company's promotional tent abandoned.
|Hume Coal's abandoned promotional tent|