Pro­tester ‘one with na­ture’

Canning Times - - NEWS - Story and pic­ture, Ben Smith

NEVILLE Kirk had just four and a half hours of sleep in the two nights he spent up a tree in Ken­wick as part of a protest against de­vel­op­ment ad­ja­cent to the Brix­ton Street Wet­lands.

But the 31-year-old said de­spite the lack of sleep he en­joyed the seren­ity of the neigh­bour­ing wet­lands.

“It’s nice and peace­ful up here. I’m one with na­ture. The side I’m look­ing at is the side I’m pro­tect­ing,” he said.

Mr Kirk climbed the tree on Oc­to­ber 7 as part of the Save the Great Brix­ton Wet­lands move­ment protest­ing the Linc Prop­erty de­vel­op­ment across from the wet­lands.

Mr Kirk was sup­ported by his fam­ily, who sat at the foot of the tree and pitched tents. His mother Caro­line Kirk de­scribed the group as “pro­tec­tors, not pro­test­ers”.

“This is what our calling is, to stand and pro­tect Abo­rig­i­nal land,” she said.

“We’re go­ing to stand as much as we can with him and be as strong as we can with him to sup­port him, to make sure he’s safe and he’s feel­ing good.”

Her son had a sim­ple mes­sage for the State Gov­ern­ment – come and have a chat.

“If any of the min­is­ters want to come down and talk to me, they’re free to do so,” he said.

“I want to talk to them, get them to tell their side of the story and I’ll tell mine.”

The Save the Great Brix­ton Wet­lands group be­lieves the Linc Prop­erty de­vel­op­ment’s drainage sys­tem, which has been ap­proved by the City of Gos­nells, will ruin the wet­lands’ hy­drol­ogy.

Linc Prop­erty pre­vi­ously told Can­ning Times it was wary of im­pact­ing the wet­lands.

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