Bob Brown calls for action on Great Koala National Park

Dr Bob Brown (l) in a Q&A at the Jetty Theatre with Fiona Williams from SBS. Photo: SWIFF.

‘THE Giants’, a biopic of Australian environmentalist Dr Bob Brown, has been described as “awe-inspiring” by members of the Bellingen Environment Centre (BEC).

The film weaves together the threads of Dr Brown’s life and activism, the history of the green movement and its evolution into a political party, and visually stunning computer graphics that illustrate the complex science of these majestic ecosystems’ life.

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The biopic, narrated by Dr Brown, his friends and family and world-leading scientists and forest ecologists, recently screened at the Bellingen Memorial Hall as part of the Screenwave International Film Festival (SWIFF).

‘The Giants’ begins with Dr Brown introducing the Eucalyptus regnum and concludes with his passionate call for the end of native forest logging across Australia, a call wildly endorsed by the huge crowd in a prolonged standing ovation.

The Q&A session after the movie, where Dr Brown responded to questions from the audience, sparked intense interest.

In his remarks Dr Brown noted that the NSW Labor Premier had promised, before the last state election, to create a Great Koala National Park (GKNP) to protect the endangered koalas of the Mid North Coast.

“If that promise is to be honored, it is obvious there can be no logging in the area of the promised Great Koala National Park; not in the Kalang Headwaters, at Newry or anywhere else,” Dr Brown said.

Because the Bellingen Environment Centre was the originator of the GKNP proposal, Dr Brown’s comments were heartily welcomed.

Dr Brown said that if Premier Chris Minns and Environment Minister Penny Sharpe acted urgently, they could tell the people of NSW that they have kept their election promise and done what they said they would do.

“But,” he said, “if Chris Minns and Penny Sharpe break their promise to NSW voters, they will be responsible for every tree that falls and every koala that dies, because they failed to act with the urgency needed.

“You can’t create a Great Koala National Park after you have allowed it to be destroyed.”

BEC members dined with Dr Brown after the movie, at the local hotel.

Catherine Jones, BEC secretary, said it was special to share a meal and converse with the iconic environmentalist.

“It was awe-inspiring sitting with Bob in Bellingen, a place he once called home,” she said.

“Bob is both calming and compelling.”

By Andrew VIVIAN

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