We humans have reinvented God a dozen times in the past 5000 years... Yet divinity is accessible, free and indisputable, all around for all time, every day for everyone – with just one simple law. Nature is sacred. Soil, water, air and all that lives within. Unnecessary disruption is sacrilege. And here, you will know why, for nature still speaks – kindly but clearly – come close, listen to my story, treat me with reverence, and you will live and die well.
It's alone in the wilderness you can find this essential truth, rising above the morass of a troubled humanity that in contrast seems so lost in a contortion of endless fleeting words, exaggerated images, mixed messages, and fickle impulses.
To sacrifice a place that offers so much timeless priceless insight for 30 years' worth of dirty old coal is to lose that last hope for all of us.
Ian Hoch, co-owner of Bimblebox Nature Refuge*
In the Land Court last year, Paola Cassoni, co-owner of Bimblebox, finished her submission with these words.
Finally, my last word is a tribute to our water.
As a prerequisite of life, water is hardly an optional extra or a luxury of personal choice. Loss of water, or significantly degraded water quality, isn't an inconvenience, it's the end game for the Desert Upland rural communities.
We treat water with reverence and grace. We don't over-extract, and we marvel that even in a year of drought like this one, water still comes to us in our bores, and we know we will be able to survive this dry landscape once again. But for those who have never been short of water, they can't understand our anxiety. We will be living our next 30 years or more, knowing huge voids will be continuously draining our precious water supplies.
By nature's good fortune, we are able to keep the bulk of our water conveniently stored away in shallow, life-giving arteries. With a water supply protected from the drying atmosphere, the Desert Uplands is a gift to the world and to the few who make it their home.
* from Bimblebox: A Nature Refuge Under Siege, edited by Maureen Cooper (for details, see http://bimblebox.org/books)