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The Forum > Article Comments > Oakey is on sacred ground > Comments

Oakey is on sacred ground : Comments

By Rodney Crisp, published 8/9/2011

The balance between history, heritage, food, mining and prosperity facing a Queensland town in the 21st century.

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Ah Rodney, you're talking my neck of the woods, mate. I look up the dry hiway to Oakey from Toowoomba, sometimes I cycle up that way but I gotta say your childhood memories are a tad romantic. I prefer Henry Lawson's realist mode--you sound a bit like Banjo Patterson!
My critique of your position is that you can't have your cake and eat it, ol' son. If the romantic residents of Oakey and surrounds want to keep their present lifestyles, they have to accept coal-seam gas, or nuclear or whatever else it takes to maintain it. It's simply unrealistic to expect to live in paradise, with all the mod cons, on organic farming.
So what do you want, the rich modern western lifestyle, or a pristine environment? You can't have both.
...Well you can.. so long as we sell our resource pulp to the rest of the world--but presumably your utopia is ethical too, and you're opposed to that??
BTW, you look like my father in law..
Queenslanders have reduced the degree of separation to about three, I hear..
If you can believe the scandal mongers..
But I shouldn't wonder!
Posted by Squeers, Thursday, 8 September 2011 9:30:21 PM
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Dear Squeers,


I grant you it is indeed a somewhat reminiscent and nostalgic tale of days gone by. The happy days. The carefree days. The days when life was easy. When our basic needs where all assured and even our most futile desires could find assuagement in the natural beauty of the bush environment.

You place the bar a little too high for me. I am no Henry Lawson painting "sketch stories" of the Australian outback. Any resemblance with "On the Edge of a Plain" is pure coincidence.

I take your critique but beg to plead "not guilty". Modernity often arrives a little too late in the bush. Coal-seam gas and nuclear are things of the past. They belong to a world we no longer want and soon will be no more.

Our eyes are turned to the future. To the need for other sources of energy. To the growing importance of agriculture to nourish the expanding world population in an environment constantly remoddled by climate change.

We have to get our priorities right. The future is more important than the past. The present is the hinge that allows us to to turn the page. We should be careful to turn it in the right direction.

I am flattered to hear that I resemble your father in law. Perhaps the reasons are to be found in our ancestry as you suggest. Mine are to be found mostly in China on my mother's side and England and Ireland on my father's side.

Posted by Banjo Paterson, Friday, 9 September 2011 3:16:36 AM
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