When I sat down to write a submission to the Wingham Forestry Management Area Environmental Impact Statement in 1992, little did I imagine that 23 years later I would still be waging a battle of words in an effort to see the magnificent forests of north-east NSW protected from destruction.
In those 23 years I have seen way too many magical places destroyed by logging. I have seen areas frequented by Koalas cleared and burnt and forests that were once home to mysterious creatures like Greater Gliders gone for woodchips.
But as someone who travelled the steep learning curve of submission writer to activist, a Jill of all trades from giving presentations to blockading, from talking to politicians and bureaucrats to navigating computer mapping programs, I have also seen the benefits of getting involved. I know that by taking action I had a role in seeing some of our precious forests protected in National Parks that are now jewels among our regional tourism attractions.
I have talked myself blue hoping to see some form of low impact logging in our public State forests. I have expounded theories to senior executives of Boral Timber and numerous foresters over the years. But in 2015 I concede that there is no way the current logging industry can continue that will not destroy environmental assets that are critical to the future of this region.
As I have raised this view with people all around NSW in the last few months the response has been an overwhelming YES. The public lands need to be managed for the long-term public good. Letting our forests grow old is key in our efforts to slow the impacts of climate change in this region.
So here we go again. Together we can ensure that Koalas and Gliders survive into the future. Our great-grandchildren might get to see forests of huge trees like in fairy stories and the rivers might continue to flow cool and clear.
Everyone has something to give to this most important project. It won't happen without our collective effort. Add your grain of sand and you too will be able to look back in another 23 years time and know that your efforts were part of the wave that made the future liveable.