Save the Mary Activists Celebrate Their Victory One Year Later

Katy Yan

Save the Mary River campaign
This weekend, communities throughout the Mary River Valley in Australia will be partaking in some hard-earned festivities. One year ago, Australia's Environment Minister announced the rejection of the proposed Traveston Dam on the Mary River, due to its ''unacceptable impacts on matters of national environment significance.'' The Save the Mary campaign had won.

It's been an intense four-year struggle for the Mary River Valley people and their allies, and the effort to restore the river and the community continues. The Mary River Catchment Coordinating Committee (MRCCC), which provided many of the key scientific and legal arguments against the dam, is currently working with the government on a threatened species recovery plan. If successful, it would be the first whole-river multispecies recovery plan in Australia, according to Steve Burgess of the MRCCC.

I had the pleasure of meeting both Steve and Glenda Pickersgill (another amazing activist from the Save the Mary River Coordinating Group) at the recent Rivers for Life 3 in Temacapulín. They were invaluable to the meeting – sharing their story through pictures and song, and most of all, their strategies, which ultimately led them to victory.

Below is a slideshow the tells the history of their public campaign to save the Mary River, made by Stop Press Visual Media. These photos say it all.