Dam kayaker returns 10 years after he helped save the Valley
THE “campaigning kayaker,” Steve Posselt, took the long way around when he paddled through Gympie 11 years ago to protest the building of the proposed Traveston Crossing dam.
Having paddled upstream through the Brisbane River system, he dragged his wheeled kayak over the range to Conondale and the Mary River system, before paddling down the coast from Maryborough to Sydney, where he hand-delivered letters of protest to then federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett.
The handover took place on the steps of the Sydney Opera House and became a step along the way towards Mr Garrett’s historic announcement in Brisbane that he would stop the dam, in line with his responsibilities under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.
Before that, he had already achieved some notoriety by paddling his bright yellow kayak from Brisbane to Adelaide via the Brisbane, Condamine, Darling and Murray rivers.
Now, Mr Posselt is returning to the Kandanga to help the region celebrate 10 years since Mr Garrett threw out the dam plan and saved the Mary Valley.
He will be a special guest in the speakers tent at this year’s Mary River Festival, a fortnight from today.
Mr Garrett’s Remembrance Day announcement has given the Valley something else to remember ever since.
The festival theme is “A Decade of reflection” and celebrates not only a David and Goliath victory for people power, but also the survival of Valley communities and endangered species of wildlife, including the Mary River turtle and cod.
The festival starts at 11.30am and features a big line-up of top Gympie Region and Sunshine Coast talent, including The Barleyshakes, Car Lynch, David Flower and Caroline Trengrove, ASA Broomhall, Samoko, The Sheepdogs, Terry the Great and Rubatuba.
Workshops and activities will also include cats claw weaving, a lantern parade, an interactive aerial circus, an evening laser show and more and will be followed by the after-party at Kandanga Hall from 7pm.