Dam result celebrated

TANZI Smith was in idyllic Kandanga on Thursday, 12 months to the day since the Mary Valley hamlet took centre stage.

“I still find it hard to find words,” the Tiaro native said.

“There was so much emotion that day.”

Ms Smith was in Brisbane on November 11 last year when Peter Garrett made her day, her month and her year in one fell swoop.

One of Mr Garrett’s assistants had left a message on her phone in the morning, informing her that the minister’s decision was imminent.

She replayed the message time and time again, trying to find a subconscious indication which way Mr Garrett would go.

Overnight she was able to redirect the enormous time and energy she had devoted to the anti-dam campaign to the university PhD that she had shelved.

Her anti-dam experience informed her academic work, which she finally submitted to the University of Technology in Sydney last month.

In the conclusion of her paper, she describes the rustic Valley celebrations as men, women, boys and girls took to the Mary River after the Garrett announcement.

“The social stats and the environmental stats meant nothing compared to the bond between each person and the river we worked to save.”

Kandanga will host a very special Mary Valley Festival today, with 50 stalls, live music and varied workshops from midday.

Gympie Times


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