Steve Wears Lycra For Kicks (and political activism)
I just received this email from a favourite friend of mine... I thought you should read it too. Steve is an amazing writer (maybe one day he will let me post a few of his stories from his time living in Malawi) and has a social conscience to rival Ghandi (too much?). He is the dude 3rd from the right in the first pic- nothing like a visual reference, right. Anyway, read on friends
Against the odds, against all expectations, against the weight of history, against my own conscience... will I be able to do it?
Will I be able to wear lycra shorts?
(Oh, and ride a tandem bike from Perth to Broome while wearing them? )
Long story: A group of about fifteen crazies have decided we don’t like the plan being hatched by Woodside (Australia’s largest oil and gas company) and WA Premier Colin Barnett to industrialise the Kimberley and turn Broome into the next Dubai, and the only logical route of protest left open to us is to ride a tandem pushbike 2,368km up the coast to Broome.
The Kimberley in north west WA is one of the few big wild places left on earth. Red dirt, blue water, big open spaces. It has one of the world’s least impacted coastlines. It has so far hardly been studied by scientists, but it’s likely there’s more species of coral and fish there than on the Great Barrier Reef. There was a brand new species of dolphin discovered there as recently as 2005, for crying out loud. What other cool stuff could be lurking there?
So what exactly are we protesting?
The proposed Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) processing plant at James Price Point, 60km north of Broome. The plant will include a 7km jetty blasted through reefs, mangrove flats, dugong feeding areas and humpback whale breeding grounds. The thing will be massive. In one go it will increase WA’s entire carbon emissions by 35%. It will be the single biggest industrial development in our whole freakin country.
It doesn’t make sense to build this thing. The gas is being extracted hundreds of kilometres out to sea, and it could just as easily be piped south to the already developed Pilbara region. Or it could be processed on new floating LNG technology. Both of these options are cost effective. And we still get to profit from the gas.
It’s clear enough that this new port and refinery will be the first step in opening up the whole Kimberley to wholesale mining for bauxite, iron ore, gold, uranium etc etc. Without any long term plan.
A team of people riding round the clock to make it to Broome in five and a half days.
Do you want to chip in? We need a bit of money to make the trip happen, and any that is not used directly for the ride will go towards the ongoing campaign to protect the Kimberley from dastardly fiends...