Moving Mountains

Julie Jackson, Erica Bates and Tracey Larkin
Julie Jackson, Erica Bates and Tracey Larkin

The Moving Mountains – Keep the Scenic Rim Scenic – exhibition at The Centre, Beaudesert, celebrates the incredible efforts of community members to keep the region free from coal seam gas mining.

The exhibition focuses on events around 2011 including the Kerry Blockade and Protesters on Peaks movement in the early stages of the 11-year fight.

It was a time when farmers joined protesters to save their livelihoods and the land they love.

Keeping the Scenic Rim Scenic

It could be described as the Scenic Rim’s ‘Sliding Doors’ moment – the fight to keep the region free of coal seam gas and open cut mines which began in 2011 and spanned 11 years.

Julie Jackson, Tracey and Innes Larkin, Erica Bates and Heidi Ross were instrumental in the fight to ‘Keep the Scenic Rim Scenic’ and have been preparing for the Moving Mountains exhibition at The Centre, Beaudesert for months.

Tracey had never been involved in a protest until the spectre of mining exploration appeared in the region.

Tracey and her husband Innes were arrested on the first day of what became known as the Kerry Blockade and she said she had little understanding of the law before that time.

“I was naive.  I honestly thought surely they will listen because we’re on the right side and then we would all go home,” she said.

The women believe if mining had gone ahead the character of the Scenic Rim would be very different to the eco and agritourism ventures  and fresh produce grown in the area today.

“It’s been quite triggering for a lot of people,” said Erica.

“Some people have just gone ‘that was the best time of my life because I finally stood up for something’.”

Heidi Ross.  Image supplied.
Heidi Ross. Image supplied.

For others, such as Heidi Ross, activism took over her life.

She will return to Beaudesert to MC the launch event on 17 June.

At the time, the fight to defend the area from mining dominated every moment of Heidi’s life for two years.

“When you feel something you love is under threat, you’ve got to do something, then you’ve got to do something more,” she said.

Heidi has put together a book, Mongrel Dogs of the Scenic Rim, which is a historical record of that time.

Mongrel Dogs will be available in hard copy from The Centre during the exhibition for $25, but a free downloadable PDF file will be available with details released during the exhibition. 

“I feel intensely proud that the Scenic Rim is still there as a place of beauty,” said Heidi.

“Preparing for the exhibition has been exciting and also a chance for reflection.”

Moving Mountains – Keep the Scenic Rim Scenic is at The Centre, Beaudesert from 17 June until 2 September 2023.

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About Keer Moriarty 448 Articles
Small town newspaper Editor, journo, social media manager and tea lady.