MY HUSBAND and I bought our dream retirement block in Julimar almost 10 years ago now.
Eighty acres of pristine forest in the corridor between the Avon Valley and the Julimar State Forest became our new home.
The first thing we built was a pizza oven so that we could relax, watch the sunset and listen to the bird song.
We then built off-grid chalets for ourselves, our children and their grandchildren.
These also function as a writers’ retreat so that others enjoy the peace and tranquility of this beautiful valley as a creative space.
Over the years we have made our best friends from our neighbours: Karen the international artist, Simon the boilermaker (who can make anything with wood, metal or steel), Shuba the accountant/fashion designer, and Pete the winemaker whose shiraz is elixir from heaven.
Every weekend we gather at each other’s houses to celebrate the joys of life, work and friendship.
Our grandchildren get to watch baby echidnas and emus frolicking in the bush, and red-tailed black Carnaby’s nesting in the trees.
Together we watch the beauty of Julimar unfold through spring, summer, autumn and winter.
Baby echidnas waddle and spotted quolls squeak.
All of our dreams have been shattered by Chalice Mining, which wants to destroy the forest and build an open pit mine right next to our bush property.
In the few years since Chalice Mining has been here (and it is only exploring now), its workers already make 24-hour noise and light pollution, and create endless traffic that destroys our gravel roads, the only entrance to our properties.
In summer, the dust from Chalice Mining’s cars and trucks covers our houses and fills our drinking water.
Our lives and our businesses have either been ruined or put on hold.
Who wants to come to a writers’ retreat, an artist’s studio or a winery when you have 24/7 noise, dust and rutted gravel roads?
It breaks my heart to see my friends’ lives and dreams ruined.
It breaks my heart to think of all the animals who cannot speak up for themselves.
Who will look after the baby echidnas that nest next door to our house?
Where will the red-tailed black cockatoos nest?
Where will the echidnas and quolls hide?
Where will the baby emus and wallabies lie down to sleep?
If Chalice Mining has its way, it will destroy the forest.
The miner wants to make a lot of money for its shareholders and does not care about the forest, animals, or local residents.
In 20 years’ time, when the forest is gone and another huge open scar covers the Earth, will our grandchildren curse us for not leaving them a living inheritance, for not speaking up for the forest?