SUE JACKSON Therapist | Writer | Photographer | Activist

An avid blogger for the last fifteen years, I believe in the power of the word to change the world. I have participated in, and reported on, a range of protests during this period, including the successful East-West Link campaign and, more recently, our wonderful, home-grown Extinction Rebellion (XR). If you believe, like I do, that it is time for ordinary people to rise up in defence of the planet, I encourage you to explore this blog, share it with your networks, and – of course – take action.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Corporate Corruption Walking Tour: Melbourne CBD today

The Corporate Corruption Walking Tour, highlight of the Spring Political Carnival took place this morning in Melbourne's CBD. Many new protestors, obviously shocked into action by the Government's perfidy in signing the East-West Link contracts mere weeks before the State Election, swelled our ranks.
First stop was the now-familiar 121 Exhibition Street, office of Terry Mulder, who will go down in history as a reviled co-signatary of the abhorrent contracts. 'On yer bike!' is what I want to say to Transport Minister Mulder.

As close as we could get to Number 121

Large police presence outside and inside Minister's building just in case we sought entry

It must make it very convenient, considering that they are in bed together, that the office of Capella, part of the consortium awarded the East-West Link contract, is just across the road from MP Mulder's office. Capella too is familiar territory to us and that is where we headed.

We didn't have far to go to the next important site on our tour either, as the Liberal Party Head office, in the beautiful old Centenary Hall, is located right next door to Capella. After a brief stop there to hear more from our rousing and informative tour leader, Anthony Main, we hit the road again.

Crossing into Spring Street

We had heard that Minister Mulder had recently changed his address. Apparently he now resides on Level 15, 1 Spring Street. And I have no idea why, but joy of joys, we were permitted entry.

When Anthony suggested we sit down and wait for Mr Mulder to come down to talk to us, I thought for one intoxicating moment that we might be going to stage a sit-in.
With its extensive escalators and lift wells, the building provides great acoustics and our chant: 'Get Mulder Down Here' reverberated most effectively off the walls. Oddly, he didn't respond to our invitation.

The police looked very relieved that we were not there to stay. We were moving on to our final destination and the pinnacle of the walking tour, the office of the Victorian Premier himself, nearby in the Treasury Building.

A pleasant walk in the park

It was disappointing to learn from one of the media people escorting us that there was a missed opportunity on our tour. We'd failed to spot a celebrity. Apparently the Prime Minister himself was visiting Melbourne and was actually meeting with our Premier at Liberal Party headquarters at the very moment we were standing outside. If only we had known our Leader was in there we could have given him an appropriate welcome!

Final destination - Treasury Building

I was in luck in the end however because I had an encounter with another celebrity, one who was even acknowledging the error of his ways. Rupert Hamer, Victorian Liberal Premier in the '70s, promised the many Victorians who protested against the construction of the Eastern Freeway that in recompense he would build Doncaster Rail. Of course, sadly, as is so often the case with politicians, he broke that promise.
So I was thrilled today when Rupert (channelled by Tony Murphy, and witnessed only by me and video journalist, Anthony, who was recording the event for posterity) made a public apology for his transgression.

I look happy enough to be hearing from this other Rupert. But internally I'm muttering 'Too Little Too Late'. And also to the Labour Party: 'Beware the Fate of those who Break Promises! You could end your days stranded forever on the outside looking in, prey to the elements and with birds shitting on your head.'


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