Mining in National Parks? Over Aunty’s dead body … At the last election Aunty agreed that “it’s time to change” and voted for National. In doing so she fulfilled the overarching political responsibility of voters at election time - to Show Them Who’s Boss. Aunty is well aware that this obligation to remind all politicians exactly who ultimately calls the shots is a duty which all voters in a free democracy owe to those who fought to gain them the franchise. Aunty acknowledged that, as a responsible citizen, she was clearly required to vote for a change of government, irrespective of political principles or issues so comparatively trivial as health, education or social policy, and the rest of the country followed her lead. Nobody actuated by such strong and well-considered motives should have had to expect that National actually intended to act on this slogan any more than on any other bill-board splattering product of political spin doctoring. In particular, Aunty naturally did not expect anything that she personally holds near and dear to be altered in any way.

Imagine therefore Aunty’s gin-and-tonic-necessitating shock and horror at finding that the government intends to act as though they actually believe that they have some sort of a mandate to make alterations in our national fabric. That their proposals accord with the political coloration of their party is of course totally irrelevant when they must be aware that higher considerations than this occasioned the votes in their favour.

Some changes, of course, Aunty can remain relatively ambivalent about. ACC, for example, have never reacted sympathetically to Aunty’s various claims for injuries sustained while camel-wrestling, eating in British motorway service stations, arguing with Qantas air-hostesses, free-climbing the Chalice, or attempting to open a milk container with the new-style sealed cap. The privatisation of ACC is therefore unlikely to affect Aunty directly except than in perhaps resulting in a more expensively produced and gratuitously bland refusal letter. However, the suggestion that National could make changes to facilitate mining in the conservation estate is definitely one shade of Carte Blanche too pale.

The behaviour of the Minister for the Environment has further inflamed Aunty’s already incandescent ire. Aunty is not so politically naïve as to expect that a government minister should have any empathy with (or aptitude for) the portfolio with which he or she has been entrusted. However, Aunty does expect a Minister to at least pay lip service to the defence of his portfolio’s interests. Thus a further spasm of calmative gin-and-tonics was occasioned by the lackadaisical response of the Minister for the Environment to the mining plans – a pusillanimous and lily-livered abrogation of his responsibilities in Aunty’s not-often humble opinion.

Suffice it to say that the only way that Aunty is going to take this lying down is in front of a bulldozer. So, fellow CTC members – stand up (or lie down) and be counted!

-- Aunty Iceaxe