Crosses Mark the End of the Murray
August 12, 2009
“It is one of a myriad of responses to the tradegy we have been forced to watch unfold day by painful day,” says Professor Diane Bell of the River, Lakes and Coorong Action Group Inc. (RLCAG) of the hundreds of white crosses that appeared on the foreshore at Clayton Bay on August 7, only to be taken down that evening by the contractors. “In the last few days other symbolic representations have appeared: a floral memorial on the cliff top, one huge and one smaller cross cut into the long grass of a paddock, crosses on private property, crosses at intersections and little yellow coffins floating on the black mud.”
“We are grieving, angry, frustrated and determined to continue our campaign for bioremediation, revegetation and keeping the river, lakes and tributaries connected.”
“This week the fresh water stopped flowing from the Finniss River into Lake Alexandrina. Thick, heavy, black mud now fills the gap between the dam wall and the cliff at Clayton Bay. It can only be days before the wall reaches the cliff. We are bearing witness to the end of the Murray.”
“For the last seven weeks we have staffed the Fresh Water Embassy every day but one, the day of our AGM. A steady stream of visitors and their questions have kept us very busy. They have wanted to know the big picture. They have brought insights from up river, from interstate, from overseas. The over-whelming majority have been shocked by the scale of the dam/regulator. There is a people’s movement building and our work is part of it.”
“Next week we will travel to Grieger’s sand bar between Blanchetown and Swan Reach to participate in the ‘Meeting of Concerned Communities about the current state, and management, of the River Murray.”
“We are inviting all who share our concern for Australia’s River to make their own memorials,” says Diane Bell.