IT’S moved. Out of the benighted Batty Pint and into the Big Smoke …

On Monday 23rd. October a petition to the Hobart City Council, asking it to compulsorily acquire all private land between low and high water mark along the Battery Point foreshore and further, to develop and submit a plan for a scramble track around it, was tabled by Alderman John Freeman.

He had spoken with the vigour that comes of a long held conviction at the Foreshore for All Rally on Saturday 14th. October and was only too happy to be the one to table the signatures collected there.

In a pincer movement necessary for anything much to happen around these rocks, the State Government, through the House of Assembly, has now also been asked to act. Being landlord of the foreshore strip, it has to give permission to the council to do its thing there.

So everyone who signed the petition to council signed another to our state government. The plethora of clip-boards on the day caused a bit of enthusiasm confusion, sorted later with red pen and ruler.

John Freeman had accepted the invitation to present the petition to his people with alacrity.  Getting the other one into the House of Assembly wasn’t quite so easy.

— Paula, would you like to do it?

We’ll get back to you by Wednesday.

It’s Friday and I’m just ringing to see if Paula has considered …

Uh, the person dealing with that is away, not back til Monday now. She’ll ring you.

And so politely on in the face of the bleeding obvious until, at last, confirmation from said staffer, of Paula Wriedt’s position.

Given the sensitivity around heritage and environment issues at the moment Paula is unable to present the petition for you.

Lisa, would you like to?

Less than 24 hours later, at 5.50p.m. last Thursday (2nd November), Lisa Singh took full advantage of adjournment time to leap to her feet, petition in hand, and see to it that it was tabled. It didn’t look as if it hurt at all.

A minister doesn’t have to support a petition s/he is putting forward. The general idea is that, as part of a democracy, they’re doing for the people, rather than for themselves. It’s the vital chance for people who feel their voice is not being heard to have a go.

Tabling it at adjournment meant Lisa had time to talk on the petition.

With clarity, confidence and just the right light touch she said that while she didn‘t want to get into the extreme nitty gritty of how public access to the foreshore might be achieved, that not being her job, it was clear that there was strong public support for the notion.

She also said that given the length of time this issue has been simmering it was time to progress it and that she was happy to table the petition.

Lisa stood on a platform of commitment to issues of social equity and it was good to see her follow through.

Onya Lisa.

Margot Giblin

John Freeman had accepted the invitation to present the petition to his people with alacrity.  Getting the other one into the House of Assembly wasn’t quite so easy.

— Paula, would you like to do it?

We’ll get back to you by Wednesday.