Friends of Big Hill host sunset celebration

More than eighty people took part in last Sunday's sunset celebration of Big Hill.

Some of the crowd on top of Big Hill on Sunday for the Friends of Big Hill sunset celebration.

Some of the crowd on top of Big Hill on Sunday for the Friends of Big Hill sunset celebration.

The sunset celebration was organised by the Friends of Big Hill who are adamant the proposed Crocodile Gold Big Hill Enhanced Development Project is too close to residential homes, schools, aged care facilities, historic buildings and the Stawell business centre.

During the celebration a number of speakers outlined why the Big Hill project should not go ahead.

One of the speakers was Stawell resident Angela Baker, who asked if Big Hill was a western sacred site.

She said the question was asked with respect to the traditional owners of the land, the Jardwadjali or Djab Wurrung people.

"If Big Hill was an aboriginal sacred site it would be protected by law from mining. The question needs to be asked, what constitutes a sacred site in our modern western society?" she said.

"If someone is feeling at a low ebb in Stawell where do they go - Big Hill. If someone is feeling inspired where do they go- Big Hill. Why? - It's a place to go, to sit, to contemplate, to look out to the mountains and see one's life in the bigger scheme of things.

"It is a place for reflection, to congregate in times of trouble such as watching looming bushfires. It is somewhere to go.

"Having somewhere to go is important. Big Hill always has someone sitting on top of it staring out to space, this is not an inane activity but a fundamental human need," she said.

Ms Baker said Big Hill was a place that has history, that stands still, above everything else and belongs to the town.

"This history of belonging to a 'place' cannot be replicated.

"Big Hill has all the elements of a sacred site that is active, current, in-use, and continuous by the Stawell community. A geological sacred site is just as important in our society as they are, and were, to the traditional owners of this land," she said.

Ms Baker said the continuous gentle rise of native vegetation silhouetted against an expansive sky can be seen from about 80 percent of the town.

"You do not create economic growth in a town by destroying one of its greatest assets.

"If the mine proceeds, in four years time, Big Hill will have no value. A hill that was valued enough by our town to erect a grand monument on its top in the tradition of western culture and is our way of saying this is an important place."

The Friends of Big Hill will continue to bring to the attention of decision makers and the general public what they believe are the inherent problems of the Big Hill Enhanced Development Project.


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