Selling The Farm – The First Muster

Man, I’m seriously impressed with the way people can work together in a crisis. The joint efforts employed by passionate Hurlstonians from around the world have thrust the issue into the center of NSW’s public debate today with a ‘perfect storm’ covering Online, TV, Radio and (tomorrow) Print. Professional media consultants couldn’t have orchestrated it better given months. This was achieved within a week, almost entirely online.

Let’s review the timeline:

  • On Tuesday, 11 Nov, The NSW Government hands down its mini-budget
  • That afternoon, Hurlstone administration is formally advised by the DET of the intention to sell off 140ha of Hurlstone land
  • Wednesday, 12 Nov, 1pm – First article of the land grab appears on the Daily Telegraph Blog.
  • Thursday, 13 Nov, 12pm – First protest emails sent between alumni
  • Friday, 14 Nov, 2pm – Second article appears on the Daily Telegraph Blog concerning the memorial forest issue. FaceBook Group established to rally support.
  • Saturday, 15 Nov, 10pm – Hurlstone Alumni site alerts Old Boys to the issue. By then, many comments and emails are being exchanged.
  • Sunday, 16 Nov – Support assembled from local, state and federal government reps, old boys, military and academic contact. Pro-forma letter campaign established.
  • Monday, 17 Nov – Media contacted, Protest steering committee established, FaceBook group membership exceeds 500 members.
  • Tuesday, 18 Nov – Media coverage on 2GB and Channel 7, putting the government on notice that they will be on the receiving end of of a concerted fight to save the farm and the forest.

This has all been done in the spare (and retirement!) time of many dozens of passionate folk whose names you will either be learning about in coming days, or never.

Today marks the end of a mad flurry of activity for this campaign, as we move into a new phase that pulls together a team of people for a single purpose: to stop the Rees Government selling off a valuable, established educational and heritage asset for limited economic gain. The argument will be done with facts, figures, focus and logic.

Again, if you’re interested in joining the fight, sign up to the Facebook group to pool your own expertise and resources with others (now over 600 members). A steering committee will be meeting this weekend to form strategy for next week’s March on Parliament, and from there on it will require commitment and persistence. (Contact me and I can put you in touch with the steering committee)

Are you up for the fight?