Where is Badgery’s Creek in relation to here?


Badgery’s Creek felt like it was a million miles away as I stood,completely surrounded by the beauty that is the Upper Blue Mountains Escarpment.    I was asked by a passer by who, on noticing  my T-Shirt asked ‘Where is Badgery’s Creek in relation to here?’ and as I answered my inner voice reminded me that it is not just a matter of miles that separates the two spaces.  I answer with ‘oh  it’s at the bottom of the mountain,  out towards Liverpool really but even though the airport will be a way away from here, the airport boundary is only around 8km from this World Heritage Listed National Park’.  I stop to let that sink in for a moment, all the while wondering if I should push the difference in air miles vs road miles before deciding against it.

Me in the parade

I was hit by the realisation that the upper mountains  feel like a safer and more secure environment than my home town down the road.   The protection that the rugged cliffs, steep side streets and miles of bush offer is comfort as is the very real fact that this stuff IS valued by tourists, this IS marketable.  My home village feels vulnerable and not because of any physical lack of beauty. It’s more that it is closer to the ‘Big Smoke’,  in the ‘commuter belt’ and lacks those ‘instant gratification’  look-out’s that so dominate the towns up here.  To many, we are just another suburb that could be bigger.

I love living in the Blue Mountains but can’t shake the feeling that we are on the cusp of being swallowed up amongst the ‘couldn’t care less’ and the ‘she’ll be right’s’ and the ‘What’s the problem, there are thousands of trees’.  I want to kick myself for sounding like a NIMBY or someone clinging onto an ideal but I don’t follow through because I don’t believe it.  I don’t believe that I am wrong to want to protect this, to feel a part of this. I don’t believe I’m wrong to feel that it is ridiculous to plan an airport the size of Dubai at the foot of such beauty in a country renown for its vast open spaces.  I feel like I’m in a real-life version of the Emperors New Clothes only no matter how loud I cry ‘but I can see his willy’ nobody want’s to know.

preparing to march

We took up our positions in the parade and began our march along with all the others.  Some looking for recognition,  some wanting to celebrate and others just happy to be able to be themselves in public.   Me?  I felt sombre, I felt the weight of responsibility in my arms as I tried to walk, sing, smile and hold up my sign.  I felt awkward at times – ‘we need a second airport’, ‘I don’t agree with you’,  ‘sorry but you are too late’ – and hopeful in others <claps from the crowed, nods of approval,  pats on the back> .   I was struck, like always by an awareness that we are marching AGAINST something and that for many people that is all they will see. More negativity in a world that is already full of hate.  But then I remember again to smile and wave, to engage with my audience, to let them have a glimpse at the world beyond the ‘No airport’ banner, the world where ‘hope’ is motivating.

the parade

The singing stops as we round the final corner and after a minute the group has dispersed into the crowds, smatters of bright yellow mingled amongst pink stilettoed pride, furry animal suited men and Hari Krishna devotees.  I look up to see the mist rolling over the mountains in the background and take a picture trying to capture the vastness of the scene, the impending darkness, the coming change, but the shot didn’t turn out.  I realise the camera can’t capture  the entirety of what I can see, feel and taste.

top of the mountains

I re-play my earlier conversation and find myself wanting to shout out ‘Ideologically Badgery’s Creek is about as far away from here as you could possibly get’ but realise that up here I’m preaching to the converted and down there nobody gives a damn because to them I’m just another lefty dreamer with no fucking idea.

Only I don’t buy that for one minute.





10 thoughts on “Where is Badgery’s Creek in relation to here?

  1. Lyn Trindall

    Thank—you so much to all those wonderful RAWSA folk who marched in the Winter Magic Festival yesterday.
    You were there for us all. I read one of you’re reports that stated that a visitor who lived out of the Mtns, asked ‘where is Badgerys Creek from here?. Does it really matter? Maybe the visitor needs to check out her GPS on the way home.
    Thanks again, on behalf of humans, fllora, fauna & the whole World Heritage area of the Blue Mtns.

    • RealizeBeautyEd

      It’s a pleasure to be able to help out Lyn. The lady who asked was very supportive and had been trying to save the trees on Allison Road the other week. She just wasn’t sure where the airport was going that’s all. I don’t think many people know where Badgery’s Creek is if truth be told. It’s almost mythical.

  2. Colin Andersen

    A lovely, heartfelt reflection, Amanda. Much appreciated. Although NIMBY is Murdoch-speak, we defenders of the Blue Mountains should wear this label with pride. How can anyone living here not fight for such a wonderful backyard? Better never to have been born than not be a NIMBY.

    • AbbēLee

      Exactly, how can anyone live here (in the Blue Mountains) and not fight against this destroying proposal.

      Love your work. And PS: to me, fighting against this proposal is an apolitical community issue. The whole community should be fighting against this proposal regardless of politics, as it affects everyone and all living creatures. The damage caused if it ever went ahead, will be irreversible.

      • RealizeBeautyEd

        Thanks Abbe but I do feel that this is political in as much as it goes to the heart of what we, as a nation value and what we are prepared to do in order to realise that vision. That said, I do agree that the wider discussion of what our nation values should by its very nature transcend party politics. The trouble is the only time that ever happens is in desperate times (war, natural disaster etc). Such a shame really.

  3. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on the experience last Saturday at Winter Magic and I totally agree with your sentiments. I saw many people along the road who were supportive, some with slightly mystified looks on their faces and I am assuming that they either weren’t aware of the airport plan or didn’t realise that there is opposition to it. So I felt that we did raise awareness. Hopefully those visiting from Sydney and elsewhere will spread the word. I agree wholeheartedly that we can’t just accept the airport plan without a fight. There is too much to lose!!

    • RealizeBeautyEd

      It was a good experience and I was so glad that the stall was busy and people were mainly supportive. I always focus on the ones that aren’t as they are the ones that I can learn from. The trouble is that approach can leave me feeling quite over-burdened. Still, it was a great day and I’m happy to keep on keeping on 🙂

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