After a week of bleak news and information, feeling beaten about the world at large, politicians in particular and more, commutes to Ballarat were different this week.
Signs of new life were frequent along the Midland Highway, and so the comfort of continuity.
Paddocks were chocolate brown earth tilled perfectly, with plough tracks following contours of gentle paddocks looking ready for new crops, potatoes for certain in paddocks of dark rich soil, even on and over gentle slopes. New lambs just days old are exploring just a metre or two from anxious mums. Bright new white lambs are smudged already with brown dirt. Misty rain is not enough to wash their muddy faces and unsteady tiny legs.
An abundance of twin lambs give promise of a good year. Fading notes of “stay away Ausnet” still defiant.
You, dear power lines can share our land but underground, safe from howling winds to twist and turn and bend your steel pylons. Agriculture needs to be safe, leaving our land to nurture food crops and protein. Underground to quieten the racing minds of farmers, visitors and commuters passing through. Be safe from fire, endless insurance claims, and firefighters endangered in forests and gullies, hindered by steel and wires.
Yes, Ausnet, expensive in the short term, but be brave and forward thinking, and lead all to long term planning.
Then those offensive, jarring and unwelcome signs will be taken down from fences, haystacks, and hills and sheds. Be brave Ausnet and economically sound; take a lead and you will be welcome. There will not be another peep from the agriculture fraternity, again the stress on both sides will melt away and maybe you will see a sign or two thanking you and in high praise applauding you, will appear along the road and corridor. You will hear the weary sighs of relief, the community shouts of joy. And when sustainable, clean energy is all that is needed, the agricultural families, land, forests and safe power can happily co-exist.
Celia Waldron is a member of the Daylesford U3A Writers’ Circle and a member of the Wombat Post Editorial Committee.