A Students Against the Pulp Mill organiser, Gabby Forward, was a finalist in the "Junior Hero" category of news.com.au's Green Awards. Announcing the winner on September 23, presenter Axle Whitehead described it as "the hardest category to judge".
Yet despite receiving 57% of the readers' vote, Forward, who has played a leading role in organising young people to protest against Gunns pulp mill, did not receive the award. Instead, Alastair, Freya and Imogen Wadlow and their environmental website won, with just 7% of the vote.
This is not to dispute the wonderful effort the Wadlows have put into saving the planet, but it does beg the question: What is the point of voting in a poll to select our junior green hero, when News Limited is going to tell us who it thinks is the best environmentalist anyway?
The corporate media outlet rewarded a website focussing on individual lifestyle change — which does not challenge big business — instead of drawing attention to a mass movement aimed at stopping a corporate juggernaut like Gunns and its dirty pulp mill.