Long live the river!

Issue 

SYDNEY — Former Communist Party of Australia member and ex-councillor on Liverpool council Don Symes declares: "I've been fighting for the Georges River since the 1940s!". He recalls when the Georges River surrounds were designated as "greenspace", a far cry from the urban sprawl on it today.

The exhibition The River is Dead ... Long Live the River at the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre is an opportunity for the community to focus on our precious environment, and in celebrating it consider the future of the river that stretches from Appin to Botany Bay.

The River is Dead exhibition includes artworks, photographs, memorabilia and stories about the Georges River.

The 1000-square kilometre Georges River catchment is home to more than 950,000 residents in 11 council areas. Despite its heavy use, a recent success is the win by the National Parks Association to save an area of bushland from being turned into an extension of a clay mine in Macarthur. The once threatened bushland is now alive with native flowers and fauna.

Many organisations are involved with the exhibition. The local scout troupe will pitch their tents by the river during the show. Don Symes opened the exhibition on August 18.

On August 25, 11am, a public meeting (with free BBQ) will be held to discuss the protection of the catchment area. Colin Gale, from the local Dharug people, will speak about the history of the river from the indigenous people's point of view. Other speakers include Rob Michie, who chairs the Georges River Environmental Alliance, and environmentalist Neil Rogers. Email <reception@casulapowerhouse.com> if you want to attend.

The exhibition runs until September 23. The Casual Powerhouse Arts Centre is at 1 Casula Road, Casula (near Liverpool in Sydney's south-west). Visit <http://www.casulapowerhouse.com/>.

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