My name is Leslie and I am resident of Dalton.
I am encouraged to tell my story by the wonderful people in our community who have been brave enough to also share theirs.
I married a member of one of Dalton’s oldest families and we moved back here to raise our children in this beautiful rural community. We love it here, my husband grew up here, played in the creek, climbed the hills and the trees on the land that surround us, went to the local school, played cricket and tennis, all the things we all did. But he was lucky enough to do it in this district, in this town. We love and recognise the core values of this extraordinary community that we live in. We love that we have this wonderful view of the landscape, the dare I say it ‘Serenity’ as we sit on our front verandah after the work day is done, the magnificent stars we see at night that glitter above us in the clear skies. The same things his grandparents must have seen and felt as we sit where they once did.
I love that when I look around us I see what my husband’s forefathers strived so hard for and my heart aches with the certain knowledge that they would be ‘rolling in their graves’ with the unwarranted destruction that could come to pass.
Over a year ago, my elderly in-laws (80’s and 90’s) lost their home and all their belongings when their uninsured rural home went up in flames. It has been a rollercoaster of emotions this past year or so for them, for us, for the entire family as we have all struggled to help them re-group in whatever way we could. And as we just finally get into a position to be able to rebuild them a home, we get smacked with this in our face. How much more do we take!
My husband’s family has endured unending heartache over the years, deaths of children, grandsons and son in law, but they have stayed in the community and on the land, this is where they belong. The land is in their hearts, mind and soul, it is what they live and breathe, after all, this land has been our home for over 180 years.
The last go around with AGL, we were told because of how close they were to the proposed project they could be bought out if the plant was too noisy…Wow, what a solution, yes let’s wipe out all those memories, that family history…that connection with the land, never mind this is where they want to live out the rest of their days.
My Mother’s ashes are scattered on our property because she also loved being here. I love knowing my Mum is so close to me… Our beautiful little boy whom we lost when he was only 7 years old is buried here at Dalton. I want to be buried next to him, I can’t stand the anguish of thinking of him being left here alone, without me.
The noise, the air pollution, the blight on the environment, the devaluation of everything we have built, achieved and hoped for our children, if there is no land to farm, no house to live in, there is no future if this project is allowed to go ahead.
The disgust I feel over a huge company like AGL wanting to build such a soul-destroying monstrosity in our backyard for a few dollars more, has not abated since the last war with them, and make no mistake it is a war we are fighting.
I do not want our children to be the last generation of their line to live here. They have a rich historical tapestry to add their threads to, please give them that chance and sign the petition and put in a submission.
This place is ‘Our Castle’, ‘Our Serenity’, we will not leave.
‘There is no just cause’.