My name is Mike. I am a resident of Dalton.
I live at the historic Dalton Wool Co-op that was built by the Dalton community in 1878 and operated by my Great Grandfather, Jacob Stone.
Like my father and my grandfather I was raised here. What wonderful memories I have as a young boy free to roam the hills, camping and fishing in the country side surrounding my birthplace.
My dad and mum Graham and Pat farmed these lands, just as my grandfather and grandmother did many years before that.
I left Dalton as a young teenager at the age of 14 to serve an apprenticeship as a printer at the Goulburn Post newspaper. Well one thing led to another and life took me in directions that pulled me away from my family and my family roots.
The connection I had and my love for the Dalton countryside did not fade but grew stronger as I grew older. I began to appreciate that the important things in life are not money, possessions, or status. The important things are the simple things: family, friendships and having the freedom to live to live, not work to survive.
37 years after leaving Dalton I had the opportunity to buy the old rundown and termite infested wool co-op building that my great grandfather operated 130 years before. It was a risk, but a risk I was compelled to take. I walked away from my career and the busy, stressful lifestyle that went with it.
In 2013 I sold my house in the city and came home.
With the help of the Dalton community I restored the Wool Co-op to its former glory over a four year period. I built a cottage alongside where I intend to spend my remaining years growing my own clean food, breathing the fresh air and creating a place of solitude for my children, grandchildren and the generations of Stones that will follow after that.
This is my dream. Without our dreams our lives become empty and meaningless.
My love and commitment to Dalton, the community and our history is not for sale, not at any price! Our dreams, and our love, respect and loyalty for each other, are not physical things that can be taken from us or traded for the dollar.
It is my right and my responsibility to stand up to those that want to tear the heart from our community, destroy our dreams and the lives we have created here.
These are all things that AGL can never understand or feel.
Walk away AGL, just turn and walk away.