Sydney environmental and peace campaigner Nick Deane will return to Rockhampton to take part in the protest of the Talisman Sabre exercise at Shoalwater Bay.
Sydney environmental and peace campaigner Nick Deane will return to Rockhampton to take part in the protest of the Talisman Sabre exercise at Shoalwater Bay. Contributed

Former Rocky activist to return for protest in Yeppoon

IT'S BEEN 40 years since environmental campaigner Nick Deane lead a protest in Rockhampton.

But next month the Sydney peace and environmental activist will return to the CQ region to stand against the joint US/Australian Defence Force Talisman Sabre exercise at Shoalwater Bay which commences on July 7.

In 1976, The Morning Bulletin published an article about Nick, who was at the time the coordinator of the Capricorn Conservation Council, about the bleak future for whales.

In those days many countries, including Australia, still hunted the few whales left but the future of whales is much brighter now than it was then, because ordinary people took action.

Nick is hoping similar action can bring about change in another area.

His major concerns are that militarism represents a colossal threat to the global environment and that Australia, through its alliance with the USA, is complicit in this process. 

"In the past, we followed Britain into two world wars," he said.

"Now we blindly run after the USA, sending our troops off to costly, unnecessary and damaging wars - that really have next to nothing to do with us, from Korea and Viet Nam to Afghanistan and Iraq.

"Since their declaration of independence in 1776, the USA has been at war for 222 of the 239 years that have passed. I question whether it's good for us to be part of such a shocking record."

"Since leaving Rocky I've lived an ordinary, respectable life, working as a public servant and volunteering in my community as a Justice of the Peace. I am now a retired person and grandfather, but I simply have to take a stand, when my home country, Australia, welcomes war games with the world's greatest warmonger."

Nick said he was encouraging people in Capricornia to put pressure on the Australian government to reconsider the military alliance with the USA, because it makes us a target for that nation's many enemies.

"This is our chance to let the government know that we need to be truly independent of the USA (or any other major power for that matter)," he said.

"We can do that by joining the local campaign against Talisman Sabre. I'll definitely be joining the demonstration in Yeppoon on July 12."