Tuesday, February 26, 2008


F is on the front page of this week's local paper with a big fat photo and his name in the headline.

It's a story about the petition he's written and is collecting signatures for against the dredging of Port Phillip Bay.

I'm so proud ... and chuffed ... my boy, eight and a half years old.

UPDATE: Here's the online version, which is slightly shorter, but I'm too lazy to retype and I can't cut-and-paste the full version. (Not too lazy to edit out our names though - though if you live locally, you only need to look at your paper to see the real deal. Hello Helen!)

Headline: 'F'S PLEA'

F, 8, is one of many Yarraville residents angry about the dredging.

AN eight-year-old has taken aim at John Brumby over the Premier's support for the dredging of Port Phillip Bay.

In a show of passion, K Primary School student F was involved in a verbal stoush in his school playground over the dredging.

"I feel strongly about it because I have this friend and he told me about the dredging and how it would make us richer," F said with much aplomb.

"He's for it and really happy about it so I was feeling so angry with him."

Instead of forgetting about the conversation, F decided he wanted to take action.

He wrote the petition himself and started collecting signatures after his mother, Ariel, suggested it,

"I decided to ask mum for advice so she came up with the petition idea," he said.

F has visited shops in Anderson St and attended the Maribyrnong Truck Action Group protest against the dredging last Wednesday.

The Yarraville boy said he was against dredging because it would damage the bay and force more trucks down Yarraville streets.

His petition says "John Brumby should know better" and "The environment is way more important than money!".

Western Metropolitan MLC Colleen Hartland was so impressed with F's petition, she has agreed to table it to Parliament.

F was happy to hear Ms Hartland would table his petition.

"That makes me feel very proud of myself for listening to my mum," he said. "I did the right thing and it makes me feel a bit happy with (my friend) for telling me about the dredging."

As for the playground rivalry, Ms Ariel said F's friend had started his own petition in favour of the dredging and they were both vying for their other friends' signatures.

"It's funny, I hadn't thought too hard about the dredging before F started talking about it," Ms Ariel said.

"But this has inspired my husband and me to find out more about it, which is great. And it's fantastic to see kids getting politically involved in something they believe in."

Mr Brumby said last month Melbourne would become a "backwater" if the dredging did not occur.

He said the State Government had spent two years putting in place the most stringent environmental safeguards to dredge in a way that caused the least damage.

Mr Brumby said channel deepening was about jobs and economic security for the future of Melbourne and Victoria.


Elsewhere007 said...

That's great.

Could we see it? (Or maybe you'd rather not post such things on the net.)

eleanor bloom said...

That's very cool! [And you know all petitions (federal at least.... so...) now have to be considered by parliament and not just left on a shelf to gather dust!]

It's great that he has his own opinion about such a big topic at such a young age. And even greater that you're encouraging him to learn more about it.

I'm same as you. Not sure what I think about the dredging. I'd rather it wasn't done but then I think, well maybe there's a great need for it; maybe it's practical...? (Being in Perth doesn't add to my interest of course.) So maybe you can keep us informed of the pros and cons as you and F learn them?

Helen said...

Ha! I thought it might be him!

I thought "if it is him, there'll be a blog post about him fer shure."

He joins cfsmtb in the blogging hall of activist fame!

Go F!!

cristy said...

That's very cool.

Just wanted to let you know that I tagged you in a meme.