At Kelly’s Bush with Jack Mundey and two of the original 13 ‘Battlers for Kellys Bush’

Saturday 14th September 2013 was a special day for me. To be able to speak at Kelly’s Bush alongside Jack Mundey and some of the remaining ‘Battlers’ from Kelly’s Bush.

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Pictured with Jack in the photo are two of the original 13 ‘Battlers’, Christena Dawson and Miriam  Hamilton. Miriam features in the photo below (3rd from left)  from 1971.

Kath-Lehany-Betty-James-Miriam-Hamilton-Monica-Sheehan Battlers for Kelly's Bush

The 13 women (the ‘Battlers) initiated the campaign that led to the first Green Ban imposed by the Builders Laborers Federation led by Jack Mundey.

This iconic struggle and the further 41 Greens Bans which followed lead to the passage of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. an Act which enshrined environmental assessment and community participation in decision making in planning decisions.

Today our rights are under threat from the shallow, single dimensional thinking the the NSW Liberal Government who propose to bring in a new planning Act which makes economic growth the primary purpose of planning. This new Act would effectively mean we can say goodbye to our natural, social and cultural assets.

Despite the gloomy subject it was a sparkling day at Kelly’s Bush by the Harbour and an inspiration to be with these heroes.

James Ryan


  • Hi James, I couldn’t make the event on Saturday, but glad that you met my Mum, Christena Dawson, Miriam and Jack. The event was very important to raise awareness of what the planning laws will do. In the other photo from 1971 are: Kath Lehany (Secretary of The Battlers for Kellys Bush), with Tigger, Betty James, (President), Miriam Hamilton and Monica Sheehan. My mum was the Treasurer. The photo is taken by the “rock pools” in Kellys Bush. I used to play there as a child. If these current planning laws go through, places like Kellys Bush could be levelled for development. Keep up the good fight neighbour. Regards, Councillor Rosmairi Dawson (Ind), LMCC.

    • HI Rosmairi

      Very pleased to hear from you. Your Mum was talking about you on Saturday. It was my first visit to Kelly’s Bush. It must have been a wonderful place to grow up.

      • It was indeed a wonderful place to grow up. I have the same feeling about where I live now in Lake Macquarie. I often say that living here is like Sydney was in the “70’s. Will you be at the Local Government Conference in October? Hope to meet you then. We will have some big subjects like this one to tackle and the amalgamation proposals. I look forward to meeting you. Regards.

  • Pingback: Kelly’s Bush: Inspirational past, Hazzardous future | David Shoebridge MLC

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