‘It’s nice and peaceful up here’: Tree protester holding strong for Brixton Street Wetlands

Save the Great Brixton Wetlands protesters underneath the tree where Neville Kirk is sleeping. Picture: Ben Smith.
Save the Great Brixton Wetlands protesters underneath the tree where Neville Kirk is sleeping. Picture: Ben Smith.

NEVILLE Kirk has had just four and a half hours of sleep since he climbed a tree in Kenwick on Sunday to protest the development adjacent to the Brixton Street Wetlands.

But the 31-year-old said despite the lack of sleep, he was enjoying the serenity of the neighbouring wetlands.

“It’s nice and peaceful up here, I’m one with nature. The side I’m looking at is the side I’m protecting,” he said.

Save the Great Brixton Wetlands protesters underneath the tree where Neville Kirk is sleeping. Picture: Ben Smith.

Mr Kirk is part of the Save the Great Brixton Wetlands movement, who are protesting the Linc Property development across from the wetlands.

He intends to stay up the tree for the next week or so to highlight the group’s cause, which has been slowly gaining momentum over the last few months.

MORE: Brixton Street Wetlands threatened by MKSEA development

Mr Kirk is being supported by his family, who are sitting at the foot of tree and have pitched tents.

His mother Caroline Kirk said they were “protectors, not protestors.”

“This is what our calling is, to stand and protect Aboriginal land,” she said.

Save the Great Brixton Wetlands protesters underneath the tree where Neville Kirk is sleeping. Picture: Ben Smith.

“We’re going to stand as much as we can with him and be as strong as we can with him to support him, to make sure he’s safe and he’s feeling good.”

Meanwhile, her son has a simple message for the State Government: come and have a chat.

“If any of the ministers want to come down and talk to me, they’re free to do so,” he said.

“I want to talk to them, get them to tell their side of the story and I’ll tell mine.”

The Save the Great Brixton Wetlands group believes the Linc Property development’s drainage system, which has been approved by the City of Gosnells, will ruin the wetlands’ hydrology.

They also are concerned proposed clearing of land could threaten the number of red-tailed black cockatoos in the area, of which the wetlands contain a large roost.

Linc Property previously told Community News it was wary of impacting the wetlands and a conservation strategy for the cockatoo roost was awaiting approval from the Department of Environment and Energy.