Feeling groovy: Parliament celebrates 40th anniversary of Aquarius Festival

North Coast Greens MP, Jan Barham, has welcomed NSW Upper House support for her motion recognising the 40th anniversary of the Aquarius Festival in Nimbin.

“The Aquarius Festival was not only an historic event; it was transformative for the Far North of New South Wales,” Ms Barham said.

“The Aquarius Festival brought new people and innovative thinking to the region and contributed to defining the area known to many as the Rainbow Region. Over the last 40 years, the North Coast has been at the forefront of many important issues such Aboriginal respect and reconciliation, biodiversity protection and sustainable architecture.”

“In a moment of harmony and youthful joy that we don’t often see on Macquarie Street, my colleagues in the Legislative Council congratulated the Aquarians and recognised the unique and vibrant culture of the North Coast,” Ms Barham said.

For Further Comment, please contact Jan Barham directly on 0407 065 061

Motion on Aquarius Festival, passed by NSW Legislative Council 22nd May 2013:

1. That this House notes that:
 (a) May 12 – 23 marks the 40th anniversary of the Aquarius Festival in Nimbin NSW,
 (b) the festival’s organisers planned more than just the fourth Australian Union of Students music festival – they planned a festival of alternative thinking and sustainable living, in a valley where festival goers could stay on and live out their ideals and aspirations,
 (c) the Bundjalung Elders gave their permission and support to holding the festival on their lands, building a respectful connection with traditional owners that has continued to this day,
 (d) the Nimbin Valley and surrounding areas welcomed the boost that the festival offered the region, with traditional industries in a state of decline,
 (e) soon after the Aquarius Festival, Nimbin became identified as a centre for counter-culture and the environmental and sustainable lifestyle movement in Australia,
 (f) the new settlers in the Nimbin community experienced adversities and learned about living on the land with support from local farmers and existing residents,
 (g) from Nimbin the counter-culture revolution reached out locally so that the Far Northern regions of NSW have become known for their innovative and sustainable technologies, ideas and models of community living, and
 (h) the Aquarians and those who were inspired to the area have made diverse contributions including:
  (i) initiating ecological protection of old growth forests and North Coast biodiversity,
  (ii) developing alternative energy systems,
  (iii) establishing sustainable food production practices and promoting healthy lifestyles,
  (iv) promoting innovative architecture in intentional communities,
  (v) encouraging cultural diversity including music, craft and arts,
  (vi) engaging in political activism, and the production of community media including newspapers and radio,
  (vii) supporting alternative economic models, including Local Economic Trading Systems (LETS) and community markets.

2. That this House congratulates the Aquarians and those who have contributed to and maintained a unique and vibrant cultural community in northern NSW for the past 40 years.