“Big Silver Towers” - The Anti-Ausnet Song
WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT?
Close to our home in country Victoria, in the beautiful countryside close to the major tourist destination of Daylesford, there is a proposal to run 80 meter high powerlines across the landscape and build a 50 acre electrical terminal station on prime agricultural land. The proposed line will run, and the terminal station will be situated, less than a kilometer from our own front door and both will be visible from our sitting room and kitchen. Many other local people are much worse effected than us. We are all in favour of wind and solar power, but there has to be a 'greener' alternative to getting that power to the cities than by decimating the countryside. And tell all your friends who live in the countryside in the arc around Melbourne, this is just the first such battle: in a decade, the countryside around the city will be filled with these tower lines and terminal stations if our battle, the first one, is lost in the courts.
How do ordinary people like us take on international conglomerates and government?
To sign up to register your support, or make a contribution to the campaign, visit
As local Newlyn farmer and our neighour, David Jolliffe says, in true poetic style:
"The Jolliffes of Newlyn need to be able
To farm and enjoy without towers or cables,
So please make the choice that is sensible and sound:
And bury those cables down under the ground"
(David knows why Ausnet don't want to : decimating the landscape with above ground towers is cheaper, hence Ausnet's profits would be greater.)
Here's a picture of David, on the right, as the extended family was assembling for their part in the protest video.
You'll see the Jolliffes and many other local people in this video, making their feelings felt.
The sound recording was made in Newlyn, in our barn, in June, 2021, and the video was edited from our ham-fisted, hand-held, mobile phone footage, by Terry Hope, local film-maker. We will be eternally grateful to him for making a silk purse out of the proverbial sow's ear.
The song was (re-)written and arranged by Neil Adam, with help from Gus Rigby.
With apologies, love and thanks to Joni Mitchell, for her song 'Big Yellow Taxi', the first and only (?) environmental song to get in the Top 20 in every English-speaking country - Number 6 in Australia in 1970
Lead vocals – Neil Adam| Holly Sewell| Jade Moran
Guitars – Neil Adam| Mouth harp – Andy Vogel
Bass – Gus Rigby | Percussion – Josh Barber | Trombone - Lucan Buckley
Cello - Nigel Smith| Violins - Andrew Lees and Judy Turner
Dancing – Natasha Middleton
Video editing – Terry Hope
Drone footage - Lindsay Cooke (Hepburn Lagoon, the start of the video) and Terry Hope (Newlyn Reservoir, the end)
With additional contributions from members of the Newlyn, Creswick, Kingston, and Mount Prospect communities:
The Sewell family; the Jolliffe family; the Lewis family; the Moran family; the Richardson family: the Bruechert family, and many, many more.
Thanks to Judy Turner for the camera work, the fiddle playing, and putting up with me, though not necessarily in that order.
Everyone involved in this community venture volunteered their time and energy.
JOIN THE CAMPAIGN – SIGN UP OR DONATE TODAY!
Macca played the song on AUSTRALIA ALL OVER and read out my email to him
The song only
LYRICS (again, with apologies to Joni Mitchell)
BIG SILVER TOWER
They want to pave paradise and put up a big power line
It’ll tear up the land, it’ll fill up the big blue sky
Don’t it always seem to go
We don’t know what we’ve got till it’s gone
Don’t pave paradise, don’t put up that big power line
The Ausnet towers will be 80 meters high,
You won’t see the hills, here where the eagles fly
They say the Terminal station will be 50 acres wide
That’s 12 MCGs, side by side
Hey Ausnet, all this wide world round
Lines like this are going down under the ground