The place is Hobart, Tasmania, and the year is 1998, a time of great political uncertainty. The state Liberal government has called an early election. Their hand has been forced by the Greens, who have lost faith in the parliament and finally joined Labor in opposition.
Woodchip quotas have increased and gay law reform is marooned in the upper house. Federally, the Coalition government has used their new `Put People First' policy to re-direct the Telstra sell-off funds away from the promised environmental program and towards new job creation schemes.
But where are the masses on the streets? The environment appears to have lost its popular support as the population becomes ever more absorbed in the coming Olympic spectacle. The future seems black for the Greens?
This is the fraught scenario in which tonight's action takes place. Dealing with the problems to come is a distinguished group of cultural gatekeepers.
Rodney Croome is editor of Archipelago magazine, a distinguished literary publication which has earned the respect of readers throughout Australia. Next we have Margaret Scott, chair of the magazine's editorial board and one of Tasmania's most prominent writers. Chief gatekeeper from the visual arts side of the fence is David Hansen, director of Gekko, Tasmania's much heralded new contemporary arts space. David is about to mount its opening exhibition by a local artist of much renown, Lindsay Broughton. Chair of the board at Gekko and legal adviser to the arts is Leigh Sealy. And finally, the public's right to know is protected by Annie Warburton, the sole remaining staff member of local ABC radio.
Dede Pol © 1996