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Shoalwater: Up For Grabs (1992)


The documentary follows rock musician and president of the Australian Conservation Foundation Peter Garrett to Shoalwater Bay on the central Queensland Coast after permits have been issued by the Government to sand mine parts of the area. Garrett visits the area with a journalist, environmentalists and army personnel, and talks to locals and experts about the need to conserve the area. The documentary supports Garrett’s argument that the area should be left untouched.

Curator’s notes

The documentary is an interesting timepiece given the developments in attitudes to the environment since the film was made in 1992. The presenter, the then Midnight Oil band member, Peter Garrett, has since become a member of parliament. Bradbury has been a friend of Peter Garrett since university.

After completing a degree in history and politics Bradbury worked as a journalist at the ABC then in the US. He was the 2005 recipient of the Chauvel Award, for a career of activist filmmaking, and his credits include Fond Memories of Cuba, Wamsley’s War, Jabiluka, Loggerheads, The Battle for Byron, The Last Whale, Nazi Supergrass and State of Shock.

Shoalwater: Up for Grabs was aired nationally on the Seven Network and was instrumental in stopping sandmining going ahead in the Shoalwater area and the then Prime Minister, Paul Keating, moved to protect the area.