A chance encounter with Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi has inspired a Bunding man to pen new lyrics about proposed 500kV powerlines over his farm.
A demo and video of what’s been dubbed ‘Change Paradise’ is now going viral – with 15,000 hits in two days.
Gerald ‘Arch’ Conroy wrote the new words to the 1970 tune – and 10 days later he was sent a recording by singer and former Greendale local Rebecca McDonald-Peel.
“I heard the song by Joni Mitchell on the radio,” he said.
“I was sitting at home and it didn’t take long to find the lyrics.”
Mr Conroy is part of a group fighting a proposed 190km powerline from Sydenham to Bulgana which developers Ausnet Services and Mondo say will have pylons up to 80m high.
“I’m really happy with the response to the song,” Mr Conroy said.
“We didn’t really know how to do it. I know it’s a catchy tune.
“We just asked for photos from people who live along the proposed route of ‘their own little piece of paradise’ and we got sent hundreds.
“(Myrniong teenager) Annabel Muir put together the video.”
Arch is concerned about the future of Wedge-Tailed Eagles that nest on his property – and said he already had another song up his sleeve.
“The next one will be from a different perspective – focusing on the eagles. Rebecca is working on the singing already.”
The Bunding farmer said he believed the powerline fight had bought the community together.
“I just don’t know where all the spare time came from, but this is something that has just got to be done.
“We have some good people with us and we just have to keep pressing ahead.
“When we comment on the Environmental Effects Statement, that’s when the work will really start.
“We have to stick together. If you are opposed to these powerlines, make sure you make contact with Ausnet and your local members of Parliament.
“Don’t leave it to someone else – and don’t leave it till tomorrow.”
** The Moorabool and Central Highlands Power Alliance has also set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for their campaign.
** Farmers have also donated lamb, which is being sold in 30kg lots in return for a $400 donation.
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