Jerilderie residents have dusted off the ghost of the region's most notorious visitor with a stunt to show irigators are under siege from government and ‘city slickers’.
While Alan Jones is involved in the project, the dusty ghost in question is in-fact that of Ned Kelly.
With this year being the 140th anniversary of the famous Ned Kelly hold-up, residents and community leaders of Jerilderie and members of the Speak Up Campaign have signed a 2019 version of the Jerilderie Letter written by Kelly while in the town in 1879.
The new letter is wrapped in canvas and a large amount of revisionism, and since being signed it has been delivered to Alan Jones at his own hold-up in Sydney.
With Kelly's original 1879 letter being lauded as an early treatise for Australian republicanism the original text was aimed at the petty bureaucracy and corruption behind the then Victorian Police Force.
Before he was given the death sentence by hanging, Kelly claimed the force dealt a number of justices against his family.
The new 2019 letter however is less explicit in who it's pointing-the-finger at.
The letter suggests the irrigators of Jerilderie are under siege from a vague collection of bureaucrats and politicians benefiting off the Murrary Darling Basin plan.
As well as a 'social, political and scientific elite', who are apparently using Jerilderie farms and the environment as pawns in some undisclosed ‘ideological battle’.
Among those attending the 2019 singing was Murrumbidgee Council mayor Ruth McRae, as well as Murray Regional Strategy Group chairman Alan Mathers and Speak Up chairman Shelley Scoullar.
“We are a collection of farmers, small business people and First Australians resurrecting the spirit of the Jerilderie Letter written 140 years ago," the 2019 letter said.
"Our predominantly family-run farms fall within what has become known as the Murray Darling Basin, today our families live in the shadow of a (Basin) Plan."
''Even the most powerful will say that no one is happy with the Plan that by any fairness test, has failed our rural communities and that isn’t that the truth.
''It’s not a crime to be a farmer who underpins the livelihood of major regional cities and towns that depend on agriculture fed by rivers and lakes," the letter said.
While the letter didn't make any explicit requests or call-out any specific government officials or politicians the letter did ask whether a number of things were unreasonable.
Among the questions asked was whether or not it is ‘unreasonable’ for those who signed the letter to want the to challenge the Murray Darling Basin Plan.
The letter also asked weather it was unreasonable that participants should want to take their families to visit our major cities where they can ‘hold our heads high among urban and metropolitan peers.’
While Kelly was barred from entering Australia's cities by bands of armed police who wanted him dead, the nature of the barrier preventing Jerilderie’s modern day residents from enjoying a sightseeing trip to Sydney or Melbourne was not made clear by the new letter.
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