March 23, 2016
by Bronwyn Marquardt
A growing number of local “nannas” are angry and they’re not going to take it anymore!
The grandmothers, mothers and businesswomen have formed a local chapter of the protest movement, the Knitting Nannas.
Rosemary Pratt, founder of the Kingaroy Knitting Nannas, said the group had been set up to protest developments which they believed would harm the community’s health and quality of life.
The local group has the proposed Moreton Resources’ coal mine project in their sights.
“We value our healthy lifestyle, our rural surroundings, our clean air, and our neighbours,” Rosemary said.
“The vast majority of people in the South Burnett do not want this mine, and the Knitting Nannas are making sure that the community’s voice is being heard.
“We’re not just doing it for our generation but for future generations. We want to keep our land and water for the kiddies.”
The retired teacher came up with the idea after seeing a Facebook post about the mine.
Someone had commented: “Where are the Kingaroy Knitting Nannas?”
“I hadn’t heard of them before but I looked them up and saw what they did and thought: ‘I could do that’,” Rosemary said.
With the help of other local women, a Facebook page and dedicated email address was set up, and a regular “knit-in” organised to coincide with the Thursday markets in O’Neill Square, Kingaroy.
The Nannas also attend public events organised by Moreton Resources, and have already knitted at meetings at Blackbutt and Wondai.
“We don’t cause trouble,” Rosemary said.
“We just go along, do our knitting and silently protest.”
The group has grown from about three to eight knitters but they want more.
“You don’t have to be a nanna, you don’t have to knit, you just have to not want a coal mine in Kingaroy,” member Cassie McMahon said.
“Even grandfathers and grandchildren can come along. We can make people honorary Nannas. Everyone is welcome.”
Wool and needles have been donated, and knitters are asked to wear something yellow and black if they have it (the colours of the Lock The Gate signs).
Rosemary admitted she had knitted her last jumper in the late 1960s.
“I’ve had to brush up on my knitting for the cause,” she said.
For more information, visit the Knitting Nannas’ Facebook page or simply turn up between 11:00am and 2:00pm at O’Neill Square on Thursdays.