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The Peace (and Wars) of Christmas

The Peace (and Wars) of Christmas

Well, Christmas is nearly here again and it’s that time when families get together in (for the most part) peace and harmony. Of course it’s never quite that simple. It always starts out pretty well. The rellies drive or fly in, or come over from next suburb. And at first it’s perfect. After all, we love these guys and we might not have seen them for ages. They grew up with us and have been by our side from day dot. We’ve laughed together, cried together and shared life’s most of the important moments together.

But after a few days, little cracks start to emerge. Different members of the family have different expectations about who’s at whose house on which day; what we’re going to eat; or do; or watch on TV. We’re often living at close quarters – in each other’s’ pockets you might say, and we start to notice each other’s habits a bit more. (Did Uncle Fred really just double dip in the French Onion?!)

Anyway, for the most part we manage our way through it with our family intact. And one of the reasons we survive is that we go out of our way to see the goodness in each other. We bring a lot of good will to the table – genuine concern for the well-being of the others in our family and a willingness to find a way through our differences.

I wish that such wisdom could prevail in other areas of life. When I look at the energy debate in Australia at the moment for example, I see people with strong views and agendas, often unable or unwilling to see different points of view. Some argue we should only develop renewable energy. Others believe that such an approach will make it impossible to maintain the reliable and affordable energy we need to maintain our quality of life. In reality, most of us know that there is no simple answer and it is going to take a lot of good will, thoughtfulness and patience to find our way through.

That’s one of the reasons that QER’s 2019 plan includes a program of pilot work to investigate the potential for integrating renewable energy into our process. It’s not a simple path, but we know it’s what the community expects and that we can’t just ignore those expectations.

I’ll talk more about how those trials go throughout next year. In the meantime, from all of us at QER, I want to thank my team and all those in Gladstone and beyond who have supported us this year. I wish you all and your families a happy (and of course peaceful) festive season.