Published with permission
ALAN JONES: We are continuing to keep tabs on the proposed South Coast charcoal plant. But you might remember a couple of months ago I spoke to a young fellow called Brett Mason, he’s 17. He faced the wroth of the State Government after reporting for his local newspaper, the Eurobodalla Sun that the Premier had said the plant would go ahead before any official decision or investigation had been taken. And then the Premier subsequently denied it making this young man look a liar which he’s not.
He’s just been named the New South Wales and ACT Freemason’s Young Achiever of the Year, very popular down this part of the world, this is an outstanding young 17-year-old. Good morning.
BRETT MASON: Hi Alan, how are you going?
ALAN JONES: I’m very well, congratulations.
BRETT MASON: Thanks very much.
ALAN JONES: You’re a gutsy young man. Well you took on the government and they called you a liar.
BRETT MASON: They did indeed.
ALAN JONES: But you’ve been proven right.
BRETT MASON: I have.
ALAN JONES: My word you have and we’re going to be looking at that issue in a couple of days time. You’re a South Coast resident, what level of feeling is there down there about the charcoal plant?
BRETT MASON: It’s increasingly becoming more and more of an issue and is dividing our community which is really sad. And I just think it’s a very sad thing because it’s always been such a tight knit place down here on the South Coast and it’s dividing the community and it’s a most horrible feeling.
ALAN JONES: Well we’ll continue to look at it, don’t you worry. But you’re a year 12 student at Bateman’s Bay High.
BRETT MASON: That’s right.
ALAN JONES: And you’re hoping for a career in journalism.
BRETT MASON: I am.
ALAN JONES: We might have to give you a job here.
BRETT MASON: That would be very good, I’m accepting any offers.
ALAN JONES: But you were a regional winner in the Freemason’s Young Achiever Awards and that was for your outstanding contribution and service to the local community.
BRETT MASON: That’s right.
ALAN JONES: Well now you’re the New South Wales and ACT winner as well, so someone likes you out there.
BRETT MASON: They do.
ALAN JONES: And we should give a wrap to your mum.
BRETT MASON: I did, I dedicated the award to her.
ALAN JONES: She’s raised you on her own since you were two-and-a-half.
BRETT MASON: She has, she’s been fantastic.
ALAN JONES: Well, you have been too in this big community issue down there about the charcoal plant and you’ve played a very significant role. Congratulations, Brett.
BRETT MASON: Thank you very much.
ALAN JONES: Love to talk to you. Nice young fellow and he’s a cadet journalist, he’s gone out of his school, reported that the plant was to go ahead. Mr Carr denied that. We’ll be looking at that issue later. Brett Mason.