Blue Mountains boy Leo Williams, 7, was invited to NSW Parliament after raising money from a lemonade stand to protect the sandstone pagodas of the Gardens of Stone near Lithgow.
Just over a month ago there was an article in the Sydney Morning Herald about The Lost City which discussed the devastating impact of mining in this fragile and visually impressive landscape and introduced four NSW MPs who were supportive of efforts to prevent mining expansion and further damage.
"My husband and I read this article to my then six year old son, Leo and he showed great interest in it. So we made a spontaneous decision to go on a family outing to The Lost City that day," Leo's mother, Belle Campbell said.
"Leo was really taken with the landscape and in disbelief that mining could destroy it. He came home and drew a picture of The Lost City and asked if he could set up a lemonade stall to raise money to 'save it'."
Two weeks later his family set him up on their residential street with a jug of homemade lemonade, some mint tea, and some cooking apples a neighbour donated to the cause. His friend and neighbour Penny, and his sister Nahla, helped to make signs and joined him out on the street. They sat out there for six hours and made $141.50.
"I want to save the lost city and because lots of people like lemonade and mint tea. We read a story about the boy who did a lemonade stand to save the spirit bears in Canada and I thought I could do that to save the Lost City," Leo said.
The story he is referring to is 'A Voice for The Spirit Bears' about Simon Jackson, Leo's mum explained.
"Yes I am happy [that I made people aware of the issue] and I want to make more people know about it so they can know that it's worth protecting," Leo said.
"As I wasn't exactly sure of who to donate the money to, I contacted the four NSW MPs from the SMH article and asked if they had a suggestion," Ms Campbell said.
"Justin Field MP was so moved by Leo's story and the efforts of all three kids that he invited them to the NSW Parliament to witness him put this cause on the parliamentary record.
"The support and encouragement from Justin Field and from Lithgow locals who care about this landscape has been overwhelming. Leo is so chuffed and is even more enthusiastic about doing something to save it."
Leo said that visiting parliament was "extremely great".
"I second that, it was an incredibly memorable experience, partly because of the kindness, encouragement and enthusiasm we were met with by Justin Field and the other MPs, but also because it's quite amazing to witness a 7 year old set up a humble lemonade stand and end up in parliament using their voice for change," Ms Campbell said.
Leo and his family met with Justin Field MP and had a quick chat with him in his office. They then went to the Planning Minister Robert Stokes' office for a meeting with him and his policy advisor.
Leo talked about his visit to The Lost City and Marrangaroo, and about how much he enjoyed visiting these places.
"Leo had drawn pictures of The Lost City - one as it is now, and one that he imagined it might look like if mining expansions go ahead. Minister Stokes said his pictures were very compelling was very warm and receptive in hearing Leo's concerns," Ms Campbell said.
The family then had lunch with Justin Field MP, Rose Jackson MP, Jo Haylen MP, and Catherine Cusack MP, all of them had visited The Lost City and according to Ms Campbell were really grateful for Leo's impetus in taking action and praised all the kids for their efforts.
According to Ms Campbell during lunch Leo took an interest in Catherine Cusack's scallops and she ended up sharing one with him, which he enjoyed.
After a short break after lunch, they were invited into the chamber of the Legislative Council.
"The President introduced us to the chamber and then Justin Field gave a beautiful speech, in which he thanked Leo for sending him the letter and initiating the lemonade stand," Ms Campbell said.
Mr Fields read Leo's letter to him out loud during his speech in the chamber to show the other members the impact he had.
"He thanked all the kids involved Leo Williams, sister Nahla Campbell, and friend Penny Easton for their efforts and he talked to the chamber about the damage to swamps from previous mining, which he had seen during his visit to the area, and explained the need to protect The Lost City and surrounds."
Leo said he really enjoyed visiting parliament and had a wonderful experience.
"He particularly enjoyed meeting Justin, who was very welcoming and encouraging of Leo's efforts. In fact, all the MPs were very encouraging, including many sitting in the chamber who made their support known when Justin gave his speech," Ms Campbell said.
"His other highlight was hearing Justin's speech, which focused on the importance of protecting The Lost City and Gardens of Stone and the remaining swamps that have not yet been damaged by mining, and acknowledging the efforts of these kids."
Ms Campbell said that their family didn't know that such a "stunning" landscape existed just an hour away from where they live.
"The Lost City deserves to be protected because of its beautifulness," Leo said.
Leo's sister Nahla agrees.
"If we save the lost city, that's a good job," she said.
Ms Campbell said it was a shock to read about how it could be devastated from mining expansion.
"After visiting The Lost City and Marrangaroo we thought it was such a lost opportunity given the tourist numbers that come to visit the Blue Mountains, there's no reason Lithgow couldn't tap into the tourist economy with such a spectacular and unique landscape at its doorstep."
Leo and his friends will be setting up another lemonade stall at the next Magpie Markets held at Lawson Public School on Sunday June 20.
The money they raise will go to the Gardens of Stone Alliance.
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