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Federal Senator and Greens Party leader Richard Di Natale has given himself an early mark from the upper house today, in a rush to get back to his laptop and book tickets to Burning Man 2017.
“I missed out in 2016 but I go most years” he told our reporters on his way back through Parliament House.
Burning Man is an annual gathering that takes place at Black Rock City—a temporary commune erected in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. The event is described as an experiment in community and art, influenced by 10 main principles, including “radical” inclusion, self-reliance and self-expression, as well as community cooperation, civic responsibility, gifting, decommodification, participation, immediacy and leaving no trace.
Senator Di Natale claims he has been to around eight Burning Man festivals, and says he uses it as a chance to reconnect with the initial, pre-political template of human interaction and civilisation.
“Have you gone before?” he asks
“No” responds our cadet journalist, Stacey from Cunnamulla.
“Oh. You’ve got to go” he says
“It’s really something else. Sculptures flood the dusty expanse, creating an eerie, post-apocalyptic atmosphere that is rife with excitement and uninhibited exploration. Giants transient temples hosting hordes of festival-goers as they embrace the almost ritual celebrations.”
“It really helped me to unwind when I was a GP and after two years in the Senate, I feel like I need it more than ever”
This kind of counter-cultural activity isn’t new for Greens leader, last month it was confirmed that Senator Di Natale had managed to squeeze in one more ‘Bush Doof’ before returning to the Federal upper house.
The Senator said he felt “refreshed, enlightened and full of positive energy” after the three day rave sabbatical in rural Victoria.
“As a doctor, I am very aware of the correlation between lifestyle and mind. But people often forget that spirituality plays a role there as well”
“That’s why I leave my crystals out whenever I can”