Environment

I love rocks. I can admire the grandeur of large scale features like this Natural Arch on the Headland Walk at Crowdy Bay National Park, but it’s the close-up details that attract me most. That small group of rocks was closest to my camp. It is amazingly varied, as I’ll show you. They are sharp […]

The coal train rumbled past behind Tarwyn Park, as it often does on its route to and from Newcastle’s coal port and the Western Coalfields, where the Ulan, Moolarben and Wilpinjong mines are busy trashing other valleys, other villages. But on this last day of July 2016, it seemed an unwarranted rubbing in of salt […]

A few months ago, some necessary clearing of shrub weeds like lantana was undertaken along the fence line. A few weeks ago, the burning of the large pile of rubbish from that clearing was finally possible. What it revealed was a Satin Bower-bird’s ‘bower’ — the grass U-shaped ‘avenue’ surrounded by a mat of grass and […]

The NSW Gloucester Valley is stunningly beautiful. As I drove there on Saturday, I thought yet again how crazy it was to consider a gas field and a coal mine here. Tourism is what Gloucester is about, for itself and as the gateway to Barrington Tops. Industrialisation and the attendant pollution is the last thing […]

The Nature Conservation Council of NSW (NCC) recently held its annual conference. This growing umbrella association is the key voice for nature in NSW, and now has over 120 member groups and about 60,000 supporters, including individuals like myself. One of the things they do at the conference is announce and give out awards to […]

Can we send the coal industry in the Hunter to the sin bin and make them stay there until they learn how to behave better? This is Singleton, centre of the coal boom/blight in the Upper Hunter, where residents have just received their 100th air pollution alert.  The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage issues warnings […]

Taree is on the Manning River, downstream from Gloucester. Taree doesn’t have CSG or coal, but Gloucester has. In a sane world the beautiful and bountiful Vale of Gloucester would not be even contemplated for these industries, but it has two coalmines, expanding, and a third, the Rocky Hill mine, proposed but being vigorously opposed, […]

On Saturday 8th June, 2BOB radio on the NSW mid-north coast is having its annual Envirofair in Taree Park, from 9.30 to 3.30.  Taree is on the mighty Manning River. Manning Valley Community Radio Station 2BOB 104.7 FM  They’ve been holding these family-day fairs for 22 years, with the simple aim of ‘raising awareness about […]

Photo: Australian Conservation Foundation Last July I attended the Beyond Coal Conference at Louisa Creek near Mackay — see my post on it from that time. Louisa Creek has been, is being devastated by the nearby coal ports of Hay Point and Dalrymple Bay and now they want to put a third coal port there […]

Victoria used to be all about brown coal, but only in the Latrobe, and only for the adjacent power stations. The whole world knew about dirty old Hazelwood, but all their brown coal power stations create 33% more C02 than black coal. We also heard a fair bit about its wind power, and how the […]

Recently I made my first visit to the Woko National Park near Gloucester, New South Wales. I was tagging along with the Upper Hunter branch of the National Parks Association, which I’ve joined. The camp site was perfect, flat and grassy and right beside the clear and fast flowing headwaters of the Manning River. You […]

This piece was probably one of my first non-fiction articles. Sadly, it remains as true now as when I wrote it, despite our knowledge of the pollutants in those coal power station emissions. Seeing is believing, right? As old-fashioned sceptics used to point out, however neat a theory might be, it was still debatable, whereas […]

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