Once the fog had lifted from the Latrobe Valley, the old Hazelwood Power Station near Morwell showed the true colour of its emissions — brown. Of course the real toxic output of such an outmoded technology — CO2 — is colourless, and all the more insidious for being invisible and thus unacted upon. Hazelwood produces […]

In Tasmania I learnt to expect plantations like these when I saw the word ‘forest’. I drove through miles of this to reach the Evercreech Forest Reserve, 52 hectares that wasn’t clearfelled. I reached the tree for which the Forest is famous. The White Gum, Eucalyptus viminalis, is thought to be 300 years old. I […]

Lately I went to look at the coal mining explosion in Queensland, to see for myself if it was as frighteningly out of control as that in NSW. It is. This grim industrial scene is on the coast just south of Mackay, Hay Point — not your typical tourist vision of sunny Queensland’s tropical waters. […]

Those of you who have read my first book, The Woman on the Mountain, will know I’m a vegetarian. That is just my personal choice: I don’t want to kill another creature, or cause any to be killed for me by others, therefore I won’t eat any. Nor have I, for 36 years now. Many […]

Recently I visited Lithgow, partly to see how the area just south of it compared to the Hunter Valley, since both are now threatened with a third power station, also likely to be coal-fired. At Wallerawang power station the village of the same name is extremely close by, as the church shows. I wonder if […]

In the Goulburn River National Park north of Mudgee, from The Drip picnic area, I recently took the easy 1.5km walk beside the river to the fabulous and deservedly famous Drip gorge formation. On the way, I passed moss-clumped cliffs, vertical gardens that looked like they ought to be lying flat. The sandy path led me under […]

When you finally settle on your piece of rural paradise, build your home with your own hands, landscape your gardens and get to know the wildlife neighbours– you expect to enjoy the peace and quiet for the rest of your lives, right? Wrong, if there’s coal in the area. North of Mudgee, NSW, I recently […]

Usually the parrots and I share the crop from my two large Nashi pear trees. I get hundreds of fruit from the lower branches and they take even more hundreds from the higher ones. Nashis ripen well off the tree so I can pick them when big enough, but not quite ripe, and layer them […]

Recently I attended a Rivers SOS conference at Booral near Gloucester. Rivers SOS is an alliance of 40 groups from all over NSW committed to protecting the integrity of river systems and water sources against the impacts of mining. The weekend was held at Country River Camp, an informal and natural grassy camping area right […]

In my book The Woman on the Mountain, I expressed my disbelief that the National Heritage listed wetlands of Lake Cowal — and all the waters downstream — had been put under great threat from Canadian giant Barrick Gold’s open-cut cyanide leach goldmining right next to it. The Wiradjuri people and their supporters have been […]

It is somehow worse to see an echidna roadkill than a wallaby. Not only because I see them less often, but because they are so unmistakably not dreaming but dead. I see wallabies dozing in all sorts of odd poses, but I have never seen a live echidna on its back. The spines are there […]

This may not sound like much action, but when there’s frost on the tents and no hot showers for six days (10-15 July) – it is suffering for the cause. Held in Newcastle, the world’s largest coal port, the national Climate Camp drew hundreds of committed environmental activists, mostly young, since it followed the Students […]

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