I have always wanted to visit these mountains. About 100 kilometres from Toowoomba, they are home to the world’s largest stand of the ancient and mighty Bunya Pines. Partly because I love mountains, and partly because everything about these trees is so impressive, from their football sized cones and seriously spiky leaves to the legendary feasts […]

I had to spend a week in the Toowoomba region lately, so I shared the time between two national parks. I wasn’t really sightseeing, as I had to work, but I prefer a bush setting for my solar powered camper/office.  Crows Nest National Park is about 50 km up the New England Highway from Toowoomba. […]

Last week I left my highlands to travel to the flatlands. The very, very flat lands. So flat they are grand, in scale and scope. I went at the invitation of the tireless Anne Kennedy of the Great Artesian Basin Group and the Coonamble Action Group and I went to talk at the Coonamble Show […]

I’m not a ‘good flyer’, but once the panic at takeoff subsides, I am always agog at the fantastic cloud landscapes we pass, like these escarpments and plains and scudding ‘sheep’. I’m glad to be home but the Tassie tour was well worthwhile. My ‘Rich Land, Wasteland’ talks to audiences in Cygnet, Hobart, Burnie and […]

Just before I left my mountain, this beautifully fat and glossy Red-bellied Black snake  came to say goodbye and bon voyage. By the time I get back from these Tassie talks, he could well be asleep in one of his many hidey holes. When I first got here it was warmer than my wardrobe planning […]

Mount Lindsay in the Tarkine — threatened by mining. Photo: Rob Blakers. On 27th March I’m flying to Hobart to begin a series of talks on the runaway resources boom, whatever that moneymaker might be: coal, gas, iron ore or…? Let’s dig it all up and see what we can get for it. Damage? What […]

I’ll be hitting the road again soon, still talking… writing Rich Land, Wasteland has made this a full time follow-on occupation! If the rains don’t intervene again, first I’ll be in beautiful—and wet—Dorrigo, so high up as to often be a cloudland. Then down to trendy and only slightly less wet Bellingen, at the feet […]

I’m back home after a week in North-West NSW. I was there for the NorthWest Alliance of community groups across the Walgett, Moree, Narrabri, Coonamble, Gunnedah, Coonabarabran, Quirindi and Tamworth shires — all very concerned about the expansion of extractive industries there, especially coal and coal seam gas. We were a trio at information forums […]

Here’s my schedule of talks for the rest of this month. PUBLIC MEETINGS: N-W Alliance NSW tour Health, Environment and Economy: What will coal seam gas and mining mean for our town? I am speaking on ‘Community impacts’, Mark Ogge from The Australia Institute will address ‘Mining risks to our economy’ and Dr Steve Robinson of […]

After almost two weeks away, I am greatly relieved to be back here on my mountain. Woodford was a visual and auditory overload, so back home I am appreciating small details once again, like the vines that wind their way up any handy prop. It is the silence I most appreciate, just a wind whisper […]

Between Lithgow and Mudgee in NSW lies the Capertee Valley, the widest canyon in the world. Part of it narrows spectacularly to the old shale oil town of Glen Davis. From 1938-1952, a shale mine, shale oil works (for gasoline) and a nearby purpose-built town of up to 1800 people occupied the valley. It’s hard […]

A little over a week ago I was home on the mountain watching the morning sunlight stream through my damp green forest, marvelling and grateful as always. I am now in so foreign a landscape as to seem like another planet. On Thursday night, after speaking in Barcaldine, I followed my hosts’ dust cloud through […]

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