Home is where the dirt is


Flying back we passed over the Hunter. I knew the scars of the giant opencut mines were visible from space, and I’d seen aerial pics, but nothing prepared me for their scale and quantity in such close proximity, compared to any other manmade marks on the landscape over the whole trip from Cairns.

Chains of gaping holes and dust mountains. No wonder the air over Singleton and Muswellbrook is one of the worst concentrations of fine dust particulates in Australia, with 50,000 tonnes a year, compared to Scone, where, with no mines, it’s less than 1 tonne a year.

Mr Sartor’s approval of the 2000-hectare Anvil Hill opencut will ensure it is the absolute worst.


The Hunter is choking on coal. That’s why the air there is brownish grey and that’s why this pollution layer marks our entry into Hunter skies.

And now he wants the Mudgee area to go the way of the Hunter. To add to the sufferings of the people near Ulan and Wollar with their existing mines, he’s approved Moolarben, insanely close to the Goulburn River: two open cuts and a long-wall, using over 6 million litres of water a day to wash the coal.

But hey, who needs water — or rivers? Or fresh air?

1 thought on “Home is where the dirt is”

  1. I have been wondering where the coal ships will be parked now that our coal customers don’t want the stuff anymore. Apparently they just anchor up and down the coast until the spot price is right and then make a bolt for the loader. It’s not as though they can afford to sail(?) away empty. Stockton Beach could look interesting in the future! Pasha Bulker be damned.

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