Wednesday 16th October was pretty windy and smoky; not as much as the following day, when bushfires ran wild and caused so much damage.
I was driving back from Armidale for the Global Mail Coal Wars forum that night in Singleton. If you missed it, you can now watch it online here.
I knew one of the main topics of concern would be the high levels of fine particulate matter in the Hunter’s air — and it was, with Dr John Drinan of the Singleon Healthy Environment Group speaking about that on the panel.
Another topic would be the plight of villages in the path of coal’s apparent runaway expansion.
I’d spotted bushfire smoke over the hills to the west of Muswellbrook, and as I drove through what was once (pre-coal expansion) the village of Ravensworth, I saw what looked at first sight like a big cloud of darkish smoke. Fire?
Nope. I’d forgotten I was back in Coal Country. Just another blast from the mine. The wind gave it good travelling speed as it headed south towards Singleton.
Merely one of the reasons the Hunter has such clean country air.