As I drove over a hill just outside Muswellbrook, I was treated to this panoramic view of the new hillscape. Highlit by the late sun, the man-made range was shown in its full brown beauty.
It isn’t brown because it’s Autumn: it’s that colour all year round, with shades of grey, depending on where the dumps have come from in that huge hole nearby that is the Bengalla coalmine.
The only change is that unlike real hills—the green sort—Hunter Valley hills keep getting bigger and more numerous. And this is despite constant loss as the winds carry the dust over the skies of the Valley—turning them brown too.
To quote from a recent industry expo supplement: ‘Open cut coal mining occupies much of the open space between Singleton and Muswellbrook.’
And they were boasting, not apologising.