Travels to the west

September 2012

I'm back in the fold after an absence of 8 months, 4 of which were spent travelling through Western Australia and Northern Territory. The remainder of the time was based at Port Lincoln.

I have many observations and thoughts about WA and NT but as I need some time to collect these together, I'll leave them for a future time. However, here are a few observations that I'll be exploring that we here in South Australia can learn from;

  • the immense native woodlands that cover large parts of WA
  • the large-scale tree planting that emerged in the 1990's and into the 2000's in the south-west agricultural region, many of them Tasmanian Bluegum (Eucalyptus Globulus) 
  • these plantations have stretched way out into the lower rainfall farmlands and appear not to have succeeded and from what we saw are now derelict
  • unfettered access to beaches by motor vehicles, the impacts of which are very damaging
  • incredible number of mining holes in the landscape in the goldfields region that extends from Kalgoorlie northward for 300 km
  • how mining throughout WA is such an integral - not always for the better - part of the landscape 
  • the activism of community groups seeking sustainable systems
  • the massive industrialisation along the Pilbara coastline, culminating in the proposed gas hub at James Price Point
  • the amazing gorges of the Pilbara and Kimberley

Whilst house-sitting at Point Boston (23 km north of Port Lincoln) during August, the super-trawler "Margiris" docked at Port Lincoln. I watched it as it crawled its way along the shipping channel guided by a pilot boat. It's a big ship. Controversy surrounded this vessel immediately it landed in Australian waters. And so, not knowing anything about these ships and their activities, I've decided to find out what I can and piece together another story. 

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