Month: January 2023

A public spat

In Chapter 6 of my book “Fires, Farms and Forests”, I alluded to the acrimonious relationship between James Norton Smith, the Chief Agent for the Van Diemen’s Land Company (VDL Co.) and William Ritchie, the Chairman of the Mount Bischoff Tin Mining Company (MBTM Co.). In early 1881, the animosity spread to a public spat, …

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A case study in folly #2 – the 2003 Canberra firestorm

“But there is a sad symbolism in the tragedy of the burning bush capital, for Canberra was not merely sited in the political middle ground between Sydney and Melbourne but in an environmental middle ground between two Australia’s: that of the bush and that of the metropolis. When slammed together, the matter and anti-matter of …

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