New South Wales

Hostages to fortune – soldiers and civilians lost and forgotten in the fog of war

Rabaul and its strategic military importance

Rabaul, a town of striking beauty nestled on the north-eastern tip of New Britain in Papua New Guinea, boasts magnificent deep-water harbour encircled by a stunning volcanic flooded caldera three kilometres wide.  This natural fortification, combined with its strategic location, made Rabaul a coveted prize for colonial powers and, eventually, a significant battleground in the Pacific theatre of World War II.

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Can rangeland pastoralists survive by riding on the goat’s back? 

During our trip through western New South Wales in March 2022,  we saw significant numbers of feral goats. These goats were everywhere, spanning from Broken Hill east through Wilcannia and Cobar onto Nyngan, covering over 600 kilometres in mulga country.

We had an overnight stop on the Barrier Highway at the Meadow Glen Rest Area, about 60 kilometres west of Cobar.

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A sleepy coastal town comes alive during wartime

Gold fossickers were the first settlers to the Evans Head area on the far north coast of New South Wales. Not finding gold, they turned to oyster farming and prawning, with Evans Head becoming Australia’s first commercial prawn port.

In 1919, an Italian immigrant, John Rosolen, built the first General Store.

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The best Hollywood script ever – the brumby cull in New South Wales

Any Hollywood film producer needing a blockbuster script should look no further than New South Wales and the aerial culling of brumbies. It is a highly polarised issue and has been for many years. After all, the concern about culling brumbies is not matched by concerns to kill other feral animals or pests, such as deer, pigs, rabbits, foxes and cats.

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Timber’s role in the rise of Australian butter 

While researching for my three-part series on the truth behind the rainforest wars in New South Wales (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3), there was a constant theme in the historical account of utilising one species of rainforest timber. While the cutting of hoop pine (Araucaria cunninghamii) was undoubtedly very extensive in New South Wales, the scale of utilisation in Queensland was even more significant, and one of its primary uses was for butter boxes.

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The 6th Mass Extinction Crisis – speculation without substance?

Unfortunately, conjecture based on limited facts has produced “research” trumpeting catastrophic fears of extinction”. Jim Steele

Introduction

Our planet now faces a global extinction crisis never witnessed by humankind. Scientists predict that more than 1 million species are on track for extinction in the coming decades”.

As the world commemorates another Endangered Species Day, you will undoubtedly read or hear claims like the above.

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Special ANZAC stories

I have decided to write this blog to commemorate and remember the men from settlements in and around Surrey Hills who fought in wars.

In Chapter 10 of my book, “Fires, Farms and Forests”, I outlined some of the war service by men from Guildford Junction. This blog goes into more detail and includes stories about men from Parrawe and Bulgobac.

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The fruit and salad bowl of Queensland

Introduction

If you have driven around the patchwork of fertile red volcanic soils east of Bundaberg, you would have noticed several paddocks of fruit and vegetable crops, in addition to the vast cane fields. Bundaberg is best known for its sugar cane and rum. However, these days, the region is a true fruit and salad bowl area feeding the nation.

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Will the dominos fall across the country after Victoria and Western Australia ended the harvesting of native forests?

It seems that the people who came up with the plan to return all Western Australia’s and Victoria’s public land to a cycle of lockup and incinerate wilderness management know as much about forest management and timber supply timelines as an average kindergarten pupil. – Quote from South East Timber Association

When I started as a young forester in the late 1980s, I yearned for the opportunity to work in our native forests.

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The humble clothes peg

Ever since humans have worn garments, they have had to wash them. Where to put the garments to dry has a fascinating history. We always think that pegs hung them. However, clothes pegs only have a relatively recent past. Before the nineteenth century, laundry was hung on bushes, limbs or lines without fasteners to hold the clothes in place. … Read more