Western Australia

Ignoring the legacy of active management to create a “wilderness”

Introduction The south-west forests of Western Australia have a rich history in timber utilisation, being one of the longest traditional industries in the state. Several timber towns that housed the timber workers and their families were established in the Darling Range close to the newly constructed Perth-Bunbury-Bridgetown railway line to utilise the timber from the …

Ignoring the legacy of active management to create a “wilderness” Read More »

Stopping the grey invasion

“The only fence in the world that cuts a continent into two mighty paddocks”. Ernestine Hill Towards the end of the nineteenth century, rabbits began eating their way towards Western Australia. They were known as a serious threat to the environment and ruined profitable farming land in the eastern states. They were difficult to control …

Stopping the grey invasion Read More »

The McGowan logic – sustainable native forest logging is not acceptable for the environment, but the widespread clearing of jarrah for bauxite is

Introduction In September 2021, the Premier of Western Australia, Mark McGowan, made a shock announcement that all native forest logging would cease in 2024, at the end of the current 10-year Forest Management Plan. The decision was made without consultation with the timber industry, public, or government agencies. The reasons for the decision were to save …

The McGowan logic – sustainable native forest logging is not acceptable for the environment, but the widespread clearing of jarrah for bauxite is Read More »

Who was Jack Rate?

While I stayed at Walpole, I read about a local forester named John “Jack” Henry Rate. Jack was the first forester in the area and has a tree, lookout, road and a forest block named after him. I had never heard of him before, and I thought he should be more widely known with that …

Who was Jack Rate? Read More »

The atomic age arrives in a cloud of dust at a sleepy coastal town

“That lethal cloud rising above Montebello marks the achievement in science and industry in the development of atomic power. [For] good or evil, for peace or war, for progress or destruction. The answer doesn’t lie with Britain alone, but we may have a greater voice in this great decision if we have the strength to …

The atomic age arrives in a cloud of dust at a sleepy coastal town Read More »

Who are the real forest saviours in Western Australia?

“Surely there can be no greater cathedral as forests such as those of the karri.” Vincent Serventy  “If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools” Rudyard Kipling The “defenders of the South West forests” are celebrating the recent announcement by the Western Australian Premier …

Who are the real forest saviours in Western Australia? Read More »

Cattle kings – the rise and fall of pastoralism in the East Kimberley region

“The East Kimberley is the land of blacks, Sacks [another prolific local clan thought to be Irish] and bloody Duracks“. Anon “If one were to paint this country in its true colours, I doubt it would be believed. It would be said at least that the artist exaggerated greatly, for never have I seen such …

Cattle kings – the rise and fall of pastoralism in the East Kimberley region Read More »

Cabins in the sky

Introduction Early in my forestry career, I recall reading the fantastic story about building fire towers on top of karri trees in Western Australia. I got to see and climb one of them around the turn of last century when I had a brief visit to the south-west forests. I am in awe of the …

Cabins in the sky Read More »

Ships of the desert

“I don’t like them [camels]…but from my point of view I reckon they were the best animals that ever looked through a collar”. Camaleer ‘Stockwhip Jim’ Clarke Australia’s outback covers more than six million square kilometres or almost twice the size of India. As the coastal areas were first settled in Australia, questions remained about …

Ships of the desert Read More »