WWII

Converting the sandy wastelands

Esperance is a vibrant coastal town. It has a temperate climate and rainfall, which produces a reliable growing season of between five and eight months each year. Despite the favourable environment, Esperance had little permanent settlement before 1950. This was mainly due to soil deficiencies on the sandplains that surrounded the town. Immediately north of …

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Helms arboretum

There is an interesting 4,000-hectare forestry reserve located just outside Esperance called the Helms Forestry Reserve. It protects one of the largest areas of sandplain heath near Esperance, known as kwongan. It is dominated by banksias, hakeas, grevilleas and woollybush.  Within this reserve is an 800-hectare arboretum named in honour of Andy Helms, a well-respected …

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A tale of the Goldfields Woodlands where ideology triumphs professionalism, experience and history

“Think of forests of WA and you picture the green south-west; think of Kalgoorlie and you conjure thoughts of gold, not trees. But the green and gold are inseparable. The trees that kept the hearts of the mines pumping were cut from native woodlands miles from the goldfields and hauled along specially constructed bush railways”. Cliff Winfield …

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Even more war stories – how Australia came under attack from air raids during WWII

My previous war story blog provided details of the bombing of Darwin and the subsequent battles against the Japanese in the Coral Sea and Papua New Guinea. After the bombing of Darwin on 19 February 1942, the Japanese carried out further air-borne attacks across northern Australia. In total, between March 1942 and November 1943, the Japanese flew …

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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 …

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