Friday, 23 September 2011

Propaganda Push

The pox is spreading - mining in the Southwest

Yesterday’s local paper weighed a ton. The poor old newsagent who lobs them into our front yard daily must be suffering a bad case of RSI.

They’re heavy because of the weight of propaganda they carry.

 It must be costing a great deal of money to produce the glossy overkill that’s flooding our newspapers. Big mining is obviously taking a PR pounding given the rise of the Lock the Gate and other movements in this part of the world.
Glossy poster

I’m not personally affiliated with any pro or anti mining movements, but I travel and work extensively in the areas affected, and I’ve seen so far, nothing but distress and damage caused by this exploitation.

Nor have I met anyone whose son or daughter has been employed in the industry. Those employed don’t come from around here. They’re mostly what the locals call blowflies, who fly in and out and have no stake, emotional or financial, in the communities in which the exploration and extraction is happening.

As my father used to say - "In front of the Almighty Dollar every knee shall bend". The combination of quick profits to the miners and royalties to cash-strapped state governments is irresistible. The locals are forgotten in the stampede. 

It’s going to take a lot more than an expensive publicity campaign to get these people onside.
They're bringing out the violins

The violin player on the cover is somehow appropriate.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Smoke - No Mirrors

Forming up - James St Information Centre

The Darling Downs Chapter of the MX5 club disappeared into smoke yesterday.
We were heading off to Queen Mary Falls in one of the most pervasive smoke hazes I've seen since living in Toowoomba.
Hume St Southbound

Heading out, the amount of activity surrounding the Carnival of Flowers was evident, but the spectacle was diminished somewhat by the haze.
Through the smoke darkly

The effect on the New England was ethereal.

Tucker time

We paused for Morning tea at Yangan.
Breeze proof shelter

The shelter shed was obviously a modified off-the-shelf garage, cunningly designed to maximise any heat build-up whilst at the same time screening out any cooling breezes.

Summer has arrived without any reference to Spring, or even a “Gidday” as it whizzed past.

Green grass - brown sky

The scenery became hazily bucolic as we punched South, following the track of the old railway line, the last remnants of which closed in the 1960s.

MX5 road

Once we’d left the New England, the roads became more MX5 friendly, with great sweeping bends.

Upward and into the haze

The mountains loomed ahead through the haze, and soon we were climbing. The country, where you could see it, looked great, but there’s plenty of fuel and fires are obviously going to be an issue.

Mazdas on the edge

Our next stop rejoiced in the name of Dagg’s Falls. Harry knows how it got its name – you’ll have to ask him.

Dagg's Falls

These are the falls.
MX5 drivers

These are some of the people looking at the falls. MX5 drivers smile a lot.
Deep in the forest something stirred

We plunged into the mountain (but stayed on the road whilst doing this plunging).
Lean green hungry country

After lunch at Queen Mary’s Falls, we went for a stroll, and came across some interesting scrub, with the stream flowing through it, and the falls themselves.
Queen Mary Falls

Despite the summery day, it was spring, and the flowers were out.
Bush blossoms

Further along the track was a day lily.

It waited for us

It had obviously decided to pick that time and place to appear, just for us.

A Pinch of Common Sense

Courtesy I found this posted in Facebook a few weeks ago, when the faux outrage about mandated vaccination first began to ...