Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Mining and Australias Natural Beauty

I was talking to my good mate Garry (with two "R"s) at work today and subject turned to one of my favourite places in the world - the Bunya Mountains.  Seriously, if you haven't been to the Bunyas you need to go.  My favourite place there is easily the Dandabah Picnic Area and Camping Ground, with its cute little corner store, museum, resturant, lolly shop and easy access to most of the walking tracks through the beautiful rainforest.  It's like something out of a Final Fantasy game (VIII and/or IX if you want to be specific).

Surrounding the Bunyas is gorgeous, scenic countryside, dotted with trees, homesteads, hills...it's an amazing trip.  Except for one thing - mining.

If you go the back way out of Oakey past the Army Base and towards Maclagan and Quinalow, it's a much easier and more enjoyable drive if you can just ignore the whooping big eyesore that is the Acland Coal Mine.  If you go via the dreadful Warrego Highway, you get to go through the very interesting Jondaryan - with whooping big hills of coal piled up ready to be shipped back through Oakey.  UGH!

Now don't get me wrong, I understand that mining creates jobs and brings money into a community.  But imagine you're walking home from work one day, and as you walk under the bridge a great big coal train barrels past, spewing dust from its uncovered load of coal (I bet that's doing everyones lungs wonders).  Imagine you're a farmer, fighting with these mining companies to keep land that's more than likely been in your family for generations, and that you've worked so hard to maintain.  Imagine you're the cops, arresting a miner who's gotten pissed with his huge wage and started a fight with the locals.  Mining could be a great thing for the small town of Oakey and its surrounds, but the mining companies aren't doing their bit.  The roads that their miners use to get to work are still rubbish, they refuse for some stupid reason to cover their loads (how hard would it be to throw a tarp or something over it?!) and they leave horrid eyesores all over the once magnificent countryside.  I'm sorry, but I can't support mining in the Darling Downs.

In other news, once-Lion now demon Mitch Clark has announced his retirement.  I really feel for the bloke and his issues with injury and mental illness.  Hopefully he can get himself back on his feet and start to enjoy life again.  Puts this mornings scare into perspective a bit.

If you want to visit the Bunya Mountains, information can be found here and here.  Please don't be put off by the mines, the fact is once you get past them then it's a gorgeous drive, plus towns like the aforementioned Maclagan and Quinalow are interesting stops too.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kerryn (with two "r's"), nice article, it was an interesting conversation, Thanks for the links to the Bunya Mountains information. We are looking forward to exploring the region now.