Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Gardens of Stone Rally

Yesterday, 120 people from numerous environmental and heritage groups assembled at a remote location on Gardiners Gap Fire Trail, in the Blue Mountains, to declare that the Gardens of Stone deserve to be protected from coal Mining.

The main organisations represented in this rally included the Nature Conservation Council, the Blue Mountains Conservation Society, the Colong Foundation for Wilderness, Rivers SOS, and The Wilderness Society,. 
There were many members of other groups also present, including the National Parks Association (NSW) Australian Water Campaigners, The National Trust of Australia (NSW), and the Australian Plants Society (NSW) Several members of the Southern Highlands Photographic Society came along for the opportunity to support this event, as well as to photograph the unique landscape.

We were there to draw attention to this unique piece of landscape and national heritage. We can but hope that the Rally might help provoke Government into acting to protect the Gardens of Stone from Coal Mining.

A set of natural Stone Pagodas in the Gardens of Stone

Some of the supporters of the Gardens of Stone

Pepe Clark of NCC, Justin, Cate Faehrmann MLC, Prof. Brian Marshall

Keith Muir of Colong Foundation, holding the far end of the banner at the Gardens of Stone Rally

Prof. Brian Marshall (right), of BMCS, one of the main groups campaigning for Gardens of Stone

Cameras galore record the Gardens of Stone Rally
Colliery visible below the Gardens of Stone

"Invincible" Colliery is creating an unconscionable blight on the landscape
Ecopella is a dedicated band of singers who, under the leadership of Miguel Heatwole, perform for environmental groups, or at special events such as the Gardens of Stone Rally. Their theme is "Save-the-World Music".

Not sure of non-FB people can visit the gallery or not.

Crowd listening to ECOPELLA singing on a "Stone Pagoda"

ECOPELLA singing for Gardens of Stone

National Trust members 'Showing the Flag" for Gardens of Stone
Photo of me by Toni Valentine (she was standing behind Cate F.)
Photo of me (in foreground) - by Caroline Graham

A lone photographer had ventured onto the next outcropping Stone Pagoda

If anyone knows who the mystery photographer is, please contact me.


Flabmeister said...

Well done. The last photo of unknown protester reminds me of scenes from Clint Eastwood Westerns, with the stranger coming into town to save the folks from the baddies!


Terry said...

Our support for your efforts to save this beautiful area. We were blown away by its uniqueness (such a word?) when we visited a few years ago. Such an amazing area so close to Sydney and virtually unknown. Let's hope our Govt sees sense and protects it from coal mining. Terry and Brian Hardwick, Gloucester, NSW.

natasha said...

Beautiful Denis! and great turn out - all freezing?

Jan Davis said...

Amazing photos, amazing place, must be protected!

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Martin, Terry and Brian, Natasha and Jan for your comments.
There have been many comments from other people omn Facebook too.

Mac_fromAustralia said...

What an amazing looking place. How have I never heard of it? They couldn't seriously think about mining could they???

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Mac.
Lithgow is an old Industrial town, they make their money from Coal (now) - previously metal foundries, etc.
If it was a "Tourist Destination" they would have ahugely different appreciation of the area.
As it was, we had some "interesting discussions" with the Motel owner where our party stayed. Totally pro-coal. Amazing.
But yes, the threat is real.

Flabmeister said...


I am writing this from a position of extreme ignorance so please excuse me if I have got things wrong.

I have always thought of Lithgow as a very historic town with a industrial base related to precision metalwork (small arms etc). I'd have thought it bog easy to make it a tourist destination from that basis, let alone with the benefit of great natural beauty as you have shown.

It is hard to fathom the locals' desire for it to be known as a naff mining town.

It sort of reminds me of Queenstown in Tasmania where the destruction of the vegetation by industrial fumes was seen as somehow unique. The legend there was that if vegetation regrew they chopped it down!


Denis Wilson said...

Hi Martin
There is potential for Lithgow to promote its once great Industrial Heritage, plus the zig-zag railway line which terminates there.
But these days it is dominated by huge power plants (just out of town) which are definitely not "romantic".
It is a strange, cold, miserable community, from my impressions (not hostile impressions, just the "vibe" I pick up, or fail to pick up.
They did have an event called "Iron Fest" which was well attended, but I didn't get there - as we were going out Bush. Perhaps my opinion would have been different if I had attended. But I could not be on two places at once.
I do know they ought put their local water supply in a museum rather than drink it. It stinks of sulphur, and has been measured with near toxic levels of lead and other heavy metals. Council puts this down to their manufacturing background.

Paola said...

Hi all
I can only nod to all those comment with a heavy heart, understanding of 'the nature of men'. The beauty of nature, our own health... I have been looking for what can deter people from making more and more elusive money and can't find it and the story of Lithgow can be repeated all over again around Australia, that's why the gvt won't change its policies. Too few of us and too many of them, yet the battle must continue as it will be impossible for us to just watch in silence.
From Paola Cassoni at the Bimblebox Nature Refuge

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Paola for those heartfelt comments.
People may see more of Paola's struggle to protect the environment by visiting her blog site for the Bimblebox Nature Reserve
They had a conservation agreement with the Qld Government, and studies done by the Federal Environment Dept, which all resulted in ZERO protection form the coal miners.
Regards to you Paola and the gang at Bimblebox.

Denis Wilson said...

Obviously a typo slipped through:
"ZERO protection FROMthe coal miners.