Sunday, June 01, 2008

Catchments to Coast - Triabunna

Pelican is heading for home. The East Coast of Tassie pictured above is now slipping under the horizon behind us as we motor sail across Bass Strait. We were escorted by dolphins as we sailed into Banks Strait towards Tasmania and this morning were shadowed into the vast sea paddock between Tasmania and the mainland by a big pod of squeaking, whistling Bottle-Nosed Dolphins.

Our stay in Tasmania was all too brief, particularly as we have sailed all the way down here. We did two events, one from Swansea and one from the port town of Triabunna (Aboriginal word for Native Hen). Both towns are part of the East Coast catchment of Glemorgan Spring Bay.
And it is with the Natural Resource Managers of that particular council that we may be setting up a new Two Bays kind of project. Triabunna sits in a wonderful deep harbour and we thouroughly enjoyed meeting the people from there and having a tiny bit of time to explore on land.
Below is a photo of a woodchip pile. This enterprise is situated just outside of Triabunna. Some people may be aware of the controversies surrounding the logging, woodchip, pulp mill industries in Tasmania. These industries are the mainstay of the economy and there has been a constant struggle between the green movement and the people who run and are employers in these industries. The Australian Greens party was formed in the 70s in response to the planned damming of Lake Peddar and the Franklin. A company called Gunns basically has the monopoly of the forestry industries and also many agricultural projects (wineries) and is a big player in Tasmania. In fact, the Premier of Tasmania, who resigned while we were there, left his position in the main due to his too obvious connection with these powerful industrialists.

For me the highlight was meetinig a local artist, Vita, pictured below with one of our crew, Julia and Aurora.
She is nearly 92 and going strong, painting very interesting abstracted landscapes with a joyous sense of colour. I hope to meet with her for longer if the planned project takes off in early 2009. She thought that our boat, Pelican, was the most beautiful boat she had ever seen. And she added that she hasd seen plenty of boats in her lifetime. We think so too!!


scout said...

dang, 'i'd sure love to go on the pelican!!!!!!

all this crazy logging here there and everywhere. keep it selective while concentrating on alternative building methods and materials. also, the scraps and chips and all the green waste from farming , people's gardens etc. can go into wood pellet manufacturing.

once a pellet mill is set up and operational it can generate it's own electricity in a zero emmission pellet ideal simple, so sustainable.

austin said...

Well scout, all you gotto to do is come to Oz. Cos I would arrange a sail, no worries.

Thanks for the info on wood pellets and will look into that idea. Sounds like a better idea than the pulp mill which is planned for the Tamar Valley in Tasmania.

Hope that all is well with you.

Ms Melancholy said...

Hey Austin,

I've just spent a very enjoyable hour catching up on your blog. I love the way your projects engage on so many levels - personal, social, cultural, political, and ultimately global. What makes your blog so readable, though, is your personal investment in your work and the sheer pleasure you take in what you do. It's very inspiring.

Lovely photos, as always. I couldn't but notice how much Aurora has grown!

Best wishes,

Ms M x

austin said...

Thanks Ms M, I am glad that my ramblings are enjoyable.

Sometimes I feel a very lucky woman to be involved in the work we do, or to be more accurate, to create the work we do. The inspiration and pleasure we feel is fed by the feeling we are creating something worthwhile and which seems to fulfill a need!

Mind you we need those highs to battle for funds, work with bureaucracies and keep our own momentum going.

Aurora is getting so tall now and I have no doubt that in a very short (tall!) time she will be gazing down on me.

All Best,