Monday, April 30, 2012

Clearing the bush

Well, I expect things are a bit tidier now when tree felling in the bush happens. I saw quite a few tree felling sites when I was a kid as my father did some tree felling when things were quiet on the farm.

They were ugly ugly places. I did not pick it up at the time, but remembering now, they were bad. Apart from grand trees crashing to the ground, smashing other trees as they fell, and possibly destroying whatever was living in the tree, what was probably the worst, was the spillage of diesel. It went everywhere. Empty fuel drums would be left behind. The chainsaw needed an oil change? Tip the old oil out onto the ground.

If you repeat this through many forests, it is nasty stuff right through so much of our bushland. Yet, to visit the same places now, they would  probably look quite ok, revived and survived. Perhaps an environmentalist would disagree after some study, and they may well be correct, but the real issue is the lack of respect for nature. We did things like that because we could and we felt no responsibility to clean up after ourselves.  

It is not just in the bush where such things happened. When I was a child, people regularly threw rubbish on the ground, the difference being that much of what was rubbish then would quickly break down, unlike present day plastics. Do that now and you stand a chance of being fined. You will certainly get stared at.


  1. I take issue with you throwing your rubbish on the ground as a child. Your parents allowed this? I remember always taking any rubbish home, from anywhere, to put in our bin. My parents would have been horrified if I'd thrown so much as a lolly wrapper on the ground. My own children learned the same as did any child who came to play or sleepover. I agree that old oil dumped on the soil is a bad thing, but hopefully it doesn't still go on.

  2. River, I never threw rubbish on the ground, but many people did. My father used to throw beer cans out of the car into the bush (not so bad because they were tin and rusted away quite quickly, but beer bottles did not) and he used to dump rubbish at a tip in the bush, that was probably illegal dumping on government land, but everyone used the same place to dump rubbish.

  3. Hello Andrew:
    We are always very sad, and the case of Rain Forests exceedingly concerned, to see trees felled for whatever reason although do accept that at times it may be necessary.

    As for people 'littering up' the countryside, do not get us started!!

  4. As a tin lid I was taught to keep the streets clean by putting rubbish in the gutter. Ahem.

    The block where I built my country house had a gaping hole in it where a well was once sited. The elderly chap I bought it from always poured his sump oil down the hole after servicing his car/trucks. Dread to think what this did to the water table.

    One great puzzle is people who walk all the way to a rubbish bin, throw their rubbish, miss the bin, then walk off and leave the rubbish on the ground.

    Every time I drive down the Hume [and/or on some other well travelled roads] I know exactly which properties will look like dumps, littered with dead rain water tanks, tractor chassis etc. Sadly, some of the owners are relatives. [Distant, of course.]

    We need a deposit scheme for bottles and cans. The SA scheme must be more than 30 years old by now - have we done nothing because no one knew how to privatise it?

  5. JayLa, I expect littering is more of a problem in Hungary than Britain?

    FC, the sump oil would have preserved the house stumps very well. Yes, that is funny about rubbish bins. At least the intention is there. Clearly vested interests are not allowing the bottle and can return scheme happen here. Even Labor wouldn't do it.

  6. Dad felled trees as weekend work amongst others - and would proudly point at areas he had cleared in order to feed the family - but our garbage tin put out at the end of the week with 7 living in the house was one small tin bin... Contrast that to the huge bins we all put out these days with just ones and twos living in the too.
    I remember how we lived in the 60's mainly and we used everything - brown bags that we brought sugar and flour home in were reused as lunch bags over and over.

    We have to stop putting blame on farmers etc for the chemicals etc. Most farmers were told by graduates from Agriculture colleges that if they didn't use certain chemicals their milk/ meat/ crops would not be bought by the cooperative of same such. It wasn't the bureaucrats and scientists who first got sick - was the farmers and their families - most farming families I know today know much more about farming sustainably than those of us who get our meat from a shop all neatly wrapped up. Sometimes I have to hold my tongue when I am in a group of chatters who blame the working farmers for everything - yet create a huge problem with their own lifestyles that they never consider...

    as for littering - I have never seen so much litter here at Point Cook ever...Once it was free to go to the tip - Down here in the Wyndham area its $19 for a carload - at my old home it was $5 - so the councils have turned it into a moneymaking thing -

  7. MC, I remember my grandparent's rubbish bin. It was tiny. But we used to burn things too.

    I've heard figures of $30 for some 'transfer stations', that is tips.

    I don't blame farmers for much. It was a different time. What I do blame them for though is land erosion that was happening before their very eyes, and few did anything about it.