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Sunday, 22 October


Kuark forest old growth about to be logged News - Goongerah Environment Centre

FRCF022280_copy_2.jpgVicForests will target some of the most spectacular old growth forest remaining in Victoria this spring.

A road has been pushed into the forest and logging could commence any day.

The forest has never been logged and is part of one of the most significant remaining stands of old growth forest left in Victoria.


Missing bushwalker found safe near Baw Baw National Park network

A bushwalker who did not return to their north east Baw Baw campsite yesterday has been found safe.


Tasmania + summer = water adventures Mountain Journal

I prefer my water frozen. But rivers are still pretty cool and as spring and summer comes into focus, so does water related adventure.

And Tasmania has it all: tarns, huge lakes and dams, impressive rivers, incredible coastal inlets and harbors like Port Davey on the west coast.

Heres a few obvious thoughts about the options on offer if youre looking for an adventure:

Paddling Lake St Clair. Heres some notes on one of the great feshwater adventures in Australia, paddling around Lake St Clair / Leeawuleena in central Tasmania. You can combine this with some fantastic walking and climbing side trips. Its a flatwater paddle, suitable for rigid canoes like a Canadian, but winds can cause considerable wave activity so you need to know what youre doing.

Paddling the Franklin (of course). There are various guiding companies (such as Tasmania Adventure Holidays) that offer trips. Personally Id just do some research, get some rafts, and go with some buddies. Ive done the trip a couple of times and can attest to the wonder and adventure of (not really knowing) whats coming up next (although there are some potentially deadly rapids so you at least need the river guide notes so you can plan for those bits).

A new area of adventure is canyoning around the northern end of the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair national park. Cradle Mountain Canyons runs day trips.

Sea kayaking on Bathurst and Davey Harbour on the west coast. There are a number of tour operators that run trips, such as Roaring 40s.  Another option is sea kayaking around the freshwater Lake Gordon.

Tasmania has seemingly endless glacial lakes and tarns. One of my absolute favourites would be Lake Rhona in the Denison Range. A dark, deep lake with a brilliant white sand beach that sits under an impressive rocky mountain called Reeds Peak. Its a minimum of a 2 day walk, but Id recommend you take longer and enjoy the alpine terrain on the Denison Range. And the Central Plateau supposedly has around 4,000 natural lakes (I havent counted them). There are various ways you can traverse the fabulous lake country, my favourite is from Lake Mackenzie to the Walls of Jerusalem (some notes here). Take your time and camp by some of these amazing lakes.

Whatever you do, you just cant go wrong in Tasmania.



Community Renewable Energy Meeting in Bairnsdale Gippsland News & Views Peter Gardner

The second meeting to discuss various community renewable energy proposals for the East Gippsland Shires Bright Futures program was held in Bairnsdale on Tuesday night (17.10). Co-ordinator Martin Richardson gave a summary of the work done so far. He emphasised that they were concentrating on projects that were feasible and could be implemented at short notice. This excluded most large-scale projects that required substantial organisation and planning such as wind farms. This narrowed the options down to rooftop solar.

The results of the Bright Futures renewable energy survey were summarised. It was pointed out that the survey was biased in favour solar with about half the 250 odd respondents having rooftop solar on their residences. Even so 88% want the shire to turn to renewable energy and 76% support the region moving to renewables. Martin also reported that Shire councillors were enthusiastic about the progress so far.

Consultant Rob Passey presented a more technical report outlining a range of choices within the solar strategy.  These included solar panel bulk buys to bring down the price of panels, assistance to low income earners to overcome the high capital cost of installation (a targeted form of loan being gradually implemented across the state), and importantly, helping businesses struggling with large power bills.

Using donations to finance solar arrays on community and private buildings was also considered, as was the option for locals to invest in local renewable projects. In the case of the latter Rob thought the Repower Shoalhaven model the best to adopt. He also emphasised the need to adopt projects that can be implemented quickly with a strong effect on local employment. He preferred projects of a small scale as the best means of reducing greenhouse gases, and mentioned the whole shire could retain up to $11 million with widespread adoption of renewable energy.

I support the adoption of the Repower Shoalhaven model or something similar as a financial means of dramatically boosting the adoption of solar energy. The ingredients are all here: an aging population most likely to have savings which are generally earning a very low rate of return, a community that is generally enthusiastic towards renewable energy, high power prices, and a demand for rooftop solar by individuals and businesses that is restricted by lack of finances.

What is needed is...

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Saturday, 21 October


What stories do you want Mountain Journal to cover? Mountain Journal

Wow. Another winter done. Which means I have to post some stuff thats not just about snow. Ive been getting quite a lot of emails lately from people with suggestions about topics to cover on Mountain Journal, which is great. Id always welcome people writing pieces, as there are only so many hours in the day and lots of good and significant things go un-reported simply because of time constraints. Please feel free to send stories.

But these emails have got me thinking about the overall balance of topics covered in MJ. You feedback (via email or the poll below would be most welcome.

PS: if youre interested in whats popular, I do an annual summary of most visited stories here. The overall most popular stories are: the sidecountry guide to the Mt Hotham area, the backcountry film festival and (interestingly) the trail notes to the Ducane traverse in central west Tasmania.



A Few Recent Out and Abouts Gouldiae's Blog

Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Warneet.
Spider-orchid, Morwell
Great Egret, Tooradin.

Friday, 20 October

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