Category Archives: News

Great lockdown reading 1: Castlemaine in the ‘golden’ age

Looking for something to sharpen up a dull day? Try Marjorie Theobald’s recently released The accidental town: Castlemaine 1851-61. The business of this book is to show how a town and a community emerged from the mad scramble for gold … Continue reading

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Great lockdown reading 2: the dark side of the golden age

The accidental town doesn’t deal directly with the environmental consequences of the gold rush, but the context of environmental destruction is made clear, and the consequences soberly summed up in a sentence like this: ‘The Pennyweight Flat cemetery is a … Continue reading

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Great lockdown reading 3: Castlemaine’s first environmental conflict

One of the heroes in Marjorie Theobald’s narrative is Gold Commissioner Captain John Bull. The author builds on her previous research on one of the problems he faced: ‘As concern for the environment as we understand it today did not … Continue reading

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Oceans of blossom, thousands of questions

The photo below shows fields of Woolly Wattle south of the Wewak Track, east of Porcupine Ridge. The wattle is interesting (and beautiful, of course) for the fact that its blossom can vary from pale yellow to dense lemon colour, … Continue reading

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New find in Muckleford Forest!

A small population of a daisy-bush never found in Mount Alexander Shire before (as far as we know) has been discovered in bushland to the north of Newstead. Found growing under Grey Box and Yellow Gum trees, the erect daisy-bush … Continue reading

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FOBIF goes around, again

FOBIF has made a submission to the inquiry by the Inspector General for Emergency Management [IGEM] into the 2019-20 Victorian fire season. The inquiry is broad, ranging over topics like education, operational responses, evacuation planning, the use of the Australian … Continue reading

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Engaged, again…enraged, again?

Engage Victoria is running another community survey, this time on Loddon Mallee biodiversity. As we’ve suggested before, these ‘public engagement’ exercises can be seen either as praiseworthy efforts to get the public onside, or time wasting exercises whose only result … Continue reading

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Mushroom identfication workshops now online

Although the world is in lockdown, the fungi are running riot out there in the forest! The recent rains could mean we are in for a bumper fungus season. Why do fungi matter in our forests and gardens. What makes … Continue reading

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The collapse of civilisation–a progress report

Signs: what do they mean? And, especially, what does it mean that a lot of the signs around our parks are pretty decrepit? We posed this question a couple of years ago when we published this photo of a sign … Continue reading

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When the storm passes, what?

There’s increasing discussion about how Australia is going to recover from the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 attack. In this context we think it’s worth thinking about a proposal submitted to the Prime Minister by the Australian Conservation Foundation, … Continue reading

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