Mining in the Bylong Valley

by Hamish Andrews

This short video was put together as a school project by Peter Andrews’ 11 year old grandson, Hamish. It speaks simply and directly about the prospect of Hamish’s home, Tarwyn Park – and the 30 years of work that it represents – being lost forever for the sake of a coal mine. Hamish wrote the script himself, and took many of the photos.

Tarwyn Park is located near Bylong in the Upper Hunter Valley region of NSW, Australia. It is renowned nationally (and internationally) as the home of Peter Andrews’ “Natural Sequence Farming” approach to the restoration of detiorated landscapes and replenishment of natural water systems.

To quote prominent Australian businessman, Gerry Harvey: “The place should be a bloody shrine, not a hole in the ground. What the hell are they thinking?”

A very big thank you to John Butler Trio and Phil Stevens at Jarrah Records for their permission for Hamish to use JBT’s “Better Than” as the soundtrack, and to make this video available to the general public on Youtube.

What the hell are they thinking?

“Harvey Norman goes to bat for Bylong”

Mudgee Guardian. By Don Mahoney, 26 Nov, 2010

Harvey Norman executive chairman Gerry Harvey has spoken out against the proposed coal mining of the Bylong Valley.

Mr Harvey said proposals to mine the valley, including to Peter Andrew’s “Tarwyn Park”, home of Natural Sequence Farming, were “sheer lunacy”.

“Tarwyn Park is a living case study of how we can get it right when it comes to water use and sustainable agriculture. The place should be a bloody shrine, not a hole in the ground,” Mr Harvey said.

“The irony – and stupidity – of possibly losing a place like Tarwyn Park to mining is simply breathtaking. What the hell are they thinking?”

“Tarwyn Park” is regarded as a leading example of how degraded landscapes can be restored and natural water systems replenished.

If the coal mine goes ahead, the results of Mr Andrew’s revolutionary farming practices may be lost as the property lies wholly within the boundaries of the current exploration area.

… read the article

Tarwyn Park to Become a Coal Mine?

The Sydney Morning Herald (25/11/10), Melbourne Age (27/11/10), WAtoday (24/11/10)  published this article by Ben Cubby, Environment Editor:

“Hunter stud owner shuts the gate to stop mining companies bolting across his land”

Is this Hunter Valley coal mine the future for Tarwyn Park? photo courtesy of Australian Longwall magazine and CSIRO

Peter Andrew’s Tarwyn Park neighbour, Craig Shaw, contacted TarwynPark.com.

“Just wanted to make sure you were aware of this article from today’s Sydney Morning Herald about the threat to Tarwyn Park from mining. It’s got a couple of great quotes in it from Gerry Harvey. I’m sure you’d agree: seeing Tarwyn potentially become a mine is soul-destroying and simply beggars belief.”

“I just wanted to clarify something, however.”

“I was with Stuart when he took the call from the Herald’s reporter and nothing was said that should have given that impression; sometimes I guess reporters don’t quite get it right. What WAS said was that negotiations regarding drilling were proceeding and that no access agreements had been signed at this stage, and signing wouldn’t happen until there was some reassurance regarding the potential impacts.”

(The article states… “But Mr Andrews has barred his gates to Anglo American Coal workers seeking to drill bores on the property to locate and measure the coal seams beneath it, and neighbouring landholders have followed suit

And yes, Craig I absolutely agree with you, it more than beggars belief.

Australia has so little quality farmland and to consider it should be desecrated for coal mining, a product that maybe one of the worst energy producing contributors to “Green House Effect” is sheer lunacy. It is beyond absurd that Tarwyn Park  should be be underthreat.

To The Korea Electric Power Corporation  and Australian miner Cockatoo Coal; back off, get your grubby mitts of Tarwyn Park.

Prevent Tarwyn Park &  Bylong becoming a coal mine.  Contact: Bylong Valley Protection Alliance