Ian Brown

Pagodas

  • Ian Brown| Pagodas

This image shows unprotected sandstone pagoda terrain adjacent to Gardens of Stone National Park.

The skyline follows the Great Dividing Range around the head of Baal Bone Creek, which flows to the Turon River, then the Macquarie River and ultimately the Darling River. The basin of Baal Bone Creek and the range to the right is within Ben Bullen State Forest. Beyond the range to the left lies Gardens of Stone National Park and the Capertee Valley.

The valley of Baal Bone Creek is subject to a coal mining lease, and was to be included in an extension of the underground Baal Bone colliery. The proposed long-wall undermining would have threatened the intricate pagodas, cliffs and other rock formations with cracking, subsidence and rock collapse - as has occurred throughout the existing mining area.

I took this image to be used in a campaign against the mine extension. It was made in the soft, warm glow from the post-sunset evening sky. The mining company has now decided it will not extend the mine into this area, because the coal seam is too thin and uneconomic. Conservationists are urging that this area should now be added to Gardens of Stone National Park.