A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, C/- Ingersoll Hall, 256 Crown St. Sydney
No 191, OCTOBER, 1950. Price 6d.
|Editor: Alex Colley, 55 Kirribilli Av., Milsons Point. Tel. XA1255.||Reporters: Jim Brown, Kath McKay.|
|Production and Business Manager: Brian Harvey||Sales and Subs.: Shirley Evans, Production Asst. Bill Gillam Typed by Jean Harvey.|
|Editorial - Some Advice for the Advisers||1|
|At the September Meeting||3|
Some Advice for the Advisers.
On the 19th to the 21st of this month the Annual Conference of the Forestry Advisory Council takes place. The delegetes will represent a variety of interests - sawmillers, government Departments, conservation bodies, interested individuals and many others. As bushwalkers we may regret that, like Mr. Lindsay's duck conservationists who conserve as to have more to kill, many of the delegates want to grow more trees so as to have more to cut down. But we must face the facts, which are that the population is growing faster than over before, and that there is an unprecedented shortage in building materials. As the shortage of timber intensifies all the straight trees will be cub down wherever gelignite and bulldozers can provide access, which means almost everywhere outside flora reserves.
The main objective of our delegates nevertheless remains as clear now as ever. It is to preserve as much as possible of the timber in scenic and recreational areas. The greater becomes the shortage of millable timber the greater will become the demand for access to the protected areas. As bushwalkers therefore, our conservation objectives will come much nearer to realisation as the growing of timber in state forests and on private lands is increased. We have plenty of opportunities to see for ourselves what foresters have for long been saying, that timber is being cut at a rate far exceeding its rate of regrowth. Nor do we need to be told that bushfires reduce the rate of growth of most of our forests to a fraction of their potential. The sooner the output of managed forests outside scenic areas is increased the better for our cause.
There will probably be plenty of delegates to advocate bigger and better commercial forests, and many to urge extended forest services. There are some too who would like “selective” cutting in protected areas - for instance in the Mark Morton Primitive reserve. But it is pretty certain that none can or will present the case for the preservation of recreational bushlands more keenly than our awn delegates. It is to be hoped they have an opportunity of pointing out just what is happening to so much of the timber in scenic areas on the outskirts of our big cities - e g. at Otford, the top of the Macquarie Pass, the Barren Lands, the northern part of the Blue Labyrinth, etc. The stands of timber which are being destroyed in these near city areas could have been enjoyed by a big percentage of the two million people in the nearby central coastal regions.
Perhaps too our delegates may draw attention to the wider implications of proper forestry practice. The floods we have experienced, for instance, are largely the result of overcutting of timber. Run off is increased, streams are silted, and flood level made higher by the removal of timber on the uplands. Until great areas of the exposed uplands are reforested flood levels will continue to rise. It is no “act of God” that floods have been worst in our chief timber producing region - the North Coast - but a direct result of soil denudation.
With so many important things to talk about we hope that the Federation delegates don't have to waste too much time on that fatuous slogan of the Pitt Street conservationist “that two trees should be planted for every one cut dawn. We hope that having done their duty to the Federation they will go on to point out that the planting of a tree is waste of time unless it is followed by years of care, forest management and fire control. Most of our native trees will propagate themselves if given a chance. It is what happens afterwards that matters.
About 55 members present for the Half-Yearly General Meeting applauded the admission of Pat Sullivan to membership, and then settled down to hear the reading from the ancient scroll of the previous “Half-Yearly” minutes. Memories of walkers must be long, for there was no difficulty in securing their confirmation, although Dormie did enquire if the reports of the Bushcraft “investigation” had ever been published in the magazine as suggested a year ago. The Editor said No.
Correspondence contained advice of the forthcoming annual conference of the Forestry Advisory Council, and as well as electing Dorothy Lawry and Mrs. H. Stoddart as Club representatives, two motions were defined for presentation: (1) That the Minister for Lands be requested to keep the Era lands in their natural state, except for the planting of additional trees, and (2) That an assurance be sought from the Minister for Lands that the Mark Morton Primitive Reserve would be retained in a primitive condition.
Bill Hall's resignation as Federation Delegate was received with regret, and Kath Brown elected in succession.
Paul Barnes presented the case for an Information Bureau - the suggestion of the Rover Ramblers through Federation. He explained that at the present state it was desirable to keep the procedure of the Information Bureau as simple as possible, and requested that members making trips through little-known country give a brief report on the journey to one of the Federation Delegates for filing by the Bureau. The meeting adopted in principle the policy of submitting such reports.
With only miscellaneous items to handle, the tone of the meeting grew rather frivolous: a further plea for suggestions in lieu of the Kiddies' Treat was greeted with a recommendation that it be held on the June holiday week-end. Owing perhaps to the dearth of brand new male members, two older hands, Kevin Ardill and Jack Perry succeeded to the billets of Room Stewards.
The subject of the Swimming Carnival was brought up. It should appear on the summer programme, but when? Alex Colley said February was one of the consistently wet months, and moved that it be set down for November. Bob Chapman protested that many students were swotting diligently for examinations then, and Roy Bruggy agreed to the extent that there were unpleasantly cool spells during November. Kath Brown remarked that the November walks programme appeared to be very complete, but she seemed to recall seeing a gap in January.
Too many people on their annual holidays in January, said Bob Chapman. Roley Cotter thought the event should be late in summer to allow the keen swimmers to get into condition, while wet week-ends in February couldn't go on indefinitely.
Wal Roots produced his June holiday week-end again, but lacked support.
Dormie moved an amendment to the effect that the swimming carnival be held on the week-end after Australia Day, that is, the first week- end in February. Asst. Walks Secretary Roy Bruggy inspected the draft walks programme, and concluded that the event could be inserted some time in February by dint of altering a few trips, so Dormie accepted a variation to his amendment to make the occasion “in February” and the amendment and motion were then carried.
The meeting closed at 9.05 pm with the constitution again untouched, and the temper of the members most equable
For less than 1 pound a week young overseas visitors to the Festival next year will be able to camp on a special site at Chigwell in Essex about 13 miles from London and with easy access by road and rail to the capital. Arrangements are being made for 40 acres of a 170 acre site to be set aside for campers. (From U.K. Information Service.)
By Brian Harvey.
DOCUMENTARY FILM Officials from the Department of the Interior made their selection at Council Meeting of those walkers who will appear in the documentary film depicting bushwalking activities. The film is mainly for overseas distribution, and Tasmania, South Australia and Victoria have already completed their contributions to the celluloid. Our show covers a trip to Kanangra over Clear Hill.
BUSHWALKERS' BALL The Social Committee has to decide between alternative offers and we hope for definite arrangements next meeting. Federation hopes to combine social activity with financial uplift.
Y.H.A. CANOE SECTION has withdrawn its application for affiliation.
BUNGONIA GORGE We learn that quarrying of limestone is permitted by Mines Department to within 15 chains of cliff faces, but spoil is being tipped into the creeks. The scar on the landscape can be seen from the Lookdown.
S. & R. PRACTICE was attended by about 40 members, considered a disappointing turn-up. Roley Cotter's first-aid talk was very much appreciated.
FEDERATION ANNUAL CONFERENCE Has any member any views on this conference being revived? It gives the opportunity to non-delegates to voice their grouches and ideas (if any) and have a pick generally, and perhaps suggest something provided somebody else does the work.
On the afternoon of Six Hour Day Mr. Arthur Pikett, a Faulconbridge builder, was sitting on his front verandah convalescing from injuries suffered in a recent road accident. He was watching the trains on the railway line about 300 yards away when, to his horror, a train stopped in front of him and portions of his motor truck dropped from the front of the engine. Nobody was hurt, but it happened to be the time when some 40 club members were returning from the long week-end. Trains were banked up at most of the mountain stations. The procedure was for a train to pull into a station and wait for some 20 minutes while the passengers - mere pawns of the Department of Railways - sat waiting events with no more idea of when they would move than the sheep in the trains up line.
In the 4.40 from Katoomba sat Roley Cotter, who had just made the last carriage after a fast dash up Katoomba Street. As the train was too crowded for pacing the corridors, and there were no cage pets to bite, Roley could do little beyond gnaw the woodwork. In the 5.13 from Katoomba sat Bill Cosgrove, a little restless at the delay, but nevertheless happy because he had bought a first class ticket and was getting his money's worth. In the same train was Jim Brown, calculating in minutes the delay in the movement of occasional up- bound trains and working out the location of signalling sections in relation to the movements of the 5.13. With him was the Editor, who was contemplating the appropriate time to head for the surrounding scrub and p itch his tent for the night. The six recently married home-builders had, fortunately, got back so early that they were no doubt, by this time, already on the job in Sydney.
By about 8.30 p m., however, the remains of Mr. Pickett's truck had been disentangled from the undercarriage of the engine and the procession of trains moved on.
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