Friday, 31 August 2007

Wrapping democracy in a 3m high fence

Dubbed "The Great Wall of Sydney", a 5 kilometre long fence is being built around parts of central Sydney in readiness for hosting leaders of 21 countries around the Pacific rim (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum: APEC) and 6000 assorted flunkies, hangers-on and groupies and a 1500 strong media pack.

The trouble is one leader, at record levels of unpopularity amongst his own people, is arriving with an entourage which includes 20 motorcade vehicles, back up decoy motorcade, sniffer dogs, secret service agents . . .This leader recently added $4 million to the tab for security by announcing he'd be arriving two days early (and leaving early- not staying for the main leaders' meeting).

Personally I think the fence is a great idea for containing the APECers and ensuring we citizens never have to encounter this most unwelcome visitor. An immigration detention centre (Baxter) in the middle of the desert would have been a more suitable venue.

Many Sydney people are, to put it mildly, pissed off. Apart from the fence there is an "exclusion zone", which includes the area around the Opera House and Botanic Gardens, and several streets. Roads will be blocked off at certain times. One-third of the NSW police force will be deployed. We have brand new water cannon, buses for holding demonstrator/prisoners, and they're clearing jails of weekend detainees to imprison demonstrators who step outside the strict rules.

All because of a leader who has "led" the "free world" into a mad war to protect "democracy". So our democratic freedoms are wrapped up in a 3m high fence.

Thursday, 30 August 2007

St Peters Anglican Church, Campbelltown

A closer view of the church in the background of yesterday's photo.

St Peter’s Church is the oldest building in Campbelltown and the third oldest Anglican Church in Australia. It opened for worship on 29th June, 1823.

It was designed and supervised by Frank Lawless, a foreman bricklayer. He seems to have copied the style of the great convict architect Francis Greenway. The style is Georgian (1702-1830)

The pendulum clock was made by Johnsons in London in 1838 (and certainly wasn't shoing the correct time! I was there about 2.30pm)

Wednesday, 29 August 2007


Campbelltown, now a suburb/district captured as part of greater Sydney, is 50 kms southwest of the city centre. The Tharawal Aboriginal people lived here for 40 000 people. In On 1 December 1820 Campbelltown was named and founded by Governor Lachlan Macquarie. His wife, Elizabeth's family name was Campbell.

In the decades following World War II Campbelltown gradually change from a town, surrounded by rural land to a suburb of Sydney, with the development of new suburbs along the rail line towards Campbelltown.

This sculpture in Mawson park is of Mrs Elizabeth Macquarie. It was unveiled on 5 August 2006. The sculptor is renowned artist Tom Bass.

Bass’s statue depicts Elizabeth Macquarie with a sunbonnet, apron and watering can, and surrounded by a bed of irises. Bass gained inspiration for the statue from local historical reports, which said Mrs Macquarie was known to have given bunches of irises to local settlers when accompanying her husband on his official visits. I'm glad I was there today in Iris blooming season!

The Anglican church in the background, St Peters, dates from 1823.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Lunar eclipse

8:07 pm

8:46 pm

These photos are a bit lame, cos I don't have the right equipment. But I wanted to record the fact that tonight we witnessed a total eclipse of the moon.

Oh well, maybe watch Bonnie Tyler and a Total Eclipse of the Heart instead?

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Rodd Island

Rodd Island taken from Rodd Point, in Iron Cove. The Iron Cove Bridge can be seen in the background, to the left.

Below: Rodd Island, and Rodd Point where I stood (the peninsula sticking out) ,from the air, taken on my return to Sydney last week.

Friday, 24 August 2007

Auburn Gallioli Mosque

Auburn is the centre of Sydney's Turkish community. The Gallipoli Mosque was largely built and funded by the Turkish community; about 50% of the worshippers there are of Turkish background.

Omer Kirazoglu is the architect of the mosque, which is designed in the Classical Ottoman Style of Architecture characterised by a central dome and minarets. The builder for the mosque was Ahmet Asim who donated much of his time. The name of the mosque - Auburn Gallipoli Mosque - reflects the shared legacy of the Australian society and the main community behind the construction of the mosque, Australian Turkish Muslim Community.

Thursday, 23 August 2007

The Flying Kangaroo: Qantas Dash-8s

Australians overseas often look for the familiar kangaroo-tailed Qantas planes at foreign airports (usually huge 747s). Here in Sydney is part of the fleet of domestic regional planes - the dehavilland Dash-8, a twin-engined, medium range, turboprop aircraft. I really like flying in them. I've also flown in them in Canada.
Do you have a favourite aircraft?

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Sydney from the air

Above: Leaving Sydney yesterday morning, looking south over the Kurnell Peninsula, Towra Point wetlands and in the middle, Cronulla beach.

Returning this afternoon, looking west, with Gladesville Bridge in the foreground, across the Parramatta River.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007


Today I've flown north of Sydney to Coffs harbour, for work. I caught the train to the airport. It's a sparkling new station, completely under-utilised. The reason? It was built as a public-private partnership and costs an exorbitant amount to get off at the station. While the railway line and trains are just a part of the public transport system, the "station access fee" provides a premium payment for the private station owners. If there are more than one of you travelling, it is cheaper to take a taxi. Rather than encouraging people to take the train, it's a real disincentive.

Sydney has several highly unpopular pieces of public-private partnership infrastructure, includign many toll roads and tunnels. All because governments refuse to invest directly for the future, and the obsession with a "private is better" ideology. They have been shown over and over again to be very unpopular and inefficient when they collapse and the government has to buy them out anyway.

I live only two stations from the airport, and when I travel alone for work it is about the same price as a taxi to catch the train. I actually prefer it.

Do you have PPPs in your part of the world? What is public reaction?

Monday, 20 August 2007

Through the columns, State Library

Today was a bit of a dull, grey old day - perect for peeking at the world from porticos and verandahs.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

For all your motor scooter needs, Newtown

I love those little Moorish-like domes on top of the building. And the art deco style casement windows.

Friday, 17 August 2007

Suburban train, Tempe

No, I didn't have to stand by the rails to get this shot! At Tempe station, there is a low fence at the bottom of the station steps. I realised one day as a train swooshed past how close you are to them, so I took advantage and waited for a photo op. It's quite unusual at Sydney suburban stations to get this close when not actually on a platform.

Plane spotting, Sydney Airport

Plane spotters are quite well catered for at the perimeter of Sydney Airport. You just have to walk across a beach and through some shrubs to get there.

Thursday, 16 August 2007

On yer bike, Glebe

This area was a Council works depot for many years, and then a refuse disposal incinerator in the 1930s. Now re-developed as upmarket housing and recreation space, linking with waterfront walking and bicycle paths. Nice.
Click here to see a wider view of the redevelopment and how it integrates with the older terraced house scape.

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Circular Quay from the railway station (Transport VI)

The view in the opposite direction from yesterday...

I got off the train here with some tourists, who gasped in awe - their first sight of Sydney Harbour, the bridge, the Opera House. I showed them the best vantage point for their first photo of Sydney. Right here. It was quite amazing being with people whose breath was taken away. I can understand it. Sometimes you can become very blase about your own city, however I never, ever, ever get tired of this view, and always drink it in whenever I get off the train at Circular Quay station.

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Ships and Subs (Transport IV)

The Australian National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour. Seen here are HMAS Vampire, a Daring class destroyer built in Sydney at Cockatoo Island- read more here; and HMAS Onslow, an Oberon Class submarine - read more here.
The Maritime Museum collection also includes a naval patrol boat, a replica of James Cook's Endeavour (seen here in my previous blog), and a racing yacht, tug boat, lightship, ship's lifeboat, a pearling lugger, a ketch, Indonesian trading ship and Vietnamese refugee boat, amongst others.

Saturday, 11 August 2007

Blokes in trucks in fluro shirts (Transport III)

When I drive about I see lots of blokes driving around in trucks - usually 3 - and all wearing the fluro shirts that road workers, manual workers and delivery drivers wear nowadays (an OH & S measure no doubt, to ensure they are visible). This is the intersection of Redfern & Chalmers Sts, Redfern.

Friday, 10 August 2007

Cop Car, Wolli Creek Station (Transport 2)

I'm really sorry if I'm neglecting visiting all the other daily photos at the moment, but I am busier than usual at work, as well as doing some other things. I hope to come and visit soon (though I do have work all day Saturday as well...)

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Sewer vent, Arncliffe. The Great Big Fart Tower.

The West Botany Street Sewer Vent dates from the turn of the 20th century. It is an excellent example of the tall brick ventilation shafts which were constructed facilitate the efficient functioning of the major outfall sewers. It is a landmark which contributes to the townscape of inner southwest Sydney. The vent has been in continual use for over 100 years. Vents are important in allowing the circulation of fresh air through the sewers to reduce the production of noxious and corrosive gases (great big farts).
Historical notes - read on if particularly interested in Sydney's sewerage history (!):
In 1859 Sydney's sewerage system consisted of five outfall sewers which drained to Sydney Harbour. By the 1870's, the Harbour had become grossly polluted and, as a result, the Government created the Sydney City and Suburban Health Board to investigate an alternative means of disposing of the city's sewage. This led to the construction of two gravitation sewers in 1889 by the Public Works Department: a northern sewer being the Bondi Ocean Outfall Sewer and a southern sewer draining to a sewage farm at Botany Bay. In 1888, the new Board of Water Supply and Sewerage was created, and in 1889, it took over the old outfall sewers and the PWD new works. The new works formed the basis of the two ocean outfall sewers which still serve the greater Sydney area south of the Harbour: the BOOS - Bondi Ocean Outfall Sewer system; and the SWSOOS - Southern and Western Suburbs Ocean Outfall Sewer system. The Southern Outfall Sewer, which was the first built in 1886, ran in a southerly direction through the suburbs of Waterloo and Redfern, and reached the sewage farm by means of an inverted syphon passing under the Cooks River. The Western Outfall Main Sewer came into operation in 1898 and ran westwards from the sewage farm, before curving north to cross Wolli Creek and Cooks River to Premier Street, Marrickville and dividing into three main branches which serve suburbs such as Strathfield, Burwood, Ashfield, Drummoyne, Leichhardt, Newtown etc. The SWSOOS is now Sydney's largest sewage system, and because of its size, it is now designated in two main parts: No.1 SWSOOS which serves Sydney's more central suburbs; and No.2 SWSOOS which serves Sydney's more south-western and western suburbs. The sewer vent at West Botany Street, Arncliffe was constructed at the turn of the century in conjunction with the Western Outfall Main Sewer. Sewer vents are an essential part of sewerage systems. Their purpose is to introduce a flow of fresh air through the sewers in order to reduce the production of noxious and corrosive gases by enabling their release.

Monday, 6 August 2007


Looking across the Georges River towards the city. I called this "Tranquility" to draw attention to the difference between this peaceful scene and the 62 nd anniversary of Hiroshima Day.

Friday, 3 August 2007

Statue of Spyros Louis, Brighton-le-Sands

Greek Gold Medallist in Marathon
Athens 1896
Sculptor: Pavlos Kougioumtzis

Brighton-le-Sands is the centre of Greek community in Sydney, with lots of restaurants and cafes, and this sculpture.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Conaust Terminal, Glebe Island (Rozelle)

New motor vehicle imports are docked in Johnstons Bay at the Conaust Car Terminal. Australia has a very small domestic car industry. Most cars are imported, and most of those come from Japan. European cars are definitely in the minority, often very expensive, and many are regarded as being in the "luxury" class.
At this terminal, vehicles await processing before delivery to dealers.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Typical, or Atypical?

A confession: I was reluctant to participate in this month's theme, for a couple of reasons:

1. I generally don't like doing food shots. They are a specialist skill which I don't have....the food rarely looks as good as it actually is. 2. What's "typical"? For some it is now typical to grab a coffee in a paper cup on the way to the office. Others enjoy pastries. I like neither of those. And some people enjoy a breakfast in a cafe. 3. I was lacking creativity to take a more oblique view of the theme.

On the other hand, I thought, well, other people are going to be far more creative than I am and take much better pics. Some might find something humorous, so let's play along and be part of it!

So I decided to show you my TWO favourite, and therefore typical for me, breakfasts. There are some constants: a newspaper, and a cup of tea. One favourite is a bowl of cereal with fruit (strawberries are my favourite, but my son ate all the strawbs yesterday!) , and the other is scrambled egg on wholegrain bread. I pretty much alternate these breakfasts every day. The atypical part is I used my best crockery today, and that's very unusual. Finally, here's another breakfast I posted on 25 April!

All these other cities are participating in the theme, so have a wander through these sites and see what's starting their days. (Don't forget time zones will mean breakfast appears at various times throughout your day)
Saint Paul (MN), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - New York City (NY), USA - Tel Aviv, Israel - Hyde, UK - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Mainz, Germany - Stockholm, Sweden - Paderborn, Germany - Singapore, Singapore - Haninge, Sweden - Nottingham, UK - Ampang (Selangor), Malaysia - Manila, Philippines - Boston (MA), USA - Seoul, Korea - Singapore, Singapore - Joplin (MO), USA - Chandler (AZ), USA - Paris, France - Sequim (WA), USA - Greenville (SC), USA - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Boston (MA), USA - Chennai, India - Madison (WI), USA - Baton Rouge (LA), USA - Toulouse, France - Seattle (WA), USA - Mexico (DF), Mexico - La Antigua, Guatemala - Selma (AL), USA - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Cleveland (OH), USA - San Diego (CA), USA - Lubbock (TX), USA - Jakarta, Indonesia - Sheki, Azerbaijan - Sydney, Australia - Mumbai, India - Seoul, South Korea - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Cypress (TX), USA - Saarbrücken, Germany - Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina - New Orleans (LA), USA - Budapest, Hungary - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Austin (TX), USA - Singapore, Singapore - Villigen, Switzerland - Montréal (QC), Canada - Stayton (OR), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Silver Spring (MD), USA - Moscow, Russia - Springfield (MO), USA - Inverness (IL), usa - Arlington (VA), USA - Cologne (NRW), Germany - Anderson (SC), USA - Oslo, Norway - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation - Manila, Philippines - Kajang (Selangor), Malaysia - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Bandung (West Java), Indonesia - Stavanger, Norway - Bastia, France - Hong Kong, China - Wailea (HI), USA - St. Louis (MO), USA - Chicago (IL), USA - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Sydney, Australia - Bucaramanga (Santander), Colombia - Kansas City (MO), USA - Grenoble, France - Paris, France - Evry, France - Saigon, Vietnam - Prague, Czech Republic - Cape Town, South Africa - Brookville (OH), USA - Brussels, Belgium - San Diego (CA), USA - Wellington, New Zealand - Newcastle (NSW), Australia - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Sharon (CT), USA - Shanghai, China - Zurich, Switzerland - North Bay (ON), Canada - Lyon, France - Naples (FL), USA