Sunday, 30 September 2007

Berowra Waters Car ferry

The ferry runs 24 hours a day except between noon and 2.30pm on the second Tuesday of the month.

Crossing the river shown in yesterday's photo.

Saturday, 29 September 2007

Berowra Waters

View from the road down to Berowra Waters and the free car ferry across Berowra Creek, an anabranch of the Hawkesbury River.

Friday, 28 September 2007

Guest Workers In Australia

Update 18 Dec 2007: It was reported in today's Sydney Morning Herald that Mr Gong and Mr Huang reached a settlement with their former employer and will now be free to return to their families in China, with financial security. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but were believed to cover all of what they were owed.

Meet Mr Huang Jianzhing, and behind to the right Mr Gong Wei.

They each paid $ 12 000 to a recruitment agent in China to come to work in Australia under the Australian government's 457 workers' visa program. This allows Australian companies to employ overseas workers for a limited period of time. Their families remain in China. Like many guest workers, they were lead to believe they would be paid a fair wage, and would be able to help their families at home.

Mr Huang and Mr Gong told us through the translator that when they arrived in Australia they were paid $50 a week, and forced to work up to 17 hours straight, in sometimes dangerous conditions. They are currently homeless, having been fired when they complained.

The Construction Union is housing them and assisting them with a legal case to try to cover back pay.

Other workers facing a similar situation have been deported before they can attempt to get back pay owed.

A rally was held today outside the Sydney office of Australian prime Minister, John Howard, to protest about the exploitation of these and other workers like them.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Ben Chifley

A steel sculptural image of former Labor party Prime Minister (1945-49) Ben Chifley stands in Chifley Square. On the grid of cabbage palms, this replaces one of the trees. The image is cut from two flat sheets of stainless steel, narrowly separated by a truss. It is like a 2-D pop art image.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Swimming enclosure, Brooklyn

Brooklyn is possibly the northerly most suburb of Sydney, on the southern shore of the Hawkesbury River. A great place for a picnic, a dig in the sand, or a swim, or to hire a houseboat for a time. You can get there by suburban train from central Sydney in 55 minutes.

Monday, 24 September 2007

Wedding photos

A quiet spot for wedding pics at Shortland Brush in the Mirambeena Regional Park at Lansdowne.

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Chess in Hyde Park

I can't quite work out what the wheelbarrow was for, unless it was one of the park gardeners stopping for a look. The man with the arm crutch was very adept at using it to move his pieces.

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Post Boxes, Sydney City

These brass letter boxes are in the wall of the old General Post Office in Martin Place, Sydney. The post office these days is reduced to a mere shadow of its former self; most of it is now the shell for a posh hotel. There used to be many more of the brass letterboxes. They were removed, but public clamour caused some of them to be reinstated.

Friday, 21 September 2007

Exercise in the park

One of the fashionable things to do nowadays is to have a personal trainer take you through your paces in a public park or on a beach. So, if a strolling photographer wanders past, be prepared! Here's some late afternoon torture in Hyde Park.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Recycling audit

These two women came along our street the other morning. They were conducting an audit of the contents of recycling bins for the council, and leaving educative brochures. They were really friendly and ready to have a chat and help answer questions.

I learned that the polystyrene containers we had been putting in, shouldn't be. This is despite the manufacturers including the little symbol indicating they can be recycled. Apparently they break up all over the place and contaminate the rest of the contents and are too difficult to sift out at the plant. Apart from that, we got a tick of approval!

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Blackwattle Bay, Glebe

In the foreground Sydney University Women's Rowing Club. The blue building on the other shore is the Sydney Fish Markets.

Monday, 17 September 2007

Yeramba Lagoon, Picnic Point

A paper about Yeramba Lagoon wetlands.

This is an estuarine system, isolated from the Georges River by construction of a causeway. It has been heavily affected by suburban runoff, sewerage overflow and illegal dumping. Weed infestation is due to high nutrients from pollution. A volunteer group called Friends of Yeramba Lagoon tries to assist with regeneration.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Back on the ground in Sydney

I love flying but I also like being back on the ground. From these little planes a bus takes you the couple of hundred metres to the terminal, I love the little "dust buster" style vaccuum cleaner ready on the ground for cleaning the interiorof the plane.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Still up in the air

Some people really appreciated the aerial shots, so I'll continue the weekend with a few more -the last for now.

Friday, 14 September 2007


Moree is situatied on black soil plains, which stretch, well, across the rest of the continent, and the next hill is somewhere in Africa! I lived in Moree for a couple of years as a young teacher.

See that racecourse to the right of the second photo? I once went to the races there and there was a dead-heat for first in a three horse race! They even passed the photo of the finish around the crowd for confirmation.

The main crops grown around Moree are wheat and cotton. I can assure you that despite appearances from yesterday's photo, it's NOTHING like England :-)

The other main attraction of Moree is its hot artesian mineral springs, which feed the local pool, and provide a magnet for immigrants of Eastern European origin, many of whom make a yearl pilgrimage to "take the waters" which are supposd to have curative powers. It also keeps the outdoor swimming pool deliciously warm all year round.

I know it's not Sydney, but , hey - it's accessible from Sydney!

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Up in the air

Last week I flew from Sydney to Narrabri, a town of about 7, 500 people about 600 kms northwest of Sydney. The plane was a Dash-8. Today all Dash-8 Series 400s were grounded for mechanical checks after one had an emergency landing in Lithuania due to a faulty landing gear, and one crashed in Denmark a few days ago.
In the next couple of days I'll show you some of the Northwest plains from the air. This shot is amazingly green - crops planted after some great winter rains. Unfortunatley, 71% of NSW is drought-declared, and there hasn't been anything by way of follow-up rain, so many crops are threatened.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Holroyd Gardens 2

Holroyd Gardens is a new housing estate, built on the site of a former brick and tile making works, consisting of a shale pit (now a beautiful park), and a large complex of manufacturing buildings. The remains of the brickworks have been incorporated into the development and are a great example of urban industrial archaeology being married with the need to accommodate more housing. Please have a look at more of the the site photos at Sydney Daily Photo Extra.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Friday, 7 September 2007

Glebe Point walk

The waterfront walk and park around Glebe Point contains some remnants of its former shipping role. If you look at yesterday's photo, you can see it in the distance along the walk.

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Why don't you just say what you mean?

Update on the APEC fence and the Police State (see entry from 31 August): today German tourists in Sydney were forced by police to destroy their pictures. I can't believe this is the society I live in.

I am waiting for the knock on the door telling me to delete my blog entry, and if it comes, my response will be similar to that seen on the sign here. So, if you don;t see me for a few days....
From the Daily Telegraph:
"REQUIRING tourists to delete happy snaps of Sydney's APEC security fence may be "over the top" but it is necessary, NSW Transport Minister John Watkins said.
He was responding today to news reports that three German tourists were asked by police to delete digital photographs of the newly built fence, which stretches five kilometres through Sydney's CBD.
He said the move was part of the efforts to ensure there was no breach during the major protests expected later this week.
"There is some concern amongst police that some of those protesters who are coming ... will look for weak points in the fence," Mr Watkins told Southern Cross Broadcasting.
"And that one of the things they are doing is a recce of the fence to find where they can attack it.

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Spring is here

Last year I noted the arrival of spring by posting about Wattle Day (1 September).

In Australia (and New Zealand?) the conventional Northern Hemisphere seasonal names begin on the first of each month: 1 September - Spring; 1 December - Summer; 1 March - Autumn; 1 June - Winter. The reason for doing it that way reather than by equinox and solstice is a bit hazy. There is one story about colonial soldiers changing from wionter to summer uniforms on 1 Sep and vice versa on 1 March.

Anyway, in much of Australia, it's all entirely meaningless anyway, because the seasons don't necessarily resemble the conventional European ones much. Traditional Aboriginal people had a very sophisticated understanding and depending where they lived identified numerous seasonal variations. Up in tropical Darwin/Kakadu and surrounds, there are 6 named seasons, for example.

Whatever, I always know spring is coming by mid August when I get my first waft of jasmine scent. The jasmine growing over my side fence is well and truly in bloom now, though the Japanese maple will take a while longer to come fully into leaf (it's still got a few of last year's clinging on too!).

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Theme Day - Street signs

In a way, a contiuation of yesterday's theme for me. See those loud speakers on the post near the street sign? They have recently appeared around central Sydney, and are touted as "public information" and "security" devices, enabling public broadcast of warnings, crowd instructions etc. in the case of terrorist attack or emergency.

I can't wait for Soviet- style military marching music, or Maoist or Dear Leader propaganda lectures to begin...

Taken on the corner of Druitt and George Sts outside Sydney Town Hall.

By the way, it's the first day of Spring here today.

All these Daily City Photo Bloggers have signed up to particpate in the theme day. - Cleveland (OH), USA - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Singapore, Singapore - Boston (MA), USA - Mexico (DF), Mexico - Kajang (Selangor), Malaysia - Mainz, Germany - Evry, France - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Sequim (WA), USA - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Nottingham, UK - Toulouse, France - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Manila, Philippines - Mumbai, India - Montpellier, France - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Stayton (OR), USA - Moscow, Russia - Paris, France - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Austin (TX), USA - Lyon, France - Stockholm, Sweden - Hyde, UK - Hong Kong, China - Joplin (MO), USA - Seoul, South Korea - Chandler (AZ), USA - St. Louis (MO), USA - Arlington (VA), USA - Anderson (SC), USA - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Villigen, Switzerland - Sydney, Australia - Ampang (Selangor), Malaysia - Montego Bay, Jamaica - Norwich (Norfolk), UK - San Diego (CA), USA - Bandung (West Java), Indonesia - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Nelson, New Zealand - Quincy (MA), USA - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Bend (OR), USA - Wellington, New Zealand - New Orleans (LA), USA - Cypress (TX), USA - Nashville (TN), USA - Bucaramanga (Santander), Colombia - Detroit (MI), USA - Saigon, Vietnam - Selma (AL), USA - Phoenix (AZ), USA - Miami (FL), USA - Arradon, France - Sheki, Azerbaijan - New York City (NY), USA - Inverness (IL), usa - North Bay (ON), Canada - Melbourne, Australia - Port Vila, Vanuatu - Tenerife, Spain - Auckland, New Zealand - Forks (WA), USA - Rotterdam, Netherlands - Chateaubriant, France - Madison (WI), USA - Wailea (HI), USA - Orlando (FL), USA - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation - Ajaccio, France - Baltimore (MD), USA - Crepy-en-Valois, France - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Budapest, Hungary - Lyon, France - Saarbrücken, Germany - Adelaide (SA), Australia - Le Guilvinec, France - River Falls (WI), USA - Stavanger, Norway - Naples (FL), USA - London, UK - La Antigua, Guatemala - Philadelphia (PA), USA - Montréal (QC), Canada - Paris, France - San Diego (CA), USA - Trujillo, Peru - Haninge, Sweden - Prague, Czech Republic - Oslo, Norway - Grenoble, France - Shanghai, China - Toronto (ON), Canada - Durban, South Africa - Zurich, Switzerland - Cape Town, South Africa - Singapore, Singapore - Torino, Italy