The Pilbara – a Google-free zone

When I started this weekly essay three months ago, I was aware that from late June it would tend to have the flavour of a travelogue, given that we were about to set off on a three-month expedition across remote parts of this magnificent land. Now at the half-way point, coming to the end of a three-day stop at a bush camp in Karajini National Park, I’m doing it the old-fashioned way: who, what, where,…

Continue reading

Other People’s Dunnies

So I’m standing in front of a smeary mirror in an outback caravan park washroom having a shave when this old bloke walks in. “Owya goin? “Great thanks,” (continue shaving while Old Bloke goes into a cubicle nearby). “Whereyaheadin?” says the voice from behind the door (rustling of clothing and clang of belt buckle as pants hit floor). “Goin’ to Katherine then headin’ west to Broome,” I say, going with the flow of outback caravan…

Continue reading

Defending our sovereign borders – Hoo-ah (0oRah)

I was sitting outside a remote Northern Territory roadhouse in the sun, enjoying a Mars bar, musing on the whys and wherefores of life when I was somewhat startled by the appearance of a troupe of US Marines. I know we’ve been out of touch for a while, but surely this was a ‘friendly’ force… They had stopped off at the Victoria River Roadhouse to buy snack food, use the latrines, saying y’all and howdy…

Continue reading

The Pittsworth Solution

Here’s a radical plan to help rejuvenate small-town Australia and send a message to the world that yes, we do have compassion for those less fortunate than ourselves. The Pittsworth Solution (I just picked a small town at random), calls for all 2,017 detainees on Manus Island and Nauru to be re-patriated to Australia to live in rented houses in small, affordable towns like Pittsworth. This is not an ideological plan; it is about economics,…

Continue reading