Australia's Deadliest Town

Submitted: Thursday, Jul 11, 2019 at 12:47
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Thursday, Jul 11, 2019 at 12:58

Thursday, Jul 11, 2019 at 12:58
Couldn’t find Doc, to knock us up a few burgers, so kept going to Auski Roadhouse.



The scenery “in there”, is reputed to be outstanding.

Bob

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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Follow Up By: Member - rocco2010 - Thursday, Jul 11, 2019 at 14:39

Thursday, Jul 11, 2019 at 14:39
I drove “in there” last year. I had read people rate it highly , i would give it a “pretty”

But didn’t venture far from the car, something which as a solo traveller I am reluctant to do in rugged and remote places.

[img]






There were three or four caravans/campers set up.



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Follow Up By: OutBack Wanderer - Thursday, Jul 11, 2019 at 20:19

Thursday, Jul 11, 2019 at 20:19
OMG, never again will we visit Auski Roadhouse, We tried very hard to sleep that one night, with the diesel generator going all night and the traffic? Don't start me on the traffic, coal trucks 24/7 constant all night, never let up.

My wife and I were truly glad to see the back of the roadhouse, we should have seen the hint with empty campgrounds.

Never again.

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Follow Up By: Member - rocco2010 - Thursday, Jul 11, 2019 at 20:36

Thursday, Jul 11, 2019 at 20:36
OW

I was going to camp at Auski but was directed to an area where a sprinkler was running! No thanks.
A bit down the road towards Newman is the Mt Robinson rest area, as nice a free roadside stop as you would find.

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Follow Up By: Mick O - Thursday, Jul 11, 2019 at 21:11

Thursday, Jul 11, 2019 at 21:11
Rocco, your second photo down. The gorge in the background of the photo. I was sitting on the top of that ridge line last year looking down on that pool. Someone had a fair camp set up there.



''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

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Follow Up By: Member - rocco2010 - Thursday, Jul 11, 2019 at 22:00

Thursday, Jul 11, 2019 at 22:00
Mick

That’s a fair climb!

It was reading a post of yours on Wittenoom from many years ago, including the picture of the rainbow bee eaters (remember that) that prompted me to have a look if I ever passed that way.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Blown4by - Thursday, Jul 11, 2019 at 22:39

Thursday, Jul 11, 2019 at 22:39
OutBack Wanderer: "coal trucks"??? I think you need to do a bit more research.
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Follow Up By: OutBack Wanderer - Friday, Jul 12, 2019 at 00:56

Friday, Jul 12, 2019 at 00:56
Mine trucks, whatever, going all night, ore trucks, I didn't stop them to ask them. It would seem that was their main road, Northern Hwy to Port Hedland.

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Follow Up By: Blown4by - Friday, Jul 12, 2019 at 13:30

Friday, Jul 12, 2019 at 13:30
Yep! Iron Ore plus Road Trains transporting food and supplies along with construction equipment, tyres, fuel, overhauled equipment going north, equipment for overhaul going south, overwidth/overheight/overweight loads, etc, etc. all required to keep the wheels of industry turning. Inland road is the only road to PH and points further north in that area. Very busy as you say. A fact often overlooked by ppl towing caravans/camper trailers, etc.
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Follow Up By: Member - rocco2010 - Friday, Jul 12, 2019 at 13:43

Friday, Jul 12, 2019 at 13:43
Stuff on trucks like this

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Follow Up By: OutBack Wanderer - Friday, Jul 12, 2019 at 21:10

Friday, Jul 12, 2019 at 21:10
I must give credit to the mines they keep their? or council roads well graded, it was like driving on a billiard table, so smooth

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Follow Up By: Blown4by - Friday, Jul 12, 2019 at 22:19

Friday, Jul 12, 2019 at 22:19
rocco2010: A lot of those oversize loads are shifted at night too. Less traffic to contend with and hold up. Main Roads has constructed purpose built large bays so they can pull over and let other vehicles past and also so they can park up during periods their permits do not allow them to move.
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Follow Up By: Joe Fury - Saturday, Jul 13, 2019 at 13:35

Saturday, Jul 13, 2019 at 13:35
G'day Explorers.

Yes it's a eye opener for anyone who has not previously seen what goes on traffic and heavy haulage wise here in the inland Pilbara.




What you see being hauled during the day light hours pales into insignificance to what is dragged up/down the Great Northern Highway at night, when all the good people should be in bed ~ asleep.




You can give credit for all 'the mines they keep' as much as you like, your kids, their kids and every other person that comes after you can also 'give credit' because the current W.A. state government has just this week signed an agreement with BHP that gives this miner 'licence' to mine with Environmental Approval (guaranteed) for the NEXT 100 YEARS.

Google : BHP 100 year mining licence approval.

BHP have eleven new mining projects proposed for the future, FMG and Rio Tinto have recently announced their intention(s) to open their newest mega mines throughout the Hamersley Ranges, Rio has boasted about creating up to twenty thousand jobs, with most of the new mines being run 'autonomously' employing technology savvy people who are easily trained to use available satellite and gps technology from a secret location in Perth, a catch phrase used in their media release was ' you can earn a big salary that only the mining industry can give you and not even get dirty earning it'

Yes indeed folks, it's something that's happening as we speak, right now and into our tomorrows, it just takes money, initiative, ingenuity, political allies and a very healthy dose of 'apathy' to go with a total disconnect or lack of appreciation for what or where is being mined, in this case it's the inland Pilbara.



It can be argued it good for the economy yardee yardee, nation building and all the bull sh1t spin put on it, but it simply does not make it right.

Safe travels : Joe Fury


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Follow Up By: Blown4by - Saturday, Jul 13, 2019 at 21:34

Saturday, Jul 13, 2019 at 21:34
Yeah that new "approval process" just means they can rip the shit out of the environment and ask for approval after its too late to reverse the damage. Its better to ask for forgiveness than ask for approval and be rejected.
Its not about the money, its about the money.
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Follow Up By: Joe Fury - Sunday, Jul 14, 2019 at 11:53

Sunday, Jul 14, 2019 at 11:53
G'day 'Blown4by'

The environment as we call it, means absolutely NOTHING when it comes to an insidious industry that has a strangle hold on compliant self serving government(s) be they local, state or federal, these buggers are in it for the money ~ easy money.

What cheeses me off the most, is that the bulk of Australia population wise simply don't give a stuff.

The inland Pilbara is truly a magnificent place, it's ancient geology and land forms are being belted into oblivion and BHP's 100 year licence to mine agreement is just the start of more deals being done, I can't imagine Rio Tinto, FMG, Hancock Mining or any other Communist Government China backed miner missing out on this action.

Just a rotten shame really, no one seems to mind that it's mined.

Safe travels : Joe Fury
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Sunday, Jul 14, 2019 at 19:59

Sunday, Jul 14, 2019 at 19:59
Joe, don't speak too loudly - there are hundreds of thousands of shareholders, including a sizeable number of retirees, who are very happy to be receiving massive dividends from their iron ore company shares - which all go to fund $120,000 4WD's and $150,000 caravans, so they can roam the Outback and North, on a regular basis.

The same applies with their bank share dividends - massive returns to those rich enough to hold bank shares, and all paid for by battlers with high interest rate credit cards.

It's enough to make you throw up.

The thing about the iron ore depletion, is it is being done on a bigger and bigger scale every year.
When the iron ore reserves of the North of W.A. were defined by American geologists in the early 1960's, they declared the North contained enough iron ore to supply the world for 300 years.

Now, there's talk of the reserves being largely mined out within 30 years, due to the massive acceleration of mining rates.

American ran out of high grade hematite ore, in the late 1940's/early 1950's - mostly due to the steel demand of WW2 - and it was only the research work of a group of scientists and engineers (largely funded by the American Govt), that enabled them to unlock low-cost treatment of their low-grade taconite ore, formerly regarded as waste, which enabled the American steel industry to continue in business.

Cheers, Ron.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Joe Fury - Monday, Jul 15, 2019 at 17:06

Monday, Jul 15, 2019 at 17:06
G'day Ron N

There in lays the problem 'no one speaks loudly enough' and if only the shareholders gave a half a stuff about what their company is actually doing for them to be earning the dividends they receive, it would be inconceivable for the shareholders to not know, if they do know and they are comfortable with what is happening throughout the inland Pilbara they have no conscience.

Safe travels : Joe Fury
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Thursday, Jul 11, 2019 at 13:58

Thursday, Jul 11, 2019 at 13:58
We visited in 1995.
The Gorge is quite spectacular and it used to be possible to drive in from Karigini NP, but that was stopped long ago.

Cheers,
Peter
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Follow Up By: Blown4by - Thursday, Jul 11, 2019 at 22:48

Thursday, Jul 11, 2019 at 22:48
The irony of the Wittenoom closure and all the publicity about it is that there is plenty of asbestos at Karijini too. You only have to pick up the rocks there to see the asbestos fibres in the rocks. I mean its just over the other side of the same hill.
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Follow Up By: Blown4by - Friday, Jul 12, 2019 at 22:11

Friday, Jul 12, 2019 at 22:11
That would have been via Yampire Gorge. Another asbestos mine there too. The official reason that road is closed is that it got damaged during a big 'wet seaon'. That is all b/s. Big Brother just doesn't want anyone going through there the same reason they don't want anyone in Wittenoom.
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Reply By: Dusta - Thursday, Jul 11, 2019 at 14:47

Thursday, Jul 11, 2019 at 14:47
my mother and her brother were brought up in the town when my grandfather was working there for alcoa as a drafty . Both mum and my uncle have suffered through multiple cancers and my grandfather also passed away from lung complications and my grandmother got hammered by breast cancer . I'll never ever set foot near that shithole. Why people feel the need to go there to see it amazes me.
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Follow Up By: OutBack Wanderer - Thursday, Jul 11, 2019 at 20:31

Thursday, Jul 11, 2019 at 20:31
I cannot understand why either, it is closed for a good reason, disturbing the dust, comes to mind, but ppl will say it's all been blown away.

I myself worked with asbestos for 6 yrs, unloaded James Hardie's trucks into our fibro racks, then loaded up my truck with fibro and compressed fibro (bloody heavy sheets they were) Super 6 Corrugated roofing, they were the worst with fibres dangling off the edges and then delivering the lot for 5 days a week for 6 yrs, plus work on Saturdays 7AM till 11AM.

Then in 1976? they tell me it is cancerous, thanks a lot James Hardie
But, there's always a but, it would seem Wunderlich products in competition with JH have got off Scott free, I haven't seen any mention of that company who also sold asbestos products to the public

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Reply By: Member - Rowdy6032 (WA) - Thursday, Jul 11, 2019 at 15:13

Thursday, Jul 11, 2019 at 15:13
Of interest to those thinking of going.


Closure of former Wittenoom Townsite Roads

May 09 2019

The Shire of Ashburton has ordered the closure of all roads in the former Wittenoom townsite to all traffic other than Wittenoom residents and their associates, and the closure of Bolitho Road Wittenoom, to all traffic at all times for 12 months from the date of this notice to reduce potential asbestos exposure.
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Reply By: duck - Thursday, Jul 11, 2019 at 21:23

Thursday, Jul 11, 2019 at 21:23
Went there in 1984 with a film crew & there was still about 70 odd people living there & returned in 94 ten years on with with the same reporter & there was about 35 residents still there & I think there is 2 residents still living there, I was the only one of our group to take the risk seriously, but 3 have passed of asepestoses. We walked all thru the place & the bagging room was unbelievable
As a boat builder I remember when we use to mix the stuff in resin & use it as a bog & I see people doing repairs on old fibreglass boats & just grinding it away & have no clue that the dust is just everywhere, makes you wonder what we are all breathing in every day
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Follow Up By: Mick O - Friday, Jul 12, 2019 at 08:58

Friday, Jul 12, 2019 at 08:58
I was there in July 85. Still 70 people and a small but functioning town. We stayed in the Caravan Park (yes Wittenoom did have a caravan park, and a visitors centre). The local dance was on that night so everything shut early in preparation for a big night. well. It cost me over $6 in 20 cent pieces to make a 5 minute call back to Melbourne from the local phone box. Gives you an idea of how much times have changes in the communications space. Dance was a great night with 350 or more people arriving from all over. Still a sense of community even then.

Pity those were the days of film. My old photo albums are buried in boxes somewhere in the shed :-)

Cheers Mick
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

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Reply By: Joe Fury - Friday, Jul 12, 2019 at 00:11

Friday, Jul 12, 2019 at 00:11
G'day Explorers

Outback Wanderer, sadly there is a horrible legacy attached to what was once the largest regional town in Western Australia above the 26th parallel, Wittenoom had a population of around 20,000 at it's peak.

Then it all stated to unravel once the Asbestos Fiber was linked to the fatal lung disease ~ Mesothelioma.

Sadly, a friend and workmate from many years ago, who just happened to live in Wittenoom passed away of Mesothelioma last month, he did not work in the asbestos mine, but he did do renovations and handy man work throughout the town.

Yes, Wittenoom is no more and no one is allowed into the area, because of the inherent risk says the Government.

Yet back in 2012 Rio Tinto discovered asbestos fibers in quarry aggregate delivered to their West Angelas mine site.

Google : Asbestos at Big Rock Quarry Newman Western Australia ~ for the official story.

Go bloody figure no amount of Asbestos Fiber(s) are allowed to stop Commerce and Industry.

Truth is the stuff is throughout the Pilbara and it's often exposed during the mining process, it's just that no one talks about it. Acid rock is another natural substance dug up/exposed in the mining process, this pyritic shale/rock when exposed to moisture combusts, the water run off is acidic, the fumes given off are hazardous to your health.

Safe travels : Joe Fury
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