Don't take things from the outback, like these people did!

Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 09:37
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I was browsing the net last night and came across this fantastic blog from these people, about their trip across the outback. The lady mentions a few times about taking "spikes from the old Ghan rail line". There is even a photo of her husband fosicking for the spikes along a piece of the track. Why do they have to do that?

Geoff and I will be heading off in the next few weeks for a 5 years trip around Australia, after selling our house and having our new home on wheels custom built. I would like to see what the spikes look like when we get into the outback, but if people keep taking them, I, and alot of other people wont get to look at them.

I cant fathom why people have to take things. I was also taught, "take nothing but photos, and only leave footprints"

Their blog is really good, but I sit here and shake my head and ask why dont they leave things alone. Look with your eyes, not your fingers Dad used to sy to me!

http://steveandviv.blogspot.com

Karen
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Reply By: wato35 - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 09:52

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 09:52
5 years, good luck to you.
I'm with you, take only photos and memories.

Have a great safe trip.

Wato
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Reply By: signman - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 09:55

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 09:55
Then there's the (true) story of Len Beadell giving a talk at a local Service Club. Afetr the meeting a guy approcahed Len, and proudly claimed he had one of Len's original plaques hanging behing his bar at home !!
Needless to say- Len was NOT impressed !!

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Follow Up By: Karen & Geoff - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 09:59

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 09:59
That is so wrong, Dad used to say to me if ever I pinched anything he would cut my fingers off. Probably a bit harsh, but it worked. Geeze I was never game enough to see if he would do it or not............lol
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Reply By: Willem - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 09:57

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 09:57
Karen

Yeah, well...I have a different take on it. First of all if you get one of those spikes in your tyre you can kiss the latter goodbye.

We are all collectors of some sorts. Some collect rocks, some collect ironware, some steal roadsigns and so on.

Maybe people who are collecting stuff like spikes from the old rail line, should be praised as they are contributing to cleaning up the environment. As you travel around this country you will see mining junk lying everywhere, railway junk in many places and especially the Old Ghan Line. The famous Len Beadell working party left an inordinate amount of fuel drums and stuff etc lying about just beacuse the Government of the Day could not be bothered to retrieve it.
In some areas where communities have thrived at one stage now only ghost towns remain with junk flapping in the wind or rusting in the dust. I can take you to 5 remote communities where the whole town has been abandoned and everything is left for the desert to cover in over time.

So in the scheme of things...picking up a few rusty railway spikes is no big deal.

I know..leave only footprints (or tyre tracks or wheel ruts through the dried mud) and take only photos. It has a nice ring to it :-)

Cheers...and enjoy your travels.



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Follow Up By: Karen & Geoff - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 10:04

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 10:04
i know what you are saying, and I know there are probably millions of spikes, but the ones they were taking were still connected to the rail line. I know of other people who have actually pulled things apart and dismantled things just to take home a free souvenir. I have picked up rocks from the desert and the outback, but would never pull something apart to take it.

But I know what you are saying about old tin sheets and other things flapping around in the wind, hey it happens here in Wagga Wagga. Especially in the housing commission area.

Karen
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Follow Up By: get outmore - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 10:47

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 10:47
Quirk of human nature

how old does rubish have to be before it becomes an attraction?

People will go out of their way to check out an old woodcutters camp with drums, plates, bottles, tins etc scattered around - yet tut-tut at a pile of empty beer can on stockton beach.

They get upset of someones scrawled Gazza was ere "06" on a ruin yet go inside and spend time looking and discussing where jonno and bill scrattched their names in "46"
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Follow Up By: Rockape - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 11:21

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 11:21
The road from Malbon down to Chatsworth is built over the old Kuridala/Mt Elliot mine rail line. It used to be a lucky dip as to wether you picked up a spike or not.

Have a good one
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Follow Up By: Who was that again? (Vic) - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 11:42

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 11:42
Willem, I have a similar take to you on the spikes. I went down the Old Ghan line last year towing and there was a real potential to spike one of the six tyres with the plates and rail spikes.

Each side of places like William Creek the sleepers if they haven't rotted away are being used for firewood and people are gradually picking up from further away from camps. Yes, there should be some sensitivity to history, but defining history is something else as may be. The fettlers camps where they discarded bottles and cans, but how do you differentiate that from those of say fifty years later. Piles of rubbish are piles of rubbish, an best recovered to a tip.

There is history that we should never interfere with though with indigenous heritage. That deserves a fascination and sensitivity and not to be collected and lost to a collection in somebody's home. That should be appreciated in-situ to get the true context of it's location and as to how it may have got there

Cheers,
Who?
John

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Follow Up By: Willem - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 12:04

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 12:04
Rockape

In your Rig Pic...should it not read Einasleigh?

If not..where is Einsleigh Gorge ? :-)

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Rockape - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 13:08

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 13:08
Willem,
Einasliegh is down from Mt Surprise. It is a small place supported by cattle and fossicking, it has agood pub (not that I would ever have a drink their) ha ha ha

The Copperfield river runs adjacent and the Gorge if you can call it that is only a couple of hundred metres away.

Not trying to hijack the thread but here are a couple of photo's.

Image Could Not Be Found

Image Could Not Be Found

Thought for the day. When gear was left lying around years ago, we called that history, now if it's left lying around it's called evviromental vandlism.
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Follow Up By: Karen & Geoff - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 13:34

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 13:34
Copperfield River, I will have to Google that. It looks so nice. It will have to be added to the must see's on the trip.
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Follow Up By: Rockape - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 14:09

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 14:09
Karen,
the Einasliegh River which is a couple of K's east of Einasligh, it's a lovely clean river and a great place for a swim.

You can do the loop from Mt Surprise down to Einsliegh then across to Forsythe and down to Cobold gorge, then either return and up to Gorgrtown or go south to the old Kidston mine and across to The Lynd on the Greenvale road.

I have worked at both Greenvale and Kidston and the whole area has lots of history.

Have a good one
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Follow Up By: Moose - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 14:29

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 14:29
Hey Rockape - I think you missed Willem's point. He knows full well where the place is. He was pointing out the error in the spelling beside your Pic.
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Follow Up By: Rockape - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 14:49

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 14:49
Moose,
you are right,the fingers don't always do what I want them to, couldn't have anything to do with my grey matter. ha ha
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Follow Up By: Stu & "Bob" - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 21:05

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 21:05
Or you could keep going past Cobbold Gorge and down to
the Agate Creek fossicking area to pick up a bit of agate.

There is a camping area there at Agate Creek, but very rudimentary.


.
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Follow Up By: Member - Old Girl (QLD) - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 00:50

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 00:50
We have done three rallies through that area over the last couple of years. I was reading a book last night about the mining history called Heritage Trails of the Tropical North . One thing I do before heading off now is go to the library and read up on the places. In the book it says the Einasleigh Hotel has a lean to it, didn't know that and stopped there twice.
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Follow Up By: Rockape - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 06:25

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 06:25
Old girl,
A good book to get a hold of is "Mines in the Spinifex"

Have a good one
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Follow Up By: Rockape - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 06:30

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 06:30
Should have added ,the book is by Geoffery Blainey and the publisher was Angus & Robertson.
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Follow Up By: Teraa - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 15:56

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 15:56
Why does the Goverment of the day be responsible for cleaning up after Len maybe Len needs to clean up after Len.
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Follow Up By: Rockape - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 16:49

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 16:49
Teraa,
Mister Beadell may have trouble doing that, seeing he died 15 yrs ago.

I take my hat of to the man and if I accomplished 5 percent of what he did in my lifetime I would be happy.

What he left behind was history and no one has asked the government to clean up anything
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Follow Up By: Member - Pesty (SA) - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 17:06

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 17:06
IF there is any cleaning up to do after Lenny, though i doubt there is, it would still be the gov job as he worked for the gov.
Read his books if you need an insight, i hope i also get a chance to do 5% of what he did.
Tougher ol bugger than most of us, and just maybe slightly mad helped LOL

Pesty
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Follow Up By: Member - Allan B (QLD) - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 17:08

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 17:08
Teraa,

Because Len Beadell was employed by the Government of the day.

In any case, what was done was the standard of the day in the 50's. There are many instances of that and Len Beadell cannot be blamed any more than the rest of the society at that time.

Strictly speaking, those removing the Old Ghan Railway rail lines should not have left spikes or anything else behind, but now it is just junk, and hazardous at that.

Considering that they are junk, and that great numbers of them must have been collected as souvenirs, I think Karen was off the mark to criticise any one person for it.

Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: equinox - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 19:58

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 19:58
It's not only the standard of the '50s.

These are pictures from 2007 of the Patience Oil Well in the Gibson Desert, only abandoned in 2003.

Image Could Not Be Found

Image Could Not Be Found

Some of those drums still have diesel in them too!!!

Cheers
Alan

Looking for adventure.
In whatever comes our way.

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Reply By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 09:58

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 09:58
Hi Karen & Geoff,
Don't worry, there are thousands of those spikes out there so you will see heaps of them. All the sleepers and rails have already been taken though :-))

KK
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Follow Up By: Member - Pesty (SA) - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 17:10

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 17:10
Yeh millions of spikes, and on the northern part of the old Ghan, where the road is on the old line mound there are plenty on the road which we encourage you to pick some up so i dont wear one in my tyres, otherwise i agree with you about only taking photo's.
In your travel's you will find heaps of things like this to write to us about Hahaha.

Pesty
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Reply By: Gone Bush (WA) - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 10:05

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 10:05
I also don't have a problem with people taking old railway spikes.

They are just junk lying around, really.

I wish someone had taken the one that destroyed a tyre of mine once.

I'm glad I ain't too scared to be lazy
- Augustus McCrae (Lonesome Dove)

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Reply By: Ian & Sue - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 10:07

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 10:07
There is no way I would remove plaques etc but I must admit that when we lived in the Pilbara I did grab spikes from the old railway line. When home my husband made them into coat hooks by mounting them into a piece of jarrah. I remember where I picked each of them up when I hang hats and coats.

When I visit old ruin sites I take plenty of photos but nothing else as I love finding stuff and I know many others do too but find it a real shame when some people go through and smash plates and bottle. Yes, I do realise that sometimes the breakages actually occur by cattle trampling.

Do enjoy your trip - which way are you going first? We may see you out there as Ian and I leave in four weeks for the biggy!

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Follow Up By: Karen & Geoff - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 10:25

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 10:25
It is exciting Sue isn't it. We were going the Great Ocean Road first, but we want to be in Alice Springs for the truckies re unuion at the end of August. But accomodation is all booked out. We are waiting to hear if we can get a site in a paddock, but local council have to approve it first. Everything has been booked out since last year. So now we have decided we are going to head North and do some of the East coast above Rocky first. We have done all of NSW and Sthn QLD, so we can hightail it to Rockhampton. We are also meeting friends in June to do the Bin Track, so we will stay over this side for a while.
Where are you guys heading of from?
Karen
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Follow Up By: Ian & Sue - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 10:31

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 10:31
We are leaving from Geraldton and heading across the Nullabor - have to be in Wagga for Easter for a Geocaching event and then its up to Queensland. We will spend heaps of time there and head up to Cape York probably July August time. Then originally we had been going to head across to NT but now are thinking possibly down to Victoria for a Jeep Jamboree so who knows. No time limit this time! Yippeee....

Sue

PS. You guys wouldnt be from Mandurah by any chance?
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Follow Up By: Karen & Geoff - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 10:34

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 10:34
No Sue, we are in Wagga Wagga. You might catch us somewhere along the line. have a look in our profile and our email address and website is in there.
Karen
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Follow Up By: Ian & Sue - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 10:38

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 10:38
I need to become a member :-) unfortunately cant read profiles. I will join when we come back but cant see the point before then.

appologies for off topic.. :-)

Sue
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Follow Up By: Karen & Geoff - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 12:00

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 12:00
Sue I just changed my profile, you will be able to see it now.
Karen
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Follow Up By: Member - Pesty (SA) - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 17:15

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 17:15
Will show you where to camp about 10k from Alice when we meet as you come through here.
You can sleep anywhere when you have a van.

Pesty
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Reply By: vk1dx - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 10:27

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 10:27
I just enjoyed an hour of reading their blog. Excellent trip. We will do some of those roads soon.

I was as disappointed as they were when I read about the bloke at the Pink Roadhouse. But like they said we only saw a little of what was going on in his head. We also have never had any trouble like that.

About the spikes. I agree - leave them there. I move them out of the way and don't take the spikes or whatever home. Even though I am into model railways I would not take them.

I wouild also suggest that they are not "railway memoriabillia" collectors so what they did was not in the right spirit. (Spelling?????)

But please read the bolg - its interesting.

Phil
AnswerID: 403555

Follow Up By: Karen & Geoff - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 10:32

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 10:32
It is really intersting isn't Phil. The words and the way they tell it all is really good.It sounds like they had a ball. I agree with what she said about the pink roadhouse, it is like a jigsaw puzzle. I haven't finished reading it yet, but I have taken some pointers for our trip though. The photos are good too.

I have our web site up and running and cant wait to start adding pages to it.

Karen
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Follow Up By: fisho64 - Friday, Feb 12, 2010 at 02:45

Friday, Feb 12, 2010 at 02:45
"I wouild also suggest that they are not "railway memoriabillia" collectors so what they did was not in the right spirit. "

thats an interesting take on it-maybe they are "life experience" collectors? Mementos are certainly part of that. Or maybe they are "railway memorabilia collectors" and this is their first items?
Cant have it both ways-"man who sits on fence get run over from both directions"
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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 10:30

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 10:30
Not only do I have a few Ghan spikes at home, but some from the Gulflander track up at Croydon too - fact is, these things are simply 'industrial waste' (despoiling the landscape possibly) - the fettlers just tossed dog spikes, fish plates, nuts and bolts to the trackside because they weren't worth carting back to base. The natural and built environments are of course a whole other topic, deserving the greatest respect and care !
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 12:04

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 12:04
I agree Darian.

Andrew
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Follow Up By: Pete Jackman (SA) - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 14:36

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 14:36
Ditto,

I have a Ghan spike picked up between Maree and somewhere.

Pete
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Reply By: Bob of KAOS - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 10:49

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 10:49
Its hard to draw an exact line on what may be retrieved and what shouldn't.

Rail spikes lying rusting in the sand are fair game, as are telegraph line insulators (but not if they are mounted on a pole).

I picked up a piece of iron in the Grt Vic Desert. Turns out it was a bit of a drill bit that is after all just industrial waste.

Should car batteries or tyres be left lying decaying beside the road? Should upturned and burned out Commodores and Falcons be left where they are? Or box trailers? Or burned out Prados?

What about a length of barbed wire? Or bits of a blue streak rocket? Or empty Spam cans?

Bob
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 11:04

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 11:04
Hi Karen,

Have a great trip - 5 years sounds a long time but it will probably fly by!

Like others we have a couple of railway spikes. Its a fine line between rubbish and waste on the one hand and heritage items on the other. As others have said there is a mass of old mining "stuff" left all over the place. Newer mining activities now are supposed to clean up - so no bits to become "heritage". Is this a good or bad thing? Overall I think its a matter for common sense (yes I know it can be a rare thing). Ripping stuff apart of taking quantities is not acceptable.

Each trip we do I collect a few bits and pieces - rocks, minerals, seed pods mainly plus a few other odds and ends. Space and weight dictates that the collection is very limited - about half a shopping bag at most. When we get home they go into a glass cylinder as a reminder of our trip, to complement the photos. They are great memory joggers.

Cheers,

Val
J and V
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Follow Up By: Karen & Geoff - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 11:57

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 11:57
Hi Val, 5 years is going to fly. People say that is a long time to be on the road. But who knows, if we like it we might just keep going. I am a city girl, so it is going to be a big eye opener for me. Geoff has done 90% off Australia but has only just sailed through towns and never been able to stop. I am glad to be going with Geoff, he has lived and worked in outback stations and done so much out in the outback and Kimberly's. He still knows alot of people up there, so it will be good.

He is really worried bout my spending on the way, and the space I did have in a 3 story house, and dont have now we have a van. Lol, it could be very interesting, as I like to support the little towns who are doing it tough. That might have to come to an end.

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Reply By: Road Warrior - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 11:47

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 11:47
At least they're not stealing wildlife like some of those a-holes who decide they want a new pet but know nothing about caring for them.
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Reply By: Member - Barnesy - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 12:07

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 12:07
If everbody collected some railway spikes from the old Ghan then my son won't be able to collect them when I take him up there!

I have some railway spikes, one is from the old Ghan and the others from an old track in Port Augusta, SA. Although I tell everybody they're all from out bush lol. Although it is intersting looking at the old bridges and buildings etc to see how they were built and coped with the desert weather.

Fossicking for old bits of steel is one thing, taking Aboriginal artifacts is unforgiveable.
AnswerID: 403578

Follow Up By: Member - Timbo - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 14:11

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 14:11
So you are making a distinction simply on the basis of the race of the person/people who left the 'artefacts'?! :-)
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Follow Up By: Willem - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 15:09

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 15:09
Timbo

I agree with Barnesy.

It has nothing to do with race however. The ancients discarded their implements for whatever reason. I have always asked those who travel with me NOT to 'souvenir' artefacts as they have been there for millenia plus. Take a look at them, photograph them and then leave them where you found them.

Modern day rubbish circa 1788+ can be removed to my way of thinking.

My opinion :-)

Cheers

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Follow Up By: Member - Barnesy - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 16:05

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 16:05
Timbo,
nothing to do with race. For example I think any Celtic or Anglo artefacts in the UK should be left in place also, or at worst studied in museums. NOT souvenired.

How many more railway spikes are going to be made out of steel over the next 100 years or so?
How many more genuine spear heads etc are going to be made by people living a hunter gatherer life? None. That's the difference here. One is irreplaceable, the other is not.

I'm with Willem, photograph them and leave them how you found them.
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Follow Up By: Member - Timbo - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 20:16

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 20:16
"I'm with Willem, photograph them and leave them how you found them."

I'm not advocating the collection/removal of artefacts, I'm just questioning the basis on which the decision is made whether an artefact should be preserved (untouched) or picked up as rubbish - hopefully not on the basis of something as trivial as amount of pigment in the skin of the fella that left it there...
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Follow Up By: Bob of KAOS - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 07:12

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 07:12
Timbo

I agree with Willem and Barnesy. However, a lot of the domestic rubbish left in the bush has been left by the locals - wrecked cars, batteries, tyres, drink containers, oil containers, Spam tins etc ( a midden of empties :-)

We spend a lot of time cleaning up campsites that have been littered in this way.

However, it is quite clear that stuff of heritage value, left by these people's forebears, must never be touched.

A Len Beadell sign is obviously not the same as a fuel drum left by a drilling team.

The point being that there is rubbish and industrial waste, and there is stuff of heritage value, and the difference is not determined by race.
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Follow Up By: Member - Timbo - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 12:45

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 12:45
Bob, that's all I'm trying to get to - how do we determine what is rubbish and industrial waste and what is 'stuff of heritage value'? I agree completely - the difference should not be determined by race (though it often SEEMS that what is left by aboriginals is 'heritage' but what is left by anyone else is rubbish). But no one so far seems to be able to define the basis for the decision...

So, what is 'heritage' and what is 'rubbish and industrial waste' and how do we decide? If simply on the basis of time it's been there, those rail spikes will one day (if not already) be a part of Australia's heritage/history. Today's rubbish could well be tomorrow's 'stuff of heritage value'! :-)

I also am disgusted by rubbish left at campsites (and elsewhere): batteries, tyres, containers, tins etc. And rubbish, regardless of who left it or when, is just that: rubbish.

A fuel drum left by someone's forebears may have some heritage value to that someone whose forebears left it, and it tells the rest of us something about people who have passed by there in a time past.

It seems to me that 'heritage' is a status given to just about anything that is past a certain age, sometimes regardless of its significance to the people of the era (or even whether they themselves discarded it as rubbish at the time) - it plagues my industry no end when a part of a building is gutted to fit-out a Latté shop but a groove in the floor has to be preserved (no, I'm not exaggerating) - this is in a building that is internationally recognisable, with or without that groove in the floor! Or the cop in the station in a small country town freeze all winter in a cold stone building because someone in an air-conditioned office in Sydney decided that to install heating would interfere with the heritage value. How do we determine what is reasonable to preserve in its current state, and what is insignificant?
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Reply By: NRE - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 13:21

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 13:21
Some very interesting points of view.

So it's acceptable to some to take old bits and pieces left by "whitefellas" as they are simply discarded industrial rubbish but absolutely unforgivable to take aboriginal "artifacts" such as broken grinding stones etc.

Maybe I simplify things a little too much but aren't they the same thing??


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Follow Up By: OzTroopy - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 13:27

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 13:27
hmmmmm ... gotta be real careful about over simplifying things ....

Especially when middens and rubbish dumps are actually one and the same ....
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 15:13

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 15:13
subtle OzTroopy ....

I have a few Ghan spikes.... buggers were sticking up out of the Old Ghan Road all over the place .... suppose I could have left them buried or there to rust...
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Follow Up By: Willem - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 15:15

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 15:15
NRE

See answer above.

OzTroopy

Yes, in a modern day analogy. But shouldn't we leave artefacts where they are found? Te British Museum (and others) relocated so much stuff from Egypt and other places to London, it's not funny!

Modern Day rubbish such as disused mining equipment et al are an eyesore to the sensitivities of a clean, green environment

Cheers

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Follow Up By: Member - Barnesy - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 16:13

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 16:13
I agree with Willem again. These artifacts are from a way of life that doesn't exist anymore. No more will ever be made (except for enterprising people selling copies to tourists).

Industrial waste is everywhere you look. I can't see any point in being sentimental about some old rusty bits of steel.
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Follow Up By: Member - Timbo - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 16:44

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 16:44
But on what basis is the decision made? Is it just "I think...."? Remember: One person's junk is another person's treasure.

A railway enthusiast might argue that railway spikes are not made using those processes anymore (ie. they're made by a machine rather than handmade by a skilled blacksmith) and therefore the ones on the Old Ghan Line are irreplaceable - ie. no more will be made like them.

Someone with little/no appreciation for aboriginal artefacts could possibly argue "I can't see any point in being sentimental about some old stone fragments" - it's not as though the deserts of Oz are short on stones! :-)

You could even argue that with the removal of artefacts from Egypt to museums in London, for example, has led to increased exposure and appreciation for what could have otherwise remained undiscovered and unappreciated...
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Follow Up By: Muntoo - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 18:59

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 18:59
I agree with Willem. Aboriginal artefacts could be over 40,000 years old, compared to some old steel piece of junk. Timbo, im sorry but there really is no comparison. Artefacts and historical features should be left as they are, no matter where they are on earth.
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Follow Up By: Member - Barnesy - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 19:50

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 19:50
Timbo,
there are arguments for everything.

For example, one could argue that chipping 40 000 year old paintings off of cave walls is acceptable because there are caves everywhere. In the end this argument does come down to a value judgement.
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FollowupID: 673196

Follow Up By: Member - Timbo - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 20:12

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 20:12
Excellent - that's all I was getting at Barnesy (not trolling - despite what it may look like!). In the end it comes down to a value judgement...

I was just trying to provoke some thought into how we assess the value of historic artefacts, and whether that assessment is applied consistently and fairly across the board, or just emotionally depending on our background/interests.

As has been said, midden are basically abandoned left-overs but they are deemed valuable because of what they say about the people who abandoned them. Although you could argue likewise for steel railway spikes.

Willem seems to draw the line between 'modern' and 'pre-1788' where anything over 222 years old should be preserved, but anything newer is 'junk' to be disposed of. Again, the railway spikes (unless they rust or are souvenired first) will one day reach the magical age of 222 years...

Muntoo on the other hand seems to assess the value on the material the artefacts are made of - anything stone should be preserved but anything steel is junk...

I came across the same kind of thing at Chambers Pillar - there were signs saying that the engravings on the rock (circa 1830's?) were historically significant while any put there today aren't. You could argue that in 180 years time, any markings put there today too could be 'historically significant' (and NO, I didn't think it appropriate to add any extra markings!)

I guess we'll leave it up to the next "inhabitants" of Australia to decide whether they'll value and preserve all our scattered steel "middens" along with the existing stone "middens", eh? :-)
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Follow Up By: Member - Barnesy - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 22:51

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 22:51
That rig photo you have there Timbo, crossing the King Eddie. No doubt you saw the Wanjina art sites a few hundred metres up the road, and they had fences around the sacred burial sites didn't they?

The few hours I was there I saw at least 4 people jump the fence, trudge over to the burial site and begin clicking away with their cameras. This made me feel sick. It's akin to dancing on top of someones grave.

It's better to keep the message with Aboriginal sites simple: leave them all alone, no matter how small the artifact is.
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FollowupID: 673237

Follow Up By: Bob of KAOS - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 07:15

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 07:15
Timbo

copied from above

A lot of the domestic rubbish left in the bush has been left by the locals - wrecked cars, batteries, tyres, drink containers, oil containers, Spam tins etc ( a midden of empties :-)

We spend a lot of time cleaning up campsites that have been littered in this way.

However, it is quite clear that stuff of heritage value, left by these people's forebears, must never be touched.

A Len Beadell sign is obviously not the same as a fuel drum left by a drilling team.

The point being that there is rubbish and industrial waste, and there is stuff of heritage value, and the difference is not determined by race.

Bob
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FollowupID: 673271

Follow Up By: Member - Timbo - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 13:03

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 13:03
Barnesy, I don't recall any Wanjina art sites (we were up there to see the Mitchell Falls), but if an area was fenced off, we wouldn't have been trudging through it.

But again, you seem to be reverting back to a purely racial distinction (and Willem and Muntoo both imply it with their distinctions):
"It's better to keep the message with Aboriginal sites simple: leave them all alone, no matter how small the artifact is."
Why do you only refer to aboriginal sites? If you are not making the distinction purely on racial grounds, shouldn't you also have the same principle for non-aboriginal sites? If not, on what basis it the distinction made? So far, you've (plural) denied making the distinction on a racial basis, but alll the explanations offered so far only confirm that the decision is indeed made purely on racial grounds.
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Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 14:19

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 14:19
Ummm Timbo


I am not purporting a racial angle in this debate.

My take on it is that prior to 1788 relics and artefacts belong to antiquity. In other words the items discarded by the ancients who roamed this land.

In the beginning I decry the rubbish i.e. stones, bricks, iron and machinery and more modern left overs, left behind to rot under the sun. I state, that in my opinion, it would be an advantage to remove some of this stuff that modern man/woman have left behind.

And going back to the railway spikes. The government of the day built the railway and another government in a later era removed it. Alas they did not clean up the mess left behind entirely. Maybe this is a thing of our human nature....but I wish it could change.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Muntoo - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 17:15

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 17:15
After doing a fair bit of snooping around this site before joining, i noticed whenever the debates about aboriginal issues come up, Timbo is always the main instigator in arguing and trolling.

If you dont believe me have a look back through the threads, nowhere did my post refer to racism.
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FollowupID: 673373

Follow Up By: Member - Timbo - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 20:00

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 20:00
I'm not trying to argue (or troll), but I am trying to provoke some thought so that people can think about the basis for which they make a distinction between relics and junk. The impression I get is that it's racial, despite a number of denials.

Yes, I have been fairly vocal on aboriginal issues in the past because I strongly believe they truly deserve equal treatment and respect to any other person on the earth, and of course, by being equal that means all others are likewise entitled to the same equal treatment and respect. I don't see reason for making distinctions for how people are treated simply because of the colour of their skin (it's as silly as treating red cars differently to blue cars).

The impression that I'm getting from the replies above, even if no one has specifically said so, imply that artefacts left by aboriginals should be retained and preserved/protected. Willem picks a date of 1788 - why? You don't need to be a historian to recognise the significance of that date! Will the Old Ghan Line be ancient enough to be a relic in 80 years time too, or will the same date of 1788 still apply as the border between "ancient" and "modern"? And likewise Muntoo's distinction between stone relics and metal rubbish - who left the stone objects behind, and who left the steel objects behind? Hmmmm.
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FollowupID: 673398

Follow Up By: Member - Barnesy - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 20:12

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 20:12
Timbo,
Treating people equally is one thing. Treating people the same is something else.

You say if we get rid of one group of people's stuff, then why isn't it fine to get rid of other people's stuff? Valid question but missing the point.

Example you have 2 children a boy and a girl. You love them equally, both deserve respect but you treat them differently, because they are different. The advice you give them on sex and love will be different.

The fact is Aboriginal people deserve respect, are equal but their backgrounds are completely different. Their family history involves 40 000 years of living in Australia, this deserves respect.

This is in stark contrast to European people who came to outback Australia 150 odd years ago to work out how to make a buck. When things went bad they left. Completely different histories and outlooks. Both deserve respect but are completely different, and as such require different treatment.
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FollowupID: 673401

Follow Up By: Member - Timbo - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 20:12

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 20:12
Oh, I'll just add, one of the things that bugs me is people who say "all people deserve equal treatment/respect" and then go on to say "but those people are at a different point in the Evolutionary process". You can't have it both ways - they're either equal or they're not. I suspect there might be a bit of this attitude in the responses above (eg. that the 'ancients' who left stone tools are closer to nature than the builders of railroads who left steel tools...)
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FollowupID: 673402

Follow Up By: Willem - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 20:22

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 20:22
Timbo

My last post on this subject

People who state "one of the things that bugs me is"......therein lies your problem. And you can go on ad infinitum putting just a little more spin in each answer to try and engage whoever is interested to satisfy your own agenda.

Now I really don't care what you think of my statements. I know where I am coming from and why. Should we meet out in the bush one day we can settle this matter over a beer. But for now you will just have to suck it :-)





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Follow Up By: Member - Timbo - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 21:37

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 21:37
Thanks Barnesy, that's a great explanation, and some points I hadn't considered. I'd have previously said, if it was discarded as junk then it doesn't need to be preserved, regardless of who left it - but I realised even that was a grey area (what's useful one day could could be discarded as junk another, but still have some significance). And I agree, the fact that aboriginals were here first deserves some respect, but I struggle to come to terms with exactly how that should play out - once we acknowledge the wrongs of the past, where do we go from here?

And Willem, you stated where you were coming from but as far as I could see, didn't make much attempt to explain the 'why' - perhaps it's along similar lines to what Barnesy said. At least, that's what I'll assume while I await the opportunity for that beer in the bush :-)

I thought of the last response a little later and threw it in because I've encountered people who hold opinions without having thought through the implications but I can see in hindsight that it looks exactly like "...just a little more spin in each answer to try and engage whoever is interested to satisfy your own agenda". My agenda is as stated: to provoke thought about the implications of our opinions. That's why I can't state my opinion: because everytime I think through to the implications, so far I am dissatisfied with the result.

I'll keep pondering these issues, maybe in some quiet corner...
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Follow Up By: Member Echidna - Friday, Feb 12, 2010 at 19:39

Friday, Feb 12, 2010 at 19:39
Mmmmmmmmmm...........lol

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Reply By: Ozrover - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 16:07

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 16:07
Hi Karen & Geoff,

Have a good trip around Oz, you'll love it, be sure to stop in & say g'day on your way past.

As for souveniring dog spikes from the old Ghan, there are millions of the things out there, they even give one to whoever finishes the Finke Desert race.

While your travelling have a look at some of the old cattle yards built around here, most are made out of railway line from the old Ghan, also a lot of the station houses are built from recycled buildings from the old telegraph stations.

AnswerID: 403639

Follow Up By: Karen & Geoff - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 17:49

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 17:49
Mt Dare hey, We were there about 4 years ago and dropped some things off that the fella at the Pink Roadhouse asked us to drop off to you at Mt Dare. When we got there who ever it was that served us and we give the stuff to, asked if we were going to Birdsville and we said yes. You then give us some things to take to the Birdsvillle information centre, and I remember saying to Geoff, we should have a courier sign on the Patrol. We were doing Mail runs everywhere....lol

When we got to Mt Dare to fuel up there was a 4wd in front of us. It was good to get out and stretch our legs, and the fella in front was going off his dial because he had waited for 5 minutes for service. It was like he had to be in Birdsville in 4 hours for a hair dressers appointment. He got his fuel, paid and drove out the gate at 100 miles an hour with the darkies. we were still wondering around an hour later...............Oh some people. We will be up that way again and we will be sure to pop in and say hi.

Karen
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Follow Up By: Off-track - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 21:13

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 21:13
Agree Ozrover - I have one of those Finke Desert Race spikes on the cabinet. :-)
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Follow Up By: Ozrover - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 09:44

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 09:44
Karen & Geoff,

We weren't here four years ago but we still get the odd impatient traveller stamping their foot & expecting instant driveway service, there may only be one or two of us available at any given moment & if we get a rush on then someone simply has to wait. (Some may even have to wait a bit longer!)

Also thanks for delivering those items for us, it gets a bit difficult to deliver things to other stations, roadhouses etc.. when the mail plane only comes in once a week, occasionally travellers do this for us & it is much appreciated.


BTW my wives name is also Karen!

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FollowupID: 673294

Reply By: Hairy (NT) - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 18:27

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 18:27
Gday,
Why?.....because they make good bottle openers.

Cheers
AnswerID: 403656

Reply By: Member - Leave_enough_space - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 19:02

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 19:02
".... but the ones they were taking were still connected to the rail line."

Well that's an interesting concept!

Does this mean they were removing the dog spikes from an active rail line? - very irresponsible if they are. And I'd be intrigued to see how they did it, given the effort required to put them in in the first place!

The dog spikes hold the rail to the sleepers which keep the rails at the required distance apart so the trains stay on the track. Missing dog spikes provides the potential for derailments to occur.

Not sure if that was what was actually being suggested?

LES
AnswerID: 403661

Reply By: SDG - Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 22:54

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010 at 22:54
While travelling around central Queensland I bought home a couple of Moon Rocks. Found out afterwards that they are illegal to collect. Also collected some Dinosaur bones. Those you can keep.
Metal Spikes? To me they sound boring.
AnswerID: 403698

Follow Up By: Member - Laurie K (WA) - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 13:31

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 13:31
Another ittem that has suffered from souvenir gatherers, is the downed aircraft on the Anne Beadell Hwy - The engines and other items have been removed over the years. And I couldn't believe my eyes on the Oodnadatta Track, when A Landrover approached from the opposite dirction to us with 3 Railway sleepers strapped to his bullbar. It was gone before we could photograph him.
Laurie Kibblewhite

Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

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FollowupID: 673342

Reply By: Member - Flynnie (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 20:11

Thursday, Feb 11, 2010 at 20:11
So much pontificating about a few old spikes and not one picture.Image Could Not Be Found Well I can show a picture if not settle an argument.

There are thousands, maybe tens of thousand, even millions of these hazards on the track. For those who may not be aware part of the track follows the original railway line and that is where the picture was taken. Image Could Not Be Found Here is a close up of this relic.

Just looking at these pictures from last year brings back memories of all the trash around the place. What do you think of this one? Image Could Not Be Found Should it be saved?

My view is on the track where you drive and run over these things, that every so often destroy a tyre, they are fair game but those not on the track should be left alone.

Flynnie

AnswerID: 403801

Reply By: anglepole - Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 09:42

Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 09:42
Karen & Geoff,

When I lived in Oodnadatta, there was a railway locomotive workshop shed, it is not there now.

I am pretty sure that tourist have not taken that as a souvenir.

Enjoy your 5 years on the road.
AnswerID: 404134

Reply By: OzTroopy - Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 14:01

Sunday, Feb 14, 2010 at 14:01
Karen & Geoff ... enjoy your trip ... maybe even collect a few items as mementos ...

I normally base the very few bits I have collected on their importance ... An abandoned rail spike is nothing and wont be missed ... but a door handle from an abandoned building where someone used to live, or raised a family, or maybe died has different connotations to me ... and is left alone.

Same goes for "cultural" bits ... A tiny, broken bit of - POSSIBLY worked stone, is also nothing but I never bother picking them up as better examples can be found for perusal at display centres. Chipping off rock art or purloining a skull is another matter entirely tho ... and is to me, abhorrent.


Re: .. FollowupID: 673133

G'Day Willem ...

Im all for preservation of actual, artefacts ... and the truly "religious" areas etc - relating to previous occupiers of this landmass before white settlement.

I have seen some excellent and even sometimes breathtaking examples such as the multitude of different art styles across the country, tree burials, the man-made hollow rock mounds in the NthWest, apparently used as eagle traps or something, and the list goes on.

Quite a few of the sights seen were not even known to the "locals" .... who only lived 5 & 10 klm away ... which accentuates my slightly cynical attitude in regard as to ... how important is ALL this stuff really ???

However the tenacious attitudes of those generally non-indigenous zealots who wish to protect EVERY LITTLE BIT of broken stone astounds me ... as these items are common all over the world because they are just fragments of discarded broken tools which are naught but rubbish ... left behind by prehistoric peoples.

On the occasions that good Australian examples ... Lets say 75% complete (just as an example) ... are found ... Then sure ... make them part of display in LandCouncil museums so that they can be protected, appreciated and learnt from.

And its not always little broken stones that are given, over emphasised recognition ... some times its the strange tree carvings that have a gazillion years of culture ... but actually turn out to be imbedded barb wire ... or the large rock owned by someones ancestor in the district .... that turns out to be road fill ... trucked in from a quarry from somewhere else ...


Im also ... all for the preservation of latterday "artefacts" ... Not so much rail spikes laying all over the ground ... but perhaps sections of the line ??.

Just the same as Kiandra should be more than just a sign ... and Clewesies hut should be more than just a stone with a plaque ... and lets not forget, Len Beadalls signs shouldnt be hanging over someones private bar ... back in the 'burbs.

Recent "artefacts" are testimony of the achievements of people since the 1700s ... We white australians dont have much history and we should be preserving decent examples of it ... but I dont include rail spikes, abandoned oil drums or sheets of corro as decent examples ... unless displayed as a collective, at rellevant geographical locations.

In regard to the wanton ransacking of Egypt and even other places .... Oh ... I think I already answered your question ...



Timbo .... In regard to your posts ....

Its a dangerous and delicate balancing act ... walking the tightrope between Racism and Reality ... isnt it ???
AnswerID: 404161

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