Dear Friends of Yerranderie
There is much to tell you of the last year’s doings.
WEATHER – No, the drought is not over, (remember we are in the non-catchment area) but we have had an inch of rain in the last two weeks (September 1 to September 14) so the green grass is back again, and the blossom is out for spring. I hope it is a good omen.
THE TELSTRA TOWER – The best news is that Telstra has (after ten years’ gestation) erected the tower, so Yerranderie will enter the twenty-first century at last! We must congratulate Telstra for its really mammoth effort in erecting the tower. It is a light and lacy structure set against The Peak and made almost invisible by a screen of trees. The cables are underground. This has been a difficult task as the rocks in Yerranderie are extremely hard and the trenchers have struck them in many places, unfortunately producing no silver! Indeed it is costing a small fortune by machinery having to be imported from Melbourne, while some of the linesmen and technicians come from Queensland. Some of the loose, excess boulders were used to shore up the north-western end of the airstrip – thank you, Telstra.
MINE REHABILITATION – There has been a wonderful spirit of co-operation amongst all the workers of both Telstra and the Department of Mineral Resources (now the Department of Primary Industry). While working on the mine rehabilitation, the Department needed soil for restoration. Soil is at a premium in Yerranderie so they cleaned out the dam above Private Town, getting rid of the reeds which had been choking it, making the dam much bigger and thus were able to use the recovered soil.
NEW BLOOD – There are several new property owners in both Government Town and Quigtown. Welcome to you all. Peter Stratton of Quigtown had an idea that there should be a Memorial to the soldiers of both World Wars. Again, the Department of Mineral Resources came to the party and supplied a large rock upon which we hope to erect a plaque.
LAND CARE – Over the past few years, the Land Care Group, under the auspices of the Wollondilly Shire Council, has worked solidly towards eradicating Berberis and other noxious weeds in Yerranderie. Also, through John Fry a former caretaker of Private Town, a group of Australian Conservation Volunteers stayed at the Post Office Lodge in September and helped with the project and also continued their ongoing work on The Peak Track. Many thanks to these volunteers, a great many of whom come from overseas.
VAL’S BOOK – My book on Barrallier and the early Cartographers is, after twenty years, nearly finished. I went to Bathurst last week to arrange for a map of the adjacent World Heritage Area to be drawn up. This will show the “Ghosts Mountains”, named after Barrallier’s guides and will be included in the book. Don’t hold your breath but I am up to the final proof reading.
YERRANDERIE’S FUTURE – At the age of 82, I am still not sure what will happen to Yerranderie when I am gone. But I am now seriously trying to organise its future before I shuffle off. I would like it to go to a University or other organisation for Environmental Education and Resources. If anyone has any brilliant ideas, please let me know.
THE CARETAKERS OF YERRANDERIE – Martyn Jones and I have just done a trip north distributing our leaflets and letting the Tourist Information Offices know about our Yerranderie Village Project. Please tell your friends to look at our website and, of course, come and visit us. The road is better these days and there is more bitumen on the Taralga Road.
We hope to see you soon – Cheers from Val