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Queenstown - Not a Pretty Picture

Michael John

Oatley, Australia

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Artist's Description

Queenstown is a town in the West Coast region of Tasmania. It is located in a valley on the slopes of Mount Owen, West Coast Range.

Queenstown’s history has long been tied to the mining industry. Gold and copper were extensively mined from nearby Mount Lyell.

In the 1900s, Queenstown was the centre of the Mount Lyell mining district and had numerous smelting works, brick-works, and sawmills. The area at the time was finely wooded.

Owing to a combination of tree removal for use in the smelters, the smelter fumes, and the heavy annual rainfall, the erosion of the shallow topsoil back to the harder rock profile contributed to the stark ‘moonscape’ state of the mountains for many decades.

The northern slopes, clearly visible from the Lyell Highway passing through the Linda Valley, show the extent of this degradation.

Queenstown, Tasmania, Australia.

Mamiya ZM film camera, as is.

108 views at 24/6/11

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