‘Great Western? Do you know what’s happening with the trees out there?’ ask Lyn and Kathy at the office as I collect the uni car keys. ‘I heard they’re taking them all out, right along the highway. 400 year old redgums, just so the trucks don’t have to go round some bloody corner.’
I keep my eye out for stumps as I drive but just find trails of milk cartons, sheltering the roadside remnants of tomorrow. And strings of flags, marking off sections with trees, sections with drains, sections of paddock; at 110 km an hour it’s not clear whether they indicate the protected plants or the ones destined for removal.
In my Ararat motel room the next morning, I wake quickly, realise it’s 6:30 and snuggle down again. Then I remember that the radio interview I did the day before should be playing on ABC Rural any minute and scrunch barefooted through the puddles to the car. Continue reading