The coal mining industry dominates the landscape of the Queensland Central Highlands and has had a significant impact upon local communities and the environment since the opening of the first mine in 1979 .
It appears that the vast majority of this $40 billion export industry is absorbed by large financial institutions with very little given back to the local communities. Likewise, the continuing fluctuation of miners has created an instability within the region leaving many local businesses either struggling to earn a living or being forced to pack up and leave. Furthermore, the deluded view of the environment as an infinite resource, alongside the dangerous optimism that future technology will solve the damage inflicted at the present, leaves us at risk of causing a potentially irreversible environmental catastrophe.
At present mining is often viewed as a necessary evil, with the lifestyles that we lead being fuelled by an industry of which we are as much apart as we are appalled by its presence.
A Day In The Life: Ron
Ron has been forced to consider the secession of the farm he has owned and run since 1964 after suffering from a near fatal stroke last August.
Historically farming has not only been a family business but it has been trans-generational. Now as climate, politics and commerce become hostile we are finding an aging farming culture alongside a rising trend of youth moving away and towards other modes of living, which is leading to a shortage of Australian farmers.
Despite how this may affect the economy, perhaps the saddest part is that succession is not even about inheritance rather it is about continuation, continuation of a life loved.
From The Ashes
Doug Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize Finalist 2014
As I was shooting the smokey remnants of a local bushfire I met Dave who shared his heartbreaking story.
In the last year all three of his sons have had major car accidents in separate incidents. His youngest son has lost his leg but miraculously survived despite being told that he had a 2% chance of survival. His second son suffered from minor brain damage and is still recovering, whilst his third son tore up the side of his car against a truck on the highway but was lucky to escape injury.
All of this in the space of just a year has clearly taken its toll on Dave. I was grateful for Dave allowing me to take his portrait in the scene that paralleled his story.
South America 2017
Wild North America 2017