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Disaster on Victoria's Goldfields

Susan Lawrence Peter Davies



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Black Inc
05 August 2019
The true story of Victoria's goldfields catastrophe.

Sludge The fascinating, troubling legacy of the gold rush Everyone knows gold made Victoria rich. But did you know gold mining was disastrous for the land, engulfing it in floods of sand, gravel and silt that gushed out of the mines?

Or that this environmental devastation still affects our rivers and floodplains? Victorians had a name for this mining waste- 'sludge'. Sludge submerged Victoria's best grapevines near Bendigo, filled Laanecoorie Reservoir on the Loddon River and flowed down from Beechworth over thousands of hectares of rich agricultural land. Children and animals drowned in sludge lakes. Mining effluent contaminated three-quarters of Victoria's creeks and rivers.

Sludge is the compelling story of the forgotten filth that plagued nineteenth-century Victoria. It exposes the big dirty secret of Victoria's mining history - the way it transformed the state's water and land, and how the battle against sludge helped lay the ground for the modern environmental movement.

'A remarkable achievement' -Tom Griffiths 'A work of brilliant rediscovery and a wake-up call for our own times' -Grace Karskens 'Vividly conveys the long-term costs of short-term gains' -Billy Griffiths
By:   Susan Lawrence, Peter Davies
Imprint:   Black Inc
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 233mm,  Width: 154mm,  Spine: 31mm
Weight:   501g
ISBN:   9781760641108
ISBN 10:   1760641103
Pages:   256
Publication Date:   05 August 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Susan Lawrence is professor of archaeology at La Trobe University and has spent thirty years studying the goldfields. She is the author of Dolly's Creek- An Archaeology of a Victorian Goldfields Community and, with Peter Davies, An Archaeology of Australia since 1788. Peter Davies is a research fellow in archaeology at La Trobe University whose work focuses on the social, industrial and environmental archaeology of colonial Australia. His previous books include Henry's Mill- The Archaeology and History of a Forest Community and An Archaeology of Australia Since 1788, with Susan Lawrence.

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