Mike Peters, as he rowed through the Egg Island Canal last Sunday, clearly also got that strong sense of the magic and gentle power of nature that always grips me when I row through it (see Egg Island Canal Rally: HERE)
Nature has so skilfully and elegantly reclaimed this man-made canal, yet it still allows us to use it as a shortcut between communities; as a place of education for the young and old keen to learns the skills of navigation; as a flora and fauna-watcher’s delight; as a valuable tourist attraction; and as a place in which to find peace and quiet from a high-tension outside world.
Is it too much to ask the protectors of the Egg Islands (Tasmanian Land Conservancy and DPIPWE) to find a way to allow the pipeline to cross the southern island rather than having it stand out like a stiff-tentacled above-water tumour defacing the length of the canal?
The Egg Islands, as precious as they are as a haven for important fauna and flora, have suffered massive degradation in the years since Europeans settled the Huon Valley. Surely a narrow ditch sensitively cut across the island would be only marginally disruptive of wildlife and, within a year or so, having been carefully backfilled, would not even be detectable.
On the other hand, a pipeline above water level along the canal would be an eyesore forever.
Anyone who feels for the future of this historic canal — a monument to human endeavour and nature’s ever-considerate co-operation — should get out on the water at 10am on Easter Monday.
To savour the delights of a row through the canal and to help symbolise the growing state-wide resistance to those who believe in “development” at any cost, drop your boats in on either side of the river at the Cradoc and Franklin ramps.
Hope we will be able to see each other. Forestry Tasmania’s multiple burn-off smoke haze is blanketing the Huon again and those with sensitive lungs are coughing and spluttering, as they do every year at this time.
We might not be able to keep our clear-felling, pyromaniac forestry polluters at bay but surely we can stop a pipeline invading nature’s privacy along what is probably Australia’s oldest working canal.