Tree Planting - Mine Rehabilitation

In 1989-90 Rotary Club of Gunnedah West made the Rotary International project “Trees for Survival” a top priority. The club built a greenhouse at Gunnedah Public School and encouraged the students to propagate native Australian trees. Following this initiative the club decided to support the local “Bear Care” program to establish habitat and corridors for the local Koala population. With the assistance of new member, Hans Allgayer, an approach was made to Gunnedah Coal Company for the club to plant trees on rehabilitation areas.  The company agreed to the project. The first plantings under contract to Gunnedah Coal Company occurred at the No. 2 entry in November 1990. This was followed by plantings at the No. 5 entry, at the abandoned Black Jack Washery and on top of the Namoi Mining open-cut high wall.

The project was the subject of an article in Rotary Down Under in May 1997 which received a Highly Commended Award in the Ken Scheller competition for that year.

The club won the Preserve Planet Earth trophy at the 1998 Rotary District conference.

Hans Allgayer facilitated further tree planting contracts with Whitehaven Mines at their Coal Handling and Preparation Plant (CHPP) on Boggabri Road including the installation of a watering system. With many interruptions due to adverse weather conditions, tree planting moved to Whitehaven’s Canyon Mine and continued until 2008. In later years the club was assisted by senior students from Gunnedah High School and Gunnedah Junior Cricket Association.

Over 15,000 trees have been planted by club members in the period 1990 to 2008. This has earned the club a large amount of money which has been donated to Gunnedah Nursing Home, Gunnedah Rural Health Centre and expended on the club’s Pensioners Hill project.

This is how Canyon Mine looked in 2013.