Town Tour Rockhampton

Sunday afternoon I started a walk around the town centre of Rockhampton. First I went to the nearby Kershaw Gardens, which is a small green retreat in the town. The only attraction seemed to be the small artificial and muddy cascade waterfall. Further on I walked along the Fitzroy river (no, it’s not the same as in WA) and crossed it via the Alexandra railway bridge. On the southern side of the Fitzroy river, which had a lot of debris flowing to the ocean, I went to the former Archer Park railway station. This nice wodden building hosts nowadays the local railway museum. Parallel to that old railway station are still the railway tracks which lead north, but interestingly they are still laid like tramways along Denison street. So each heavy cargo train, and all the passenger trains, need to ride along Denison road like a tramway in low speed. Not sure, why they never had fixed that in the last century, after closing down the steam railway. Along Quay street, which is obviously direct at the riverbank, a lot of old but renovated buildings exist. This area of Rockhampton looks pretty appealing nowadays, at least during the day, no idea how it turns, when it’s getting dark. When I returned to the northern side, I came across an old building, which hosts nowadays the local historical society. An old bloke gave me a short introduction to the history of the town and the building itself. It was the former council building of North Rockhampton until it got flooded in 1918, as it was build on the lowest point of the northern city (well, very smart I guess). And after that incident, North Rockhampton joined the council of Rockhampton.

Cascades in Kershaw park
Cargo train crossing the Alexandra bridge, which had even a double track back in the days.
The Fitzroy river is covered with debris, probably due to the rain the days before
The former Archer Park railway station
About 2km of the long-distance “North Coast Line” is still a tramway along Denison street
Beside the post office…
…there’re other old buildings along Quay street

While I was enjoying a cappuccino in a coffee shop (which was actually not very nice, as the top was covered in cacao powder…did I order a coffee or not, and you distribute it everywhere, when you try to drink it) anyway, I grabbed a newspaper and was reading some articles in it. But the more I read, the more I started questioning the content. After a while, and a short search, I realised that this was a “News Corp” paper, you know the company from Murdoch. I’ve never got such a biased form of information. But the absolute top of it, was the commentary page:

Very polemic point of view

There the blokes are fantasise about HELE (high-efficiency low-emission) coal fired power plants, and “cheap” nuclear power. I was definitely speechless while reading this. What are you talking about? high-efficiency low-emission…from which miracle are you dreaming. Even, if you would have a conversion efficiency of 100%, your coal fired power plant would still emit fossil CO2 emissions! But everybody knows, that the theoretical value of the Joule-Brayton cycle is limited by the Carnot efficiency, which is only based on the upper and lower temperature ratio. But even then, the real efficiency of a coal fired power plant is below that, due to all the losses in each single component, and far higher of even a natural gas fired single cycle gas turbine, because their turbine inlet temperature is higher than the one of the first stage steam turbine. The only option is to operate on a inlet pressure higher than the critical, this gives you a few points in efficiency, but that’s it. If you still need to operate on fossil fuel, built a combined cycle plant, like the one in Irsching, which has already demonstrated a net efficiency of more than 60%, but well yes you can’t use your dirty cheap coal of central Queensland for it.

After several months of drought, there’s now finally a bit of rain in South-East QLD and NSW. But hey, Australia is slightly bigger than that:

The area which covers south and central Europe has one of the world’s best solar potential…and no, it’s not raining there at all, nor are there Bush fires…just that you know

But anyway, no one would install a solar farm in the areas mentioned above. Instead all large scale solar farms of Australia, with a power of 50MW and more, are installed in arid areas anyway. These areas have a large annual solar irradiation and a low annual rainfall, nearly perfect conditions to provide cheap renewable energy.

It’s definitely said that people get all these biased information in a newspaper, which is definitely influenced by the mining&coal industry/lobby, but are resistant against scientific evidence! And the members of parliament from these rural areas just repeat the same shit again, as they’re worried by any change in policy, which could cost some local jobs in the coal industry, and eventually their bloddy own seat in the Parliament. If you don’t dig into the details and ask questions, you never get the context, why something is happening…

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