“Every Australian politician ought be locked up with this book and not let out until they’ve read it; and then they should all be frog-marched around the devastated moonscapes that the mining industry has made while they were looking in some other direction.”

- Fred Baker, Knocklofty Press


For nearly a year Sharyn Munro travelled through rural Australia, visiting communities in coal-mining areas. She found a war zone.


Here, ‘at the coalface’, towns and districts are dying — homeowners and farmers forced out by mining, broken in spirit and in health, or else under threat, in limbo and battling the might of the multinationals. Incidences of asthma, cancers and heart attacks show alarming spikes in communities close to coal mines and coal power stations, yet the government seems powerless (or unwilling) to act.

Once reliable rivers and aquifers are drying up or become polluted, once fertile agricultural land is becoming unusable. But the big mostly foreign-owned mining companies continue to push on with their coal rush and government continues to assist and protect them: ever more mining licences are granted, ever bigger mines are opened. In this life-changing book, Sharyn exposes the real story of coal: how people are hurting, and rebelling, as coal pushes into hitherto unthinkable areas; how the true costs outweigh any benefits; and how all of us will ultimately pay the price.



Rich Land, Wasteland Website

On the Rich Land, Wasteland website you will find information on the book, reviews, readers comments, poems, chapter summaries and photos, links to important groups helping in the fight and much more.

Rich Land, Wasteland also has an active Facebook page where you can keep up to date with Sharyn’s tours and important news regarding the fight against the coal industry.

If you have read Rich Land, Wasteland we welcome you to leave a comment on our page and tell us what you thought of it.


Moira Williams (Stop CSG Sydney), Ellen Roberts (FoE Melbourne), Louise Matthieson (now working for Greenpeace, Brisbane) reading the book in Eungella National Park – photo sent by Moira.


Event organisers Stavroula and Chris O’Reilly with Sharyn Munro at the Inverloch Community Hub talk - photo courtesy of The Great Southern Star


Cartoon inspired by Rich Land, Wasteland
by Robert Standish-White

Cripps WRrQueensland Minister of Mines and Environment, Andrew Cripps,
opens up the Wild Rivers to mining
by Robert Standish-White


whatenv-rGeneral comment on the election contestants ignoring the environment
by Robert Standish-White


234 x 153 mm | Paperback | 453 pages | ISBN 978-1-7426-1099-3 | RRP $29.99



Proudly joint published by:

Exisle Publishing

Copyright © 2012 Exisle Publishing Pty Ltd