Welcome to the website of Western Australian bush historian, four wheel driver and author Phil Bianchi.
I have a passion for WA history, with the main areas of interest being the goldfields, outback, western deserts, explorers, prospectors, bushmen and drovers.
With more than 20 years of four wheel driving experience, I couple my interest in four wheel driving with bush history and search out explorer sites and routes, old goldfield town sites and generally explore the western deserts.
The book, Work Completed Canning was reviewed by Nicholas Rothwell in the 8-9 March 2014 edition Weekend Australian.
Click here to read the article:
Book review Motor Trades Association WA June 2014, click image to see the full sized scan:
WHEN reading the history of gold in Western Australia, we hear of rich gold finds, deep mines, ounces of gold per ton, lucrative profits and booming towns with numerous hotels, breweries, stock exchanges and newspapers. None of this would have been possible without firewood, a cheap source of energy, to fuel steam boilers and gas producers for lighting, pumping and ore treatment.
Woodcutters, mostly from southern Europe, came to Australia seeking a better life, taking whatever work was available; many lived and worked the woodlines. They lived in basic camps with earthen floors—so basic that, during World War II, the Australian Government refused to allocate prisoners of war to serve as cutters because the conditions on the woodline didn't meet Geneva Convention requirements.
Most woodline workers came from war-torn Europe where often they had been paid only board and lodging. Although the work on the woodline was hard, they were actually paid! Any pay no matter how small, was spent wisely or saved, reflecting the idiom, 'Living off the smell of an oily rag'. This book is a tribute to their life and work.