Peter’s Blog

I need to place on record my feeling that overwhelmingly throughout my life, my contact with my fellow men, women and children has been a total delight.
It is a recurring pleasure which I experience each day and is among the precious things which makes my life rewarding and worth living, not least because moments of the keenest enjoyment can as readily occur with a complete stranger as with family and friends.



The Film Diary entries are selected items from the diary I keep whenever I film. To check location references, click on ‘Tamborine Mountain’ on the top information bar then hit the ‘Tamborine Mountain’ button on the map.

The Brisbane Line was the e-bulletin of the now defunct Brisbane Institute, to which I contributed the articles featured, between 2006 and 2012.

Not The Brisbane Line contains my other essays from 2005 to the present.


A cherished dream, my book   One small place on earth …  discovering biodiversity where you are,   self-published in August 2019, has been long in the making. Jan Watson created its design template nine years ago. The idea of doing a book seems to have occurred during my stay with Clive Tempest, the website’s first architect, when I was visiting the UK in 2006. By the time Steve Guttormsen and I began sustained work on the book in 2017, much of which I had already written, the imperative was to create a hard copy version of a project whose content is otherwise entirely digital.


People may wonder why there is little mention of climate change – global warming on my website. There are two related reasons. Firstly, if former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s 2007 remark that climate change is the “great moral, environmental and economic challenge of our age” is true, we have not acted accordingly before or since. Rudd’s statement is only true if we collectively live as if it is true, Rudd included. Instead, our politics has wasted decades favouring business as usual, and a global economy excessively dependent on fossil fuels – in the wilful absence of a politics intent on achieving a low carbon economy. Secondly, although it is open to individuals to strive to live the truth of Rudd’s remarks, the vast majority of people, myself included, do not. I salute those who do. The precautionary principle alone makes me regard climate change as a current planetary crisis, but because I have only marginally changed the way I live, and still wish to fly, I am not inclined to pontificate on the subject.


Other / 02.02.2007

A segment prompted by the archive was shown in Australia on Totally Wild, Channel Ten’s national programme for children. It included naturalist Doug White with whom I made a very productive foray into MacDonald National Park, filming more fauna species for the archive than on any other visit to a national park. Appropriately, the segment was filmed in the park one morning last November and was fun to do. The young presenter was very good.

Doug and I spoke to camera about the Mountain’s biodiversity, its fragility in the light of the population growth in South East Queensland and the value to the planet of rainforest like that on the Mountain. The segment included aerial footage by Hugh Alexander and footage by me of fungi, birds, insects and views of the escarpment. It was pleasing to have some of my footage broadcast at last.

I was delighted that shots of a giant Cereus cactus as high as a two-storey house and with the bulk of a tree were used, because the conditions which allow the rainforest to accommodate its biodiversity also allow this alien from southern USA and Central America to flourish… Read Complete Text


The Brisbane Line / 31.01.2007

I have just got back from a twelve day visit to Tasmania, staying with Hugh and Pauline Alexander who have been renting a house near Launceston for the past year. I stayed with them for five days last March. On this visit we made a six day, five night trip to Strahan, Lake Pedder and Hobart.

Then as now, the one place in Tasmania I wanted to see more than any other was the Styx Valley, home to the biggest recorded Eucalyptus regnans, the world’s tallest flowering plant.

But the Tasmanians I had asked about the Styx were vague as to its whereabouts. It is not part of a national park, but is an active logging area managed by Forestry Tasmania on behalf of a timber industry bent on clear-felling as much of Tasmania’s old-growth forest as it can get its hands on – for no better purpose than to provide woodchip for making news-print.

After crossing the Styx River we finally came to the Big Tree.


Talk about unknown knowing. It is still holiday time in Tasmania,
so we booked all our accommodation in advance, choosing to spend… Read Complete Text


Other / 18.12.2006

Tamborine Mountain is famous for its gardens and its gardeners. Its flourishing Garden Club holds an annual Spring Festival which brings thousands of enthusiasts to the Mountain from far and wide.

The Club also looks after the Botanical Gardens which occupy 11 hectares (27 acres) and include a lake which is home to waterfowl, turtles, eels, fish and water dragons.

The Club has just published a completely revised edition of The Tamborine Mountain Gardener. The only colour pages in the book are made up of photos taken from the Archive, which I find most heartening and touching.

The book’s designer, Angela McKinstry, has designed all the Archive’s print material.


Other / 16.12.2006

I lodge the archive with the State Library of Queensland.

In December 2006 the splendidly enlarged library in the cultural precinct on the south bank of the Brisbane River will open its doors to the public. In due course its Heritage Collections will house my camera-original tapes, the DV CAM master tapes and associated papers.



Other / 25.10.2006

I am home after almost two months in Europe combining pleasure with pleasure, eg I extended my stay to attend Wildscreen in Bristol UK, which is billed as the world’s largest, most prestigious and influential event for wildlife and environmental film-makers.

I had a blast. I was able to progress my concept for a documentary series on biodiversity (my pet spin-off project, even if it is the longest of long shots). I brought back follow-up work which will continue to keep me busy for quite some time.

The archive and website were very well received. One consequence is that we have exchanged links with some more good websites. (See Links page).

I also had a couple of excellent meetings with a producer from the BBC Natural History Unit. He won the top award at Wildscreen for Life in the Undergrowth and is working on a new blue chip series. There is a move to increase the interactive component of programmes and although it is early days yet, we discussed my possible involvement in helping viewers create their own video records.

Interestingly, both the Eden Project people… Read Complete Text


Other / 05.09.2006

Clive and I had a productive meeting with two of the creative team at the Eden Project in Cornwall about a video installation using material from the Archive – another of the spin-off ideas I want to develop.

Eden expressed a desire to do a project with me and we plan to look at a number of options.

One thing I am keen to do is to show people how they can make their own Archives. Eden likes to energise people to do their own thing.