The 1970s - Environment

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Before outfalls were extended, Bondi and Malabar beaches were polluted with sewage. Mona Brand’s “every little breeze seems to whisper disease” was sung in Exposure 70, together with her version of “I do like to be beside the seaside”:

Oh, I do like to surf beside the sewer

To surf beside the sewer in the sea

I do like to wallow where the ocean’s strong

Where the outlet flows tiddely-ong-pong-pong.

So just let me surf beside the sewer

The effluent is good for me

And there’s lots of germs beside

I can swallow down inside

Beside the sewer, beside the sea.

In the same revue, John Mulligan’s Crown of Thorns concerned drilling for oil on the Barrier Reef:

Priest: It was just two thousand years ago

He was crucified with a crown of thorns

And on either side a thief

Now for 2000 miles

With a crown of thorns we crucify our reef.

Altar girls: And nobody cares.

Priest: Thirty silver pieces once was the price

But now 30 drilling leases are just as nice

The drilling rig with Ampol prevails …

Mona Brand’s unpublished Pirates of Pinchgut contained a litterbug Major General:

I am a very model man for making muddle general

I love to scatter vegetable, animal and mineral

I always drop my ticket from whatever bus I travel in

My very newest pullover I always am unravelling

When it comes to washing hands I’m not at all particular

I revel in pollution and include it in curricula

I like to fill the atmosphere with vapours quite asthmatical

… I veto every movement to make cleanliness respectable

I empty lots of sewers into areas delectable …


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