Agnew Things to Do
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A collection of old mining equipment from what was formerly East Murchison Union Gold Mine has been assembled opposite the refurbished Agnew Pub. There are also a number of very informative boards which provide a good layman's introduction to how this equipment would have been used and the way the town must have looked like in its heyday in the mid 20th century.
This is a good place to stop for a few minutes if you're driving through this part of the Gold Fields and need a break. Ideally, go into the Agnew Pub, order your food and then wander around the exhibit until lunch is on the table!
Agnew Warnings and Dangers
I don't like goats much ... in fact I don't like goats one little bit, as - with the notable exception of people - they are about the most destructive species on the planet.
Australia has a major problem with feral species of all sorts - usually domestic animals that have been introduced from elsewhere and have escaped into the ecosystem, where they have successfully outcompeted native species. When Aussies talk about problems with feral animals, most people think of the damage caused by rabbit infestation (which caused a rabbit proof fence to be erected the length of Western Australia - approximately 3,250km - to check their eastward expansion in the early part of the 20th century), but few tourists realise that species such as cats and goats have also wrought huge ecological damage.
The biggest problem with goats is that they eat anything and everything. Unlike sheep, which will graze a plant down to the ground (from where it can shoot again), goats actively grub for roots as well, killing the plant and exposing the disturbed land surface to erosion. Similarly, rather than just browsing leaves, goats also 'ring bark' shrubs and trees, which prevents the plant from transferring water and nutrients from root to leaf. They also consume grazing resources that would otherwise support native species such as kangaroos.
From the size and condition of some feral goats, it would appear that they find West Australian conditions very much to their liking. The mature ram in the photo was massive by anyone's standards, with enormous recurved horns, and it's not difficult to appreciate how such an opportunistic survivor species could outcompete native species that evolved in an isolated environment with limited competition for resources.
Management of feral goats is a headache for pastoralists across Western Australia who lose a significant proportion of their grazing to these unwanted alien invaders. The most commonly employed management method is to shoot the goats, with the meat being mostly exported to the Middle and Far East. Some feral goats are also captured and exported to market as part of the controversial live animals trade from Perth to the Middle East, which is widely opposed by animal rights activists as being inhumane.