River Dreams

River Dreams

The people and landscape of the Cooks River

Ian Tyrrell


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River Dreams reveals the complex history of the Cooks River in south-eastern Sydney—a river renowned as Australia's most altered and polluted. While nineteenth century developers called it "improvement," the sugar mill, tanneries, and factories that lined the banks of Sydney's Cooks River had drastic consequences for the health of the river. While much of the river has been rehabilitated in recent decades by passionate local groups and through government initiatives, it continues to be a source of controversy with rapid apartment development placing new stresses on the region. River Dreams is a timely reminder of the need to tread cautiously in seeking to dominate, or ignore, our environment.