Listening to Michael Darcy’s interview I was reminded of driving past the Silverwater refinery. I can’t believe I live in an era where there’s still a petroleum refinery on the banks of a river. I hated the odour, I would always hold my breath as we drove past. It depends on what day it is, the refinery always smells different. Sometimes it would smell of roast pork (but also sweet and chemically) and other days it would smell like melted charred plastic.

I remember Rhodes being built. I remember seeing the first few buildings go up. My parents and I visited a demountable where you could view display homes. It was really exciting. It was just a flat piece of land and was so hard to imagine the community who are thriving there today. It used to be just somewhere you drove through.

But despite the development in Rhodes, you can still smell a waft of mangroves from the nearby park.


Car exhaust, co-mingled with chemicals. Fresh river tainted by petroleum fumes.


Patrick Song