The Hunter River is the lifeblood of the Hunter Valley. But since early settlement it hasn't been treated like a life blood; it has been exploited, turned into a dumping ground and over-run by weeds. In 2001, ABC Newcastle's Phil Ashley-Brown interviewed people along the 470km Hunter River between Barrington Tops and Newcastle Harbour. In 2003 the series highlighted the poor state of the waterway and tapped into a passion that many people have for the Hunter River. In 2011 Phil went back to the river to see how much change there has been over the last 10 years.
In River Stories Phil meets some of the characters he spoke to back in 2001, talks to new people along the way, and highlights the issues faced by the river, and some of the work being undertaken to improve it. In a country recently savaged by floods, River Stories is an insightful look at Australia’s river systems and the results of human impact.