Steel City Sue is making waves with a new music video of her song Boom Town.
The song starts like this: Our town is a boom town but you'd never know it was a boom town 'cause the main street is empty and the shops have all closed down.
The "our town" lyric draws a kind of inspiration from the iconic Newcastle Permanent advertisement from the 1980s.
Steel City Sue is the alter ego or stage name of Islington musician Su Morley.
She sings: How so many millions worth of black coal can be hauled out every day while our town decays, 'cause after they've had their day all the money goes out through the heads and far away. Not a cent is left to pay for a beautiful building or anything in our town.
The song seems to have struck a chord.
"People feel it's the truth - we've got this supposed coal boom happening, but we're not getting the returns of mining," she said.
"For all the losses of land, water and climate change that we get from mining, we don't even get a financial return as the world's biggest coal port."
Su said the comparison was stark between Newcastle as a coal town and gold-rush towns in Australia.
"I went to a few gold-rush towns and thought, 'Wow, that's what the gold rush built'," she said.
She's referring to the likes of Ballarat, Bendigo, Melbourne and "even Gulgong".
"It's a gorgeous town in the central west. You see these beautiful main streets that are there and preserved. That's their little legacy. They've got something to show for it."
Su was born and bred in Newcastle.
"I used to do pub crawls from the Cambridge to the beach," she said.
"It was a thriving, amazing town."
The video includes graffiti of the "Newy $ell off".
She bristles at new developments that are big on concrete but not so big on design.
"I would have loved to have seen a lot more protection of our heritage and a lot more design - a lot more rigour around buildings that are allowed to be built.
"It looks like it could be anywhere. There's no character."
She was a strong advocate for retaining the heritage of the Store building in Newcastle West.
"I was very public about my desire to see that protected but it didn't happen."
She's also angry about the sale of the Port of Newcastle on a 98-year lease and the sale of the Newcastle railway corridor.
She fears Newcastle could end up like the Appalachian region in the US, which is known for coal mining, destruction of the social fabric and environment, along with poverty, disease and welfare dependency.
"All those coal communities all through Appalachia in West Virginia are completely depleted," she said.
Despite the hefty themes, Su brings some lightness and hope in the video as she tap dances her way through derelict sites.
"The future is always ready to be written," she said.
Speaking of the Appalachian region, US President Donald Trump focused on this area in his campaign to become leader of the free world [Mind you, one could argue this title now belongs to German Chancellor Angela Merkel].
And speaking of Trump, Maryland's Brian Purdue has been following the story of Conan the dog.
Trump praised the commando dog for its role in the raid that killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He chased Baghdadi into a tunnel where the ISIS leader later died after detonating a suicide vest.
Trump referred to the dog as a "he" during a White House appearance with the dog, which was named after comedian Conan O'Brien.
Soon after, a White House official said the dog was female not male.
Since then, there's been much back and forth over the dog's true gender.
"Poor old Trump, you'd think he'd know his sexual organs, wouldn't you?" Brian joked.
Dudley's Don Owers tells Topics that people in the area are mightily peeved that the iconic "snake tree" has been cut down and stolen.
"It makes you weep - that's a natural treasure gone," Don said.
The Welcome to Dudley Facebook page said the snake tree was unique, with "its trunk writhed around itself like a serpent".
Adventurous children liked to climb it. Only a stump remains.
If you have any information on this desecration, contact National Parks and Wildlife Service ranger Kate on 4946 4103.