Daniel Battley – Taken at one of the beaches in Mackay, Queensland. Two of the locals.
Living in the outback, one of the greatest dangers is the roads. I often do work in remote townships and on some cattle stations which take hours to get to and a lot of the roads are not even sealed. Dirt tracks, to be more precise. These are places where your cell phone/ mobile often don’t work, so driving at say sunset can be really dangerous. Cattle and kangaroos are often on the roads on the stations that time of day, and after a full day work and a three hour drive back home it can be a nightmare. It’s all part of my job, but it really is a hazard that I need to be careful about.
One of the other problems is when you drive for hundreds of kilometers between towns and the roads literally become boring. Falling asleep at the wheel is a very real possibility. Micro sleeps can hit you at any time and if you feel the slightest bit tired, it is highly recommended you pull over and take a nap, or if there is a truck stop – drink some coffee. I often wondered why the road toll was so high in these parts, and after being here two years, now I know. Most of the roads don’t have over taking lanes this far inland, and with the big road trains – trucks with three or more trailers it can be really harrowing. Not to mention when the mining trucks are being hauled up here on the back of semi’s. They take up most of the road and you have to pull over to let them pass.
Don’t get me wrong, I love living out here. But the roads sometimes can make it hell.
Okay, so if you have been following my blog, you would be aware I live in a country town in the Central Highlands of Queensland, which has been affected by the flooding in many parts of the Queensland and New South Wales coast lines. The other week, it was the phone networks, and then I mentioned how the rivers had risen so high they had blocked off major highways and roads, that link the cities to the country.
I knew things were bad last week, with the lower level of stock on the shelves at the supermarket, and I had been warned about the milk shortage that was coming, with rationing happening at our town’s major food store. So, I stocked up. And here is when it goes downhill. Last night, the whole house electrical system shorted out. After going around testing everything, the culprit, was none other than my refrigerator. At the time of night, there was no chance of getting a refrigeration specialist, or any retailer to buy a new fridge in a flash. Needless to say due to the ridiculous heat of the summer, and the fact my fridge was no longer working, my milk and everything else went off.
Alrighty, I raced out and luckily managed to get a fridge on special, at one of the town’s only two electrical stores. Brand new fridge, that needed filling. So, I head down to the food store, and what met me was a huge shock. There was NO fruit and vegetables, aside from tomatoes. Lots and lots of tomatoes, since last week, you couldn’t find them anywhere. Bread? Managed to get a loaf, but then I went to the milk aisle. Shelf after shelf empty. Then I tried the long life…cause there is always plenty of that in stock. Nope. The shelves were cleared. Meat? No. Eggs? No. You could say that anything fresh….was just unavailable.
Not sure how long this is going to go for, but I know one thing. Without milk, for my coffee, I am going to go insane.
The latest news from my nearest large city, Rockhampton; which is 3.5 hours from where I live.
THERE could have been some interesting dishes served in Rockhampton for dinner last night if the supplies at Coles and Woolworths were anything to go by yesterday afternoon.
After receiving a number of calls from readers on the lack of fresh food and essential supplies at supermarkets because of the actions of “panic shoppers”, The Bulletin set out to see how bare the shelves really were.
While there was no dairy, bread and limited supplies and varieties of meat and vegetables, there were still ample amounts of fennel, smoked salmon, cherries and chillies.
However, none of that was of any use to Rockhampton’s Rebecca Ellis who visited Coles yesterday about 3pm looking for fresh ingredients to fill her refrigerator for the weekend.
“This is the third supermarket I have come to today and it’s just the same as everywhere else,” she said.
“There’s no meat, milk or any fresh veggies. There’s just nothing really of any use for me this weekend.”
Ms Ellis has spent her week trying to recover from the severe weather of last weekend, which left her without power for 36 hours and forced her to throw out a fridge full of ingredients.
A truck with supplies made a late arrival at Coles with limited supplies of meat, vegetables and milk.
Some Woolworths stores also reportedly received limited supplies of the same products late yesterday.
I never realised how much I rely on technology as I did yesterday afternoon, when all of a sudden the Internet stopped working, and I got a shock, because my network coverage on my mobile phone, also stopped. I sat, staring at my screen, and then my phone and wondered. WHAT THE HELL?
Okay, so on contacting Telstra, who diverted me to India (Yeah, they should know what is going on in my country), I was told to hold for ten minutes, while they contacted Australia, to find out what had happened to the service. WELL, they came back and said, that there was a major fault and it would be down from between, 24, to 48 hours.
The look on my face?
Are you kidding me? NO…NO NO NO. But yes, it felt like my link to the rest of the world was gone.
Now to top it off, I went down to the supermarket, to stock up, and for those that know me, I live in Central Highlands, North Queensland, which is gripped by torrential rain and flooding. Needless to say, the trucks can’t get through due to some dams having burst their banks and flooded the rivers further south. So, there was a lot of fresh products, bread, milk, fruit and vege and national newspapers missing from the shelves.
Okay…so I bought up what I could, stocked up. Thought in my mind was, what if my town gets flooded in, and there is STILL no network , no eftpos, no banking…cause we all rely on the Internet.
So..you can imagine how isolated I really feel. The last time this town was flooded, nearly 80% went under, and took months to get back on its feet.
Well, at about 2.20pm the net finally came back on. Now at least I can see the radar sites, on the coming rain, and keep up to date with the flooding situation and truck movement from the south. Its amazing really, I live 3.5 hours from the coast line, but once the rivers flood, I feel like I am on an island which is very hard to be reached by road and train. Having no net or cell phone, also had me realise my dependence on it. And it was a truly scary thing.
Latest news from Queensland.