My site: Defence | Mining
Economy | Brisbane and South East Queensland | Mining | Traffic Accidents | Current Budget | Budget 2015-16 - Knowledgeworker Jobs | Tough Budget 2012 | Carbon Tax on Brisbane to Reduce Debt | Hung Parliament Queensland State Election 2015 | Landslide Queensland State Election Victory to LNP 2012 | CSG (Coal Seam Gas) Mining v Farmers | Huge Storms | Monumental Floods | Huge State Debt 2009 | Business Success! | Dodgy Finance Laws | Open Source bigger in Brisbane than Sydney | Queensland Government Shakeup December 2017 | Qld Dept of Science, IT and Innovation | UQ ITEE | GIS | Upstarta Business Incubator in Toowong | Toowoomba | Commonwealth Games 2018 - Gold Coast | Art Galleries | Defence Ipswich | Inland Railway Project | Research and Creative Industry at QUT | QUT Creative Industries Precinct | QUT Noisy Construction at Kelvin Grove | Truck Noise in Red Hill | Tollways, Busways, Tunnels, Airports, Railways, Cycleways, Mobile Internet, NBN, Marinas and Traffic | Caboolture | University of Sunshine Coast | Mobile Internet | Sunshine Coast | Forced Council Amalgamations | Music | Gold Coast | Fluoridation of Drinking Water | Camp Hill | Road Traffic Accidents Gumdale | Red Hill | Central, North and Far North Queensland | South-West and West Queensland (and North-West NSW)
Brisbane has 170 mining head offices. Most of the mines are:
Mining software companies:
University of Queensland has a mining engineering degree and Mining3 CRC research unit.
CSIRO has 2 centres for mining in Brisbane:
Allwood St Indooroopilly rail bridge hit by truck - very frequent occurrence - holds up Ipswich-Caboolture line - needs speed bumps 4/19
It's the sort of mistake you only make once but after this truck got stuck under a rail bridge in Indooroopilly on Saturday, there have been calls for drivers to automatically lose their licence. https://t.co/4haV7HRL01— Caboolture News (@CabooltureNews) April 15, 2019
It's the sort of mistake you only make once but after this truck got stuck under a rail bridge in Indooroopilly on Saturday, there have been calls for drivers to automatically lose their licence. https://t.co/4haV7HRL01
In April 2019, Brisbane City Council refused to fix this blackspot by traffic calming and expected truck drivers to read the signs and wear the costs of damage they inflicted on themselves.
Hitech startups were fostered with $140M startup fund over 4 years from DSITI (Budget Paper 4 2015-16). Curtis Pitt, treasurer, visited Caboolture Sports Club in 22/7/15.
In May 2012 (AFR 5-6/5/12), Brisbane is the only city paying carbon tax. This will slow the excessive growth and reduce the debt from all the infrastructure projects that no-one is willing to pay for except the Commonwealth Government.
In January 2015, ALP formed government by agreement with 1 independent Peter Wellington. DSITIA became DSITI.
In March 2012, LNP won the state election with 78 seats, ALP has 7 seats, Australia Party has 2 seats and others have 2 seats of total of 89. All the 20 inner Brisbane City state electorates were lost from ALP to LNP! Staggering switch! First time in 80 years!
Campbell Newman (can do Campbell) ex Lord Mayor of Brisbane beat Anna Bligh soundly. He is now fixing the huge debts ($4Bn).
In January 2011, Brisbane was hit with major floods. I just left before they hit! There was $5.8Bn in damages to real estate and infrastructure so the Commonwealth Government will pay 75% of costs including buildings, roads and $25,000 per small business and $1000 per household. Many houses got no money as the insurance companies said the floods were an act of God in their case and copped out. It was better to get stuff away from flood prone areas on back of truck if warned rather than try to get repairs done after the floods hit via insurance claim or government handout. Woolworths, NSW Govt and plenty of others have donated millions towards the flood victims in Queensland.
Brisbane City Council provides an early warning alert service for floods and storms. They email or SMS you with info.
Most inland Queensland was flooded plus a Cyclone in January 2011 hammered Queensland. Wivenhoe Dam water was released in January 2011 which flooded the Lockyer Valley and killed several people instead of releasing it gradually before it got to critical levels (99%). Locals tried to sue the SEQwater Water Authorities but lost (SEQwater - Qld Govt Inquiry).
In April 2011, Councillor Campbell Newman stepped down as Mayor of Brisbane and was Leader of the Queensland Opposition and the Liberal National Party as the ALP did such a bad job of supporting flood victims in the January 2011 Brisbane floods. Campbell Newman is a member of the Liberal National Party and was the only Liberal Government leader as mayor of Brisbane in the whole of Australia till NSW and Victoria fell to Liberals in 2011.
As of March 2009, the Queensland Government had a $1.6Bn AUD deficit, 3 times worse than NSW ($640M AUD). So all the businesses are waiting for the Queensland Government to pay instead of doing business with other businesses so the Queensland Government has gotten into too much debt! There was no change in government on 21 March 2009 so the deficit will stay high leaving higher Commonwealth Government aid necessary to get Queensland into good economic shape again!
By March 2010, Queensland is smarter and pushing hard in amazing ways to grow its economy. It is selling off QR Freight for $3Bn, track and rollingstock in one package. However the January 2011 floods wiped out all the capital raised by the QR float.
In 2011/12, Queensland predicts a $4.058Bn deficit due to the floods and Cyclone Yasi in January 2011.
LNP Government under Campbell Newman has frozen programs and cut expenditure in April 2012.
This is a growing area. The Queensland Government does heaps more for the state than in New South Wales where private enterprise seems to take over a lot of the supporting roles to the detriment of rural towns outside of Sydney - no dollars means no services in country NSW e.g Telstra slacking off when there are no dollars outside of Sydney CBD. This leaves rural towns in NSW to either do it tough and use their brains to outwit the greedy city boys or give up and move back to the city again with all its inherent cost problems when you are small. So Queensland beckons with its low costs and easy to do business.
In 2008 we moved to Brisbane for Web work. We did some local work but are now finding our own way and getting our own business going again in a hurry. Luckily payments from NSW started coming in around this time so I was not so hard up to pay regular bills and give me a chance to adapt or return to NSW again which I did when I was kicked out. Queensland is much more advanced than when we left in 1988 to seek work in Sydney however it is still very hard to get going if you are new and unknown. Queensland is a bit old fashioned re needing to have a formal office or people will not do business with you.
In February 2010, I found a Web customer in Sumner Park industrial estate, west of Brisbane towards Ipswich an up and coming area of South East Queenland, the growth area of Australia. To finish the Website off quicker, I visited the customer onsite in March 2010 via train to Darra and 452 bus to Sumner Park or 460 bus from city. This was because I moved my registered office to Rochedale, Logan, QLD from December 2009 to September 2010. In September 2010 I returned my registered office to Orange because of logistics and lack of sales in Queensland. This was the first success with my Web business in Queensland since starting in 2008 to try and get customers up here! Many thanks to family who helped me get a base in Brisbane while travelling around NSW, ACT and Victoria the past 2 years! Centenary Computers sell second hard ex Government IT equipment and parts at Sumner Park - good find! 50% of businesses in Sumner Park were under water up to the roof in January 2011 floods.
In February 2011, I reconnected with an old Web customer in Coorparoo who moved from Sydney to Brisbane around 2008 to redo this Website. End of me doing that site was in March 2016.
Queensland is a very go-ahead place for running a small business if you can get it started up here which can be difficult if you are new. There is plenty of money in QLD for existing businesses, not poverty stricken like NSW where everyone stops paying for services and leaves us in the lurch for months unless pushed by late-fees or in-person visits! NSW is a dog in comparison to QLD's vigor for its own businesses. In September 2008, NSW went through recession.
The Queensland Government is the best place to start when doing business in Queensland. They respond and have good scope for business with plenty of relevant seminars to get businesses investing in the area. They also use the internet extensively to service the state which is far-flung and stretched out - 1400km from Brisbane to Cairns/Townsville.
In December 2013, Brisbane GPO is a very bureaucratic post office, worst in Australia I've found. Sydney or Orange post offices were much more helpful. They make it difficult to move company PO Box from one city to another without mountains of paperwork to justify it. Call Centre was more helpful 131318.
Since I listed my business briefly in Brisbane in 2008, I have had 2 or 3 cold calls from Brisbane or Gold Coast companies thinking I was still up there! They were always slimey and dodgy around money, loans and taxes. Queensland has poor bankruptcy laws and it is very hard to get money out of debtors up there. Money is loaned in Queensland with no collateral so many times debts are never paid and companies go broke owing many customers and suppliers money. A big white goods manufacturer went broke in Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast in 2010. Many builders have gone under owing money to clients in Queensland since 2008.
Brisbane is much more pro open-source software based development (which is what I do to a large degree) than Sydney who do mostly software development on commercial software platforms like Microsoft or Oracle. (PHP Meetup Brisbane has over 310 members whereas Sydney only has 50!) Brisbane is not scared to talk about or use PHP and MySQL so I will keep in touch with Brisbane PHP and MySQL developer communities as they are very profitable for networking in Queensland. Also the Queensland Government is looking at the advantages of developing an open-source software based ICT sector which is very encouraging after being stuffed around in Sydney in open sourced based systems which they judge are cheap and nasty which they are not! (Aug 2008)
Red Hat the largest Linux distributor has its Asia-Pacific Office in Brisbane, QLD. Red Hat has launched a new Brisbane Headquarters in August 2008, so open source is very much alive and well in Queensland compared to other states. I think I've made the right business decision to relocate our Linux-focused business to Brisbane from Sydney and Orange back in 2008 and later in 2011.
Solar Winds, system support software, are base in Brisbane as is Oracle and IBM! Solar Winds has excellent service!
From 2012, functions of the former Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation are now administered by the following departments:
In late 2007, we contacted Prof Brian Lovell, ITEE, University of Queensland and are working on their open source project IAPR Commence, a conference paper management system, which was developed in PHP and MySQL by IT honours students, where I studied my BSc in 1981-87. We extended it and used it in one of our projects, donating our improvements back to the project in return for use of the open source software which saved us $1000s! This is a win-win situation of the IT industry feeding back into the academic circles to help develop students for the badly lacking industry! There is a 50% drop in software engineers graduating from Australian univerities from 2002-2007 so we as an IT industry need to start taking an interest in the universities such as the University of Queensland ITEE and start fostering local talent so the software engineering industry doesn't die in Australia and be outsourced totally to India.
In April 2012, I attended GeoRabble, an open source mapping/GIS/GPS technology interest group, at Pig n Whistle, 123 Eagle St, Brisbane.
In 2009, Arjen Lentz started Upstarta a lean business incubator in iLab, Toowong now Indooroopilly QLD. I met Arjen at Griffith Uni in April 2010 at BarCamp Queensland where he gave a presentation on Upstarta methodology.
iLab is a new UQ IT business incubator. Jentla is there and doing very well with opensource Joomla extensions (Alabama US project) Jan 2010.
As Queensland businesses are parochial and will not do business with you for ages (too laidback) unless they know you first which can lead to cashflow shortages, we are now doing business interstate in NSW and ACT to keep afloat and gave up waiting for the first Queensland job to materialise. In May 2008, we nearly got a Sydney customer to service them from Queensland via the Internet. People in Queensland from interstate are easy to deal with. Most people are only interested in helping themselves and not lending a hand to others like us, which makes it very tough to get going. Queensland is like country NSW in that it is refuses to reply to mail or phone calls to start a job. They call when they are ready which makes it impossible to get anywhere!
In March 2010, I attended via train from Park Rd Brisbane to Helensvale, BarCamp Queensland at Building 30 (Multimedia), Griffith Uni, Southport and found Gold Coast Innovation Centre (GCIC). Gold Coast is a strong centre for IT startups! I saw them at CeBIT in Sydney 3 or 4 years ago pushing for me to move my IT business to near Bond Uni Gold Coast Robina campus once.
Business Gold Coast says in June 2012 they got an NBN Co call centre.
In October 2010, I attended BarCamp Queensland at The Edge near State Library of Queensland and gave a talk on Violin and IT.
In April, July and October 2010, I attended University of Queensland 100th anniversary celebrations including an ITEE alumni dinner at which I met many very interesting fellow graduates in IT.
Translink go cards for bus, train and ferry in Brisbane area can be topped up over the Web or using EFTPOS at train stations - very convenient!
Bus trips in Brisbane can get quite expensive. In one day with many trips I paid $8. Brisbane needs a weekly pass like Canberra's ACTION.
In February 2013, Gold Coast light rail is being built between Broadbeach, Surfers Paradise and Southport by 2014. Also Griffith University Gold Coast and Gold Coast University Hospital is going up in Parkwood near cemetery, quite a growth spurt!
The yuppies (25-30 year olds) are cliquey wherever they are (NSW, QLD). Queensland seems to be overrun with yuppies in Brisbane at present due to them moving up from NSW and Victoria to save money. Everywhere in Brisbane there are people under 30 who are me-focused. This is improving for people over 40 to get on today in Brisbane who lived here in the 1980s and are more group-focused and social. Now they are all selfish and inward looking and very hard to work with unless you help them directly. They don't see the bigger picture. If you are over 40, take care as you may be pushed to one side by anti-social youths. The only positive side is young people are enthusiastic and able to change quicker than older people so Queensland has become more dynamic. See about Generation Y's habits in the economy - no assets, hyperactively living it up. I had a customer like this in Wollongong!
These and Queensland Justice and Attorney-General are a lot tighter up here and you feel more protected than in New South Wales where no-one helps the worker, just big business. WorkCover Qld is more modern and uses social engineering and decentralised management, not the Dickensian English laws in New South Wales which load all costs onto central management to no real benefit. People here are much more oriented to small businesses like us and we find it easy to do business in Queensland. Fair Work Commission administers wages.
Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, WorkCover Queensland, Workers' Compensation Regulator and Electrical Safety Office have merged as of October 2017.
People although not as rich as New South Wales pay their bills and are happy for you to see them again.
Drivers' licences and other transport matters can be handled online via the Queensland Dept of Transport and Main Roads's Website, a great idea considering Queensland is a large state and this will reduce the paperwork and make life more efficient when dealing with Queensland Transport. Also driver's licences are much less expensive than in NSW.
The only downside is finding accommodation near transport as Brisbane transport only runs on specific routes and often cuts out after 6pm unless it is a major road, not as extensive as Sydney or Melbourne. You may need a car, take a taxi or stay overnight near the Brisbane Transit Centre to link accommodation and transport needs e.g. early interstate or interurban buses or trains.
It is very hard to make money busking in Brisbane. The Brisbane City Council only has auditions for permits in Queen St Mall every 3 months and I could not pass the audition although I have played in Sydney, Melbourne, Orange and Castlemaine.
Defence Ipswich had a conference in 20 November 2018 to aid manufacturers to obtain Defence contracts. Ipswich is right next door to RAAF Base Amberley.
I visited Ipswich in July 2013 and contacted Ipswich City Council.
In preparation for 2nd release NBN rollout in 2013, Ipswich has a Digital Hub at Redbank Plains Library and Technology Training for small businesses at Queens Park.
Small businesses need government funded IT training to take advantage of the NBN rollout.
In a growth corridor, Springfield has the Polaris Data Centre.
Ipswich Art Gallery has a special children's education section, rare amongst art galleries with multimedia interactivity from Italy.
In May 2018, Ipswich is fostering the Inland Railway Project from NSW from Gowrie to Kugara. ARTC Inland Rail is funded by Federal Government from NSW to Queensland to foster economy.
QUT is building a Science and Technology Precinct in 2012 near Goodwill Bridge, Gardens Point, Brisbane CBD. QUT ran CCI Symposium in 2011 on convergence and digital media. IT and media companies are supported in an incubator at QUT Creative Enterprise Australia.
QUT is building a 6 storey glass Creative Industries Precinct building at Musk Ave and Kelvin Grove Rd Kelvin Grove in a car park starting in April 2013 and taking 2 years to complete. In 2014, I lived opposite in Red Hill and the noise is high in January 2014 and in Queensland there is noise abatement law and builders can work 6.30am-6.30pm. This is hell for residents like me. A builder has to comply with a DA re noise levels on an industrial site. Brisbane City Council first did not take complaints as John Holland (builder) is not breaking its DA but I contacted Toowong and Central Wards and now town planning knocked back my complaint as not breaking any laws.
I nearly reported Noise Pollution to Dept of Environment and Heritage Protection:
Police did nothing. There is 85 dB limit in DAs in Queensland for construction sites. This is ridiculous abuse of power. Unemployed people or the elderly are up against the main population who go to work and leave noisy residential construction sites behind. They will have to go to the library to get away from the noise.
I spoke to the project manager of John Holland and he said there were 4 hour pours of concrete every 2 weeks till July 2014. The concrete was pressed down which created all the noise.
In 28 August 2016, I attended QUT Createx for opening of new QUT Creative Industries Building corner of Musk Ave and Kelvin Grove Rd Kelvin Grove finished in April 2016 that had been so noisy during construction in 2014 when I lived in Red Hill over the road. The pain was worth the gain! They had great music, drama, art, sound and movie production and software multimedia apps on display and finished with a great concert with children's choir, music and dance.
Cnr Musk Ave and Kelvin Grove Rd Kelvin Grove has very noisy traffic including trucks from 4.30am-10pm every day. The only good thing re this area is good public transport. I am trying to get compression braking signage on Kelvin Grove Rd between Musk Ave and Hale St Overpass, Hale St Exit to Kelvin Grove Rd and Hale St Overpass. There are a lot of tip trucks using these roads for construction sites on the north side of Brisbane. They need a freeway like Southeast Freeway on North Side to divert heavy vehicles away from these city roads. Go Between Bridge is directing much more heavy traffic on Inner City Bypass than before. Brisbane City Council says compression braking signs are at major entries to city which are 30km from Red Hill long after truck driver has passed them on outskirts of city so totally useless for inner city people. Brisbane still operates like a big country town of 100,000 people.
As of February 2014, I now wear earplugs all the time in Red Hill to stop traffic and construction noise. It makes concentration and sleeping much better. The government did nothing re traffic or construction noise so I blocked my ears to stop going mad!
As of about 2006, Brisbane now has a great Busway from the CBD to Logan on the southside - it only takes 30 minutes to get from the city to Eight Mile Plains, a huge improvement. Also there is Translink which lets customers travel between zones all day for a very reasonable rate. Brisbane also has a new bus/pedestrian/cycle bridge between Dutton Park near Annerley on the southside and the University of Queensland which connects to the city, Eight Mile Plains and Carindale - great for getting to the University of Queensland for people on the southside without having to go through the city and out through the congested traffic on the northside. There is a new Busway being built from the Buranda/Stones Corner area along Old Cleveland Rd all the way to Capalaba. Elected in March 2009 till March 2012, Cameron Dick, was MP for Greenslopes, Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations. The seat of Greenslopes covers the new buslane along Old Cleveland Rd. The buses go about 80kph despite traffic jams on the nearby Pacific Motorway as the Busway is a separate road running parallel to the Pacific Motorway, making for very efficient and frequent bus services on that route. Tunnel at Buranda has been started in July 2010 for the Eastern Busway.
In 2009, a Melbourne 27 year old youth Nicholas Bolton, director of Australian Style Investments Pty Ltd, fiddled with the share value of BrisConnections (ASX:BCS), the Airport Link M7 tollway near the Brisbane Airport. Bolton pocketed huge income ($4.5M) via a deal with management to rollover rather than vote to oust chairman (story) This is linked to via the Gateway Arterial Road. BrisConnects collapsed spectacularly in 2013. (Arup to face court over BrisConnections collapse 11/17). I used to collect statistics of traffic accidents when I worked for the Australian Bureau of Statistics in the 1980s so know all these bottlenecks and blackspots.
Auckland Airport invested in Mackay and Cairns Airports in January 2010 owned by North Queensland Airports (NQA) to increase Asian tourism and mining traffic.
There is a new cross-river tunnel called North-South Bypass Tunnel (Clem 7) built and operated by RiverCity Motorway finished by March 2010 (not 2009) linking north and south side. However by 25 Feb 2011, the Clem7 went into administration as traffic volumes were way down on expectations (too expensive and drivers were too canny). The grinding machine is nicknamed 'Matilda'. The road enters around the Exhibition Grounds near Royal Brisbane Hospital and comes out near Kangaroo Point and Woolloongabba. This will cut down travel time. There is also a doubling of the Gateway Bridge due around 2010. There is also a widening of the Centenary Motorway linking Logan with Ipswich Motorway coming out at Gailes/Redbank due to be completed by 2010. Kevin Rudd (ALP) promised to complete this at the last federal election in 2007 to decrease traffic congestion from Ipswich to Brisbane and Logan. The whole South East corner of Queensland is a big building site! This is because of the huge increase in population from about 1 million to 1.8 million since 1988 to 2008 due to all the NSW and Victorian people migrating up to the warm climate and taking all the jobs!
In 2011, Clem7 went bankrupt due to poor traffic forecasts (20,000 instead of 100,000 vehicles per day) owing $1.3Bn after 11 mths (Brisbane Australia's CLEM7 toll tunnel broke after 11 months operation - horrible traffic forecasts 1/3/11 (archive)).
Kapsch TrafficCom Will Overhaul Tolling System on Two Transurban Australian Highways - Gateway and Logan Motorways 7/16
In January 2013, Airport Link M7 (now Linkt Brisbane) went bankrupt due to poor traffic forecasts too (45,000 vs 135,000 vehicles per day) owing $4.8Bn after 7 mths (Brisbane Airport Link another miracle of growing debt and assumed traffic growth 6/7/12, Another Brisbane Tunnel Goes Bankrupt 19/1/13).
In October 2010, Brisbane City Council setup City Cycle where people can rent a bicycle from a group of bicycles locked at stations around the CBD for $60.50/year subscription with first 30 minutes free then so much per hour, very reasonable.
There are no ATMs or shops in Eight Mile Plains, the nearest centre being Garden City, Upper Mt Gravatt, which is huge and right on the busway.
The other ATM is at Centro Buranda shopping centre, near the PA Hospital on Ipswich Rd, Woolloongabba. Bus connections between the Camp Hill area and Eight Mile Plains are poor. The best is inbound 208 which drops you at the Buranda Busway Stop. Otherwise you have to walk to Centro Buranda, Cornwall St from Buranda Busway, O'Keefe St, about 10-15 minutes walk, and buses are only every 10-20 minutes and often 10-20 minutes late. A lot of aborigines hang around here and can be a nuisance if they are begging change or are drunk. 4 other ATMs are: Stones Corner, Coorparoo, Carina and Carindale Shopping Centre. There is a Westpac ATM at Whites Hill but they charge $2 for other banks to use it. The Buranda Busway stop is handy if you are visiting patients at the PA Hospital - there is only about a 20 minute walk from the stop to the hospital main entrance. Having a daily bus ticket is handy if you need to get to an ATM then jump on a bus and continue to work etc. 203 goes to Coorparoo where the ATM is and where a lot of buses pass which you can use to get to the busway and on to your destination. UQ buses go to the Buranda Busway stop and are usually much more empty than 111 from Eight Mile Plains.
In March 2010, the Eastern Busway is under construction from Buranda via Stones Corner to Coorparoo. In April 2011, a new bus station was been built near Old Cleveland Rd and Main Ave Coorparoo and will be finished by 29/8/2011 (Open Day 27/8/11). In November 2010, the old Myers became a markets open Thursday-Saturday. The new busway will increase trade in the Coorparoo area. In March 2013 the Eastern Busway was finished. By August 2014, the markets and all the shops in the old Myer Centre are closed waiting for the redevelopment into a huge complex and Busway to be finished in 2015-2019 or so.
In August 2014, the Coorparoo Myer Centre had a DA A003820603 to be redeveloped as an 18 storey block of 364 flats with a movie theatre on the groundfloor. This will lead to huge parking problems. It will be built over 4 years. The new busway will be completed after that. Ian Kaye, MP for Greenslopes met me in Coorparoo near the Faith Works Uniting Community (Coorparoo Uniting Church) (who got a new female minister in November 2014 and where I met Chris Mathers a lay preacher there) to tell me the new plans which are quite glamorous. There will be shops in the new complex to make it viable. I lived in Coorparoo next to Coorparoo Uniting Church so enjoyed the church fellowship including the home group. Before that I knew Christian Brethren Assemblies Gumdale which was opposite Eastside shops. They sold their building next to new childcare centre in June 2016.
The project went ahead and in September 2015 the 1st stage of Coorparoo Square (18 storey block of apartments, cinema complex, 2 pools on old Myers Site) has sold out ($232M) due for completion in 1st quarter of 2017. All along Cavendish Rd nearby on way to Coorparoo Station large blocks of units are popping up where old houses were demolished to make way. Developers are heavily investing in Coorparoo Junction as the demand for units is so great so close to the CBD. The run down old area is ripe for redevelopment.
A new Coorparoo Ward will be created in Brisbane City Council together with other southside areas in 2016 council election. Its aim is to revitalise Coorparoo Junction and Stones Corner! Good news! Cr Ian McKenzie (ex Holland Park Ward) will contest it (Holland Park Ward, Coorparoo Ward, Brisbane City Council Current and Final Ward Boundaries 8/15).
By June 2019, a new Police Station will be opened in Caboolture up near Aldi on King St.
In August 2014, I moved to Caboolture QLD in Moreton Bay Regional Council which was the merger of Caboolture, Redcliffe and Strathpine about 2009. They are a young council with hitech library, art gallery, business hub with pods, Bee Gees Way memorabilia - quite a weird mix of a council, the third biggest council in Australia with many aspirational voters.
Wyatt Roy, ex MP for Longman, is under 25 yrs old and was quite active to get NBN rolled out to Bribie Island and Caboolture in 2015.
In July 2016, Susan Lamb (ALP) won seat of Longman from Wyatt Roy but resigned in May 2018 over dual citizenship debacle but won by-election then lost July 2019 federal election to Terry Young (LNP).
Since March 2015, there have been 200-300 white corellas roosting in Hayes St Caboolture creating deafening noise every night at 6pm and 12am-3am. Moreton Bay Regional Council will do nothing. Dept of Environment and Science is responsible but will do nothing because it costs $200,000 to eradicate. Similar problem occurs with Flying Foxes near builtup areas. I have to wear earplugs. Drought drives bird boom (Caboolture News 5/8/15). The corellas came back in December 2015 and are still there. They are proving very hard to eradicate apart from scaring them off for an hour or 2. In May 2016, I contacted DES Maroochydore re DMP (Damage Mitigation Permit) to mitigate corellas.
St Columban's College Caboolture has a School Pathways to VET program to train local students to get a worthwhile job and improve their lives and the community which is awe inspiring and great for Caboolture! Their motto is Every Student Every Success. Their Open Day is on 14/5/16. They include science, robotics, 3D printing, art, music, drama, library, sports. What a blessing a Christian school can add to a down-trodden dysfunctional area!
St Peters Aquatic Centre Bertha St Caboolture next door to St Peters Catholic Primary School Beerburrum Rd opened to public in January 2014. It is closer to me, cleaner and cheaper than the Council pool in King St.
Caboolture Neighbour Centre - community garden, anger management courses and Cert II Horticulture courses subsidised by Qld Govt in 4/18.
In October 2015 University of Sunshine Coast Sippy Downs won tender in Moreton Bay Regional Council The Mill Precinct to build campus at Petrie Station on 460 hectare old paper mill site that council bought on spec in June 2015 for $50M to service Mango Hill and North Lakes area, a big breakthrough for education in area! In September 2016, Jackie Trad, Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, declared The Mill, site of the future university, a PDA (Priority Development Area) (Caboolture News 7/9/16 p9). See Survey Form for public feedback (4/17).
From 1/1/18, USC will take over QUT Caboolture Campus (QUT story, USC story 6/17).
April 2017 flythroughs of The Mill at Petrie for USC campus
In 2020, USC Petrie will be opened by new Mayor after MBRC election in March 2020.
I studied Cert II Horticulture at Lake Kawana Community Centre, Bokarina, Sunshine Coast, in October-November 2017. Lake Kawana Community Centre has concerts and events available and room hire and is run by Sunshine Coast Council and is very entrepreneurial and creative with office space and community garden next door. Tickets are available online for concerts. There is a picture there of Steve Irwin (Crikey!) from Australia Zoo!
In June 2017, Caboolture Square shops are being renovated to cater for Caboolture West expansion.
In May 2017, Auswide Bank moved Morayfield branch to North Lakes. In March 2017, NAB Caboolture closed. So there are less and less banking facilities in Caboolture. Only CBA is left in Caboolture. The rest are in Morayfield. This is due to low income area killing business.
In August 2017, I got a job strawberry picking from local farm in Wamuran 15km from Caboolture after doing Sweetest Job program Cert II Horticulture with RTO in Caboolture PCYC in June paid for by Qld Govt. Wamuran is a very go ahead little farming community I am glad I discovered. It broke 2 year drought of finding local work in Caboolture.
10% unemployment in Caboolture make Caboolture worst in Australia for those on Centrelink unemployment benefits not turning up to interviews plus drugs and crime and low education.
Moreton Bay Regional Council is lobbying Amazon to build its super warehouse in Brendale, Dakabin, Narangba or Morayfield (4/17). This would have led to construction, warehouse and IT ecommerce jobs which is up my alley however the warehouse was sited in Dandenong Victoria instead.
Redcliffe Hive co-worker space closed in 1/7/16 due to lack of demand.
Caboolture Hub has a business centre for training.
To get some mentoring, in August 2013 I visited Brisbane BEC (Business Enterprise Centre) in 29 Cambridge St, Coorparoo about 1 block north of Coorparoo Station. They have links to training units and are very enterprising.
North Lakes is a growth area with a huge Costco in Narangba.
Narangba Innovation Precinct is being developed by Moreton Bay Regional Council and Economic Development Queensland (State Govt) for manufacturing.
National Economic Development Conference 2015, Redcliffe, 8-11 Sep 2015 is sponsored by Moreton Bay Regional Council (local government).
I was there when Facebook visited Caboolture Hub on 20/11/15 at invitation of Wyatt Roy MP, Assistant Minister for Innovation, for Business Boost, a first for Caboolture and put it on map to grow local businesses using Facebook strategy!
Under construction in 2015, North Harbour (North East Business Park) in Morayfield will create 27,000 jobs (Wyatt Roy MP 17/3/2014). This is very close to Caboolture. In May 2015, shops are starting to be leased in King St after 3 yrs of stagnation and over 30 empty shops. North East Business Park is a $600M development (fast track of Marina against Moreton Bay Regional Council's flood zone concerns). Developer was LNP donor. There is no public transport to NEBP only cars or bikes.
Caboolture Morayfield 25 years ago in 1991
North Harbour -- Caboolture, QLD - Produced 2010
There is a new Brisbane Technology Park created by the Queensland Government in Eight Mile Plains south of Brisbane which has excellent transport via the Busway and Pacific Motorway. There are many startup companies in hi-tech industries based there. See coworking hub. We worked near here for 2 mths here during 2008 and found it has excellent facilities. Qt was based til August 2012 in the Brisbane Technology Park, a leading Linux developer for KDE (Qt GUI library). Nokia has dumped Qt in favour of Microsoft Windows Phone 7 in 2011.
QCAT is at Pullenvale (west of Brisbane) - hitech CSIRO/Queensland Government manufacturing research centre.
In June 2015, it is very difficult to see a doctor in Caboolture. They are all booked out so I went to walk-in with 1 hr queue. Overcrowded blocks of units cause scabies. There is chronic domestic violience in Caboolture-Morayfield: 1 in 5 women suffer domestic violence once per year (University of Melbourne). In December 2015 Caboolture Super Clinic opened with Federal money to fill gap of not enough doctors and hospital emergency departments being flooded by people not being able to afford the doctor. They have online booking! State Government started a domestic violence task force in February 2015 to smooth process of supporting victims in school, police stations and court.
Potter's House Christian Church Caboolture, St Pauls Lutheran Church, New Hope Wesleyan Church and CityHeart Presbyterian Church (opening 2/19) are in Caboolture area.
Potter's House had all their microphones and sound equipment stolen (Caboolture News 4/9/16) when they moved from Caboolture to Caboolture South in August 2016. They forgave them and wanted to connect to burglar.
I met someone from Samoan Methodist Church Petrie. Samoan Pentecostal Conference was held in Morayfield (Caboolture News 6/7/16 p5). In mid-2015 SDA Conference was held near Caboolture and Toowoomba with hundreds from PNG and South Pacific islands with iJesus as their motto (like iPhone). On Sunday from 6-10pm there are Christian hymns and sermon on Caboolture community radio 101.5 FM. So these Christians build up area.
Starting in February 2012, MBRC Planning Scheme - Caboolture West suburb is being planned of 38000 people west of Caboolture by Moreton Bay Regional Council and Queensland Government. This will put tremendous strain on infrastructure and grow local economy from low income people to middle class people. In February 2016 Caboolture West is now in MBRC plans.
North Harbour Buckley Rd Burpengary East opened housing display village in April 2015.
In September 2014, the inaugural Redcliffe Kite Festival kicked off to mark the 190th anniversary of settlement.
Caboolture Festival ex Generate Festival 21-22/10/17
Caboolture Historical Village, near Caboolture Showgrounds on Beerburrum Rd, has $10 special every Australia Day, well worth the visit with a full day of activities, music, parades, train rides and working machinery! Caboolture Showgrounds have camping.
Moreton Bay Region Heritage Trails - good - Morayfield, Pine Rivers, Bribie Island
In September 2015, with UQ I went to Brisbane Writers Festival at State Library of Queensland with ABC RN broadcasting authors in Arts and Books Show - truly a memorable and most interesting event!
In 2019, I visited State Library of Queensland for:
Meet me at the Paragon digital story, 2019 from State Library of Queensland on Vimeo.
It is easy to ride a bicycle from Coorparoo to South Brisbane to visit the Mater Hospital. In South Brisbane there is the South Bank parkways and Kurilpa and Goodwill Bridges for bicycles. West End with its Boundary St cafes and pubs is very attractive nearby by bike. Montague Rd West End has an industrial estate with manufacturers. Foreign manufacturers do well in Queensland but local hitech businesses do not do well locally.
Cycling around Coorparoo, Camp Hill, South Brisbane and West End has saved me so much on bus fares. It is only 30 mins from Coorparoo to Mater Hospital in South Brisbane via Cavendish Rd and Stanley Street East along footpaths.
Caboolture-Wamuran Rail Trail bicycle-pedestrian 10.5km shared track following old Caboolture-Kilcoy Railway will be built from 2016/17-2019/20 by Moreton Bay Regional Council and Dept of Transport and Main Roads at cost of $4M.
Queensland Tennis Centre at Tennyson (pun) hosted Federer at Brisbane International in January 2014.
Hayes St Child Care Centre Caboolture, Caboolture's first child care centre, closed as went bankrupt in May 2017. Moreton Bay Regional Council bought it in October 2017 for 25% of value to keep for community use.
Caboolture area is full of aged care facilities.
Caboolture Bowls Club closes in April 2018 after 60 years to make way for 162 bed RSL aged care facility expansion. (Caboolture Herald 10/17)
In May 2018, Beerburrum Rd and Pumicestone Rd Caboolture intersection is being fixed. It had worst rate of traffic accidents in Queensland. Also Jacaranda Ave and Morayfield Rd Morayfied is being upgraded. This is for $28.8M spent by TMR via action by Mark Ryan MP for Morayfield. I spoke to Mark and Police Commissioner re this at ANZAC Day 2018.
In March 2017, Caboolture River bridge on Morayfield Rd is being raised 0.5m by TMR so there is only 2 or 3 lanes across river causing heavy traffic congestion between Caboolture and Morayfield.
In October 2016, Redcliffe Peninsula Railway opened after 100 years! 3000 jobs have already been created in Redcliffe Peninsula by March 2017 according to Mayor due to new railway giving quicker access to Brisbane for jobs.
New bypass is being built from Buchanan Rd M1 exit via Riverbank Estate to Caboolture CBD by mid 2018
As no weekly bus passes are available on Brisbane City Council buses (Logan City Buses sell weeklies), you need a bus ticket to the nearest train station (e.g. Buranda right next to the Busway stop) and then get a refund on the bus ticket and pay the remainder for a weekly. The other way is to buy a 'go card', introduced in Feb 2008, which allows you to charge up via credit card on the Translink Website or EFTPOS at train stations or certain newsagents however go cards are only available in a handful of sites in Brisbane suburbs but have dozens of sites in the CBD - go figure! On the buses, trains and ferries, just touch the go card on the reader before boarding and leaving the transport to deduct the fare or a higher fare will be charged to average costs out.
There is a good Translink deal on weekends - off-peak daily. On that you can go on the buses, trains, ferries and CityCats within Zones 1-2 for $4.10 all day - a very good deal! Fares went up in January 2010.
In December 2015, starting Monday after 9 trips in a week the rest of the week till Sunday evening is free on Translink.
In March 2013, Southeast Queensland bus routes are under review, with some remaining same with user reaction.
Most internet facilities are in the CBD and are expensive. Brisbane City Council (WiFi in Brisbane) has a free wireless hotspot in the Queen Street Mall in 2004. Libraries have limited Internet capabilities e.g. Cleveland near Moreton Bay. The State Library of Queensland and The Edge nearby have wifi. In 2012, Brisbane City Council will install 20 wifi hotspots in parks (June 2011).
Mobile coverage has improved greatly for Optus in 2003-2008 in Brisbane but Telstra is still the main carrier in Queensland out of the capital city.
In April 2011, I got a Vodafone Pocket Wifi 3G modem which I can use anywhere in the house with Linux or Windows laptops so can work anywhere in Brisbane now and save heaps on bus fares going to the State Library of Qld for wifi. Coverage is great in Brisbane CBD but awful in Camp Hill. See my wireless blog for details. In July 2011 I got a Vodafone K3771 USB modem on new 850MHz network but it has no wifi. In August 2011, a new Vodafone Pocket Wifi 2 with 850MHz was released. 850MHz is better than the old network.
In June 2011, southside of Brisbane has poor mobile internet infrastructure like Western Sydney. Internet connections freeze or lockup every hour or so. Vodafone gave me discounts to keep me with them as the coverage in Camp Hill was atrocious. Vodafone and Optus fell out and are segmenting networks in Telstra exchanges leading to massive bandwidth shortages.
In Southeast Advertiser 17/8/11 p.5 there was a story on poor internet at Carindale: "Fury at home internet bills" by Josh Alston - they could only use 3G and not ADSL until NBN in 2019. This shows no enterprise is willing to invest in internet infrastructure in Brisbane as they lose money as customers are too canny to spend much leaving businesses with no option to invest to get a return. Queensland is run by the community with little for business. This may explain why Optus then Vodafone had poor coverage in Brisbane as there is no money here!
Sunshine Coast has less infrastructure than the Gold Coast so is trying to attract investors in the guise of tenders.
Mooloolaba now has a very beautiful boulevarde along the foreshore with 1000s of high rise units just back from beach for holiday makers. There is also foreshore artwork and culture everywhere, much more than in the 1980s when I lived in Brisbane.
In August 2012, I tendered for a WIFI project at Sunshine Coast but by December it had been awarded to BigAir who did not charge for their services or equipment and whose tender was voted for unanimously by the Council. Qld Public Works would not load 'Awarded' on site for project so I gave up tendering for Sunshine Coast as it is dodgy. I had to read the Council minutes of 15/11/12 to find out who won it, not transparent. In Queensland, councils are a law unto themselves. Queensland State Government should control councils more and make them more accountable or there is danger of corruption.
In March 2013, Noosa voted to de-amalgmate from Sunshine Coast Regional Council from 1/1/14 according to DILGP Queensland Boundaries Commission. The other half, Maroochy-Caloundra, will de-amalgamate then too I guess. This seems like a complete waste of money after forced amalgations of councils by the ALP Queensland Government in 2007! Rising cost of living, forced amalgamation pushed mayors out in Queensland local government elections 30/4/12 - 43 new mayors (60%).
Since 2010, Bikie gang wars and robbery is on the increase in Gold Coast probably fuelled by drug lords. Riches attract crime.
Transport on the Gold Coast usually runs up and down the coast. Any buses inland like to Robina from Coolangatta cut out at 8pm when you will require a taxi or car. You can catch the train to Robina from Brisbane then catch a bus to Surfers Paradise or Coolangatta. Coachtrans will pick up off along the Gold Coast and take you to Brisbane. NSW Train Link and interstate buses all go along the coast and stop at Coolangatta and Surfers Paradise and are usually 30-45 minutes late getting into the Transit Centre, at Roma St, Brisbane from the south. NSW Train Link is much easier to book over the Internet.
The Gold Coast is a very fast growing area. Businesses are booming here including aged care facilities at Helensvale. Queensland needs a quota system to stop too many elderly people flocking to Southeast Queensland where there is not enough resources to cope. Elderly people do not pay tax but cost a lot in health services to maintain, not just the age pension. The Baby Boomers will reach retirement in 2011 to 2020 when the nursing homes will be overfull and people will have to get a place in a retirement village in neighbouring rural areas to be able to survive.
In 2011, Brisbane hospitals and nursing homes are nearly full of elderly patients due to a large migration of retirees over the past 20 years to Queensland and Northern New South Wales from Sydney and Melbourne which although cheaper and warmer is finding it very hard to keep with enough resources to cope with the high demand for health services of an ageing population. Gold Coast is getting a new private hospital at Griffith University and Mater Hospital is upgrading with a new Children's Hospital near South Brisbane and QEII Hospital is expanding at Nathan near Griffith University to cater for high demand for beds. Ambulances will not take elderly people to hospital but try to keep them at home putting stress on the family or carer in return for government support for building amenities in the home, Meals on Wheels and Respite Centres for carers to cater for elderly people.
After the Queensland Government had in 2008 forced Councils to fluoridate water, in 2012 Councils stopped fluoridation of drinking water removing a scientifically way of reducing teeth decay. Mackay did not notify citizens it had removed fluoridation in July 2012, 3 years after it had setup fluoridation in 2009 at $3M+ cost to ratepayers.
There are some ultra-conservative Christian groups in Brisbane to be wary of. Like all community groups, they just want to save money and get free support.
Brisbane is good for training, seminars or going to group meetings but not for making customers. In some ways, this is very much like Sydney when I was in Merrylands. Only bumping into prospects got me anywhere. I got no customers via my Website or emailing potential customers - they just ignore you or sponge off free information posted on my site. In the end I just invest in my own business and sometime if I am lucky I get a customer. The rest of marketing efforts to make customers do not work as people are too slack to get back to us or just want freebies.
It is very hard to get from the southside to the northside using public transport. The ferry is much quicker than taking the train or bus.
Camp Hill and Coorparoo are dying. The big Myer shop was closed but was taken over by markets. The site will not be taken over as a busway stop as the markets have a 2 year lease but are now demolished as of Sep 2015. The old Myer building was knocked down mid-2015 to make way for an 18 storey block of units. Stones Corner is much more lively with a better social atmosphere and shops but in April 2011 the shops were closing. In June 2011, Stones Corner sales are doing poorly with by now 20 empty shops. Decline is escalating with large shopping malls like DFO taking away customers. They need websites! Many migrants live at Stones Corner. The Stones Corner Library is handy and the small market nearby is useful. Ex Grindhouse Expresso (Green Door Cafe), a friendly cafe with art gallery in Logan Rd near Stones Corner Hotel, was sold and is now Chili Coco Thai Restaurant in 2014 (Review). Green Door Cafe tweeted positively to me re my busking in August 2011! See @GrindhouseSC (aka Green Door Cafe and Gallery). Jan Powers Farmers Markets were in Stones Corner on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month in 2011 but in 2015 they have moved to Mitchelton 1st Sunday of month. I busked there in 2011 and returned in 9/15 but it had died with about 50% empty shops. There is a lane markets near Pub. Eventually I found a dress shop who was musical.
A new 10 storey block of flats is planned for 357 Logan Rd, Greenslopes (DA A004167345) (Sep 2015) (BCC PDOnline).
The old bowling alley at Chatsworth Rd and Logan Rd Greenslopes is being converted into a green IGA supermarket in 2011. More upmarket business areas are developing in Greenslopes in June 2011.
CBA Carina closed in 2001. Hands On Therapy (hand and upper limb therapy) is now there. Health goes better than banks in this area. Bank of Queensland is nearby and an Australia Post agency where you can deposit cash. There must be many manufacturers near here for all these injuries to occur. I found Elio's Italian Restaurant in Winstanley St, Carina Heights which opens only at night. They had no customers when I visited. They do home delivery and have a website to make money. Fruition school tutoring is in Carina.
McDonalds Old Cleveland Rd, Coorparoo now has free wifi, very useful if you are travelling. 700 McDonalds have free wifi now all over Australia.
The only traditional protestant church left in Camp Hill is Camp Hill Church of Christ (Third St). They have plans for a youth pastor and support the local chaplain in the nearby state schools - pretty active little church! It is hidden in the back streets - turn off Pryde St from Boundary Rd or into Raven St off Old Cleveland Rd then left into Pryde St to get to it. Majestic Park Baptist became Eastside Community Church and moved to Chandler in about 2004 and Manly West in 2013 (ex Bayside Baptist) and Camp Hill Uniting Church merged with Norman Park Uniting Church in 2008 because they could not increase numbers in Camp Hill and folded! Norman Park and Coorparoo Uniting Churches have teamed up as Faith Works Uniting Community to survive the downward spiral of ever increasing non-english migrant populations and urbanisation and fragmentation of society. There is also a Charismatic Church on Old Cleveland Rd, Camp Hill. This is an ageing area and most young families have moved to Redland Shire near the sea where the land is cheaper.
In 1980s, when I worked at Australian Bureau of Statistics, there were many road traffic accidents at all intersections along New Cleveland Rd between Ermelo Rd and Green Camp Road, Gumdale. In Gumdale Area Traffic Study by Brisbane City Council recommendations include:
Since then, there is the Tilley Road Extension Project (3/15, gone in 5/18).
See Gumdale Area Traffic Study draft report 2010. Tilley Rd is still same in 5/18. In 2013, Councillor resisted upgrading road despite high usage from Wakerley to Old Cleveland Rd.
Brisbane CBD to Carindale bikeway plan 9/15
Davies Park Market, West End is on every Saturday off Montague Rd near Brisbane River. A person at Brisbane Writers Festival told me about that in 9/15.
In 2013, Chandler Markets were on Sundays and after no good the first day with too many other buskers, I retried and went OK. In 2015, Chandler Markets have become College Markets and moved to School Rd, Capalaba on Sundays.
In July 2013, Queensland Skilling Solutions is closing Capalaba Park office and only being online. In 2015, with new ALP Government, Skilling Solutions reopened.
In March 2010, a new kindergarten and small offices (finished in July 2010) are where the Majestic Park Baptist was corner Boundary Rd, Waverley Rd and Chatsworth Rd, Camp Hill/Whites Hill. This was after several attempts to get a kindergarten going in the old hall - a major improvement in the area.
Interstate business is better but riskier and local sales are slowly picking up after 2 years of waiting. There are low overheads but low sales because few will take any risks. All you can do up here is have fun and games, do research, plan, look after your family and make a little money. Hi-tech businesses are very small in number per capita compared to bigger states like NSW and Victoria but are growing with open source ventures in Toowong iLab. If it wasn't for NSW sales or funds, I could not stay for very long in Queensland.
In March 2013, I lost my laptop and mobile internet and files at Carindale Bus Interchange when going from CBD to Gumdale. 208 and 242 do not connect. Brisbane City Council and Queensland Police could not find it. 240 goes from Gumdale to Capalaba shops in only 10 mins then returns to Wynnum! 242 is a loop to and from Carindale via Gumdale and Manly West. 242 cuts out at 6pm. 250 goes from Carindale to Sleeman Centre then it is a 40 min walk from Sleeman Centre to Gumdale via Tilley Rd, not easy with excess luggage and dangerous with dozens of cars using it per hour and no footpath. Carina is a short bus trip from Carindale making it good to visit and an arty centre.
In 2013, Wynnum High School and Wynnum Hospital was closed by broke Queensland Government.
In December 2013, I moved to Red Hill QLD near QUT Creative Industries Precinct, Musk Ave, Kelvin Grove. This is a massive transport hub: Normanby Five Ways - Petrie Tce, Musgrave Rd, Kelvin Grove Rd, Countess St, Hale St (Inner City Bypass), Ithica St, Normanby Busway Station, College Rd to Roma St Parkland. There are 2 churches nearby - New Hope Brisbane and Windsor Rd Baptist which has a Thrift Shop (Eternity Boutique) up Victoria St from Kelvin Grove Rd. There is a Woolworths in the QUT campus and Saturday markets. It is 2 mins from Roma Street Station interchange. Normanby Pub is very big and noisy nearby. There are heaps of overpasses and underpasses here including College Rd near Brisbane Grammar School. There is also Simply for Strings in Red Hill nearby too for violin strings, bows, cases and sheet music.
This area is tougher to get into as it is distant and people are very parochial and times are tough in the sugar cane areas like Home Hill and Bundaberg. People are friendly but it takes an age to get anything going e.g. 1 year or more just to get an order or even start to do consulting due to other local problems or trips without notice due to the weather!
In 2005, equipment and phone lines tend to be pretty old and unmaintained so it is very difficult to do anything serious in this area due to lack of money and motivation to invest in their businesses - very old fashioned! Local video stores provide expensive internet and internet dialup speeds are usually around 28-40kbps due to noise on lines - no broadband in Marian or Home Hill, only Ayr, Townsville, Cairns, Mackay and Bundaberg. But there are openings to install broadband routers as more people up there get online. Broadband is very popular in country Queensland. Tropical conditions like cyclones and severe flooding can also hold up deals or even hinder getting to or from the locations like Port Douglas or Home Hill. In 2008, there is broadband in Home Hill and Ayr etc. Mining towns round Mackay have highly paid IT jobs as they cannot get anyone to move up there. Cyclone Ului hit Mackay on 20 March 2010 - 120km/h winds, 350mm rain. Mackay weather cams.
Places like Home Hill and Ayr in the Burdekin (Burdekin Shire Council), 1 hour south of Townsville, often have hints of investors like major golf complexes but one wonders when these ventures will get off the ground. Many property speculators were snapping up ultra cheap properties in Home Hill due to a price slump in 2003 when the price of sugar dropped through the floor to 6c/lb whereas US farmers were getting their sugar subsidised to 20c/lb and the Australian Government could not get sugar onto the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement agenda. Brazil with its cheap labour and plentiful land due to devouring the rainforest is proving a formidable foe. 15-20 years ago, we let them in and were training them and selling them farm machinery and now they turn around and become our competitors. It is not wise to sit on one's laurels. Always be vigilant to offshore threats from 3rd world countries creeping up on our primary producers. Local sugar cane producers wanted to produce ethanol through the local sugar mill so people could buy 10% ethanol petrol for their cars and motorbikes which was cheaper and cleaner environmentally but the Australian Government and oil refineries created a scare campaign so it didn't go ahead until 2005 when oil prices skyrocketed due to the Iraq war. Now 10% ethanol petrol is available everywhere.
From 2009, sugar prices are rising due to shortage. India triggers sugar price rise globally 9/09
As of 2004, Home Hill now has a Bendigo Bank! Before that there was only ANZ and a Credit Union and many shops had closed. It took Home Hill community 2 years to raise the funds to get the community bank going!
Cairns CBD is a risky area as there are a lot of pennyless European backpackers there who will pinch valuables out of your luggage at the drop of a hat. Only help was the Cairns Police who can take down details of losses and if they are found return them to you COD if you leave a forwarding number and address. Bundaberg Police were very laid-back and not interested in helping very much!
CDMA coverage was better in this area but has been replaced by Next G. Optus GPRS coverage is very flakey around Home Hill and North Bundaberg (north of the bridge is poor or impossible, south is OK). It is very hard to get a mobile phone except in larger cities like Mackay and Townsville. Little towns seem to just sell pre-paids and have no interest in porting your number to another carrier.
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