WWWalker's Sydney Business


See Groundwater App | Public Tranport | COVID-19 Lockdown | CBD and North Shore | Inner West and Eastern Sydney | Western Sydney | NSW Business Chamber in Western Sydney | Sydney Metro Southwest to Liverpool | Western Sydney Airport | Parramatta Light Rail | Sydney Metro CBD Stations Revamp and Rail Network Upgrades | Central Coast | NSW Small Business Commissioner | Country NSW | Newcastle | NSW Health Dept Financial Problems | Wollongong Problems | Illawarra Folk Festival | Exports and Investment | Recession 2009 | RSPT Mining Tax Backflips 2010 | Dubbo | Moree | Warren | Bushfires | Cotton Industry | Floods | Orange

Groundwater App

From 2015-2022 to extend Salt Table Helper (EC) mobile app to NSW, I have worked on Water NSW groundwater data Web service to import data. I switched from PHP to C to handle JSON and managed parishes and counties to better group data.

Public Transport

In March 2024, I discovered Sydney Metro was operated by Metro Trains Sydney a consortium of 3 companies since 2019. This covers northwest and southwest via CBD. I discovered this when Queensland Rail employee at Roma St station Brisbane said Sydney trains were privatised. Same consortium operates both Sydney Metro and all Melbourne trains (Metro Trains Melbourne).

In November 2023, I visited Sydney and travelled on East Hills line from Riverwood to CBD via Wolli Creek and international and domestic airports, a very useful line. The Wolli Creek station did not exist in 1990s when I lived in Sydney. It is a great extension and heavily used by travellers who change at Central station. I also used the new light rail from CBD to Randwick which was very easy to catch and was faster than the buses as it was in its own lane with no traffic blocking it. The light rail also went from Central station all the way to Circular Quay where I caught a ferry to Manly return. All tickets were via Opal card which I could topup using machines on platforms or via Opal Travel mobile app and credit or debit card. The Opal Travel app also had timetable and journey information which was very helpful.

In April 2022, NSW State Transit Authority (buses, ferries, light rail) was privatised in Sydney, Newcastle and Lake Macquarie. No more government buses, ferries and light rail. All the 14 bus depots were closed. There go all those jobs and profits to private enterprise probably offshore so out of Australia. I remember Randwick, Ryde and Burwood bus depots, all gone now. I found this out in October 2022 via Keolis Downer one of the private operators of light rail and buses.

RailCorp, whom I used to work for as systems admin, became Transport Asset Holding Entity (TAHE) on 1 July 2020. They operate passenger trains and coaches and freight trains in Sydney and across NSW. Passenger trains and coaches: Sydney Trains and NSW Trains. See Transport NSW journey planner for country and suburban services including interstate to Brisbane, Melbourne, Canberra and some interstate country stations like Mildura VIC.

Opal Card can be used on all forms of transport. Timetable reintegration of private and public routes is going on in October 2022. Fares have gone up.

In July 2022, private e-scooters are banned in NSW still and key councils (City of Sydney and Inner West) refused to take part in trial but Parramatta, North Sydney and Wollongong councils took part in trial by NSW Government. E-scooters are dangerous as they can get run over by cars as they are hard to see on road or they can hit pedestrians by going too fast and hooning around. I found this out via friend in Central Coast of NSW in October 2022. All the shared e-scooter fares will go back to Singapore anyway via Neuron or Beam so the money leaves the country and the e-scooter accidents' damage and injuries have to be handled by government and public in Australia so operators get off scott free. E-scooters are a bit of a lurk for overseas investors in tourist population of many countries in world. Tourists use e-scooters for joy ride at full speed down sidewalks like a theme park.

COVID-19 Lockdown

In October 2021, Gladys Berejiklian resigned over ICAC allegations of misconduct and Dominic Perrottet was elected by his party to be premier of NSW. In December 2021, he opened up NSW economy which led to spiralling COVID-19 Omicron pandemic.

From July 2021, Greater Sydney had a citywide lockdown due to Delta variant of COVID-19 virus. Daily new case numbers were over 1000 by 28/8/21 which is staggering. Mostly low income, illiterate, migrant, multicultural areas are suffering the worst. Some country areas even as far as Tamworth, Dubbo and Walgett are affected in aboriginal areas. There were 2 protests in Sydney CBD against lockdown which were quashed by police.

Border with most other states is closed. Permits are used to justify travel between New South Wales and other states. This has led to decline in interstate travel and business for those states and New South Wales. New South Wales Government is giving grants to businesses to keep them going for time being.

Australian Dept of Health did not supply enough COVID-19 vaccine so NSW Dept of Health and GPs and pharmacies are doing the best they can to get vaccination rates up. Currently they are only 30% in 28/8/21. They need to be 70% which will take at least into March or June 2022 to achieve so lockdown may drag on for months past December with all the poverty and depression that comes with it. NSW Dept of Health has vaccination and testing centres all across Sydney.

Hundreds of health workers are contracting COVID-19 so having to be quarantined reducing numbers of available staff to handle influx of cases.

Prince of Wales Hospital Randwick is chief COVID-19 testing facility for New South Wales Dept of Health according to UTS webinar in 14/7/21 which I attended via Zoom.

CBD and North Shore

In January 2017, Mike Baird stepped down as Premier of NSW and Gladys Berejiklian became Premier.

This is the business hub of Sydney and North Sydney. Unless you have gone to private school, forget trying to do business here. You can get a very stable job here but it is hard to go out on your own due to cliques. You have to be really big to cover your overheads in this area too. Mainly US and UK companies seem to do business here. They can afford it! This area has many very large government departments, libraries, universities (UTS and University of Sydney), churches (Wesley Mission and St Barnabas Broadway which was burnt down on 10 May 2006, now meets at Moore College, near Sydney University and by June 2007 had made plans to rebuild the old wreck of a church building at Broadway with a new design by late 2009, construction in August 2010 and a 1000 strong congregation was opened in June 2012) and courts so if you need to figure something out or get a transaction done, go here. It's quicker but dearer. Also there is the high crime rate from Redfern next door if you live in the area so batten down the hatches! This is an incredibly congested area so take the train or bus, don't drive your car. Needless to say there are tons of Internet cafes and wireless hotspots here.

The Fire from Barneys Broadway on Vimeo.

Demolition Service from Barneys Broadway on Vimeo.

Demolition - The Swinging of the Hammer from Barneys Broadway on Vimeo.

St Barnabas Broadway Demolition from Barneys Broadway on Vimeo.

MTC Graduation 2020 Occasional Address - Rev Dr John Woodhouse from Moore College on Vimeo.

The way that leads to purpose-Rev Keith V Garner AM Sermon Wesley Mission - my old church

In August 2010, City of Sydney started rolling out Sydney Cycleways through the CBD and Ultimo. Additions: Creating pop-up cycleways in Sydney 11/20, Sydney cycling map with pop-up cycleways and updates 7/20. In January 2011, NSW Govt launched Transport for NSW Walking and Cycling. In December 2013, NSW Cycling Strategy completes missing links mainly in Sydney CBD. See Inner West Council Cycling and Walking Routes and Maps. Bikes move more people than cars in Peak Hour! Bourke St Cycleway won a design award in 2012. Net Australia had an exhibition where Veloscope did a bike simulator which I saw and rode on at Caboolture Art Gallery in August 2018 where person with camera on helmet recorded person riding bicycle from Paddington via CBD to Rozelle which flashed before rider on screen as person pedalled on bike in front of screen.

People Like Us - Curated by UNSW Galleries Director Felicity Fenner from Museums & Galleries of NSW on Vimeo.

People Like Us artist interviews from Museums & Galleries of NSW on Vimeo.

Most of the rich and famous live here - the upper middle class. They are very money-oriented and ruthless when it comes to price. They will put huge pressure on your cashflow by not paying on time and extorting by using feature creep to get free work done. They are asset rich but cash poor. They are very myopic and think they are the only good bit of Sydney, despising people from the Western Suburbs and trying to keep them under the thumb by leaving them in poverty - usual capitalist people.

Hornsby is a fringe area - most companies up here don't have enough capital to do larger jobs successfully but are trying to get bigger - 'eyes are bigger than their stomach'. They are always cutting corners and not investing in technology and broadband which cruels jobs in this area.

Lane Cove Tunnel and Military Road E-Ramp, operator of the Lane Cove Tunnel, went into administration in January 2010 after huge losses when only 50% of patronage eventuated. Rich people obviously prefer congestion over a toll. $1Bn was lost by investors. Transurban now runs Lane Cove Tunnel.

M2 tollway via Macquarie Uni - Linkt toll.

From 2014, WestConnex motorway will be completed by Infrastructure Australia and NSW Government linking M4 and M5 through Leichhardt and Petersham. There have been protests re the contruction of this freeway by people living in the Inner West.

This is part of Sydney Motorways - Transport for NSW / Roads and Maritime Services to create a ring of motorways and complete badly needed infrastructure in Western Sydney!! Good news!! They manage Brisbane's Gateway Bridge toll.

Macquarie University Hospital, Talavera Rd, Macquarie Park via North Ryde, using ehealth and cloud computing is being opened in mid-2010. (AFR 23.2.10) They will be a centre of brain surgery and an electronic hospital, a first of its kind!

Inner West and Eastern Sydney

This area has much more culture and fun things to do, but it is way more expensive to do business. This area has a high percentage of yuppies (under 25 year olds) so you may find it hard to get anywhere unless you have all the modern gadgets and meet in all the right cliques - very hard to break into. There are a ton of internal politics in this area due to all the upwardly mobile types clambering over each other to reach the top quickest. Waverley is very friendly whereas Randwick is very money conscious and cheaper than Bondi to live in and has UNSW next door. Also the Sydney Airport is very handy. Green Square is growing in the old Alexandria/Mascot industrial area with train to Central and close to the Sydney Airport too. Woollahra is the upper-crust. Inner West Council (Marrickville) is cheaper but again a high percentage of non-english speaking migrants live here so you will need good language skills to survive here. Ultimo is proving to be a good location for IT startups in coworking spaces like Fishburners, Stone and Chalk, Haymarket HQ and Sydney Landing Pad, just next to Darling Harbour and over the footbridge from the CBD or connected by frequent buses to the CBD from Newtown, Chippendale and Glebe. Central Station is the best train station for connecting to anywhere in Sydney or abroad. Glebe Point Road has the most Internet cafes. Newtown has very few. A local Internet cafe is: Jo Jo Internet, 249 Broadway, Ultimo 2007 just west of Broadway Shopping Centre before Glebe Point Rd.

In 2008, the City of Sydney Council has taken over Glebe from Leichhardt Council and has upgraded the foreshore park in Glebe Point and also is upgrading large parts of Glebe Point Rd, a very active, community oriented council! Clover Moore is a great Lord Mayor. The Valhalla Cinema is being converted into office studios upstairs and a restaurant downstairs after closing in 2005 (story in SMH).

South Eveleigh - Mirvac (ex Australian Technology Park) a hitech incubator in old railway workshops at Eveleigh since 1991 is being sold off in 2015 by NSW Government. Some like Atlassian are trying to save it via a petition (only 2466 signatures). ATP has been going 24 years. Universities and local businesses occupied bays in it. Seminars were held there. Research and development was done to commercialise products. In 2020 the incubator became Cicada Innovations.

Randwick NSW in Oct 2019. This was where I lived and was in Waverley Randwick Philharmonic Society playing in orchestra and singing in choir in 1990s. Randwick now has light rail. Happy memories.

Western Sydney

The problem areas are where there is a high proportion of low income and migrants scrambling to survive. Nearly all our problems have been with migrants, small businesses and hobbyists in the Western Suburbs of Sydney, Wollongong and the Central West and North Coast of NSW who are pretty sharp on finance and ripping us off. We have armed ourselves with intense information and protect our interests.

This area is like the Wild West - not for the faint hearted but there are opportunities if you hunt around and go to the right part of the city for your particular business. So do your research before being hoodwinked by wiley locals who will prey on your innocence of their outrageous ways. The better businesses out here tend to move to the Central Coast or Queensland before the rot sets in. There is a wealth of unskilled labourers out here and a growing number of college and university trained young folk from Western Sydney University.

We have had problems dealing with small businesses in Western Sydney. The businesses in this area always want to pay way less than the value of the service, tend to want to do bits of the project themselves to save money, meddle in areas in which they have no expertise, or draw out fixed price contracts so they optimise the amount they get for their money (mean), which ruins everything as nothing seems to work properly and both parties become ticked off with each other and part on a sour note - hick and backward. This has happened about 3 or 4 times over 5 years.

Western Sydney has been let run-down for 40 years. Inner Sydney continually ignores the growing needs of this area so transport is always shocking. Infrastructure is way behind and only since 2003 have major roadworks and new housing estates been setup to allow for growth in this area. The Westlink M7 tollway using Linkt eTags (ex Roam) between Campbelltown, Liverpool, Blacktown and Parramatta opened in late 2005 has made an enormous difference to transport in the West and is making $2M/mth in sales showing what a vital bit of infrastructure can do to boost an area's economy. There is also a new Transport for NSW T-Way bus rapid transit system between Liverpool and Parramatta servicing the more inland suburbs away from the train route including Wetherill Park, a big industrial estate, 30 mins by T-Way Bus from Parramatta, due south of Blacktown and Prospect Reservoir. All the bus stops are high-tech with bus arrival times and interactive information kiosks and buses run every 10 minutes so they are easy to catch, a long overdue improvement to transport options in this rapidly expanding corridor with 1000s of new homes being built in the Liverpool and Fairfield area west of the older areas. There is also a T-Way from Parramatta to Rouse Hill (via Norwest Business Park: Meurants stop) on route T65, Hills Bus. Interline Bus Services passes Hoxton Park Anglican Church in November 2019.

This area is heavily populated south of the Great Western Highway with non-english speaking migrants which drives down prices but tends to splinter the community into many areas. The arts tended to be the only cohesive force when I was working with the Holroyd Arts Advisory Committee (now Cumberland Council (merger of Parramatta, Holroyd and Auburn in 2016) as a musician representative to setup community concerts in the Council chambers and a jazz concert in Holroyd Gardens amphitheatre, commission local sculptures in Holroyd Gardens, murals and street art which is now proving fruitful in expanding the scope of working with all these minority groups and making working in the area much more enjoyable. The new cinemas at Merrylands were demolished in 2007 due to low use and K-Mart took over the space just showing you no matter now much money you spend, some areas will not take up the arts very much and are very individualistic and insular.

The white sector north of the Great Western Highway tend to be professionals and very insular. However the Hillsong Church in Castle Hill has opened a new chapter where the North-West is growing and planting seeds for the future of the city that are not all about money but spiritual values. They got one of their members, Louise Marcus MP (Liberal Party), to stand for Federal Seat of Greenway (2004, 2007) and Macquarie (2010, 2013) (Blue Mountains) and got in but was defeated in 2016! My ex electorate Calare borders Macquarie.

Hills Shire Council is a growth area - high income, high worth people and businesses - see Hills Shire economic profile. The strongest industry is construction. Economy is $8Bn in 2011 up from $5Bn in 2006, a 32% increase! See Business Sydney Hills small business expo. I visited here for a URemote (iRule) training day in Feburary 2012 catching T60 from Westmead to Castle Hill TAFE area then back to Parramatta. Victoria Ave Castle Hill has a huge home maker centre. ResMed is nearby in Bella Vista (6km). Buses from Castle Hill to Bella Vista are poor - 3 buses to travel 6km in 1 hour. T65 from Westmead/Parramatta direct is quicker. The traffic in Castle Hill is very congested! A new railway is being built from Parramatta to Castle Hill area due in 2020 or so. IT industry and professional/scientific/technical people are 15% to 20% of workers and add value of $194,000 per worker! Hawkesbury Gazette (ex Hills News) and Hills Shire Times are local papers. In 1998, when I lived in Merrylands I did a network contract via my business WWWalker Web Development Pty Ltd for a home-based medical ISP in Pennant Hills. IBM was based in West Pennant Hills until 2019 when it moved to St Leonards.

Penrith is a real hub of activity. There are many small businesses eager to use the Internet. I had most of my better customers from Penrith. Penrith Valley BEC (Business Enterprise Centre) ran a speed-dating event at Rose Hill Racecourse in 2004 which I attended. Nothing came of it but I still get mail from several participants. I think Internet development is too expensive for most small enterprises.

New City of Parramatta (2016) is always behind Cumberland (ex Holroyd) in innovation except with its ParraConnect venture starting in June 2010 now merged with City of Parramatta Your Say in 2017. Holroyd part of Cumberland is heavily blue collar with limited funds but it has much more innovation than bigger Parramtta with all the money and white-collar constituency! So Holroyd would dream things up and with Parramatta's money it would be instigated. There are some myths that white-collar are paid more. Actually blue-collar are paid more and they have more cash. White-collar are paid less and have more debt as they tend to buy way out of their reach and force all their suppliers to carry their debt by delaying payment or doing grandiose projects that they have no real business plan for. Hence, do business with blue-collar. They are not as flashy but they pay on time and don't haggle like white-collar who are up to their eyeballs in debt with the family home, car, equipment, holidays, gadding about, school fees, etc. If a blue-collar person has a car, though it's old, he owns it. A white-collar person never owns anything. Everything is on credit. Parramatta is now building a $1.4 Bn civic place (plans) near the new rail interchange, a quite glamorous piece of public architecture a bit like Railway Square in the CBD, and next to the current council chambers and library. David Borger, past Lord Mayor of Parramtta, was State Member for Granville (2007-2011), seemed to be pushing ahead with modernising Parramatta to make it the centre of Western Sydney. Mr Borger is doing very well in his career! He has a lot of fervour for advancing the less advantaged areas of Sydney.

NSW Business Chamber in Western Sydney

In 15/7/12, David Borger took leading role in building up Western Sydney business community via the NSW Chamber of Commerce. This was with the support of the Premier, Barry O'Farrell, despite Mr Borger being an ex ALP Minister for Housing. Bipartisanship helps Western Sydney grow - good ideas of Labor and capital of business! Other of David Borger's efforts:

In 10 June 2010, old Parramatta City Council with CivicTEC is launching ParraConnect with Senator Stephen Conroy at Riverside Theatre. ParraConnect is an ICT venture of enabling community via internet and computer technology. The Federal Government is involved via NBNCo (manager of the National Broadband Network) rollout of fibre to 90% of homes. WWWalker Web Development Pty Ltd registered an Expression of Interest in ParraConnect via Western Sydney IT Cluster (WSITC) (business community group now) planning the wifi hotspot rollout and developing mobile traffic management applications for motorists on their smartphones. Other applications include ehealth, rates, roadworks and rubbish collection via ICT enablement. Parramatta will be a model city in Australia for using ICT for the benefit of citizens. In February 2012, this mobile phone app for parking meters and location based services for restaurants went to the winner of a State Government Collaborative Solutions Program which drove us to leave WSITC and remove our expression of interest in Parramatta City Council digital projects because they are biased to savvy business operators which we cannot compete with.

Greater Western Sydney BEC (ex Blacktown BEC aka Basi), was better than the Parramatta BEC because it was more hands on and got you actual leads whereas Parramatta people just milled round and never did anything! Parramatta BEC though has an excellent library and space for a virtual office (you share a receptionist and rent a little room for a bargain amount). Parramatta also has better public transport than Baulkham Hills which requires a car.

In North Parramatta is based the NSW Dept of Planning, Industry and Environment and Austrade. They hold many free seminars for small business in the area and often have CBD get-togethers to get people interested in attending an overseas trade mission to USA or Southeast Asia etc - bit over my head but good if you are manufacturer. I just use the Internet and phone for most of my offshore work. NSW Dept of Industry runs Business Connect which has Support for Business.

Sydney Metro NorthWest railway will have 4km skytrain and be opened in 2020/21.

Sydney Metro Southwest to Liverpool

In March 2023 before NSW state election, Premier Perrottet promised SouthWest Metro to Liverpool by 2025 to speed up transport to CBD for jobs, as very few jobs in Liverpool (on edge of city) and all have to commute to get a job in CBD or remain unemployed. Bankstown Metro will be extended to Liverpool by 2025. Also Western Metro is coming by 2030 and Western Sydney Airport will be completed by 2026. So it is a big plan to extend public transport to Western Sydney to get workers to CBD to supply all the big corporates in Sydney CBD. There are no plans to develop local jobs so they don't need to commute. This will create jobs for all the high percentage migrant populations in labouring low-skilled jobs which they like and are OK to do with no training. The Sydney Metro is for Western Sydney people getting to Sydney Airport or Western Sydney Airport on reliable, fast, cheap public transport instead of being stuck in traffic for hours. Currently there are expensive tollways that people in Western Sydney have to use to speed up transport. They should Work From Home (WFH) or telecommute if business and government was more modern then they would have zero commute time and more flexibility and work/life balance and not have to spend $178Bn on infrastructure of roads and public transport but we seem to be stuck on extending roads and public transport ad infinitum till there is no more room.

NSW election campaign - NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet at Tallawong near Kellyville NSW where Sydney Metro Headquarters is | 7NEWS 1/3/23 - Perrottet is MP for Castle Hill electorate very near Sydney Metro HQ so has a vested interest

See Sydney Metro West plans for transport from CBD to Pyrmont to The Bays to Olympic Park to Parramatta to Tallawong (Kellyville) (3/23).

In 18 May 2012, Greg Pearce MP, NSW Minister for Finance and Services and Minister for the Illawarra (Liberal Pary) announced NSW Government digital.nsw ICT Strategy including data centres for Western Sydney at Silverwater and in the Illawarra at Unanderra. Greg won his seat off ALP at the last State Election. (Service NSW) It covers open government, open data, cloud computing and citizen focused with better information management and a Government CIO to stop redundancy and duplication and is well overdue and is catching up to Canberra's much better ICT strategy that has been going 2 or 3 years now.

Western Sydney Airport

In Feb 2023, NSW State Govt announced new Sydney Metro rail link from St Marys to Aerotropolis (new city at Western Sydney Airport) was started due 2025.

Sydney Metro - Western Sydney Airport project takes off 2/23 - TBM = Tunnel Boring Machine

Sydney Metro - Western Sydney Airport stations 1/23 - St Marys, Orchard Hills, Luddenham, Airport, Aerotropolis eventually to 1) Leppington and Glenfield and 2) Macarthur (Campbelltown)

After many years of delay, Western Sydney Airport will be built at Badgerys Creek in electorate of Lindsay. It was started in 2020 and will be completed in 2026. Australia's biggest earthworks going in to build it with many large graders and trucks and earthmoving equipment flattening the runway. It will be twice as big as Kingsford-Smith Airport. This is a bonanza for earthworks companies 50% from Western Sydney. It will have world-class baggage handling equipment to stop baggage being lost.

There is an Experience Centre nearby to see what will be built in future years.

It will reduce congestion as people will be able to fly in and out of Western Sydney instead of commuting to Kingsford-Smith Airport in Eastern Suburbs.

It will create smart industries nearby and in the airport in a city called Bradfield in an area with few jobs. Western Sydney City Deal and Western Parkland City Authority will organise city of Bradfield development as Aerotropolis.

Many small landowners in Badgerys Creek area have had their properties devalued to worthless whereas big landowners have made millions of dollars from rezoning. The battle for Badgerys' billions ABC 2/21

In June 2018, Emma Husar MP for Lindsay is opposed to draconian building of infrastructure for this airport by NSW Liberal Government. Suddenly her name is besmirched in August 2018 by Labor Right (builders). It looks like any opposition to large windfall for builders of airport has been blocked and airport is going ahead full steam.

Parramatta Light Rail

Parramatta Light Rail is under construction to Carlingford in August 2017.

Sydney Metro CBD Stations Revamp and Rail Network Upgrades

In August 2017, Sydney Metro CBD Stations are being revamped or created: Martin Place and Pitt St (new). Skyscrapers are being demolished to make way for underground stations.

In October 2017, light rail down George St to Randwick is under way.

Sydney Metro CBD

Sydney Rail Network Upgrades

Sydney Rail Network is receiving more new trains, more services and more service modifications and upgrades in August 2017 to cope with larger population. Parramatta is hub.

Randwick-Circular Quay Light Rail

Driver's View Fastest run L2 Randwick to Circular Quay Sydney 1/22 - light rail from Randwick to Circular Quay - I lived in Randwick in 1990s

Central Coast

2013 Federal Election Debate on the Central Coast - Infrastructure and Connectivity

NSW Small Business Commissioner

I met Commissioner in Orange in 2012. She is a go-getter at removing obstacles to running small businesses in NSW. She is pretty common-sense, no quick fixes. She setup a bus that takes business consultants all over NSW in 2012.

Areas we have had problems in:

OK areas are:

Country NSW

Business is very slow in the country and they want rock-bottom prices (similar to Queensland). Only upside is low overheads. They are very parochial and will not trust you unless you have been there a long time. Orange is very conservative, misses tons of opportunities to do business, is very corrupt and resists technology. Bathurst though lower-income is more adventurous with technology and giving it a go! This is the usual white-collar/blue-collar divide in Australia. White collar does nothing and has all the money. Blue collar has little money but gives new technology a go. Why don't blue collar learn how to run a business and carve out a niche and give the white collar a run for their money? It is not rocket science! Count your pennies and invest wisely, like the parable of the talents so when the Lord returns he will find growing areas in his vineyard not buried money in the backyard! (Matthew 25:14-30) "Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest." (Matthew 25:27)

Country businesses generally require a site visit to get the job done due to slowness of replying to emails or difficulties with ringing them to get an answer. Country businesses always put jobs back months and months in their favour so a lot of pressure is required to get jobs going or just give up and find another customer in another city or on the Web. The latest has been writing off unpaid work as it would take 9 mths at $25/fortnight to pay us off and would cost us 10 times more to collect than it was worth. Country areas are starting to be a liability. Only businesses outside the Central West that move here are any good as they are positive and give it a go and invest something not just wait for someone else like the government to do everything for them all the time like the vast majority seem to do out here. In 2008, a retiring councillor said Molong was relying on government handouts too much instead of giving it a go! I suggested they insert microfiltration plant to tackle poor water quality. When I was out in Orange, I used to write to the Central Western Daily and raise such things as improving water quality using modern technology such as carbon-filtering. Lots of these little towns are badly ignored and just need some basic technology installed to make life better for their area. A similar town was Cowra which had a bad run when the abattoir closed down but later was rejuvenated when it reopened with new owners and many of the sacked workers got new jobs (Cowra Guardian letter to the editor by Dwight Walker).

Orange has 3 internet cafes: Orange Ex Services Club, Piccadilly and Cartridge World. The library also has free wifi for laptops and 2 PCs which are usually booked out. Fusion Australia, next to the Uniting Church, nr Anson and Summer Sts, has 2 PCs but their office is only opened 2 or 3 days per week.


In January 2019, I visited Newcastle CBD and found there was a light rail and harbour upgrades going on via Hunter and Central Coast Development Corporation which will be good for the area as it switches from mining to hitech and tourism industry.

Honeysuckle waterfront works from HCCDC on Vimeo.

In December 2016, a software engineer colleague in Newcastle assisted me in Caboolture with a car to get work and survive. This was very successful. He is also into environmental science (University of Newcastle PhD) and permaculture.

In 2000, I collaborated with an opensource Linux software engineer in Newcastle on an intranet portal for Holroyd near Merrylands where I lived and ran a small IT business. This was a successful collaboration.

In 2000, I built a Website for a palliative care medical group in Newcastle (ANZSPM) based at the John Hunter Hospital. This has since been upgraded.

NSW Health Dept Financial Problems

The Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) which covers 2/3 of the state, had a $60M backlog in paying of bills (Daily Telegraph, 9/3/09) and has only just caught up in March 2009 using 2009/10 budget. This will open opportunities for greater efficiency and better management of the NSW Health Dept using wireless technology to increase productivity.

reining in Wollongong budget

Wollongong Problems

Wollongong Council has been found to be corrupt by ICAC who has recommended that the Wollongong Council be sacked. Many of the councillors are Italians or Arabics. (Illawarra Mercury 3/3/08). Wollongong has many occupants that are very corrupt, many being migrants after a slick dollar.

Wollongong companies tend to be slack and take as long as physically possible to pay their debts e.g. 3 mths. Be a bank so they can't just wait and wait till you give up. Charge them a late fee.

The younger generation under 30 seems to be incredibly slack at paying their debts but have very high demands on what they want - a hopeless combination where the assets do not match the requirements - beware! In April 2008, administrators slash budget in Wollongong to reduce deficit of $15M to $4.4M in 1 year. Permission for redevelopment of decrepit pavilion at North Wollongong by corrupt businessman Frank Vellar will be axed by Wollongong City Council. It shows Wollongong is starting to tackle their endemic corruption problems! (Latest article re ICAC investigation into Wollongong Council finding a large proportion of councillors corrupt: Telegraph 20 Feb 2008 (9/10/08))

In May 2008, on a business trip we were impressed by how Wollongong is a hi-tech city with plenty of variety and energy. There was a billboard in the shopping mall that sent movie trailers to mobile phones with Bluetooth switched on. There was a wide range of shops and very cheap internet cafes. The YHA we stayed at had its own internet vending machine where people could top up their account. Apparently there was wireless internet in all rooms for laptop users. The speed was very slow so we found another much faster internet cafe in Crown St Mall called Network Cafe at 157 Crown St upstairs - only $3.50/hr!

In December 2011, Italy had € 1.963T debt (AFR 12/12/11), the worst in the EU by 5 to 10 times of other countries. This shows their profligate lifestyle and government as shown in the bad experiences with the Italian bad debtor from Wollongong in 2007. Italians can't be trusted with money as they run up huge debts which they cannot pay off and expect everyone else to bail them out.

Illawarra Folk Festival

I went to this once near Kiama and it was very good! It is now at Bulli NSW.

Wongawilli Band was there.

Exports and Investment

Because of the poor state of the economy in the Central West and NSW in general, we are looking to export our services offshore to get out of the Australian economy which is biased to big business like Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton with their multi-billion businesses worldwide sucking the economy's assets away. Very little is invested in IT research or software engineering except for UQ ITEE who have a new Master of Engineering (Software Engineering) from CMU (my old University in Brisbane, Qld). NSW is heaps better than Queensland. In January 2008 I went to Queensland for 3 months and left the masterful way the locals pinch money out of your business and never put much back in. I was travelling in NSW, ACT and Queensland as a NSW firm but since 2013 till 2018 have become a Queensland firm but now it is back in NSW to survive. The place is on the rocks so everyone won't spend a zack - incredibly tight financially compared to other states. The only thing NSW businesses honour is the Australian Taxation Office as they can close them down if they don't pay their taxes on time. Everyone else has to wait 4 or more months to get their money or may not ever get their money as the customer will not answer phone calls and evade payment by deceit.

I feel powerless in NSW. NSW is like a rotten apple. The NSW ALP Government fell in March 2011 with a 20% swing - Liberal/National Coalition now in charge in NSW!

I used music to counter the large debts inflicted on me by NSW bad debtors and late payers.

Recession 2009

Since 2009, the Commonwealth Government has paid 2 large stimulus amounts ($10Bn and $42Bn AUD) into the economy to increase spending to get sales to increase. So the Commonwealth is bearing the debt now instead of business. This is due to the credit crunch which started impacting big business in October 2008 with a large stockmarket crash worldwide but which our business has suffered since November 2007 when customers were taking 4 months to pay outstanding bills! Debt is a serious sickness that saps all available money and makes it very hard to rebuild.

RSPT Mining Tax Backflips 2010

In 2010, Kevin Rudd tried to impose a 40% RSPT on mining companies but he was kicked out in June 2010 by his deputy Julia Gillard who backed down on the RSPT and then called an election in August 2010. Mining taxes paid all the deficit off.


In 14 June 2011, Troy Grant MP (NP) said in his maiden speech that though Dubbo was a rail and road hub, it lacked investment for infrastructure. He hoped to correct this as Parliamentary Secretary for Natural Resources in the NSW Coalition Government. (15/6/11 Infrastructure NSW Bill 2011 debate)

I visited Dubbo in June/July 2012 and did very well musically staying for over a week near the CBD.

This is a bustling city of 46,000 servicing 100,000 people Northwest, West and Southwest of it. People are very warm and friendly compared to Orange which is more snooty.

The mayor Matthew Dickerson is an IT consultant and sold a profitable IT business to a large IT chain in 2010. He also writes for CRN computer reseller network magazine.

Vodafone mobile internet is very poor in Dubbo but it being upgraded in July and November 2012. Optus and Telstra mobile networks are more reliable in Dubbo area.

The CBD is full of empty shops so the new shopping mall on the old Poplars Caravan Park site will kill off what remains and make visiting Dubbo less affordable and easy unless one has a car.

Moree 150th 1862-2012

Moree 1862-2012 (150th year)

This is my hometown. In December 2010, I had a great time catching up on past history re my father Preston Walker in the AWB in the 1959-63 where he was Senior Welfare Officer. He got houses for the aboriginals at Stanley Village on the Bingara Rd, Moree and fought the Moree Plains Shire Council colour policy at the Moree Swimming Pool. Good family friends helped me piece my history together including visiting my old home, Moree Library, Anglican Church with Warrior's Chapel where John Chapman organised a landline for the 1959 Billy Graham Crusade and the Lands Department to get land records re Stanley Village being handed over to the Aboriginal Land Council, the Christian Bookshop run by Owen and Rita Jones and the Moree Methodist Church where my family went to church and where many were sent out as missionaries or Bible translators.


In May 2023, I visited Warren for Warren Chamber Music Festival which was very good as it was performed by the Goldner String Quartet from UNSW with Dene Olding and his team whom I had heard at UNSW in Australia Ensemble back in the 1990s - famous musicians I had heard on ABC Classic FM for years! One of their musicians came from Warren and got them to come out to Warren. I met people from Warren Church Online which was a lot of fun and even stayed with minister on his farm out of town. Later I drove to Burrima Macquarie Marshes and got bogged due to mud on road (black soil plains are deadly for getting bogged!) but I used rally driving to get myself out of the mud and onto dry ground. Quite stressful.

Warren is on a huge wetlands of Macquarie Marshes so there is biodiversity in huge quantities of birds. Oxley the explorer discovered Macquarie Marshes in 1818 and carried a boat on horseback which was wise as it is impossible to get out of a bog if they had relied only on horses and boat is only method of transport in a marshland. Warren Art Gallery and Museum had good display on Oxley and early days of that region as sheep country.

The concerts of Warren Chamber Music Festival were in several venues including Warren Art Gallery and Museum (Goldner String Quartet), Collie CWA Hall 30km east (Goldner String Quartet) not far from Collie Pub and Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Catholic Church in Warren (Warren combined choir and Goldner String Quartet).

Going to Warren from Caboolture I drove via Toowoomba, Goondiwindi, Moree, Narrabri, Weewaa and Coonamble (poor road from Narrabri to Coonamble due to floods for 18 months before) and returned via Mitchell Highway from Warren to Nevertire to Dubbo to Orange. I visited Orange my old town and Canberra on way back as Orange is so central to all of that area (4 hours to each town/city: Warren-Orange, Orange-Canberra). Google Maps gave me some very dodgy and washed out backroads between Moree and Weewaa so I had to second-guess the routes and pick better ones based on bitumen versus dirt so stuck to Newell Hwy (bitumen) and persevered through washouts between Weewaa and Coonamble. I came across big cotton harvesting machine on back of truck and had to get off road to let it pass and B-Doubles hauling cotton between Narrabri, Weewaa and Coonamble.

This is the Outback with big skies and storm clouds. People are very friendly and helpful. I loved it despite the hardships of washed out roads and lack of petrol stations which led me to nearly running out of petrol twice at Goondiwindi and Coonamble.


In January-February 2020, there were extensive fires due to very dry conditions (climate change) and South Coast of NSW was burned severely. The government is taking months to do anything and few are getting any cash support as charities are slow to give any money in assistance.

Cotton Industry

In May 2023, I passed cotton on side of road in Moree on Newell Highway en route to Narrabri, large cotton harvesting machine on Weewaa to Coonamble road being carted to next property and several B-Doubles hauling cotton from farms in Weewaa to Coonamble. Large bails (circular wheels of cotton) are strung along back of semitrailer to carry cotton to gin to clean it for processing. There is also cotton processing at Nevertire near Warren northwest of Dubbo. Cotton is alongside of Oxley Highway between Warren and Nevertire so there are cotton farms round there too. Nevertire is on Mitchell Highway which is best way to get to Warren or Dubbo as it is bitumen with no washouts.

Where the cotton grows is dead flat land which is hot and dry and far from anywhere with poor roads and no railways. Whenever it rains the water sits on the ground for weeks, months or years causing flooding and road damage. The big cotton trucks hammer the roads so they are always being repaired on a rotating basis. Cotton is irrigated to make it grow. There are no creeks round there so water has to be pumped to cotton fields. Cotton takes a lot of water so is a drain on the environment.

In May 2018, I was interested in forklift driver job in cotton gin in Boomi.

In Boomi, Moree and Narrabri there is a booming cotton industry based on irrigation. Boomi has poor mobile coverage but Moree, Narrabri and Goondiwindi have good mobile coverage.


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Created: 9 Nov 2005 19:39
Last Updated: 29 Mar 2024 14:41

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