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Everything posted by Eera

  1. Eera

    Advice for a new Career in Mining ?

    In terms of automation, it will drop the amount of boneheads needed, but as the machines are remotely controlled from Perth or wherever as soon as a light comes on they get parked up and the fitters have to go see them and whack them with a hammer - no crew to do diagnostics on board, so trade qualified staff are in increasing demand. It's only haul trucks and I think some of the larger rotary shovels are being automated: graders, scrapers etc are as far as I know still using operators. I know people who are setting up the systems in Queensland and they take *a lot* of setting up - one bloke I know has been at the same mine for at least 5 years trying to get it underway. Mining in Australia is not going away and there is always going to be a need for qualified professional staff and mech eng is needed for the basic day-to-day; upgrades and installations etc, not necessarily the futuristic things like full automation; I've been doing mine geotech and longwall design for 17-odd years now and there are no indications that the sector is slowing down. Saying that, there don't tend to be massive numbers of engineers full time on site, not compared with tradies (and if listening to Fitter OH's complains are anything to go by, they are just there to make impractical changes to his machines and get in the way, but anyway...) But many consultancies have specific mine-related staff who specialise in the area too so there's always that option.
  2. Eera

    Tokyo 2020 Olympics thread

    There's an entire division behind the scenes specifically there the ensure that the equipment used falls between certain criteria. Same way as throwing equipment has to be individually measured and signed off by technical. I did a couple of racing wheelchairs for the North Queensland champs - it involves many, many measurements! Haven't yet done a racing limb though. Bloke who mentors me was in charge of the Tech Shed at London and Sydney Olympics, plus a couple of world championships. I'll have to ask him how it's done specifically. I complianced the discus that Matt Denny threw for his 5th a few weeks ago. there's a little sticker on it with my name signing it off. Vicariously proud!
  3. Eera

    Tokyo 2020 Olympics thread

    100% agree. I'm president of one of the largest athletic clubs outside of the QLD metro area, I'm also an internationally-accredited athletics judge (which means I spend an awful lot of time looking at feet to make sure no one steps out of a circle) and can count literally on one hand with fingers to spare the amount of tartan tracks north of the Sunshine coast. I've seen time and time again our young athletes having to move away to pursue their training because there's too much distance, too little infrastructure, not enough coaching facilities - one talented long jumper (multiple state level winner, came second nationally twice so far) was literally driving an 8 hour round trip a couple of times a week to get to training. Once they get to a high level there isn't the financial support they need: one of our athletes won the IAAF U20 world championships but was unable to go to Olympic trials because he had to finish his apprenticeship. Bloke I work with was in the Australian U20 hockey team, and basically gave it up because the senior team lost sponsorship and the pay for essentially full-time work plus the expense of getting to training camps etc was $30k. While many Australian schools are blessed with paying fields and we do have wonderful organisations like Little Athletics and Auskick, once someone starts to get serious about sports, the higher level support is not there in most areas.
  4. Eera

    Taking dog to Oz?

    Nope, in QLD you can only charge maximum 4 weeks' rental for bond and you cannot charge anything more than that for pet bond, key bond etc - if they are going to be held then they have to be integrated into the total maximum bond. - up to a weekly rental of $750 (or was last time I looked), it's fair game what you can be charged for bonds after that amount.
  5. Eera

    Has anyone done The Lap?

    Hey all. So next year our mortgage is paid off and we've decided to rent the house out for a year, take off with the kids while they're old enough to appreciate it and young enough to not actually be teenagers and see the country for a year - it'll be early-ish 2023 after wet season as we plan to go anti-clockwise starting in North QLD and the Top End. We've got the physical gear we need after many years of camping and upgrading from tent to camper trailer to hybrid caravan so there's no real outlay we have to make, maybe airbags in the ute suspension and fit a compressor. It's the logistics I'm interested in from people who have done it; bearing in mind we'd be travelling at the same time as everyone else to beat the heat: how far in advance did you have to book accommodation or did you have to free camp a fair bit? Did you bother taking bulk spares for your vehicle? wheel bearings and filters I'd take but one guidebook I downloaded basically said to take the entire contents of Supercheap - necessary or overkill bearing in mind we aren't exactly going to be trailblazing through unexplored areas or anything. Kids will be first year of high school and last year of primary respectively - did you effectively homeschool or subscribe to one of the school of the air services? Got a year and a half to plan it so tell me your stories!
  6. Eera

    Has anyone done The Lap?

    Would you believe that my company has the contract for the shutdown and remediation of Argyle? Full lifecycle between you and me hey. Have you been along the Tanami track? I don't think it's as rugged as it used to be but they've been making noises about sealing it recently and would like to see it while it's still got a bit of mystique about it. Just had a look at that zebra rock place, how intriguing! Hahaha, the croc thing made me laugh - I work with a lady who's from a real old north QLD family; she goes bush a fair bit and has all these photos of her in various rockholes. I asked her if there were crocs and she said "yeah, but only freshies, no salties". They've all got big teeth, that's a nope from me.
  7. Eera

    Has anyone done The Lap?

    That all sounds fantastic. Gibb River Road is very much on my radar - more I look into that part of the world the more I realise you could spend years there and not scratch the surface. Good to know about help being on hand, vehicle is a Colorado so should have readily available spares, husband is also a mechanic which helps if the facility and bits are available. I once knew a bloke did a lot of off-roading who insisted that he'd only carry zip ties and duct tape because if it can't be fixed with those then you need to be carrying the spare part and he wasn't about to load his vehicle down just in case. I admire his spirit, though I haven't seen him for years and there's a chance he's still waiting for RACQ to find him out Woopwoop.
  8. Eera

    Has anyone done The Lap?

    I knew you'd have some words of wisdom! Honestly some of your stories are so awesome. Thanks for the offer matey, no doubt I'll be hitting you up for some spots and ideas. And don't worry about the barra spots - one time husband said "I'm going fishing. There's chicken in the fridge for dinner" which pretty much sums up what happens when he wets a line
  9. Eera

    A year in Aus

    Has it really been a year? Wow. Sounds like you're really settling in. Thanks for the update! (oh and congrats - one for the (new) country and all)
  10. Eera

    How long before it felt normal to live in Australia

    For me, I came with zero expectations other than hopefully being able to do fieldwork without my fingers freezing off. As I had citizenship from birth I didn't have to go through the visa process or anything, just decided to move and a couple of months later there I was - maybe as it wasn't a hassle for me I don't have the same appreciation of the emotional load emigration has on people. Ultimately it's another first world country with much the same advantages and disadvantages. I still have to work, pay the bills and go to the toilet. It's always been as normal as the UK, just with more things that bite. My parents were also ping-pongers and we moved back and forth to the UK several times; Australia therefore has never had a particular cachet for me - just somewhere I spent several years in as a kid and now live.
  11. Love my induction. My mother in law recommended one when we reno'd the kitchen as the kids would have to make a real effort to burn the house down with it. I have no issues with burning at all - you do need decent heavy-bottomed pans though, and pans with a large indent for a name brand can cause them to get hotspots and shut down. The one thing I wish I realised before doing the reno is that the prettiest stone surfaces aren't necessarily the best choice. I pretty much clad the entire kitchen in stone and selected a very nice looking surface which unfortunately is very soft and gets damaged easily.
  12. Eera

    UK bank account

    Really? There's my savings account having to go elsewhere. Went them as thy have no overseas withdrawal fees on their debt cards. Bummer
  13. Eera

    UK bank account

    I had one of these from Citibank, I questioned it with them as it was going on about declaring taxes for the US and it seemed a bit scammy. Citi confirmed it was actually genuine and gave the reason for it : "Please be advised that the form is required to enable Citi to determine our customers tax residency(ies) to comply with our obligations under CRS. Penalties may apply (under local and other laws) if you provide false or misleading information". I basically told them it was stupid as I've never had anything to do with the US and don't bother me with it again. Nothing has happened since. If it's the same thing you can probably safely ignore it.
  14. Eera

    Camping and Caravanning in Australia

    Picked up the brand new wobbly box today. Just in time for end of school holidays, but oh well, manufacturing is outside of the control of the dealer. Planning on some local stuff first - up to the Whitsundays and so on, then start venturing inland and seeing some more of this great country. So exciting - not having to wrestle with wet canvas!
  15. Eera

    So who's going to New Zealand this year?!

    haha yeah. Apparently they are trying to swap everyone over to AirNZ but there's currently nothing that doesn't involve a massive layover in either Brisbane or Auckland. Hoping that they'll be upping the number of flights into something convenient soon!
  16. Eera

    So who's going to New Zealand this year?!

    I've had a trip booked since way before the announcement - missed out on skiing last year so the credit carried over. of course Virgin is not coming to the party who I have my flights with so in the midst of trying to rearrange actually getting there.
  17. Don't worry about it - he'll be fine. There's no meaningful distinction between the two countries from a 6 year old's perspective. It's more important that his parents are happy and settled. If he's got a very close friend he might miss him/her for a couple of weeks but kids are highly adaptable and will move on fast.
  18. Eera

    Christian Schools

    Seems to depend on the school; one of our local Anglican school prides itself on having diverse beliefs and happily accepts hindus, muslims, secular as well as christian. Another school not far away insists on both kids and parents being baptised.
  19. Eera

    Moving back to UK for A levels

    I used to do assessment for fees in a university overseas student department, things my have changed but I'll say what our criteria were. There's a caveat that I've not done this for a number of years, and how the Student Loans Company assess status is different. First off, its the university who decides whether you're a home or overseas student, so we have discretion for individual circumstances. If you wrote us a nice letter saying that you'd only been in the country for two years because your family had moved back from overseas and you considered your future to be in Britain we'd probably let you in as a home student. Bear in mind that your fee status remains as it was when you were assessed; if you were assessed as International at the start of the course, you remain International throughout your studies, so you can't do a year as an International then tick over to Home after doing a year and getting three years residency total Technically, people who board while having a residence overseas are NOT eligible for Home fee status - the criteria is "resident in the UK for three years for reasons other than education". If you have a mailing address or a rental or something I'm sure you can get away with using that - I don't actually recall that we checked too closely: a bum on a seat is a bum on a seat. A year of residency is determined by being in the country at the cutoff date which I think was August 31st; if you arrived in the country on August 29th, as of the 31st officially that was one year. If you have any queries, email the fees department of a given university, they're basically there to do this kind of stuff so are best placed to give you advice.
  20. Eera

    Five days of Quarantine

    You can lease multiple cars - I had two on the go prior to one lease expiring. The lease companies will bombard you with numbers showing how it's a huge advantage to you, but take the numbers with a huge grain of salt as they are assuming that you are comparing like for like - the same insurance, the same fuel costs etc. It doesn't work like that in reality and there aren't the large financial advantages there were a few years ago before the FBT rules were changed.
  21. Eera

    Five days of Quarantine

    It doesn't any more - a couple of years ago the FBT rules were changed which means novated leases now come partially funded from after-tax contributions; I pay more post tax than pre-tax on it. Plus you're pretty much locked into the servo brand and the insurance that the lease people dictate - it currently costs me considerably less to insure an Evoque than it did a leased Tucson because I can bundle my insurance. The advantage is basically you have a kitty automatically put aside and really don't have to worry about it too much - providing you don't go over the items they list which are commonly 4 new tyres in the lease and X many km per year in fuel etc. If you do, you have to make up the difference; if you don't you get it back (fully taxed) at the end of the lease. I've had four novated leases but won't have another one, there's no longer the advantages that there were.
  22. My auntie was the congregational leader of the Sisters of Mercy (basically head nun of her faction in Australia), and because there's not many of them around these days they had spare room. It was cool because she's one of those get-out-there-and-help-the-community sorts and had set up a drop-in centre for indigenous and islander people in Mt Druitt, with a bush tucker garden and storytelling area - so the indigenous youth could reconnect to the elders and their heritage - though it was open to any ethnic group who wanted to be part of it. I volunteered there while I was unemployed and met some wonderful uncles and aunties. We also got the local supermarkets to donate their day old bread and damaged tins etc instead of throwing them out so that anyone who needed food could come and get some.
  23. Intended to go to Kalgoorlie of all places (I like big holes in the ground). Missed the job I was going for as I was travelling in Tanzania when the interview came up. Ended up staying in a convent in Sydney, couldn't get a job in any of the cities, ended up in the regional tropics, been here 16 years now. Every time we go back to visit any of the major cities I'm very glad I'm where I am - can't image living in one now.
  24. Eera

    wildlife photos - show us what you got

    Had the exterminators in and ended up with window tracks full of dead bugs. Had a great old time with ultra-macro.
  25. Eera

    Camping and Caravanning in Australia

    Ended up putting in an order yesterday; 15 foot in travel position, expands out to 19 feet with electric annex etc. Looking forwards to getting it and actually being able to get away in wet season - aircon, hurrah! March is ETA at the moment.