Melbourne, Australia Devastated by Gas Stoppage : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I don't know how well governments and utilities handle crises in the US of A, but here in Oz, a series of explosions wrecked the main Natural Gas supply utility in Melbourne, Victoria, last week. This week the only people cooking and heating on gas are "essential services" such as hospitals and nursing homes. Industry is facing massive layoffs (i.e. Toyota stood down 2,000 workers without pay -- the plant is losing A$50,000 a week in automobile production). Other industries are similarly hit. A couple of months ago, Sydney, New South Wales found it could not get drinking water because supplies were polluted by Guardia and Crypto-sporidium pasasites. They are *still* boiling their water because the authorities/utilities have proved incapable... Folks, these are real life emergencies while all the other utilities and computer systems are working fine and there is no public panic. If you think these clowns (Public Utiltiies and goverb\nment bodies) will be able to deal with multiple worldwide failures all in a short timeframe, then you must be in la-la Land. Think about it.

-- David Harvey (, September 27, 1998


Yes, and it sure does suck! I had my first cold shower this morning, eeeeek! Thank god spring has sprung. The runs at the shops for bread, milk and electrical goods was quite eerie, especially for a convinced y2k'er. The gov is saying it will be at least a week without gas but I've heard rumours to the effect that it will be months. Petrol is going to get difficult too. One good side of this is that it's going to help me convince others of their dependence on the infrastructure, and make the problems of y2k seem more concrete. My only hope for survival post-y2k is to work in partnership with other friends and relatives...if I just put my money where my mouth is noone would notice because I'm a dirt poor student.

-- In memory of bill hicks (, September 28, 1998.

Would it help if more people ate beans? Beans and burritos? Beans and burritos and bratwurtz?

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, September 28, 1998. has more details on this (provided by a women's web publishing/editing newsgroup member in AU).

-- Karen Cook (, September 28, 1998.

NOW do we see why I believe that everyone, Y2K or not, should be a little better prepared in their lives? Do we all need a 2x4 across our little heads to get it?

-- Melissa (, September 29, 1998.

What do they call a 2x4 in Australia?

A 4x2?

Or do they metricate it? A 100x50?

Does a 100x50 hurt more than a 4x2 since it is obviously heavier when swung upside somebody's head?

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, September 29, 1998.

So how many warnings do people need. Auckland lost electricity this year, Sydney's water is dangerous, Melbourne and the state of Victoria are out of gas, Adelaide has water concerns, Queensland had electricity concerns. Anyone get the idea that maybe we are being given a preview and that we can use it to convince others that they need to be prepared. I have stepped up my call to others to prepare.

-- Mark Johnson (, September 30, 1998.

Looks like OZ needs a wizard....

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, October 01, 1998.

A couple thoughts. First, Melissa, you're the only other person besides me in my life I've ever heard refer to the 2 X 4 method of learning! (makin' me smile)

Second, on preparedness. I've said I live in S. California, the place where at the last big quake (Northridge), a "thrusting", not a rolling quake, houses and roads were shoved into the air straight up at a force of 4Gs. How many people in LA/Orange Country metro area do you think prepare for disaster and subsequent interruption in services, events we live with every day? (In her best Richard Dawson, Family Feud Game voice now) SURVEY SAYS:(ding, ding, ding).......3 Percent.

"There is nothing stable in the world; uproar's your only music." John Keats (1795-1821)

-- Donna Barthuley (, October 01, 1998.

Got a question for the Canadian types (and the Brit's too I imagine, Sir Dale) - given that the US Postal Service likes 2 character state abbrevaitions (AK, AL, TX, CA, ....), it appears obvious that New Zealand should get NZ and the Aussies should get OZ. England already has UK, but that's more general, right, for the whole kingdom? not for specific "states"?

So what state are the provinces to be designated? Other than confusion, that is?

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, October 01, 1998.

Canadian Provinces already are assigned two letters. e.g. BC, AB, etc.

-- Lois Knorr (, October 03, 1998.

Very interesting article of life "after" the explosion: idx.html

-- Gayla Dunbar (, October 04, 1998.

I'll print the article for those who may not be able to access it:

Australian Gas Shortage Worsens Wednesday, September 30, 1998; 2:30 p.m. EDT

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- Stores began rationing bread Wednesday in Australia's second-most populous state, where a fire at a natural gas refinery has idled bakeries, dairies and a host of other businesses.

Some 1.4 million households also have been affected by the fire that killed two people and extensively damaged Esso's gas plant in the state of Victoria. The cutoff could last weeks.

The plant supplied more than 80 percent of the natural gas for Victoria, in southeastern Australia. Esso has so far been unable to determine the cause of the blaze.

``It is going to cost Australia ... in the order of hundreds of millions of dollars a day,'' state Premier Jeff Kennett said.

Safeway, the state's biggest supermarket chain with 138 stores, limited consumers to three loaves of bread on Wednesday. Other supermarket chains were considering rationing bread and milk.

Rationing has not been seen in Victoria since World War II.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of state residents took cold showers, and used electric griddles to cook.

The crisis spread to other states as well.

In South Australia, two of Australia's largest automotive companies, Holden and Mitsubishi, announced they were preparing for several days of lost production because of a lack of parts from Victoria.

-- Gayla Dunbar (, October 04, 1998.

I read articles like that, then look at the propane tank sitting out in the yard....

Do some/any of the people in outlying areas around Melbourne have tanks? Or are they all laying low? :-)

-- Larry Kollar (, October 06, 1998.

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