Some Aussie News, requested by Mid West Mike. : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread


The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) is to close on New Year's Eve to allow clients extra time to finalise trades prior to the rollover. (They're ok though!)

In other Aussie news, the colour supplement of Aust's largest Sunday paper, the Sun Herald, ran Y2K preps as it's cover story 2 weeks ago, and it wasn't too bad, quite realistic and balanced, although it did say "The real Y2K conspiracists, the "survivalists" are in America", I think the author was talking about you guys!

Also, last Wednesday the "Australian", our only national newspaper ran a 4 page wrap around on Y2K, it was pretty crappy however, VCR's, coffe makers etc, very little scary stuff. 3 day prep was about the size of it!

Nevertheless, it is encouraging to see the mainstream media saying something, I think we're getting more than you folks are.


-- Ron Davis (, July 05, 1999


To the top for MW Mike, if he's still awake!


-- Ron Davis (, July 05, 1999.

Our fearless leader Kennett has supposedly organised contingency plans with backup generators etc. Quite a few stories in the Age. You can access them through their site.

Try this (you probably go to it anyway)

and this

-- pauline jansen (, July 06, 1999.

Yep, the Australian y2k supplement was pretty lame, though their website has more going for it. Real news about the y2k situation in Australia seems hard to get compared with america. I guess we just don't have the critical mass of y2k-interested people to be finding out stuff.

-- number six (, July 06, 1999.

Pauline Jansen,

You're not taking the michael out of OUR Pauline are you? Watch it.

-- David (David @Brutus, July 06, 1999.

Roll on the day when you won't have to post a new thread to answer one that's been rolled into the archives by drivel!

A note about Australia: we're not exactly a Pacific island. We are a continent (and a subsidiary island - I didn't forget Tazzie) as large as the 48 contiguous states of the USA. Most of our population is in a thin coastal strip, with inland drylands merging to a huge central desert - much like Texas only really REALLY big :-) . For such a landmass, our population is surprisingly urban. For what it's worth, on "der tag" we will be in mid-summer rather than mid-winter. Our heat can kill people, but it doesn't do it often; and we don't have to worry about freezing right then.

Disclaimer: I'm working on Y2K for a government organisation in Australia, but the opinions I give here are solely my own, and in no way necessarily reflect the opinions of my employer.

I think Australia is going to be in relatively good shape for Y2K. We are blessed with a relatively small population, and that means for the most part relatively small organisations. That means less overhead, less interactions, and most government departments are going to get, or have already got, their core business systems converted or replaced in good time. The same appears to be true for subsidiary systems as well.

Same appears to be true for large industrial and financial organisations. In banking in particular we have a much simpler structure than the USA - four large nation-wide banks, one or two state banks in each of six states, then fairly well-organised and coordinated credit unions and building societies. They say they're now compliant, they've tested it; and my brother, who has a major IT position with one of the major national banks, confirms that - at least for and between the majors, and the service companies that handle things for most of the minors as well.

We have a lot of small to medium business enterprises, and I'm not so sure there. I think a lot of them aren't doing remediation. Replacement is the obvious strategy, but they're running out of time there. I think, either deliberately or by default, they are falling into the "fix on failure" mode. That is not necessarily a bad decision. It may not be ideal, but for many of them it is optimal - i.e. the best use of their limited finances. They only may lose the business if their IT function fails, but they may simply not be able to afford full remediation right this instant. They may be better off putting money into building an extra month worth of finished goods, for instance, then fixing what they find after 4th January 2000. Many of them shut down most operations over January (summer holiday) anyway. The fallback position ("contingency plan" in Y2K parlance) for them is not too bad - small organisations can run with a book- keeper if they have to, and medium ones with an accountant and a few clerks with quill pens. They won't get everything they're used to, but it can be done; and that could give them time to get things onto a new system - maybe even a PC-based one (MYOB, or one of its ilk).

My concerns are for the businesses that are on the big end of medium. They may have IT systems that are custom-built, can't be readily remedied, can't be readily replaced, and they've run out of time.

Other concerns are for really large government organisations. They assure us that they are going to be Y2K compliant in time, but it is much harder for them. Unfortunately they are mostly welfare-related, and if they do fail then the people affected won't have much in the way of spare resources to tide them over. Another part of this picture is hospitals - they are out at the far end of the various Health Departments, and most of the individual public hospitals I worry about.

That is not to say anything disastrous will happen. I think most of the remediation efforts will work well - notably because a lot of things which have been overlooked have already shown up on other critical dates, and pointed to where the oversights were.

Of course we haven't found it all, but I think we've found enough so that we will be able to fix whatever we've overlooked quickly enough to forestall total disaster (I say we generically - my organisation is in good shape). Thank heaven for the three-day New Year weekend - no holiday for many of us.

My one remaining major concern is not for 1/1/2000, but for the months following. No-one can predict how many businesses will fail, how many of our international trading partners will have major problems, and what the effects of all that will be. I personally believe that for us the major effect, if any, will be economic (recession or depression). In other words, when it's all over, it ain't all over yet, folks.

That said, a little insurance never hurt. If you think there were a lot of "thinks" and "shoulds" and "mights" in my opinion, you're right. I will be able to ride out two to four weeks if I have to (two for water, more for food), and beyond that I could (and will have the resources to) bug out to the family farm if neccessary.

Best wishes.

-- Don Armstrong (, July 06, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ