From friend in Eastern Australia - on the coast : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

From friend in Australia....

Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2000 21:28:55 +1100

Just taking the time to write you all a quick note. There is something very strange going on here.

About 1 1/2 weeks ago, our phones went out one day for about 4 hours. I didn't even know they were out at first - but every time I would try to call anywhere, I would get a busy signal. Finally, I used my mobile phone to call repairs and they told me that the "system had fallen over" and everywhere was out from here up through almost all of Queensland.

Anyway, yesterday afternoon at abuot 3 PM, the same exact thing happened and then, about 1 hour later, the power went out. The power was out for about 1 1/2 hours but the phones didn't come back on until about 8 PM. I heard later that a power station in Armidale - about 4 hours west of here, blew up and knocked out all power to the entire North Coat of NSW. Now, here is the wierd bit. There was NOTHING about it on the TV or radio.

OK - so at 3 PM today, the phones go out AGAIN! They have only just come back on - 9"18 PM. Now, I have lived here for 11 years and in all that time I can remember our phones going out twice - and it was because of bad storms both times. Now, in a period of less than 2 weeks, the phones are out 3 times! Oh, and one more thing - today, my mobile phone went down at the same time as the rest of them.

I may be getting paranoid, but somehow I feel that something is going on that we are not being told about. That and the fact that every light plane in Australia has been grounded and may be grounded indefinitely (we can't even get our crops sprayed because the crop dusters are all grounded too - even helicopters!) Now the price of petrol is going through the roof because of all these plants closing down and 2 nuclear power plants in the US shut down "unexpectedly" yesterday. I don't know, is it just me or are things starting to show a bit of wear around the edges. Love to know what you guys think of all this? Meryl W. Dorey,

-- Sheri (, January 20, 2000


Do you have an acquaintence with a shortwave receiver? Might be interesting to chat them up and see what they're hearing from in-country, no?

-- Redeye in Ohio (, January 20, 2000.

i agree. if an ostrich had his head buried in the sand and a truck were heading straight for it at 70 miles per hour--do you think the ostrich would know he was soon to be road kill? same with some of the folks on this board.

-- tt (, January 20, 2000.

Hey Sherri thanks for the post from the Aussie friend. I think her concerns are more than unusual. I am not suprised of the media's position, and suspect more of the same everywhere.

-- kevin (, January 20, 2000.


We have dear friends in Seaford, SA. Would they have been impacted?



-- Todd Detzel (, January 20, 2000.

Sheri & Todd,

Seaford in South Australia is a long way from Armidale in New South Wales. (Armidale is a University City in North NSW New England Region)

To put it in perspective there are more than 62,000 disruption transformers throughout South Australia to supply 730,000 customers.

During the 12 day heatwave low voltage fuses on 150 street transformers were replaced. Ten street transformers were also replaced in full when they failed.

The Electricity Trust has blamed some losses on possums, a vivacious marsupial rodent not unlike a squirrel.

The Armidale failure has not been fully explained as yet.

Mobile phones coverage is an Australian rural problem. For example I table the following district council report in explanation dated January 20.

A lack of mobile phone coverage and the cost of converting from analogue to CDMA for users has incensed the Grant District Council.

Regarding the coverage area of the CDMA for mobile users, "you might as well carry around a ute load of pigeons," said Councillor Peter Lamond.

He said his mobile phone was not working in the districts around Mount Gambier. "At Moorak I can't talk to anyone on the mobile phone and down on Kilsby Road you might as well stand on a hill and yell out. You would think we were in 1901, not in the year 2000 as far as this goes."

Council is also concerned the State Government's new $250 Million radio network is a digital system likely to cause just as many problems. It was meant to be implemented on January 1, seriously impacting on the Country Fire Service emergency response.

These teething problems are Australia wide causing caustic commentary in the rural sector.

The Avgas fiasco grounded 50% of light aircraft in Australia. There are hardships expressed by small business including farmers and tourism operators. This is a huge failure and sadly we may find some air accident deaths last month attributed to this. Investigations are ongoing. A Senate enquiry is happening now. I think a Royal Commission of investigation will be next. This is serious stuff.

One must not imply any of this is automatically Y2K related. The State wide telephone failure in South Australia last week was a software update patch glitch and assuredly not Y2K so Telstra says.

Trust this assists Americans to understand issues in Australia a little bit better.

Regards from Oz

-- Pieter (, January 20, 2000.

Sheri , I live on north-east coast Australia. I don't know anything about this at all. This may be a localised problem.

Our land-line phones haven't gone out. Out power hasn't gone out It (the power) usually does go out quite a lot here, pretty "rough" power most of the time, have been getting some real impressive brown- outs of late but. The mobile phone net could be having problems because telstra (telecomunications provider) has begun to shut down the old analogue phone net (as of 1/1/00).

Also , light planes have been flying north of Townsville (300Km or so south of me) because we get avgas from the shell refinary not the mobile one. Hope this helps.

-- XOR (, January 20, 2000.

We've only had blackouts in outer Ballarat area during the week leading up to changeover and on and off since then. Perils

-- Pauline from Australia (, January 20, 2000.

She is in Bangalow, NSW. (in SE)

Also some comments from Roleigh Martin on the fuel situation.... The problem occured starting last Nov., how could Y2K be involved back then?

I should have included in the excerpt:

"Mobil says it inadvertently altered the refining cycle for Avgas 100/130 at the plant Nov. 21 and added corrosion retardants out of the proper sequence, which left traces of ethyl diamine in the finished product. The thick contaminant forms when the ethyl diamine reacts with copper and brass engine components, Mobil said."

Now if the problem was due to a Oct/Nov. installed upgrade that was needed for Y2K and it was that upgrade that failed, then yes, Y2K could be involved.

Again, the lawyers will have to scout this out. This is going to generate a big time law suit, according to the article.


-- Sheri (, January 20, 2000.

Sheri I live in the Catskill Mountains in New York and we have been having the same telephone problems for the last week and a half. I've asked about five people in my area and they are having the same problems as well. I called the phone company and they said they were having some fiber optic problems. It was very interesting to read your post, as I havn't had problems with the phone like this for the ten years I've lived here. Air

-- Air (, January 20, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ