Nuff Nuff

Sunday, January 31, 2010

MFB meets CFA and they disagree

Today for the first time this year (2010) a fire "Watch and Act "was issued for a Melbourne Metropolitan area. This was unfortunately expected and the public warned many months ago.

This is not the issue – but it would appear that a turf war broke out between the CFA and the MMFB today and I have the pictures to prove it.

Here is the incident page for the CFA website – notice the RED squares? – you will see to the far right – that is the advice (after it was contained) it clearly says “Doncaster East” and yet below it clearly says Warrandyte. So is there two fires or are they one in the same? (noting that NO reference on the incidents page to Doncaster other than the "Advice" which was previously a "Watch and Act")

Now here is the Advice page – It clearly says Doncaster East – notice the RED Square again?

Alright – so someone must have made a mistake – mistakes happen, we are only human after all.

But………. Something seems to be going on – here is the map for area concerned. Noting 3 marks,
1. The red letter ‘A’ – this indicates the approx location of the fire as per the advice, which states Doncaster East.
2. The circle at the top of the page shows Warrandyte.
3. The circle at the bottom shows Doncaster East.

Just to clarify what you are seeing – is that the same fire appears to have two locations if you use the suburb. So let’s look a little closer - The fire was located on Target Road. Let’s see where that is, using the information provide by the Advice – which is Beasley’s Nursery.

A search reveals:-
Target Road is located in Warrandyte NOT Doncaster East refer below for confirmation of this

So let’s look at other factors. How would this ‘human error’ possibly occur – It has to be human error – It can’t be anything else can it?

The advice clearly states that areas of Doncaster East and Templestowe are likely to be affected. Where does Warrandyte come into this?

The only conclusion I can come to is that the site I am looking at is CFA operated and Warrandyte is a CFA area – whereas Doncaster is MFB operated and since the fire was possibly going to impact Doncaster, that is why Doncaster was listed.


The Alert/Advice should have looked like this:-
Warrandyte – Targets Road (Doncaster East/Templestowe)

That way it ties in with the CFA incident reporting AND the correct location AND also the area possibly being impacted.

From the Royal Commission INTERIM REPORT

The State ensure that the content of bushfire warnings issued in Victoria reflects the principles set out in the Commonwealth policy paper Emergency Warnings — Choosing Your Words (2008).
In particular, all bushfire warnings issued in Victoria must use clear language, avoid euphemisms, and contain explicit information in relation to:
■■ the severity, location, predicted direction and likely time of impact of bushfires on specific communities and locations; and
■■ the predicted severity of impact of the bushfire and whether a specific fire poses a threat to human life

According to the interim report This warning FAILED to comply with 4.2 of the interim report, The advice, which is what will be broadcast in the general media - failed to recognise that areas of Warrandyte MAY also be affected by these fires - It is NOT possible for areas between the two suburbs NOT to be impacted.

I would very much appreciate your thoughts and ideas as to how you would fix the problem.

Friday, January 29, 2010

12 months almost

It’s almost 12 months now since the Black Saturday fires and my gut is tied up in a ball, I feel sick constantly – I shouldn’t feel this way – I’m bigger, better and stronger than this.

I get flashbacks, but I try not to think about them

People now that 12 months has passed, think it’s safe to talk about the fires. But they keep telling me I could have been killed – shit – hello – We all die at some point in time – I’ve just been closer than most get in their living lifetime. I don’t need to be told that – I know that. Why not talk about how people are managing, how they are coping, what is being done to fix the people and the houses and the families. Why only the death? – We all know someone or many someone’s who died.

Those that remain in the fire-affected areas I believe will have an easier time of 'recovery' (if you can call it that) than those that left. Simply because those that have been 'there' know what it is like and it is so much easier talking to people who have been through the same experience.

I did what had to be done – not because I am any sort of F**** hero – but because it had to be done.

I want to crawl into a hole and ignore the world – it would be so easy and yet I know it is not the answer.

Every hot day now (even before a little) I was on tenterhooks worrying – now I STRESS.

Not just a little – but I wonder if I am doing the right thing going to work – I worry about my animals – I worry about the older people on my street, what happens if people forget them? What happens if they don’t hear the evacuation signal? – What happens? – Will I feel responsible for them also? I can’t – I refuse to.

Remember when you were a kid and you would do turn your body around and around and around with your eyes shut and your arms stretched out – and when you stopped you felt sick and didn’t know where to turn?

That is what I feel like now.

I can’t even imagine that those lost family and homes. If I feel like that – they must feel like they are in the middle of a never-ending cyclone.

Monday, January 25, 2010

My Story - A True Story Part 11 - Black Saturday

Part 10

Here are some articles from printed media showing how hard it has been for residents in the Marysville area.
Heaven to Hell and Hopefully Back Again
Weekly Times Now - National News

This is from the Rotary Club – notice that Marysville gets 1 page and Kinglake the other 6? – Marysville is 2nd class as far as the media are concerned Richmond Rotary Bushfire Recovery

Not one word here about Wandong/Bendigo or Marysville and yet this is a world-wide event - I would have thought the media could look beyond their own noses for once.,,26616424-5006301,00.html

I could go on and on - living in Whittlesea - I see the differences in treatment between Kinglake/Flowerdale/Humevale residents and those in Marysville/Bendigo/Wandong/Gippsland. It makes me sad - the only thing I can put it down to is that Melbourne is so much closer to Kinglake and thus the media crews have easy access.
Marysville residents are proud and won't ask for help - they are old-school and do what has to be done, without looking for hand-outs.

There will never be a day - that someone lost in this tragic event, won't be remembered, be it by family, friends or work colleagues. Everyone involved on that day has a story to tell. These stories need to be put out there for others to read - without the telling of stories, people next time won't remember and we need to make sure that nobody ever forgets this and is prepared to act, rather than wait.

Some of my stories from my blog:-
My Father Said
Survivors Guilt
Flashback of the Worst Kind

That is the end of My Story - I hope you pay attention to this and make your life decisions accordingly - do not allow your children, your family, your friends to suffer - If you don't feel you can cope under the threat of fire - GET OUT

I can't say anymore than that.

So many people lost so much - not just houses and cars and family pets, but family members, family history - It's hard to describe, but imagine re-entering a changed world with nothing. Imagine all that was of the past gone. That favourite photo of little Johnny on the swing set, that timble of your nannas. All gone.

The rebuilding of assets isn't the problem - it's the rebuilding of history, the ability to feel safe on high risk fire days. Just the ability to know that your friends and children and family won't suffer the same tragedy.

Take care out there - remember "Be Prepared or Prepare to Die" I can't make it any simpler.


The Summary of My Story along with other posts, relating to the day

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My Story - A True Story Part 10 - Black Saturday

Part 9
Another obstacle faced by the town was a lack of Post Office, sounds fairly trivial, until you know the whole story. Kinglake within 72 hours of being burnt out were offered a Post Office in the township of Whittlesea. This Post Office was used until April and then a more permanent building was erected on the mountain for Kinglake residents,

The same was not offered to Marysville residents, in fact the Post Office that was initially set up for the Kinglake residents was meant to be moved to Marysville. It was still sitting in exactly the same place until July. I got sick of waiting for Australia Post to take action, so took things into my own hands. The outcome being that within 72 hours the temporary post office was relocated to Marysville and postal services and deliveries recommenced to those residents living in and around the township. By checking the Australia Post Charter AND the Commonwealth Act regarding postal services I was able to determine that

“Australia Post shall ensure:

(a) that, in view of the social importance of the letter service, the service is reasonably accessible to all people in Australia on an equitable basis, wherever they reside or carry on business; and

(b) that the performance standards (including delivery times) for the letter service reasonably meet the social, industrial and commercial needs of the Australian community.”

So Marysville had a mail service again – a small victory – but a victory all the same.

Just before Christmas – finally some shops opened in town – where you could buy your newspaper and some milk – instead of travelling 30-40km to get basic supplies. It took almost 10 months, but thanks to the generosity of a building owner – things moved ahead.

This is almost the end of my story - only one more chapter to go. I've hung onto this story for so long - I almost know it word for word. Reading it I can see in my minds eye - the events as though they were yesterday.

Part 11

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Battle is Not Won, Even When You Save Your Home From Bushfire

The fire has come, the fire has gone. You have somehow managed to save your house. You still don’t know how.

You are tired. You look around, everything you once knew has now all gone, You don’t remember the Jones house burning, but it must have, you can’t see it anymore.

You are half deaf, the noise of the fire, the noise of the gas bottles venting. The large explosions, you don’t know what they were. But you have survived.

You don’t know about friends, you can’t contact them. The phones no longer work, either landlines or mobiles.

You look around the place, everything outside is burnt or melted, God knows how you managed to save the house. The down pipes are all bent and melted. The retaining wall will need to be replaced. The clothes line? – Looks like a sad scarecrow.

At some point in time, you ripped the smoke detectors off the ceiling and threw them out – the noise. OMG – which was worse? The screeching or the sound of everything burning?

You are afraid to leave the house in case there is a fire you haven’t put out. You are running out of water, for some reason the gravity fed water supply has stopped running. You don’t know why.

Exhaustion, you want to sleep but can’t. Everything keeps flashing through your mind. Suddenly there is a knock at the door. The DSE are there asking you to take in some people who couldn’t save their homes. You can’t turn them away. You make room.

It’s now morning – you feel like crap. There is still no water. There are still no phones, there is no power.

Do you stay or go?

There is a knock at the door. It’s some officials. They advise that the town is being evacuated because there is no water.

You don’t want to leave, can they make you leave? You don’t know.

What do you do? Where do you go? – What do you take? – You can’t empty the house. What happens if when the house is empty, some bastard decides to help themselves?

You make a decision to stay. You don’t know if it’s right or wrong, but it’s all you know. At least at ‘home’ you can sleep in your own bed, Things are familiar.

What would you do somewhere else? This is all you’ve known for the past 40 years.

You hear a car in the street, it’s xxxx, they tell you that the water should be okay now, make sure you boil it and they move on.

That means I have water, I don’t have to go. I don’t have power, but I have a generator. I should be okay.

Someone else has come into the street. They are taking photos?????????? Who would take photos at a time like this?

A helicopter overhead, Jeez, I hope they don’t see me. I look horrible.

Everyone else leaves, they lost everything, they are going to the evacuation centres, they have no-where else to go. I don’t have enough food and there is no way for them to contact family. So they have to leave.

There is no sound, no birds, no cars, no mowers. Absolute silence. Can I stay here and not go mad?

We hide in the house for 2 days, hiding because everyone lost so much, we lost nothing. We feel ashamed.

The police are everywhere, they tell us at the outskirts of town if we leave, we can’t come back. How can they say that? We have a house, what will happen to the animals?

We are running out of fuel, we have eaten everything out of the freezer, the canned food is running low. Can they starve us out?

I thought this was Australia? Why are we being treated like this?

We’ve spoken to the kids, they know we are okay. There are 6-7 houses where people have stayed. We are not meant to travel around the town, as it has been declared a crime scene. We can’t talk to each other. When night falls, we move between the houses, making sure everyone is okay.

Food and fuel that is meant to be at the police point is not there. And no-one knows anything. A guy from out of town gets into town with a car full of stuff – the kids dropped it at his place after the police wouldn’t bring the stuff in or let them through the roadblock.

Are You Prepared to Stay and Defend?
Why Must Government Save People from Themselves

Thank God for friends and family.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Succulent Sunday

Succulent Sunday has been moved - THis blog is getting way too serious to have some recipes in it - although technically related - I thought i best to seperate and start another blog

It Ain't Always My Life/

It will still have the same style - with me as the star writer - (well only writer)

Succulent Sunday will be there, along with Silly Saturday

So folloe mw over and perhaps follow me via google reader or RSS feed - your choice!

Take care and remember - if you don't live life - it will live without you!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Twitter #Hoaxes-Small Minds Amused by Small Things, #Haiti, #Earthquake

Last Updated 22.01.2010 09.20hrs

Since the earthquake in Haiti which decimated one of the poorest countries on earth.

Some people think it is a great joke to spread rumors, untruths and plain hoaxes into the world, via social media, forums and the like.

It’s not just the Haiti event that causes this sort of cruel joke to be played, there are individuals in the community who think it is a great laugh to spread lies simply because they think they can

Let’s de-bunk the lies starting here:-

American Airlines ARE NOT flying Doctors and Nurses to Haiti for Free.
The Nation National have the truth and lies here - follow up - Don't send into the WWW unless you know it is true

UPS are NOT sending 50lb parcels to Haiti for free – they are donating US$1million to aid. Here is an update from the UPS site Directly UPS Haiti
The Nation National

Facebook is NOT Donating $1 per Status Update to Haiti Relief
Urban Legends

Jet Blue are NOT flying just any Doctors/Nurses to Haiti, "We're not offering free transportation for just any doctors who walk up and want to fly there."
The Nation National

UNICEF & Red Cross DO NOT need nor want clothing and food for Haiti atm

Requests for Donations:- Always be Very Careful when pledging donations, DO NOT click on links supposedly from trusted sources. Symantec has revealed that the '419' scammers are using the devastion to access your personal details possible steal your identity.

As Deborah Hymes (@wandernot), a user of Twitter commented “People who start fake Twitter rumors have the same mentality as hackers: still in high school, longing to hang with the cool kids.”

Just because something is on Facebook does not make it True. It is A HOAX - Please check out the links above and everytime you see someone making a mistake - let them know that it wastes the donated money - when organisations have to deal with this.

If you know of any rumors that immediately effects efforts of charitable organisations, post in the comments with links etc and I’ll post here for all to see.

Send this link far and wide and let’s see if we can stop the gullible from being fooled, time and time again.

Spanish:- Alguna gente piensa que es una gran broma para separar rumores, falsedades y a bromas llanas en el mundo, vía medios sociales, los foros y similares.
#HOAX American Airlines, Unicef y UPS NO estan transportando enfermeras y medicos gratis a #Haiti. Lean el link

Portugese:- Alguns povos pensam que é um grande gracejo para espalhar e semelhante boatos, untruths e embustes lisos no mundo, através dos meios sociais, fóruns.

French:- Certains pensent que c'est une grande plaisanterie pour écarter des rumeurs, des mensonges et des canulars plats au monde, par l'intermédiaire des médias sociaux, des forum et semblable.

German:- Einige Leute denken, dass es ein großer Witz ist, zum von Gerüchten, von Untruths und von normalen Hokuspokussen in die Welt, über Sozialmittel, Foren und dergleichen zu verbreiten.

You can follow me on Twitter @I_Enigma - thanks for taking the time to add to this - it's a pity that it had to written in the first place.

I realise that some people believe in truth and honesty 100% - unfortunately not everyone tells the whole truth. Some of the abuse I have received would astound you! I might add the more colourful ones later on - just to give you an idea of the thought patterns of some people!

Just because it is on the internet does make it true NOR right - check ALL sources BEFORE passing onto friends. Too assume is to make an ass of yourself ;)

SIlly Saturday

Has been moved!

Not to another day - but to another blog

I've created a monster and had to do something - I had 174 posts log-jammed and realised I had no hope of many of them seeing the light of day unless I split the whole blog down the middle - so that is what I'm doing

Meet little monster It Ain't Always My Life

So come on over - follow me (if you choose) and make comments - disagree please! - I love a good discussion - but in seriousiness

Enjoy life - while you have it - because tomorrow may never come

Friday, January 15, 2010

Why Wholesale Evacuation Won’t Work Under Threat of Fire

Here are some reasons why people won’t evacuate when told to do so under Catastrophic Code Red Classifications

Where do they go ALL day, or for the period declared unsafe to stay at home?

It is recommended people make their way to shopping centre, what do these people do with their animals during that same period?

When the shopping centre closes and it is still 40’c outside, where do they go?

The property once evacuated is prime target for burglars

Some people don’t have insurance and can’t be convinced to get insurance.

Some people are already turning a blind ear to the warnings, they have a wait and see attitude, rather than panic and react.

Some people have large animals that can’t be moved for long periods of time into someone’s backyard, so they opt to stay

Some people’s livelihoods are tied up on that property and can’t be removed, like grapevines, raspberry canes. People have no choice but to remain at the property.

When you run cattle and they are your life, your income, your family’s income, you can’t just up and move them, you have to stay and protect them.

I could go on and on and on – but it would be pointless – the Code Red Classification in 1-2 years will no longer mean anything to most people, other than the inconvenience of the local childcare, kindergarten and schools closing, That will be the only reminder.

Here are some very early thoughts when the Code Red Classification was thought and talked about.

Children in the Care of Others During Code Red Days
Code Red Affected Suburbs
Are You Prepared to Stay and Defend?
Can the Council Close your Business on High Risk Days?
Failure of Last Resort Fire Refuges and Code Red School Registers
Why Must Government Save People from Themselves
Victorian Public Lives at Risk #5
Victorian Public Lives NOT at Risk
Code Red Affected Schools

Once you become self-aware and you listen to the world around you – no longer do you need affirmation that it will be a BAD DAY – you KNOW IT WILL be a BAD DAY the MINUTE you get out of bed.

That is what is missing these days – people lock themselves in front of the play stations, in front of DVD players and the Xboxes and the Air Conditioners and think Well I’m fine – stuff the rest of the world.

All of the above is WHY people won’t leave on a day deemed to be Code Red – they’ll wait until someone calls them, SMS’s them, or the neighbour advises them – by then it could be too late and then those same people will blame everyone but themselves.

Those that are prepared will manage, they will acknowledge that they failed, but they did the best they could and move on with life.

That is human nature and the human spirit. We win some, we lose some.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My Story - A True Story Part 9 - Black Saturday

Part 8
Another piece of therapy I pursued for my own sanity and a way of helping the people of Marysville is this:- Marysville Cookbook It’s self-explanatory.

The opening blurb reads:-

Welcome to the cookbook, designed and printed for the residents of Marysville and surrounds.

This book is not your average cookbook – that you look at – and take a little bit from and then put back on the shelf

You are meant to write in it. You are
meant to enjoy it and do what you do best –

There is plenty of room in the margins for scribbles – there is plenty of space for you to add your own recipes – there are blank pages, just for that purpose.

The idea of this book came about with one person, who like you, lost everything they ever owned, saying that they were unable to remember a special recipe that was passed down from their mother.

It will be a long haul back – but like the fires of 1939 and those that made it through – You can and will do it. You need to remain strong – You MUST talk about what has happened, both amongst yourselves to help and support each other and with outsiders, this will ensure that your children and your children’s children never forget and are never affected in the same way.

Now is the time to make sure that you don’t become complacent, that you keep your network of friends and families close. You need their support more than ever. Yes there will be rough times ahead – but ask your friends and they will help you
– that is the spirit of Australia and the nature of small towns.

I can’t replace that recipe – but I can try and find new recipes to replace the old. Most of these recipes are old recipes with the old measurements, they are simple
and easy to make. I only hope you can enjoy these recipes as much as I do and they make your kitchen the heart and soul of your new home.

On a personal note, I would like to say thank-you to all the paid and unpaid people, who on the day, stood in the face of danger to try and protect everything I love and know. You did everything humanely possible and then some. I admire your courage, I admire your strength. Yes there were losses, both life and
property but you are not superhuman men and women – you are human and
that means that sometimes you have to accept you did everything you
possibly could – without losing your own life.


The recipes themselves contain basic ingredients, with basic recipes, nothing too complicated. The recipes are easy and the index follows not only the title of the recipe but also the major ingredients, thus if you open the fridge door and wonder what to do with what ingredient, refer the cookbook index and you will be offered many recipes.

This was good therapy for me, the time spent compiling gave me something else to think about. I gave 300 copies to the people of Marysville, as a way of knitting the town back together with something made just for them, by someone who grew up in the township and whose parents still live there. By all accounts they have taken it to their hearts. I only hope that it helps the
residents as much as the sharing helped me.

Due to demand a second print of the book is being done as we speak - I can't believe that something so small is wanted by many - Of the first run, a small number of books were sold, of which $5.00 was being given to the community - The second run will see $10.00 from each book being given back to the community - to help make Marysville home again for those residents staying. - I only hope my little bit can help replace things that have been lost for the township.

Part 10

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New Blog

I think I've created a monster.

Those that have been following me - are aware that I have have been swinging madly between themes topics etc - an a monster has been spawned. So to make life a little easier for everyone (including me. I've created another blog.

Follow me over and enjoy or hate my 'every day' brand of self-righteousness and comment accordingly. SO here is monster baby number 2 - It Ain't Always My Life

Enjoy and PLEASE comment - even if you disagree - I love a good discussion!

Scorched - The Telemovie

This is a made for TV special - I believe done by Channel 9

It is very realistic and the part actors do a very good job portraying how real people behave in real situations, around fire and hot weather.

The news reading is dramtic and very realistic also, makes your skin crawl. The similiarities to real events is un-nerving, remembering that was made LONG before the fires now known as Black Saturday occured.

There is a VERY important message in here and I think you should sit down and watch. One of those important messages is how to behave around fire and the what to do when warned about the approach of fire

Overlook the big name actors and concentrate on the smaller actors and the way the camera tells the story.

It is worth the effort to watch - which you can do simply by going to the site and pressing play on Episode 1. (I did notice that what appears to be a short 2 minute episode, acutally goes for loger - so be a little patient and let it load the different parts for you)

It will scare you - but it is realistic. Anyone with doubts about staying or going, perhaps you should watch this and experience it from the safety of your chair before committing to something that you cannot back down from once decided.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Victorian Public Lives NOT at Risk (Today)

11th January 2010

Today was a test and a test I would have to say personally that the CFA and DSE websites passed with flying colours.

There was one hiccup which was changing the layout of the site and removing some of the complication of Java Script which may have made the site slow loading for mobile data people.

I personally am pleased at the result.

There are several areas that could do with MASSIVE improvement.
One of those is the Herald Sun – the Total Fire Ban symbol for as long as I can remember was ALWAYS on the front cover. Someone reading the paper opposite – you KNEW it was Total Fire Ban. You walk past the counter at the newsagent - KNEW it was Total Fire Ban.

Today the Melbourne Herald Sun had the Total Fire Ban symbol on PAGE 4. The ONLY way I would know it was a Total Fire Ban, if the ONLY paper I read, or the only news I received was from this paper, would have to sit down and open to PAGE 4. - I am absolutely disgusted.

Yet The Age got it right, thank-you

Another thing that upsets me greatly – is the new classification codes. Sure they are aimed at personal responsibility and being accountable for your own actions. I 100% agree, But I am disappointed that there is not an indicator to what the level of danger is that I am supposed to be facing.

Previously you drove past a CFA station and you were immediately alerted to the fact it was a Total Fire Ban. You were also immediately aware of the danger by the arrow that was moved when deemed necessary. Now all you have is a little chart (hard to read at 100kph) with no indicator as to WHAT the danger is that I’m facing in that area I am driving through.

It needs to be fixed and fixed now. An area less than 10km from me, borders 2 areas, one today was on Total Fire Ban, the other was not. All the signs are now totally covered up – so I have no idea.

Bring back the old arrow and DANGER or bring back MODIFIED signs with the arrow. Not the non-indicative garbage we now have.

The boys and girls of the CFA in my eyes do a job that many would be afraid to do – I admire their strength, courage and determination. I’m sorry that your leaders don’t behave in the same manner with pride and courage.

Be Prepared – Stay Prepared – and Don’t Let Your Guard Down

My Story - A True Story Part 8 - Black Saturday

Part 7
After then

From here things get not so much hazy – but not dated – just ramblings. I was so tired – I was having nightmares, couldn’t sleep, many people calling me from all over the world – wanting to make sure that I was okay, that my parents were okay – crazy, crazy times.

I was having nightmares about a tap in town – right near the retirement village, that would only work with a ‘key’ (like a council key) it wasn’t working when we first drove past it, after we had solved the water problems it was working and we had to stop and turn it off. This tap took on the size of Goliath and was my personal nightmare.

In the middle of all of this – I was approached to help with handing out cash for some people that I know online – they’d pay the money to me and I had to find a way to give to the most deserving. After thinking about it for a couple of days, I found the perfect solution. I stood at the local service station in Whittlesea and hand out $50.00 to any person who was wearing a wrist band and trying to pay for petrol. The people with wrist bands lived in the fire affected areas of Kinglake, Flowerdale and Humevale. For 3 nights I stood next to the cashier and paid the amount of $50.00 to the cashier for each person who was wearing a wrist band. These people are those that are trying to get going after being hit in the guts and making an effort. They deserved all the help they could get. I gave out something like $2000.00 over that period.

Eventually, the demons caught up with me, it must have been about a month later, I went and tried to see someone, but because I hadn’t lost property and because I wasn’t ‘directly’ affected, no-one had time for me. The usual stuff – I’m one of the one’s that ‘slipped through the cracks’ even today I’ve not spoken to anyone. Simply because I can’t talk to my parents, My family can’t be burdened with the stuff, we all have problems. There is no-one to turn to.

What I’m finding the hardest is that people I relate my story to – don’t believe it. In my own sort of therapy way I have shared the above story with a few people and only 1 or 2 actually believe it and respond. The rest just ignore it, as though it couldn’t, didn’t, wouldn’t happen. Sorry to tell you – but every word you read here is the truth. With God as my witness.

Part 9

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Victorian Publics’ Lives at Risk #5

We are less than 12hours away from a day classified as “Code Red” meaning leave your residence as early as possible or even the night before.

Yet Victorians are going into battle without arms, without information, the CFA site has been up and down again since about 5pm – how can we monitor the situation if we can’t see what the battle is?

Bushfires are a battle, they are battle for life and death, not just of humans, but animals and livelihoods. Businesses have and will be destroyed by bushfires. Lives have been lost due to lack of information or no information or god forbid WRONG information.

The record for the CFA site today is:-

10.01.10- 17.29-17.34 - Timed out
10.01.10- 19.23-19.26 - Down
10.01.10- 19.41-19.44 - Down
10.01.10- 19.49-19.55 - Down
10.01.10- 20.00-20.03 - Down
10.01.10- 20.12-20.14 - Down
10.01.10- 20.14-20.16 - Very slow to load appears to be overloaded
10.01.10- 20.23-20.26 - Down

The officials are to blame, not the men and women who defend your life, your property, your livelihoods.

We must make our voices heard over the politics, over the government protectionism of public liability, we need multiple sources of information and not information that is hidden from al except a few who understand how these things work.

“Emergency Services Minister Bob Cameron says people should never rely only on the CFA website."

So tell me Mr Cameron – what do we rely on? Or do we leave our house, our business or animals to the hand of God?

Victorians have a right to know - not be kept in the dark like mushrooms. We have a right to defend if capable/able

16.12.09 - Outage No. 1
16.12.09 Excuses for Outage
30.12.09 - Outage No. 2
01.01.10 - Outage No. 3
09.01.10 - Outage No. 4

To contact Mr Bob Cameron - please use his his website located Here

Victorian Publics’ Lives at Risk #4

9th January 2010

Once again a hot day and once again the CFA site was down for some period of the day.

I drove today into an area that had an advice issued, stating “The coupe is surrounded by areas burnt in February 2009, there is no risk of the fire escaping, and no properties are under threat.”

After 2009 fires, we know longer know what safe is, even with the help of the CFA website (which was woefully behind) we had a glimmer of hope, being able to predict the movements, even if the professionals couldn’t.

But with the CFA site being down, it’s like letting a blind man loose in the city, without a guide dog or white stick.

So with 6 reasonably hot days under out belt – the CFA (and intermittently the DSE) website have been down.

Let’s re-cap:- (Days Above 30’c)
16.12.09 - 39.9’c CFA website down for approx 2 hours 12-2pm
23.12.09 - 39.9’c
30.12.09 - 41.1’c CFA/DSE website intermittent problems ALL day
31.12.09 - 37.5’c
08.01.10 - 39.7’c
09.01.10 - 38.4’c CFA Website down for approx 2hours 12-2pm (Again)

So far the failure rate is 50% - is this an acceptable risk?

I was in the car for 2 hours and heading into an area that was reported as being under advice. There was nothing on the radio to alert me to a possible problem, so I could have been heading into who knows what. Why was I on the road? I was headed for Marysville, which thanks to the 2009 fires is probably one of the safest places in Victoria at the current time, to drop one child into what I consider a ‘safe’ zone and return with another.

A 50% failure rate is NOT acceptable in any area that concerns life and death of the Victorian Public. I understand the government wants people to be more personally responsible, but how can we, when the 1st point of contact is NOT working and the 2nd (the media) will only broadcast events that are news worthy?

How can I protect myself, my children, my family, my neighbours and my friends – If I am unable to ‘see’ what is going on in this state? As covered here Why the CFA Site is so Important without the CFA site we are blind.

Previous Posts on the same issue
16.12.09 - Outage No. 1
16.12.09 Excuses for Outage
30.12.09 - Outage No. 2
01.01.10 - Outage No. 3

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Electricity Outages/Load Shedding - Victoria, Australia

Both planned and unplanned can have a huge effect on business and residences. Right here right now - the government and media are advising the preparation of "BLACK OUT KITS" This is proof that load shedding will most likely occur during this anticipated heat wave.
From the Melb Age Article, 09.01.10 (last Paragraph)
Police have advised people to prepare a ''blackout kit'' containing a charged mobile phone, radio, list of personal contacts and numbers for power companies, as well as candles and gas appliances for cooking. They warned that power blackouts and public transport chaos were possible

Sometimes these outages can be life-threatening. If you rely on electricity to run oxygen units or other medical devices, you should already be trained in what to do in case of failure. You should also have a letter from your medical advisor that backs up your claim. This is essential.

Besides that for the average householder, there are steps you can take to ensure that you protect yourself during a power failure or load shedding as it is sometimes referred to. The Loss of Power in Residential Properties

The term Power failure is used when the power failed due to natural cause, like wind, storm damage, or accidents.

Load shedding is used when the electricity supplier purposely turns the electricity off during peak demand times for a short period of time – often for up to 4 hours at a time. They rotate the ‘black-outs’ to share the load between areas of consumers.

Several years ago, it was forecast that load-shedding would become more prevalent as more houses were built and more houses installed cooling appliances as finances allowed, and less infrastructure built. This prediction is now fact.

In this article dated the 30th January 2009 written by the Herald Sun clearly shows that a cable failure (power failure) then resulted in load shedding due to demand. Jan 2009 - Huge Power Outage Hits State

The Victoria Health department admits that during an extended heatwave, it is likely that load shedding or power failures will occur and have made allowances for it here Heatwave Plan Vic PDF 1.5MB

The Government, with the thought to reduce liability are trying in all avenues of government to make the person responsible for personal safety, from bushfire information to power failures and even looking after the neighbours. I don’t have a problem with this, I do it automatically, but there are many people who don’t do this as par for the course and this is what the Government is trying to change.

If power failures become common place, and certain areas are more susceptible than others – there is recourse. Reliability of Supply and Compensation
(Link updated 4th Jan 2013)
Here is a further guide IF power is lost and what to do and what NOT to do - Dept of Primary Industries - Your Guide to Power Outages.

Between bushfires and power outages – Australians will have a lot to deal with this year.

Take care out there and remember that help is not far away, but you have to ask for it and sometimes you have to help yourself before others can help you.

Friday, January 8, 2010

My Story - A True Story Part 7 - Black Saturday

Part 6
Tuesday 10.02.09

Mum and dad finally got a message out – they had to leave to get more supplies – they didn't get any of the messages that I have been trying to get through

We got home from the trip to Marysville – had some food and then I went into town to the evacuation centre to try and get some help

I went to the Salvo's they couldn't help – they were happy to write a cheque – I didn't want nor need it

I spoke to someone from the Red Cross – she said that she couldn't help BUT I should approach the local police as they are removed from the Marysville situation and wouldn't be so upset.

I did that – I spoke to someone at the meeting – he took my name and number – I requested the someone call me to let me know that they had got the message – I received an incoming phone call about 10pm – stating that he unable to contact the local police and that he had sent an email that is trackable and he has to answer.

So I figured it is just a waiting game – I was positive that one of the messages would get through – How wrong I was.

My sister had received a call from my parents, my sister said that they still weren’t aware of the supplies. They had left all the animals, (townsfolk's animals) there for safe keeping during the approach of the fire in the hope that will give them the lien they needed to get back into town.

There are a couple of families staying in the town, and I’ve advised dad that everyone needs to band together and make sure all are okay – There are and will be many tears, especially with communications down and no-one else to talk to, a stewing pot of emotions and with so many known lost, the holes are huge.

What the officials are doing is criminal – they can not starve people out – they can not prevent people from remaining in properties that are not damaged. Already there are stories of looting in the Kinglake area – our friends place was done over.


Part 8

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My Story - A True Story Part 6 - Black Saturday

Part 5
Yeah taken a break. Slept last night in the knowledge I was going to try and get back into Marysville tomorrow with useful items, like food, fuel, animal food and repair equipment.

My parents used to own a commercial property which they ran single-handed until 12 months ago. That business is now gone, burnt to the ground – like the rest of the businesses in town.

The fires didn’t start in Marysville, they started in Murrindindi, apparently deliberately lit – but no-one has been caught yet.

Today – My husband, myself and my brother came up the major roads - so from Ringwood the Maroondah Highway - talked my way through the 1st road block (at the beginning of the spur) There the police took our registration and drivers licence details and explained to us – that the only reason they were taking this information was to be able to identify us WHEN we were caught in the Mt Riddell fires.

On the way up – we spotted a bulldozer driver, who had come in from Gippsland to help, he had pulled over to the side of road, with a flat tyre. We helped – we couldn’t leave him there. There was no traffic only a CFA fire truck coming back to change crews – so it was relative safe to do so. I stayed outside the vehicle just in case any traffic that did come through knew that we were there. Finally he was mobile again, after telling us that he had been called in from Gippsland (also fire affected) to help doze in control lines. We wished him luck and went on our way.

We managed to get within 3km of Marysville - and then stopped by the police at the two main road access points into Marysville. There are other points in - but they are through the bush and I wasn’t that brave - I wasn’t going to travel on unmade dirt tracks, towing a trailer - without knowing what lay ahead. Although we had chainsaws, the trees were still falling and it was still too dangerous.

The police refused to escort us - they refused to contact my parents, the police also refused to bring my parents to the road block to pick up the supplies we had bought. They knew who I was, they knew my parents, One of the attending officers had chased me out of town only 24 hours earlier. We were told to come back in 1 hour, not sure why, perhaps there was going to be a change of shift? – No idea why we were told that – but we presented again and were told no entry.

We left the fuel and food at a local farmers place after having a chat and a coffee - typical bloody farmer! - He can’t get into town either - BUT........... he may try to get in there later tonight via road OR motorbike - not sure if he can - or if he is game enough - I am trying to organise CB contact as I know that there are CB radios in town and if I can get someone on the outside and someone on the inside then I have a line of communication.

That is about it. We have done as much as I can - We left the township before they closed the spur again as it was under threat of ANOTHER fire - from Mt Riddell

We had to stop in Healesville to check on someone and whilst there witnessed Elvis dropping water on the Mt Riddell fire in the mountains and then 2 hours later receive a phone call that Doms' road and Myers Creek road are being evacuated – Our friend in Healesville was one of those evacuated- he is now sleeping about 500m down the road!

Anyway time for me to hit the deck, it’s been a long day.

Part 7

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Smoke Haze over Melbourne

I looked out the window yesterday morning and the skies were clear and the day looked promising.

I looked out the window later in the morning and the area defined by Melbourne and its’ suburbs is covered in smoke haze.

The smoke haze brings back so many memories of Black Saturday, I keep looking for the plume of smoke but there is none.

How are those that lost family and homes managing?

Do you know anyone in that situation? – Talk to them – get them to talk.

If someone you know hasn’t really talked to you about the fires, sometimes it helps if you brooch the subject.

There has been great success for the men, take a 6 pack of beer and go for a visit – it makes all the difference.

For women – they just need to talk – about what has been lost and the steps they are taking to re-build and re-establish themselves.

We are almost at the 12 month mark and yet it feels like yesterday for me – and I’m sure for many others it is the same.

I can feel it – this year will be bad – I think the firebugs are using their sinister tools of destruction to get some evil pleasure from destroying people’s lives.

I hope when (I say when because they WILL BE caught) they are punished to the utmost of the law, regardless of upbringing etc. If an example is not set – then people in Australia will forever suffer the fear of WHEN not IF.

Take care.

Monday, January 4, 2010

My Story - A True Story Part 5 - Black Saturday

Part 4

Having got back into the car and knowing that power lines and trees were down on the upper road - I took the lower road back into the main township and in the process saw a gentleman watering down some embers in the front of his house - I stopped to ask if there was anything I could do - He looked horrid. He had lost his wife, after thinking he had left her in one of the safest places in town - thinking that that fire system would protect them if the building caught fire - the fire front had passed - he left to check the house and when he got back the place was burnt to the ground - He requested that I get a message to his son - which I did at about 11.30am .

There was no communication in or out of the town – after about 7am. Because I have an older phone I was able to get reception until the metro towers became busy with mobile traffic. That ability disappeared once the towers got busier. When I left Marysville I sent about 20 SMS and his was one of them. I also left with 2 pages of phone numbers to call to advise family members that family was safe.

I went to go back to the house, to do so, required that I drive OVER the fallen remains of the hotel wall - lumps and bumps, it was weird, even the climbing of fallen on fire trees wasn't that scary - keeping in mind that in any traveling I have done, I have not been stopping anywhere unless I have seen someone completely lost - I have not detoured anywhere unless to avoid trees - I have seen about 50% of the town and only 4 houses still standing so far. :(

I got back onto my parents street with the intention of going back to mum and dads but the CFA won’t let me pass :( - After a small dispute, which unfortunately I told the gentleman (from the CFA) manning the roadblock that he can’t stop me. I double back and got in the back way - noticing at the same time that numerous water meters are spouting water into the air from broken stop taps.

I go back to house and report about the evacuation and the reasoning behind it being the lack of water and that I believe that the lack of water can be solved in minutes or maybe a little longer - D having worked for the water board he would know what do.

We took my car and went from house to house - turning off broken meters OR ramming with a hammer - garden stakes into the broken stop tap valves and stopping the flow of water. We have done about 5-6 meters this way and turned off a further 4-5 broken meters - the water pressure was still no good. As we are turning the corner to return around the block back to the house (D is in a state of shock and collapse by now) - I hear gushing water. It turns out that an automatic fire system has failed due to the collapse of the building around it and was allowing water to cascade onto the streets and vastly reducing the water pressure.

We proceeded to turn off several commercial fire services that are protecting nothing as all the buildings have all burnt down.

I believe this process is frowned upon, but we didn't have a choice, we needed water to put out the spot fires and to remain in the house to prevent looting.

With this - taking all of about an hour - we managed to restore water to 75% of the town. YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Afterwards I found out that in doing that, we also prevented the evactuation of Buxton, which feeds off the Marysville water. A valve that closes when the pressure gets too low - re-opened when the pressure was re-instated)

Having done that and the whisper that they were going to shut the town down - and remove everyone - Somebody knocked at the door to advise of evacuation, The door knockers were told that the people in this house would NOT be leaving and said unless you handcuff him - he will not leave - he has water - they can’t make him leave!!!!!!!!!!!!! - at the same time - he told me to get out - because if they decided to they could stop me leaving OR force me to leave in the convoy and head directly into the path of the Cathedral range fires - I make my own choices. I left - I got to the top of Mt Gordon and that was where I was accosted by the Channel 7 news team, they 'interviewed' me for about 5-10 minutes - I don’t recall exactly - but I know I told them they were arse holes and to piss off - ooops - no wonder they only used 10 seconds of the footage.

Noting - forgot to mention – when I was talking to the man that lost his wife - the gentleman that helped me with the sign and the second tree - said he had cleared a lot of the road from Marysville to Narbethong - so I could get back easier - not sure if he did it just for me or not - but made me feel good.

I left - the road was a lot better on the way out - the devastation still the same - I made it through to the other side with no complications

I hadn’t slept for 30 hours by the time I got home - I had so many phone calls to make - I am sure that I have burned my mobile :( I was on the phone almost the entire trip home and when I got home - I the made the nitty gritty phones calls, the interstate phone calls that required calling the local police stations and getting them to get people to call me.

The phone stopped ringing about 4pm - I went to bed and got about 2 hours sleep - I am going back into Marysville tomorrow with a trailer and various tools (from garden stakes) and star pickets and 3 way gas fridges to try and make sure that the households that want to stay can and the officials can’t stop them

I have not seen a lot of the town - so I can’t give a full break-down - I only went from A to B and then C - nothing else - I can’t bear people to stare at me - so why should I stare at others?

Anyway - it is midnight - I think I have covered everything

Part 6

Sunday, January 3, 2010

My Story - A True Story Part 4 - Black Saturday

Part 3

Two of the people that arrived at the house last night - just before the fire storm hit had left as I got out of the car - they were away for about 60 minutes - they came back wiped out :( - It seems that they have lost their son and his friend - I know they have property - but it is suspected that they are also under the property.

I thought at this stage - one thing I could do was check out the possibility that the boys were at the evacuation point - I checked NOTHING. The news was getting worse. People were waiting on the oval for news of loved ones,one by one there were being advised that family members didn’t make it. It was horrendous. It felt like Whittlesea all over again – even though that was only hours ago.

The next thing I did was to try and get to the property - couldn’t drive down there - BUT - I left the car and with a note advising who I was and where I was going and went to walk down - I was confronted by another two DSE guys - when they tried to say I had to evacuate - I said I have only just got here and they said oh – we heard about you. They let me go and said they would follow me in about 10 minutes as they are issuing the evacuation order due to Health and Hygiene problems and no running water.

I went down the road to the boys place - on the way – I saw a couple with a flat tyre - but I didn’t have time to help them - I had more important things to do - I continued on - I got to the property and the place was gone – I checked under the bridges to confirm that they weren’t there but perhaps injured but I realised there was little hope. The only other car the boys had was burned out beside the place :( - I believe they are dead - it is not possible for them to have escaped I don’t believe :(

I went back up the car with a heavy heart - on the way the DSE guys passed me - I told them about the flat tyre people and they went and assisted them and left me alone.

Part 5

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My Story - A True Story Part 3 - Black Saturday

Part 2
Alright - I am back on the road again - crawling in 4x4 over small trees and power lines, abandoned cars and log trucks and generally shitting myself in the process - keeping in mind I am now about 5km from the township of Marysville and the sky is getting lighter by the minute.

I come across an almighty F********** tree - that had a bigger trunk diameter than your average logging truck.

Again I park the car - checking that I am not willingly parking under any trees that might just fall. I assess the situation and realise that without help or a chainsaw I was stuck. - I was at that stage contemplating locking and leaving the car and walking the rest of the way.

Just as I had decided to do exactly that - a car came down the driveway of a property. It turns out that I know him - we swore at each other - hugged each other and then I was cross-examined as to how the hell I had managed to get so far - I said I flew LOL - seriously.

Anyway - with the help of a chain and a bigger 4x4 than mine - we removed a sign - which allowed my vehicle to pass with 1-2 inches on either side to spare.

I was told that the road to town was almost passable - but would require concentration and no stopping due to the risk of falling trees - keeping in mind - there is a constant noise of what sounds like gunshots going off in the distance - these are trees collapsing.

I got into Marysville - there WAS NOTHING LEFT _ I mean absolutely F**** NOTHING. Look left - look right - the SES shed - burned - all the cars burned - all the houses burned - no-one around - not even starring in shock - there was fire everywhere

I proceeded into the town centre - again - left and right NOTHING - I mean nothing - not one house was left standing - not one business - everything gone - all the 100 year old trees gone - the pub, the post office, the police station, the primary school, everything.

I notice what appears to be an official type vehicle turning in front of me - I flag them down, turns out it is P & D, people I grew up with - I tell them that the woman in Granton has no water and get someone to go out there - these people also put me through the inquisition - how, what who, when - I told them - they didn’t believe me - and then I told then who I was and they said oh, - that doesn't surprise me - my family has a name in the town for never taking no for an answer.

Anyway - they escorted me to the street that my parents live - can’t understand why - but they did - I got to mum and dads place at 5.30am - I know they had been woken at 2.30am to take some people in - keeping in mind that they were the only occupied remaining house in town,

I stayed in the car - trying to rest - at 6.30am - everyone from the house came out - in an array of clothing - I got out of the car and one by one they grabbed me and hugged me - I have not seen 90% of these for 20 years or more - but they were so stunned that someone had come from the 'outside' that they saw it as a relief - perhaps that someone else could take over and make the decisions - I am not sure.

Everyone was shell-shocked. They told me their stories, I told them mine - they couldn't believe that I made it through - almost without assistance. I couldn’t believe that they survived what they did. Considering the overall damage.

I checked the house - made sure that some hot spots were eradicated - the fencing was okay and in general that everyone was as well as could be expected.

To be continued....................................

Part 4

Friday, January 1, 2010

My Story - A True Story Part 2 - Black Saturday

Part 1 is here

I didn’t know if I could get through, but I had to try. I just had to. I can’t explain the feeling.

I decided to stick to the back roads – I didn’t want to attract attention using the main roads and possibly being pulled over and being told to turn around.

The first road block was on the way into St Andrews - I diverted right and got around that one - they were none the wiser

The second road block was in Yarra Glen - again I diverted right and missed the road block - had I gone through the centre of town I would have been blocked - but luckily I didn’t - I snuck between the two road blocks.

I took a small normally unknown and unused road, a road that I used to travel down when I was traveling to and from school on the school bus many years ago - the roadside was ablaze (I was still in the outer suburbs of Melbourne) trees burning like candles - horrible stuff. Little did I know that worse was to come.

The next road block was Healesville - I really didn’t think I had a hope in hell of getting through - but I though what have I got to lose?

I talked to the RTA guy manning the road block for a while - for 2 reasons - one for him to gain my trust (at 3.30am in the morning) could be interesting and two to pass the time and wait for the false dawn to give me some light for what I knew was coming.

I left that road block at about 4.10am - on the proviso that I SMS him the road conditions and when I got through - how where the townships on the way. Deal done - I left that road block - keeping in mind I had not seen a soul for the past 20-30km - no-one of the road - they were all being pushed in the other directions - supposedly away from the fire

The Black Spur journey was pretty uneventful - lots of bark rubbish, a few small trees - but that was it - got to the other side and things seemed untouched - for about 3km and then I entered HELL.

There was lots of smallish branches on the road - both sides of the roads were glowing - buildings smouldering and power lines down - everything I had known for the past 20 years gone :(

That was only Narbethong.

I turned off the Maroondah Highway into the Marysville Road and 2nd HELL broke loose - I was confronted by a fallen tree - the trunk almost as large as a large passenger car - no problems - I could see a way around it - so I did. - SHIT :(

The next 15km was pure hell - took me 1 hour to travel. Every 10-15 metres I was swerving from one side of the road to the other - avoiding fallen trees - most still burning/smouldering to some degree.

The next obstacle was a tree in the township of Granton - I couldn’t get around it - there was a gate to the right - I turned the car in to see if I could see a way around the tree - but couldn’t - not immediately. so I backed out. My fear was that I would discover a septic tank with my car and be stuck forever. I put the headlights on the tree and got out of the car to try and figure something out - before I could do anything - a torch wandered from the house ( YES a house still standing) - I learnt that she, yes she had fought the fire by herself and saved one of her houses. I got talking and with a little lateral thinking - we figured out I could drive down her driveway and then over a fallen fence before using another driveway to get back on the road.

That favour cost me 1 litre of water - she HAD NO WATER - the tanks had melted.

I also found out that only 6 houses remained in that settlement - can't recall or wasn’t told how many houses were there previously - but I was told everyone was accounted for - that is all that matters

Part 3 to follow.............................................

Part 3

Victorian Publics’ Lives at Risk #3 - outage of CFA/DSE Sites

Today, the 31.12.09, I have been told that the CFA site behaved perfectly - kudos - thank-you

But the DSE site is another issue - as at 02.22hrs on the 1st day of the new year - the site is COMPLETELY offline. As at 11.46hrs - the DSE website is up and functioning again - once again this failure can not continue to occur, for surely it MAY place lives in danger in a time of need.

01.01.10 - 02.22hrs DOWN
01.01.10 - 09.29hrs DOWN
01.01.10 - 09.41hrs DOWN

01.01.10 – 09.49hrs DOWN
01.01.10 – 09.51hrs DOWN
01.01.10 – 10.03hrs DOWN
01.01.10 – 10.12hrs DOWN
01.01.10 – 10.15hrs DOWN

01.01.10 – 10.30hrs DOWN
01.01.10 – 10.32hrs DOWN
01.01.10 – 10.35hrs DOWN
01.01.10 – 10.39hrs DOWN
01.01.10 – 10.42hrs DOWN
01.01.10 – 11.00hrs DOWN

01.01.10 – 11.04hrs DOWN
01.01.10 – 11.08hrs DOWN
01.01.10 – 11.15hrs DOWN
01.01.10 – 11.20hrs DOWN
01.01.10 – 11.41hrs - Up

It would appear that the DSE site has been down for the past 10 hours - perhaps longer - THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE

Alright - so it might be almost 2.30am in the morning - but a major thunder storm - with lightning strikes has just passed through the Melbourne area and is heading east into areas already in trouble with previous lightning strikes.

Can anyone see a problem with this?

The site is trying to load - but not succeeding - The CFA site is fine and working 100% - but the DSE site is another issue altogether

Victorian Public Lives at Risk #1 (16.12.09)

Victorian Public Lives at Risk #2 (30.12.09)

Reason for the outage of the 16.12.09

Now the DSE site is down totally - this can not continue - what if the WA disaster had happened here?

Would the public be screaming for heads to roll? - I think they might be - as it is they are crying foul about the SMS text messages being late.

Don't get me wrong - I'm all for getting people to think for themselves - but people are so used to the government thinking for them - they don't know any different.

Now is the time to act - now is the time for the CFA/DSE and Government OFFICIALS to pull their fingers out and actually do something that makes your volunteers and supporters proud be called so - and not cringe when they get abused for previous events.

Pull up your socks and show us you can do something for the benefit of all Victorians


(Last Updated 01.01.10 - 11.47hrs - NO FURTHER UPDATES unless something changes)

Happy New Year

Today is the 1st January 2010 and you feel horrible,

It’s midday (I know) even if you don’t. You drank too much last night. The kids are squealing for breakfast, which could possibly pass for lunch.

Your head hurts, you can’t find the panadol! Did I really kiss Bob from next-door last night?

What was I thinking LOL

Oh well, it’s a new year, it’s a new start, thankfully you have some time off.

Do you take the kids to the beach? Take them to the pool or sit under the air-conditioning and just let them play on the computer?

All choices you have to make, but try turning the computers off, try turning the play stations off. See if you can go one day without technology.

You might actually find your kids and start touching base with them and communicating with them and not sending the dinner reminder via MSN!!

Alright – remember new year, new start even if it is something as simple as sitting down to dinner as a family at the one table and turn the Television off!

Good luck.