This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

2006 Travels September 22

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John finalized the setting up of a spread sheet he would use to record his ongoing expenses for site stuff.

I did the usual daily faxing. Made up files for each of the sub-contracting companies. Was beginning to get my head around these, and what part of the project they would be working on – it was really quite complex and required all sorts of specialist skills.

Prepared Airbags of paperwork that had to be sent to Darwin and Alice Springs, from K. I wished them luck deciphering anything he’d had a hand in! John would mail these from Hedland PO.

John had been asked by wife of BB – boss lady – to take photos of the site as was and virtually every day, so there was a photographic record of the progress and work.


The construction site. The two cleared rectangles at rear would be two pods of bedrooms; in front of those were kitchen foundations. One building in its permanent place would be the first aid centre. Note the stacks of roofing iron – scene of a nasty incident to come….

In order to take  proper over view photos of the site, John was raised up high on a forklift!


My office, from on high. Satellite dish for my phone, internet, fax. Our Truck, with its mandatory orange flashing light mounted on the roof rack. The bongo bus.

Another task he was given was to list all the plant on site, with identifying numbers and mileages, hours etc. This was to be done twice a week. Was not as easy as it sounded, not the least because at any one time, some of said plant was in use on various parts of the site. As he got to know which machine was what, it got easier.

I typed up some material related to Heritage matters, that was to become part of the Induction process.

I still did not have a toilet on site – and had taken to sneaking off behind or in between the delivered buildings in the lay down area. At least this was away from where most of the work activity was happening.

I was working out the building identifications and functions, gradually. The bedroom portables were obvious and easy. But there had been some structures that appeared on site early on – before I was taking notice – that I had no idea about, and could find no paper work for. They were basically just a floor and a roof, with some supports for same, and framing to brace same in travel. Eventually, I was to realize that the big kitchen and mess building, and the wet mess (bar) building, would be made up of a lot of modules – called floors – ultimately joined together.

So the six funny structures I was fretting about – and trying to identify for HO – were the six floors for the wet mess. The kitchen and dining mess would have sixteen floors! Some of the buildings had belonged to the company for a while and had been used in other places and projects, like the movable camps for the construction of the Darwin railway, so their identifying marks or plates were inconsistent or missing. It didn’t help!

I had a run-in with a FMG man who came out here to take photos. He went straight out onto the site, without reporting to the office or to K out on site. He came back again to fetch his camera, which was when I spotted him, and told him that he needed to wear a hard hat on site – and also report in on arrival. It was apparently his third visit to the site, so he should have known better. John had put up plenty of signs – which he found in a container of company equipment – at the entrance, about all visitors reporting to the office, etc. He argued the toss with me about wearing a hard hat, but eventually put it on. I was about to call K for support in dealing with him, when the latter appeared and took him out onto the site. Arrogant man!

We had a supply of hard hats and high vis vests, for visitors, in the office.

The site work that was being done today was digging trenches for the communications lines, and setting up the foundation frames for the kitchen building.


Foundations for the kitchen/mess building


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