WEDNESDAY 27 SEPTEMBER NORTH POINT CAMP
John left to drive to Broome. Bit over 700 kms. Good thing he enjoys driving!
From 8am till midday, I was off site. Was asked to drive (in our Truck), south to the corner of the highway and the Marble Bar/Hillside road, 62kms from here. I was to intercept expected trucks that were bringing buildings for RV2. The route into there involved some 70kms on the BHP maintenance road alongside their railway.
BHP was being very obstructive about letting our company use this. John had already had to get a rush order filled for magnetic orange flashing lights that would go on top of all our vehicles, and magnetic company logos to go on the vehicle sides. Our Truck was decorated with these now!
At this point they had again refused to allow movement of large trucks on the access road – and trucks delivering dongas were large! So I had to be at the corner to instruct the expected trucks to continue on to RV1 and lay down the buildings there. It was a pest because it would mean double movement and handling of these at some future time.
The truck schedule had been necessarily a bit vague. But they had left their break stop at Kumarina Roadhouse before a message could be gotten to them, hence my task. Eventually they lumbered up, I waved them down, and sent them on.
Apparently the drivers of the BHP ore trains had been instructed not to wave to our company vehicles!
One of the suppliers that John had been getting things from for the buildings, told him that businesses in Hedland hated BHP! Something to do with their attitude to local firms. They liked FMG’s boss for challenging BHP, so they told John they would give any work that he brought in to be done, absolute priority!
I arranged travel authorizations to be sent to HO for a couple of the men who had a week off coming up soon.
We were notified that there would be a visit soon – early October – from five of the important men from Spotless Services. This company would be taking over the Villages from our company, when they were built, and running them for FMG. This opened my eyes to another facet of the FIFO mining industry of these remote parts – that there were companies who specialized in running the operations of such camps.
I guessed the men were coming to inspect the camp. I gathered the schedule was set some time ago, before the whole shebang got delayed by FMG’s late site access. So there might not be as much to inspect as they were expecting!
It was quite strange being alone at Fly Camp for the night. I just went and ate tea in the communal dining area, then holed up in the van till bedtime. I was finding most of the workers and subbies who came and went through the camp, reasonably pleasant and alright to sit with at meal times – one just had to sit wherever there was an empty chair. But there were a couple who were loud and prone to making lewd comments – not directed at or about me, but deliberately in my hearing. I just ignored them and hoped they would give up if they didn’t get a reaction.