Sunday, February 26, 2006

A Special Visitor

Well, most of you know that I had a special visitor last time I was in Darwin and he was the reason I failed to update my blog during that time. Yes, Kasun FINALLY came to Darwin, after much begging/sulking from myself.

We both had a lot of fun and it really was great to see him again after 4 months. Time didn't drag or go too fast, so we managed to do quite a few things. I will list what we did because it's easier for me.

What Kasun and I did when he was in Darwin:

  • I arrived back home from the airport after work, and had a quick dinner with my parents and did some last minute cleaning. I then went to bed and decided to wake up at 12.15am as his flight was due at 12.50am.
  • When I was backing out of my driveway at 12.30am my phone starts ringing and indeed it was Kasun asking me where I was. I expressed shock at him arriving so quickly and told him I'd be there in 5 mins.
  • Kasun knew which car was mine in the airport carpark which impressed me. We then went home.
  • On Thursday we mainly watched TV and Kasun had about 3 showers before 12 noon. I then took him to Casuarina Shopping Centre and watched as he marvelled over the fact that, yes, we have a pretty cool Shopping Centre!!!
  • On Friday we watched Sri Lanka kick Australia's ass in the cricket.
  • During the break we went for a walk on the beach - we also had a running race which I will speak no more about.
  • We then went to Alayne's birthday party.
  • Kasun got to meet my Darwin buddies and see how nice/strange they are.
  • We went to town for a bit and then went home.
  • On Saturday we went to Crocodylus Park with my parents and saw some of Darwin's wildlife. I also took this opportunity to threaten Kasun about being pushed into the croc pens if he annoyed me.
  • That night we all went to the wharf and had fish and chips.
  • The next day Kasun and I went to the Rapid Creek Market with my Mum and bought greasy spring rolls and chicken satays for breakfast.
  • We then watched Sri Lanka lose to Australia and went to Amy's and Adam's and watched a DVD. Kasun was attacked by her cat Blitz (which was funny).
  • On Monday I took Kasun to Holly's and watched him play with Jasper (which was really cute).
  • We then went to town and had lunch with my parents and Sashani.
  • After that we met Mira for coffee at the Deck bar.
  • Then we went to the museum and had a look around.
  • That night we went to the Casino with my parents for dinner and then we had a go on the pokies. I won $20.00!!!!!!
  • On Tuesday we went to Casuarina and did some last minute shopping. Kasun bought me a rose!!! Aww, how sweet!!!
  • We then went home and watched as Australia posted a record total.
  • That night we went to the 'Hanuman' restaraunt for dinner. We decided to order a glass each of champagne. However, we were presented with a bottle, which we still finished off. The food was great, but I felt a bit sick after eating so much butter chicken. It was VERY romantic though and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
  • We then went for a walk along the Esplanade (where I used to eat my lunch when I worked for DEET). That was nice. We both felt a bit sad there because Kasun was going back to Sydney that night and I was going back to McArthur River the next morning.

So, that's it in a nutshell. I was so tired on my first day back at work as I had been to the airport at 1am in the morning and then again at 4.45am for my flight, but it was honestly worth it.

Thanks for coming Kasun!!!!!

Jack Handy Thought For The Day: As the snow started to fall, he tugged his coat tighter around himself. Too tight, as it turned out. "This is the fourth coat crushing this year", said the seargent as he outlined the body with a special pencil that writes on snow.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Slightly Worried

Hey All,

I'm so sorry for not updating sooner, I have NO excuse (except pure slackness and also the fact that Kasun was in Darwin during my last time here!!).

There has recently been a lot of talk of McArthur River Mine being shut down so I have been a bit concerned about my job. I think something will work out, but it doesn't stop me from worrying (nothing usually does!!).

Please read the following articles - both taken from the Northern Territory News.


We'll shut mine down

By NIGEL ADLAM 24feb06

AN INTERNATIONAL company last night vowed to close one of the Territory's biggest mines unless the NT Government changed its mind and allowed a $66million redevelopment plan to go ahead.

Swiss-based Xstrata said McArthur River mine would be uneconomical if it wasn't converted from an underground to an opencast operation.

Manager Brian Hearne said 270 jobs would be lost. He said the mine needed to mill 5000 tonnes of ore a day but was digging up only 800 tonnes.

"Open-cut is the only way to secure the mine's future,'' Mr Hearn said.

"I can't mine trees.''

Environment Minister Marion Scrymgour said the proposal to divert 5.5km of the McArthur River and build a huge bund wall was too risky.

"There is a compelling case for caution,'' she said.

"I'm not convinced this plan wouldn't cause significant long-term damage.''

Her recommendations were hailed as "far-sighted'' by conservationists.

Environment Centre campaigner Gary Scott said: "Moving rivers and mining their beds in the middle of a floodplain is not an acceptable practice in this day and age.''

But the Minerals Council described the Minister's stand as "appalling''.

Executive director Kezia Purich said the project's environmental impact statement had been drawn up by the same scientific team that worked on the Alcan expansion and Darwin Harbour LNG plant.

She said it was independently vetted by scientists. "What makes their findings better than that of independent scientists?''

Ms Purich said conservationist Lyn Allen, a founder of the Environment Centre and now head of the Office of Heritage and Environment, was involved in the finding.

"She has always been opposed to the McArthur River mine plan,'' Ms Purich said.

Ms Allen last night answered her mobile telephone and then broke off after saying it was faulty.
Mines Minister Kon Vatskalis will have the final say on the mine proposal.


The next article sounds a little more promising.........


NT Govt set for backflip on mine


THE Territory Government may allow the McArthur River mine redevelopment to go ahead after all.

It is understood the Government is already doubting the validity of the Environmental Protection Agency report, which recommended the plan be rejected.

The Northern Territory News discovered yesterday the leading scientist behind the rejection did not visit the Territory before making his recommendations.

It is believed the Government will have the decision independently reviewed.

A well-informed source said: "The Government is going to take a long, hard look and ensure any decision is on science, not emotion."

Environment Minister Marion Scrymgour announced on Thursday the $66 million to convert the mine from an underground to an open-cut operation had not passed the "science test".
Her recommendation to reject it will now be reviewed by Mines Minister Kon Vatskalis. A final decision is expected within five weeks.

The Mines Department is known to be disturbed by the EPA report.

"They are obviously pro-mining but they think there are serious doubts about the way recommendations were reached," said the source.

Geomorphologist Wayne Erskine admitted he did not carry out a site inspection at Borroloola before recommending it be turned down.

"But I have visited McArthur River before," he said.

Dr Erskine, of the University of Newcastle, made his decision by checking whether the mine's environmental impact study met key criteria in a document detailing best practise for river diversions.

"It did not," he said.

Dr Erskine was particularly worried there was no plan to recreate an aquatic habitat.


So, there you go.

I'm sorry that this entry is nothing more than blatant plagerisation from the NT News, but I wanted you all to know about it and this was the only way I could present it impartially (though I really don't like Marion Scrymgour at the moment).

My life other than that is going well.

I will update again on Monday or Tuesday and tell all about Kasun's visit to the bush!!!! (No Mel, not THAT kind of bush!!!)

Take care and enjoy the rest of the weekend!!!

Jack Handy Thought For The Day: He was the kind of man who was not ashamed to show affection. I guess that's what I hated about him.