Farewell, ‘One Eleven’!

This afternoon, RAAF fleet of F-111 based at the Amberley Air Base flew over southeast Queensland and northern New South Wales for the last time. I read on City News it would be over Brisbane’s sky at 11.20am, then today’s Courier Mail wrote at 11.50am. In reality, it flew after midday. My bet is bad weather (Australia’s wettest start to summer in 111 years as The Australian wrote). Hmm, ‘One Eleven’ and 111 years? A coincidence?

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The photo was taken by yours truly while he was having his daily dose of newspapers at the Tim Fairfax Room at the State Library of Queensland. The guy who was seated next to me in the room commented that he actually wanted to take photo of ‘One Eleven’ but he forgot his phototaking device.

The jets left Amberley Air Base flying over Ipswich and Brisbane and parted way. Some of the fighters would move northwards to the Sunshine Coast up to Noosa whereas the rest should fly over the Gold Coast down to Byron Bay. So long, ‘One Eleven’ after your 37 years of duty! As part of my commitment with the F-111 story, I will post my visit to Ipswich Art Gallery to see the F-111 exhibition there.

That’s all for now!

UPDATED: A news story from Seven News later in the evening about the F-111 or F1-11 (which ever way you prefer it) farewell

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Australian Army Open House at South Bank (QBE Riverfire)

It may be old news but here it is, a post on the lead up to QBE Riverfire. In the afternoon before QBE Riverfire, 1st September to be exact, the Australian Army held its open house at Suncorp Piazza along the Southbank Parklands. It is the second time I am attending an army open house, firstly the Singapore Army Open House in which the story you can also find in this blog.

Since national service (termed as ‘nasho’ in Aussie slang, NS in Singapore although in Malaysia it refers to the state of Negeri Sembilan) is not compulsory, there was an army enlistment booth. Back in Indonesia, the army put an advertisement on state-broadcaster TVRI (luckily they don’t embrace ABC charter) where hardly any Indonesians watch, but the ad did say that army training is fully-sponsored by taxpayers’ money.

Unlike Singapore, the open house is not held at an army camp. So what they did was brought the tanks, jeeps etc to Suncorp Piazza. I did hope that one day the Army, Navy and RAAF could organise an open house like how their Singapore counterparts did.

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Once the jeep is retired, I do hope they could be utilised as public transport like Manila’s jeepneys. Let the army help Brisbane improves its public transport system 🙂

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I expected to see the F-111 to be exhibited along but space constraint at South Bank may force it to Amberley.

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The army enlistment booth I have heard, though, opinion by an Aussie to reintroduce compulsory ‘nasho’. Since I’m not Australian, I don’t have a right to this issue.

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Get it covered!

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What I like about Australian car plate is that how funny the tagline can be. Like for Queensland, it’s “Queensland – Sunshine State”. As for the army, it’s “Army – Serving the Nation”.

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Military Police – Serving Naughty Officers 🙂

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I do hope the next time Australian Army, Navy or RAAF conducts an open house it can be in a grander scale equivalent to Singapore Army, Navy and RSAF. Need not be located in Amberley, Darwin or near Olympic Dam but give us more inside look of the organisation. But I’m not saying that this open house is bad.

CLEM7 Community Day (28/02/2010)

Since I’ve been busy with my foundation year work, I just managed to post the community day of Australia’s longest tunnel now.

The journey began at Cultural Centre bus stop, that’s where I started and ended my day most of the time. In every bus stops that the CLEM7 bus loop service stops (Cultural Centre, Woolloongabba, Queen Street etc), there would always be one person from the Brisbane city council equipped with a sheet of small paper and pen counting how many persons using the bus.

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This photo was taken while I waited for the CLEM7 bus to come. Platform 4 of Cultural Centre bus stop was specially used for people intending to visit the community day. Some precautions before attending the event were stated.

The bus would drop you off at the Bowen Hills side of CLEM7 tunnel end. There, a standard western-style show was held. The Brisbane city council maximised this event to promote their innovation in reducing congestion in Brisbane. Of course, there are other attractions besides that such as food and drink stalls as well as car exhibition.

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Yup, this kind of funky-styled car was displayed on the community day.

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Along with the funky-styled car, the team from Queensland Fire and Rescue was also there giving children the opportunity to ride on their fire truck.

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Meanwhile, this old-styled bus was there to sell calendars. I believe the money raised was used for charity purposes.

Apart from all the fun stated-above, there was also competition heated up between three Brisbane radio stations; Triple M 104.5FM, 4BH 882 and 4BC 1116 (the last two stations are both owned by Southern Cross Radio). As you know, a battle of rating and popularity among radio stations. What surprised me is that Australia is still using the AM frequency on the radio. In Singapore, there’s no radio station operating on the frequency whereas in my hometown there were about two to three stations still using the frequency.

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Triple M booth

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Since being owned by a single company, 4BH and 4BC used only one booth and they invited a very special guest and that guest is ……
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Brisbane’s Lord Mayor Campbell Newman having discussion with the radio hosts.

Up till now nobody knows when the tunnel will be opened to the public for traffic use. On the community day itself, there was a fun run held earlier in the morning but it turned out to be a disaster as many runners didn’t get enough water. In the afternoon, it was the public turn to walk (not run) in the tunnel.

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This is CLEM7 entrance from Bowen Hills in the north.

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Many people no matter of their race, religion, language, background and age managed to complete the slightly more than 6.8 km walk. When they reached the lowest point of the tunnel, which is 60 m under the Brisbane River, visitors would get a sticker saying that they’ve reached the lowest point of the tunnel or something similar to that. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the sticker even though I managed to get to the lowest point.

Like what I’ve written earlier, Brisbane city council used it to promote their new innovations from the tunnel to ‘bike rental’ scheme.

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A diorama of a normal traffic on the Story Bridge

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If you look from the other side, you’ll notice a CityCat ferry travelled on the Brisbane River.
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And underneath the Brisbane River and Story Bridge, there is a diorama of the CLEM7 tunnel.

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On the other hand, Brisbane will not only have Australia’s currently longest tunnel but also will be the first Australian city to launch the ‘bike rental’ scheme which will be introduced in the middle of this year. The scheme branded as ‘CityCycle’ will have 150 bikes pick-up points across the city with a fleet of 2000 bicycles ready to be rolled out. About payment, I’m not so sure about this but regular subscribers to this service will pay cheaper than tourists or visitors using CityCycle bikes.

That’s not all from the event. There were also booths on Brisbane’s City Hall which currently undergoing renovation, seller of CLEM7 certificate (to prove that you’re among the first 50,000 people to travel in the tunnel) and more. Last but not really least important is this group of Africans entertaining the show.
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That’s all from me for now. There will be a special post about my visit to the lowest point of the tunnel. For now, good night.

Tsunami Warning

Well, it may be a little too late. There was a tsunami warning given to Australia’s east coast particularly Gladstone in Central Queensland down to Tasmania prior to the 8.8-Richter scale earthquake in Chile. A report says that the impact will be first hit the east coast at 0845 AEDT (it’s AEST all year long in Brisbane).

However as time passes, I haven’t heard any report whether the impact has hit east coast or it’s still underway or may be the warning has been lifted. Hopefully, it won’t reach east coast particularly Southeast Queensland.

CLEM7 Tunnel Visit

Sorry for not able to update my blog lately, I’ve been too busy with my foundation year works. Just a little update, this coming Sunday (28/02/2010) I’lm going to the CLEM7 Open Day.

A special Apa Kabar Bram report will be produced soon after (as usual) about my journey through the tunnel. CLEM7 is believed to be the longest tunnel in Australia and some part of the tunnel is located below the Brisbane River, if I’m not mistaken.

Some news reports on CLEM7

Courtesy: soulvisionq1


Courtesy: ExtraStories

A Brief Introduction
CLEM7 is 6.8 km long, the payment system to use the tunnel is quite similar to Singapore’s ERP (And yes, it’s just been introduced here in Brisbane. Dear Singaporeans, I know that Brisbane is like eons ago behind you!). CLEM7 will connect Woolloongabba (somewhere near Brisbane Cricket Ground, the Gabba) to Bowen Hills.

More history about the tunnel on my report later. For now it’s good night from me in Brisbane (don’t forget it’s GMT+10 here!).