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Thread: Some of the issues facing Business in the Outback

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser OzzieTraveller's Avatar
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    Some of the issues facing Business in the Outback

    G'day all

    Each year we are on the road for 6 to 8 months travelling inland NSW & QLD offering several modified college photography courses to towns with no TAFE or Adult-Ed colleges, & villages & cattle stations etc. Over this period we'll offer about 2-dozen photo workshops of one sort or another.

    During these months we need resupplying for many consumables [funnily enough]. We buy as much as we can along the way as we pass thru larger towns, but often it needs to come from 'the big smoke'. Last week I had an interesting phone call from a Sydney place with whom we had placed an internet order

    The delivery address we supplied was "for over-the-counter collection, Post Office Springsure, Qld 4722"

    This is fairly common when we're on-the-road ... we look to where we'll be in 2-3 weeks time & ask for the stuff to be delivered ahead of our arrival

    The conversation went ...
    shop - Mr Jones, we cannot deliver to a post office - our courier needs a street address
    phil -- Oh- that's going to be a problem - why can't you deliver to a post office ... other shops do?
    shop - it's shop policy ... the courier we use only delivers to an address
    phil -- Oh- that's still a problem. Okay then let me give you the address we'll be at next week
    phil -- "ALBENI cattle station, Salvatore Rosa Road, 175km west of Springsure QLD"
    phil -- will that do? Please ask your supervisor if s/he will authorise the courier to do a 350km round journey to deliver this item
    shop- I'm not sure - I'll ask the supervisor
    shop- the supervisor says that we'll deliver to the post office for you to collect
    phil-- good, thankyou [etc etc]


    The message I want to pass here is that -if- you are working in a city business and supplying country people with goods, please remember that this is a big country with long distances and NO PHONE COVERAGE for huge areas of countryside
    Services & deliveries out here are very, very different from the city

    If you look at a map of Qld, Springsure is inland of Brisbane - it's about 800km westwards ~ nowhere really "outback" as we're still under 1000km from Brisbane
    The 275km between Springsure & Tambo has Telstra coverage for 15km west of Springsure and 10km east of Tambo and nothing in between. Albeni cattle station where I am at now has satellite internet coverage - slow as slow as slow
    A forum post including a photo takes 90 seconds to display the photo

    Apart from the above - travelling the 'outback' is great and we get to go to some great places and meet lots of lovely people on their farms and stuff like that

    See you later ...
    Regards, Phil
    Of all the stuff in a busy photographers kitbag, the ability to see photographically is the most important
    google me at Travelling School of Photography
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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    [Button]Thank you for this interesting snippet of life in the remoter parts, Phil.[/Button]
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    Edit to my OP
    My reference to 'no phone coverage' refers to mobile phones not landline phones
    Phil

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    I'm familiar with a lot of these challenges as I support the whole of Western NSW in my job. A lot of my sites in smaller towns do not have street numbers which seems to cause Telstra no end of drama when placing orders.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warus View Post
    I'm familiar with a lot of these challenges as I support the whole of Western NSW in my job. A lot of my sites in smaller towns do not have street numbers which seems to cause Telstra no end of drama when placing orders.
    Try placing your order with Optus then... Or, Dodo, or anyone else.

    Seriously though, some goose from Brisbane asked me if Rockhampton was north of Townsville. What do they teach kids at school these days?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warbler View Post
    Try placing your order with Optus then... Or, Dodo, or anyone else.

    Seriously though, some goose from Brisbane asked me if Rockhampton was north of Townsville. What do they teach kids at school these days?
    Most places only have Telstra for what I do unfortunately. Very little competition outside of metro areas. Interesting though Optus installed a new tower past Molong about 40kms north of the nearest major town which is Orange. The sheep around there can connect at around 4Mb/sec but here in town you are lucky to get a few hundred Kb/sec if you are unlucky enough to use their service when you can get signal. Such great planners when it comes to regional infrastructure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warus View Post
    Most places only have Telstra for what I do unfortunately. Very little competition outside of metro areas.
    My point exactly. All the regulation that was supposed to promote competition has done nothing of the sort outside the large metropolitan markets. I guess you'll just have to wait for the NBN. Don't hold your breath though.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Happens even in Tassie. Lots of people here have an RMB address (Roadside Mailbox) where they property is several kms up a dirt road that most couriers will never go on. And they tell people, sorry we cannot deliver to an RMB, which then the usual response is can you deliver to a mailbox..yes..well that is what an RMB is...Oh!
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    (Sore neck from shaking head at some of the posts!)
    A modern refrain: "We" + "can't" + [some technologically simple thing] = [butte* covering]

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warbler View Post
    ..... What do they teach kids at school these days?
    Facebook, twitting, txting, loitering, fingerpainting(handy for increased dexterity for txting!) ... and nothing much else!
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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    Facebook, twitting, txting, loitering, fingerpainting(handy for increased dexterity for txting!) ... and nothing much else!
    Yep, was reading an article the other day how kids are having to see physiotherapists cause they don't have the muscle development in their hands to hold and use a pen or pencil. Everything is being done on keyboard and touchscreens, and they are not being allowed outside to climb trees etc and build up the muscles enough to be able to write.

    I feel sorry for the teachers who get kids at kindy and grade 1 who have not been taught a thing at home, don't know how to count, the alphabet etc, cause that is 'the teachers job'. No wonder our education systems are going backwards, cause they have to start 2-3 years behind where past generations did, and doing so ends up slowing down the learning for the kids who have parent(s) who participate actively in another human beings overall learning cause the teachers have to work for the lowest common denominator and get them all to the same level before they can move forward.

    Now back to business..hehe.

    Businesses right across Australia are doing it tough (except mining and the banks), and I get that they need to ensure they are not being ripped off with internet and phone orders, due to increased credit card fraud, but it is also reasonably easy to verify an address these days, a quick google search and you can see the address on a map and often use streetview to suss it out as well. You can use things like reverseaustralia to verify a phone number.

    Some businesses are their own worst enemies when it comes to getting a sale, cause they say "we can't".

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    Member FallingHorse's Avatar
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    Lol - I'm not quite in the outback but I have that issue with just about everything I purchase from the net. Rural NT including rural Darwin areas have no road delivery from Australia Post. No-one south of Darwin even has a mailbox! I usually have to explain that the post office is also the local service station. Sometimes this simple explanation is enough but other time I have to put the physical service station address and then ring the staff to let them know to expect it so that they can put a card in my box. But - on the upside the Post Office is only a 80km round trip for me

    Oh, and I can commiserate with the satellite internet -it's all we get too. I was due for the upgrade to the new satellite gear but Telstra have overstated their abilities on their "Service Map" and now they wont upgrade the gear because we "should" be able to get Wireless. What a joke - we'd be lucky to have a phone call with out it dropping out!
    Last edited by FallingHorse; 08-05-2013 at 8:50pm.
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    Member GerryK's Avatar
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    This is such a brilliant thread. two comments
    1: Telstra. Whilst they are everyones kicking bag, at least they are in many places where no-one else is willing to go. It never ceases to amaze me when people and companies are travelling effectively in the middle of nowhere complain that there is no mobile coverage. How much would you be willing to pay to have 100% connectivity across the land mass that is Australia? We live in a country where, for communications services, what is charged in the high population zones is what is charged in the low population zones. It is not surprising Telstra have paid $1.3B to be able to expand there 4G network to all regions of Oz. (rural & urban). have not seen any other carrier getting onboard to deliver to all Australians, not just the niche money spinning markets.

    2: Education. I agree with Rick that our kids are suffering lower education standards and competency. This is why I fully support taking money from universities to fund basis primary education. If the building blocks (foundations) are not set correctly, we are consigning our kids to failure. I would rather have all kids able to read, write and count when they leave primary school than have them 'qualify' for Uni incapable of doing anything because the entry scores are sooooo low.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Agree with you reTelstra Gerry, My mobile is with them for the very reason that if you go out of the cities in Tassie, or off the major highways at all, you do not have coverage with any network other than Telstra. Optus tried to convince my mum to swap her mobile to them recently, cause they now offered coverage for her. Yep they did, in her town and for about 5kms around it, but nothing between her town and the next big town (50km away). At least with Telstra we get coverage along the entire route. Telstra isn't perfect and can be a bit expensive, but I think it is more perfect than some of the other options.

    We are also starting to discover that their are two version of NBN. The people who have gone with Telstra here in Tas are getting better speeds, connections etc than those that went with other providers. My mum has Telstra NBN and although it took ages for them to connect it, it works beautifully, the four other houses in her road all went with another provider and every one of them has issues. We are starting to see reports of similar in other towns as well. I think it is second rate equipment. My mum's telstra NBN box is neat, looks sturdy, and the installation looks professional. Then you look at the others in her street and it looks like dodgy brothers installed something that fell of the back of a truck. I think some of the other providers are getting cheap NBN boxes (probably from China) and they are proving to be less than ideal. Constant dropouts that require resetting, phones not working (people call and the phone just doesn't ring), extreme fluctuations of NBN speed for internet.

    I should be getting the NBN by the end of this year (election results pending), and am seriously thinking about swapping to Telstra simply cause they seem to have gotten the connections right, unlike some others (including my current provider who is part of Dodgy NBN Inc)

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    Member FallingHorse's Avatar
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    I was complaining that I can't get Telstra! For my current service I pay $50 a month for 3GB of download and 4 bonus GB for the middle of the night just in case I get the urge to get up at 3 am and see if anyone commented on my last post lol. The ADSL service was $100 a month for 100GB plus my home phone which is already Telstra but that's not available in our area so I'm not sure where you get the idea that communications are the same price in high population ares compared to low population areas

    I'm not sure why you think its a "kicking Telstra" thread when the majority of the post refer to postal services and issues that for rural and remote Australia - part of those issues are access to communications
    Last edited by FallingHorse; 09-05-2013 at 9:40pm.

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    Ausphotography Veteran MattNQ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warbler View Post
    Try placing your order with Optus then... Or, Dodo, or anyone else.

    Seriously though, some goose from Brisbane asked me if Rockhampton was north of Townsville. What do they teach kids at school these days?
    He He, you soon find out up here that some in Brisbane think the civilised world ends at the sunshine coast, and there is nothing west of Toowoomba! I still remember a rep for some telco gear ringing me to say he would be in Brisbane soon and wanted to hire a car & duck up to Townsville the same day to visit us.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Warus View Post
    . Such great planners when it comes to regional infrastructure.
    They are just looking at the return on investment.....or lack thereof
    Last edited by MattNQ; 10-05-2013 at 12:20am.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattNQ View Post
    He He, you soon find out up here that some in Brisbane think the civilised world ends at the sunshine coast, and there is nothing west of Toowoomba! I still remember a rep for some telco gear ringing me to say he would be in Brisbane soon and wanted to hire a car & duck up to Townsville the same day to visit us.
    That would be the same bloke who wanted me to drive out and have a look at a house in Mt Isa for him in an afternoon, from Rockhampton!

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