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01 September 2009 @ 10:40 pm
In brief, but happy, political news ...  
I am up to my nose in deadlines of doom, though I have had time to work on beta-ing some spectacular stories of late, but have to take a moment to share this story.

Tim Holding is the Water Minister for Victoria, Australia's secondmost populous state. (Yes, we have Water Ministers here, as we have bugger all water, because global warming is real and while people whine about carbon taxes, Australia is drying out. Tuvalu is drowning. The irony is not lost.) He is a young and attractive man and has spent the last two and a half days lost in the Victorian alps in freezing conditions and without a phone signal.

Now, Victoria has form for losing politicians. In the 1960s, Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt went for a swim at Portsea and has not been seen since. Not satisfied with losing a Prime Minister, they built a memorial to him. It's a swimming pool. Truly.

Tim, on the other hand, was found today, for which everyone is grateful and relieved. He did everything right, save take an emergency beacon on his walk, and thanks to his good equipment is in generally good condition.

However, the question of how he was found has no clear answer. The police have declared that he was found at night by a non-police aeroplane, and that they could not release further details for security reasons.

Yes, my friends, not only did today bring the happy news that Tim Holding lives, but also the very probable news that Australia has functional spy planes! Given that the RAN is filled with submarines that leak, and the RAAF with helicopters that do not fly, you can imagine the national relief!

The Ramblings of an often very distracted person.annes_stuff on September 2nd, 2009 08:28 am (UTC)
Re: Leaky Submarines
They are 8 years old, what do people expect?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 2nd, 2009 08:32 am (UTC)
Re: Leaky Submarines
Um ... our car is 12 years old, it's fine. The Royal Navy runs a fleet of eight submarines, the youngest was commissioned in 1991, the oldest in 1976.
The Ramblings of an often very distracted person.annes_stuff on September 2nd, 2009 08:35 am (UTC)
Re: Leaky Submarines
Are you talking about the Submarines as a whole or just the Collins class submarines?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 2nd, 2009 08:42 am (UTC)
Re: Leaky Submarines
The Royal Navy runs no Collins class subs, they are specifically RAN subs. My point is that the RN does run a set of Fleet subs that are much older, but more reliable.

When they work, I agree that the Collins has had a track record of some very effective operations. But it took an incredibly long time to build them, they had a long list of failures in the CSIRO report from the early 2000s (a number of which, I will grant you, have since been fixed), and the whole project cost far more than it should because too many decisions were made for political, not pragmatic reasons.

I don't think Australia runs any Oberon class subs anymore, so as far as I know, the Collins class represents our whole sub capability.