The Isa


Well we are 24 hours out of Mount Isa now and what do I think. In summary I think it's a little bit like Broken Hill but without the cultural touch or feminine touch.

Like Broken Hill the town is dominated by the mines. Although I had the sense in Broken Hill that the mines were gradually winding down (I could have this wrong). But there is no sense of winding down at Mount Isa.

The company totally dominates the town (population I think just over 20 thousand). And it's a town ruled by engineers not architects.

Cathie and I went for a lovely five kilometer walk through the town early in the morning and we noticed that there were lots and lots of fairly run down houses (Gee she's a nice girl:) ).

We saw lots of houses that looked like people slept there rather than lived there. Not many houses that looked like the garden was well kept. And not that many houses that looked like much money had been spent on them at all. There were however quite a lot of nice cars.

There were lots of houses with fences to keep their dogs in. And lots of dogs. The gender balance is heavily male and so maybe a lot of guys have dogs.

There's a massive transient population - brought in by the mine but not planning to stay that long (perhaps a few months) but then still there 10 years later. But not particularly out of love for the place but because nothing better came along.

There were hardly any brick houses. But then there didn't really need to be because it didn't rain. I told one guy I spoke to about a summer in Sydney a decade ago when we had 13 wet weekends over summer. And he said it hadn't rained in the Isa for 13 months.

Summary: I am glad we visited but it would be a terrible place to live.