In 1971 the state government announced the natural gas pipeline from Melbourne to Ballarat and from the gate valve at Ballan to Bendigo.

200 workers from all over the planet decended on the small Hamlet of Ballan. Their main form of identification was pokerdot red, green and pink caps, we new they were in Town. The first night serving in the family hotel with a generous amount of locals who came out to see the din, and a more than enough international workers, the hotel was alive, wall to wall people.

One of the more voicestress internationals piped up in full voice after hearing one off the locals say that it had been one of the wettest years he had seen. A tall man adorned with a pink pokerdot hat unnounced that they had bought with them from Europe the biggest bulldozer ever built and that nothing would stop this machine.

One of the older local gentlemen listening intently quietly interjected and said “you will get it bogged”. The internationals brock into rauces laughter, commented that this dozer had never been stopped. The next night, same amount of locas, not quite as many internationals as the night before  and some what quieter.

One of the locals who had secured a contract with the internationals asked how the Dozer was going. The silence was deafening. One of  the international in a low response said, she went down and we can’t move her. The elderly local from the night before piped up and said, do you want me to get the ute out and pull her out. The whole hotel errupted into laughter, a great night was hade by all.

This moment in time set the tone for a long and happy association between the locals and the internationals for over two years of construction. In later years they duplicated the pipeline and old freindships were rekindled.