Almost unbelievably I was given the wrong name of the container ship bringing Bridget to Perth and it had in fact docked last Saturday. I found this out on Monday and the immigration inspection was arranged for Wednesday along with the customs clearance. Customs duly gave her the OK and signed the carnet form but to her dismay she was judged to be too dirty to be allowed entry!
I had been cautioned that this was likely as almost every car privately imported has to go through a thorough cleaning to remove any engine fluids, dirt, vegetation and, most importantly, any insects that may have hitched a ride from another country. This action is to protect the Australian habitat, indigenous wildlife and farming. The interior of the car, as well as the exterior, and the boot has to be cleaned and examined. What amazed me, however, is that the cleaning takes up to 4 days after which it is re-examined and if approved will be allowed into the country.
Once that stage is complete I have to get a visitors permit to drive her to a vehicle roadworthiness inspection centre which is similar to the UK’s MOT check. I will be allowed to take it first to The Sports Garage in Perth who is kindly making some workshop space available together with tools, equipment and even the assistance of some expert hands. After the work is complete and the road worthiness inspection has been done then we can start our passage across the south coast to Adelaide and Melbourne. The new schedule should start around the end of the month.