Cracking open kids' piggy bank to pay rates

I'VE often wondered why many folk don't choose to retire in Gladstone, then I opened our latest rates notice and found out why.

Clutching my chest, I staggered inside to break open the last remaining kids' piggy bank.

Afterwards, I opened a beer then sat on my back deck watching the coal trains chug past and the planes roar overhead, and pondered, "What does it cost per day to live in this neck of the woods?"

Whipping out my trusty calculator I did the sums. Last year, it cost us just under $10 a day to reside here in Gladstone.

"Well, that's not bad value really," I reflected as another low-flying jet blasted by.

As the Flying Kangaroo disappeared over the horizon trailing my TV aerial behind it, I did some more calculations.

That very day, the sweating CEO of Qantas, Alan Joyce, announced a loss of $2.4 billion, which he described as "confronting".

Confronting isn't among the words I'd have used, but this is a family paper and the editor already has me on the Naughty List.

Anyway, to put that into perspective, a loss of $2.4b meant Qantas had haemorrhaged well over $6 million per day, or nearly $280,000 per hour!

This made me feel a little bit better about losing $3 in coins behind the couch cushions last week, and extremely grateful that "Irish Al" isn't our mayor.

As another coal train enveloped me in a mozzie-killing diesel cloud, I smiled and thought, "Ten bucks a day? Well, I'd cheerfully pay double that to avoid residing in some of the rat holes we've lived in, visited, or sped through with our windows up and doors locked."

So if that's the price, then I'll continue to pay it… until I retire.



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