PLANTING SEEDS: John Phillips looks over his silverbeet as he plots what he would do if he was mayor for the day.
PLANTING SEEDS: John Phillips looks over his silverbeet as he plots what he would do if he was mayor for the day. Campbell Gellie

Take drunks off the street, Mayor John says

BARS would close at midnight if born and bred Gladstone man John Phillips was mayor for the day.

He said he liked Mayor Gail Sellers because she was also bred in Gladstone, but if he was mayor, he would limit the amount of time party-goers were out for.

Mr Phillips said after midnight all of the drunken people spilled onto the streets.

"On Saturday morning when I walk to the Rosella St shops I am wary of all the people walking around," he said.

"They are just out for too long and drinking too much."

When the 65-year-old started drinking the pub scene was different.

"I started drinking at 21 because that was the law then," he said.

"Pubs closed at 10pm, if there were any night clubs they closed at midnight and we were home in bed by 1."

The former truck driver has slowed in retirement.

"I gave truck driving away because there are too many idiots on the road," he said.

"Now I spend half of my day in the garden."

Mr Phillips said the pollution in Gladstone had improved.

"Years ago you could see black smoke coming from the power station and QAL has cleaned itself up," he said.

"Gardening is good here with the climate. A bit of blood and bone, some Dynamic Lifter and you're off."

His vegetable garden has a forest of silverbeet, chillies and tomatoes.

"I have a banana trees and mango trees with a few hanging off them," he said.

"The lawn looks good today because I just mowed it but it's always pretty green.

"When it gets too hot I have some chairs in the shade and a nice breeze that blows through."

He said the climate was the best part of living in Gladstone but the town was getting too expensive for retirees.

"The groceries and petrol are too expensive. Shop owners think everyone works in construction," he said.

"The price of fuel is 20 cents cheaper in Boyne than in Gladstone but if you drive down there you don't save any money."

Mr Phillips said overall he wouldn't have his patch anywhere else.

"It's a great place to live and that's why I've been here for so long," he said.



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