State of the Nation

posted in: Life and things | 2

I have to worry about the Australia we’re living in.

I read in the news today that older folks are likely to be doing it tough, especially if they’re retired. There’s a turn-up for the books. We’re usually disparaged as greedy, grasping Baby Boomers.

“Worries about running out of savings in retirement are affecting a majority of Australians aged over 50, research has found. The largest cost-of-living increases in more than 20 years have prompted almost two-thirds of older Australians to cut back on spending, according to a report by National Seniors Australia and investment group Challenger. Its survey of more than 6000 people found 53 per cent are concerned about outliving their savings, which are being eroded by high inflation.”

 “Unknown future health and age care costs are particular causes of financial concern and retirees have the added pressure of financially assisting adult children and other family members who are struggling to make ends meet,” it says. [source]

It’s not just the older people, of course. Who’d want to be on a basic wage with a young family these days? Buying a house is out of reach, so is finding an affordable rental – any sort of rental. Child care is expensive but they’ll need two incomes to survive. And woe betide them if anyone needs to go to the doctor or hospital.

Then there’s the ongoing problem with youth crime. That’s more of a state issue but it’s another pressure on people. I heard one case of a kid who’d been to court 100 times and had accumulated many, many charges of theft of cars – and he was still granted bail. Kids are using weapons and targeting vulnerable people. They break into retirement villages and steal from the elderly. They break into shops and smash things for the sake of smashing. But nothing seems to happen. There are no consequences. So they just do it again for kicks and giggles.

What’s specially concerning is that our current government doesn’t seem to be able to come up with any real suggestions to help ease the current cost of living crisis, the youth justice system, and the teetering health system. Nor does it appear to have the will.

The main, overarching topic in the news is the Voice referendum. I’ve said enough about that and I get the feeling that many people are sick of the whole, acrimonious back and forth. One prominent Aboriginal spokesperson recently stated that those supporting NO were either racist, stupid, or both. Thanks, Marcia.

Then there’s Labor’s new industrial relations measures which will increase the already rising cost of building new houses. Always assuming we can attract skilled workers to build them.

The cost of power has skyrocketed as Mr Bowen continues to spruik the nonsense that we can run the country’s power needs on solar panels and wind farms and reach ‘net zero’ by 2050 (not 2030 anymore). The Government is handing out millions to get people to shift from gas appliances to electric and we’re all being urged to buy electric vehicles, all while our aging, reliable coal-fired power stations are being shut down. The cost of building the infrastructure to support renewables is astronomic. Then there’s the cost of installing recharging facilities at service stations across the country. If we keep going with this approach the price of power will continue to rise and the reliability of service will fall. Take a look at South Australia for a home-grown example. And, of course, the Labor party will not consider nuclear or High Energy Low Emission (HELE) power plants as options, even though the rest of the world is doing just that.

The only thing this government seems to be able to do is hand out more billions in the form of payments to help pay power bills and the like.

Meanwhile, any faith anybody had in the Flying Kangaroo has pretty much evaporated. Qantas used to be an icon of Australia. But all that’s changed. Qantas sacked 1700 workers illegally during the pandemic, they sold flights to customers knowing those flight had been cancelled, they wouldn’t reimburse customers for flights that had been cancelled, they shoved politically charged opinions held by CEO Alan Joyce down passengers’ throats (the Israel Folau controversy, Welcome to country speeches, and now painting Yes Voice advertising on aircraft). Qantas is now the most complained-about airline in the country, with passengers citing delayed or cancelled flights, dirty aircraft, lost luggage, and crummy food to name just a few. And don’t forget about the Government’s decision to stop Qatar Airways from putting on extra services to Australia, which would increase competition and potentially lead to lower airfares.

Having presided over the trashing of the brand, leaving behind many millions (if not billions) of dollars in expected fines for the breaches, Joyce is supposed to receive a retirement package of around $25m. The new CEO, Hudson, and all of the current board, were party to all of the recent goings-on. Seems to me she and the whole board should be sacked and that package for Joyce should be reconsidered.

It seems Qantas has hired consultants to help them resurrect the brand. How about if they returned to the basics and do a better job of providing a service? You know, on time flights, clean planes, efficient delivery of luggage… that sort of thing. And leave passengers to make their own decisions on morality and politics. And please stop with the welcome to country palaver. Even aboriginal people say it’s gone over the top.

As for the Federal Government – I have a dream that it will be a one term wonder. Here’s hoping.

Meanwhile, here’s a few lorikeets for you to look at.

A baby lorikeet.
He’s showing off. She’s more interested in the camera.

2 Responses

  1. Marj McRae

    It appears like most of the world is wilfully diving headfirst into poverty. Will it make the slightest difference to the climate? Does anyone really believe that it will?

    • Greta

      It seems quite a few people have drunk the Kool-aid, Marj. Pity the next generations.

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