Coast Guard

Time for a rant.

Today is the start of our new financial year and a raft of new fees, charges and refunds, as laid out in the Federal government budget. On top of that, we also have fees, charges and refunds that come into effect from the State governement budget. The way things are looking, Australians are all going to be a lot worse off. I say that not because the government is taking more than the average person can afford. What they are taking is bad enough. What is really annoying is that where we are getting handouts from the government, then industry that is directly related puts their prices up. The consumer loses.

Take childcare for instance. Thank goodness Jo and I don't have kids. As of today the childcare rebate goes form 30 to 50%. Good? Maybe not. The biggest childcare provider in the country has raised their fees by 11%, way above what most other providers are doing.

Petrol. The government is talking about a 4 cent a litre discount to be implemented in the near future. The fuel companies will just raise their prices accordingly. We need at least a 40 cent a litre discount! Yes, I know we all should be driving less, I am talking about greed here. The big fuel providers charge a lot more than the smaller retailers. I can't work out why when they are the ones that supply the smaller retailers.

Food is through the roof in the big supermarket chains but our local fruit shop and butcher still sell their product at as much as one third of what their big retail competition does. Milk and bread are much cheaper locally for the very same brands.

The tolls have gone up by 30 cents to $2.90 on the Gateway motorway so now we all have to pay more for the privilege of sitting in traffic jams for hours.

It goes on but I think I had better stop. What we need here in Australia is some strong leadership at the government level or the gap between the haves and have nots will become a lot wider than it is now. As it is most people of my age and younger can no longer afford to buy their own house.

Still, it could be worse. I could live in Zimbabwe.

I hope I haven't broken any blip rules with my rant.

As for the photo. Well, I wanted to get down to the water level to make sure the horizon wasn't cutting through my subject which is the boat. This is the Manly branch of the Brisbane Coast Guard. They only have one boat at the moment because the other broke down which is quite funny because most calls to the Coast Guard are for breakdowns. Who would want to paddle home when you can just call the Coast Guard. While there I had a chat with some fishermen and gathered some intelligence on where the fish are. Apparently they bite better at night. I will have to start venturing out of an evening.

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