Saturday 17 July 2010

Saturday SoapBlog: Leigh Dall'Osto - Quality of life, at our expense

This week's Saturday SoapBlog Leigh Dall'Osto takes the stand. Leigh has recently joined the local blogshere, with Cairns Matters

Leigh's been described as a "very nice person to know" but is but not loud and brash, though, but she is witty and "slightly nutty", according to at least one of her admirers. Local music aficionado David Anthony says her writings are a breath of fresh air and reminds him of American writer, the late Jean Kerr.

This week I have had the distinct pleasure of housing a student from America for a Homestay program that the local Kindergarten takes part in.

During his stay I took him out to lunch, drove around to see the local environment and also took him grocery shopping. He commented several times on the high prices we pay for petrol, food and houses here compared to what they pay back in America. He said we spend more on groceries in one day than they spend in a month and even the food at McDonalds (which I did not take him too!) was exorbitant.

After announcing this however, he also stated that our quality of life was much higher here. We have more faith in ourselves to succeed, we have more facilities available to us, we have more schools, a better health system and we have pride in our country, which apparently is dwindling over there.

It made me think a little on what we have now, what we will have in the next 5 years and what is still 30 years away and how it will affect our lives.

I wonder, if the Cairns Cultural Precinct was built tomorrow and we, as locals, received 40% off all ticket prices for local performances, shows etc... would we feel happier about the big spend required to build it?

If we had a new highway upgrade right now that would enable us to travel to the city from Gordonvale in only 15-20 minutes, would we feel better about the entire concept and cost? If we had access to Sugarworld for $1each more than previously, would we be happier to pay that per visit than get a rate rise for the whole community? If we ensured that all local producers had access to our supermarkets would we be happy eating according to seasons rather than complaining about the cost of cherries in July? If we paid an extra 5% on top of the current five for our rates but had access to great roads, bike paths, sporting facilities and cultural facilities would we still be concerned about the cost.

Sometimes it pays to look at the benefits of paying for what we want and need. We have free hospitals, free education and free parks and amenities. If we want these improved, and we do, then we need to be prepared to pay for that.

It is absolutely true that we get what we pay for. In America they pay for these things as they go, we pay as a group and should therefore all benefit.

It is not beyond the realm of possibilities that we should not get our cheap tickets for a precinct we provide, it is not too much to ask Dairy Farmers to lower their price by 50 cents per 2 litre bottle (or even have them on special occasionally) so that we buy their products all the time. It is also not too much to demand that we have the facilities for our kids and ourselves that we want, as a trade off for paying more for everything.

Compromise is not a word we use often because we often feel that in doing so, both parties miss out, but it is something we should all embrace (Council, Government and the people) so that nobody ever feels like they are getting nothing or conversely, everything. We are the employers of our governing bodies so we have the right to ask for what we would like.

They have the right to disagree, but at some point, if we all just listen instead of talking over each other, perhaps a compromise could be reached that we are all happy with.


Gordon said...

"We are the employers of our governing bodies so we have the right to ask for what we would like"

WE know that, but apparently THEY don't know that... and that's where most of our problems stem from.

KitchenSlut said...

Is there a point to this post?

If there is I cant find it beyond feelgood motherhood waffle?

Damn every day i sound more like the Keating of the 80's should do a workshop on this or something?!

D Ingnatious said...

In my opinion the problem's obviously yours Slut. Even your name indicates that you may have some deep seated issues. Get over it. It's called life for a lot of people, which is why some find it important to communicate their feelings in this way. Maybe you should try and get one. A life and even a little more tolerant attitude that is.

Perhaps you could start by airing your apparent voluminous stream of opinions by baring all in a soapbox post here on this blog?

Myles Pickens said...

Utterly vapid, anodyne tripe produced most probably by a person who thinks that the Readers Digest is the pinnacle of writing excellence.

Leigh Dall'Osto said...

Just wanted to point out that I am extremely proud of my status as 'mother' and am aware that I write in a conversational tone, so do not take offence from Kitchenslut's comment. What I DO take umbrage from is the reference by Myles of an apparent love on my part of Reader's Digest Magazine. Eeeewwww..that hurts.

Leigh Dall'Osto