Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pros and Cons of the 7310 Postcode

Which is where I live.

It's a pretty part of the world
The air is clean

Pokies (slot machines)
Cost of living (wages vs. expenses)
Ozone hole

Ok, well that didn't go as well as I planned. I thought my Pros list would be longer. I knew the Cons list would be longer, but I truly thought the other list would be bigger.

Oh well. To give a more in-depth look at each one;

Pros; this IS a pretty part of the world. Our coastline is some of the most glorious in the world, I am left breathless every Tuesday on the bus to Uni, I know what is waiting around the next corner, and yet, every time, it takes my breath away with it's beauty.

Our air is clean. So is our water. Best in the world - in fact, we export our water to the US and Japan.

Cons; I'm going to lump a few of these in together, as they are inter-related, and I have bleated about them elsewhere.

Drugs, alcohol and violence - the mainstays of the town in which I live. Lonely planet labels the denizens rednecks, the politicians jump up and down and holler, sprouting statistics that show our streets are safe (Bwahahahahah), and a week later, a YouTube video of a street brawl surfaces, and a tourist is gang-bashed walking home from a night out. This is not a nice, nor a safe town to live in.

The drugs and alcohol are an accepted part of life (and are a definite attraction for the rednecks, they can do what they like and get off scott-free). I don't, and have never, used drugs, and yet I can point out 3 dealers homes within a 3 block radius of my home. If I know what and who they are, how can the law not?

Much of this is related to the fact that the electorate in which this 25,000 person town is located is the 2nd poorest electorate in the country, after a remote Aboriginal community in far NE Western Australia. But still........

Housing and the cost of living; this is a hot one - people tell me (I should point out, these are people who don't live here) that living here is cheaper. Those who come from the mainland and stay, soon change their minds. If you look at house prices here compared to, say Melbourne, you will think here is cheaper. Take into account the average wage, the cost of groceries and fuel, and maybe not. Make the definitely not.

Jobs. What jobs? In the 3 weeks since I quit my last job I have trialled for 5 jobs. When you consider that a waitressing job attracted more than 200 applicants, in less than 4 hours, in a town of 25,000 people, you start to realise why the young get out while they can. And why there are so many unemployed.

Pokies - my pet hate. The company that runs them, and our State government will tell you that they supply immense amounts of jobs and funding for important infrastructure. I'm sure they do, but not here. In the last financial year, $12million went through pokies in the city of 7310. That's into 7 pubs/clubs. $12million. I can't even fathom how much that represents in tax dollars, but I can promise not a whole lot of them made it back here. And remember, this is a poor area, where does the money come from? Loan sharks? Payday loan shops? Oh yes, we now have those here.

Welfare groups, and the vans that feed the homeless have reported a 100%+ increase in calls on their services in the past 18 months. Want to try and tell me that $12million or the tax on it couldn't have been better spent?

And finally, the ozone hole. Tasmania sits under the hole in the ozone. We get undiluted UV year round. Our skin cancer rate is through the roof. Sunscreens don't work.

So, with all that going against it, why do I live here? I can't afford to leave. Literally, cannot afford the cost of moving. And then there's Mr14. If it was just The Mister and myself, we'd be gone in a heartbeat. But Mr14's friends are here, and he has suffered quite enough upset in his life. So for now, we stay.


  1. You hear these types of problems presented over and over. I live in one of the most affluent towns in NSW, probably in Australia and the problems you speak of are here too.

    What's to be done? What the hell are you supposed to tackle first? For me, I want it to be crime. Someone I love was attacked walking the street last weekend. Minding their own business and was attacked.

    What feeds the crime though? Drugs or addictions - to those horrible bloody pokermachines you mentioned? it makes my head hurt. I don't envy the people in power at all, or the police because there just aren't enough of them and they aren't well enough paid.

  2. Hi Jaime :)

    I don't think there are any easy answers. I just want to feel safe when I walk down the street. That'd so me.

  3. Guess it's a matter of dig your heels in and hang on for the ride, Rosie. I think you would be hard pressed to find anywhere else in Australia where if similar to what you have described is not happening in your street or suburb it would not be too far around the corner.

  4. Rosie, I love your blog. I don't know why I haven't visited before. Sorry, chickadee. I am nothing if not politically incorrect.

    That is a great post about your hometown in Tassie. And scary too, which is sad. Why are the youngsters so unhappy and violent? I went to the library today and read an article by a Gen Y journo, but it was a good one, about the same debacle in Tweed Heads. It's frightening. Why? I mean we were silly and crazy, and I took drugs, and was a bad boy, but never violent. Violence, like glassing was viewed as cowardice. Now it seems that's their MO, modus operandi. I am both saddened and angry. Little fuckers. Put 'em in the army. Show them some discipline, make 'em work for a day's pay. Clean toilets, build brick shithouses, whatever it takes, but I reckon that sort of army training will sort most of them out. The rest you can throw in jail and throw away the key.