While I was at Births, Deaths and Marriages I was stunned at the state of the waiting area. The seats were filthy. A friend asked “Did someone die or give birth on those seats?” when I shared the photo. Another along similar lines: “The right chair is for births, left chair for deaths. I’d hate to see the chair that’s used for marriages…”. Perhaps slightly flippant comments, but seriously, it is hard to understand how anything else could have made these seats quite this filthy. I noticed there seems to be a replacement program in progress as some seats are now plastic.
I then happened to find myself in Melbourne Central Station. Looking, as it happens, for a public bathroom. When I finally found one, the floor was filthy. Had nature not been demanding I obey, I would have found another convenience. Trust me, the photo is not nearly as bad as the reality.
We know the numbers of public servants employed per capita has drastically reduced over the years. Anyone who calls Centrelink knows not being placed on hold is an impossible dream. Yet The Sydney Morning Herald shares with us today that our federal government gave permission for Australia Post to keep the CEO’s $5.6 million salary a secret. Not technically a public servant, but such action is indicative of their perspective. Perhaps if we employed more taxpaying public servants at more realistic wages than $5.6 million per annum, we might have lower unemployment figures, have a phone answered at Centrelink and even, perhaps, we might have CLEAN facilities.
We all seem to pay a lot of tax (unless we are mining companies) to fund public services. Yet our hospitals are strapped for cash, TAFE is being killed off and the private education replacement isn’t working too well (the RTO I’m enrolled with has just gone into Administration, among others). I’m sure TAFE could have educated me for less than the $18,500 the course cost.
ROGUE operators drained billions of dollars in public funds through the vocational education system after a failed attempt to open the sector to the free market.
I know a few dirty seats and a dirty floor are not the worst things happening in Australia right now. However, they are very coal face indicators of a downhill trend.
As a taxpayer, I have simple expectations. I expect universal health, education, law enforcement, public transport and roads, environmental protection and various other services such as driver registration, births deaths and marriages and so on. Oh, and a decent NBN.
So far in the last twelve months I’ve broken a wheel (not just a flat tyre, broke the whole wheel) on the A10 and my car nearly fell into a huge pothole on the Westgate/M80 interchange. My RTO has gone into administration, I see our government risking destruction of our already fragile environment. I’m still on ADSL of some variety. I’m just one little person. Then I can’t find a clean seat to sit on.
Where are my taxes going?