Archive for the 'Consumer Issues' Category

Junk food epidemic in Ipswich.

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

It was a bit depressing to see the excitement about yet another McDonalds franchise opening in Redbank Plains that he tweeted his glee August 15th;

In this part of Ipswich, there are now three McDonalds within 5 minutes of each other.

Ipswich council should be doing something to STOP large junk food chains from opening more and more stores. We already have an obesity epidemic, and its time we did something to encourage stores that sell natural whole foods instead of the high processed, sugar filled rubbish that outlets like McDonalds are peddling.

Next time you are grabbing a feed, drop into a local Cafe and grab piece of grilled fish or a steak, with a nice healthy side salad. Your arteries will thank you.

Bread and milk price war

Monday, January 31st, 2011

The current price war between the major super markets over milk and bread would be welcomed by most consumers, one would think, but the courier mail has other opinions.

They trot out the independent bakeries, who all complain they can’t bake a loaf of bread for under $1.50. Somehow Coles and Woolworths are going to put all these guys out of business.

If thats correct, we should expect big bakers like Tip Top and the like to go out of business too, because their bread is usually priced between $3 and $4 a loaf. And yet, they still do okay, even when you have been able to buy bread for a $1.20 a loaf nearly everywhere for as long as I can remember (actually, it wasn’t that long ago you could get it for $1 at the local veggie shop)

Independent bakers will continue to bake a more speciality product, and the people who shop there will continue to pay a premium price for that premium product. People who are buying cheap bread will continue to do so, and save a little.

Personally, I have a problem on the milk side. It would be worth the ACCC looking into the milk market, and seeing how much market power the big supermarkets have. I once talked to a dairy farmer, and I asked him, why don’t dairy farmers simply put their price up to a more equitable level? He said the problem was there were always going to be enough dairy farms who would accept the very low rate paid by the big milk buyers, so if you don’t accept it too, you simply don’t get to sell your milk.

Perhaps that’s just market forces at work too, but I think its worth a look.

Queenslands water policy debacle

Saturday, October 2nd, 2010

You really have to wonder how the Queensland labor party expects to win any seats, let alone government at the next state election. One look at the litany of wasteful descisions the Bligh government has taken on water policy should be enough to have you put them last on the ballot paper.

Back when it looked like we would run out of water during one of our worst ever droughts, we were promised a new dam would be built to increase our storage, so when it did eventually rain, we’d capture more of it. Great idea, but a completely bungled process eventually led to the Queensland government wasting by their own estimate $265 million tax payer dollars.

From there, the decision was made to Build a desalination plant on the gold cost. With taxpayer dollars burning a hole in their pockets, the state government blows almost 900 million on a plant that will continue to cost big bucks to run year in year out. Despite being told that the energy input cost of desalination made it a poor choice for our region, they pushed ahead.

Then we have recycled water. This one should have been a slam dunk, but again the government bungles it. They knew they could supply power stations with the recycled water without raising concerns, which means they could get the plant built. Surely the obvious way to demonstrate the viability of pumping the recycled water into the drinking supply would simply be to have the plan operating, and then test it’s output?

At this point, any community concerns could be tested for, and the water shown not to contain whatever contaminant that people worried it might.

Instead, the Bligh government pushed ahead building a pipeline to wivenhoe dam, which they now won’t turn on because they have failed to sell the idea to the public. They arranged for water from the plant to be bottled for handing out to people to prove the water was safe, before parliament had even passed laws making it legal to do so, and eventually they quietly destroyed the bottled product.

All in all, the state government has presided over a ton of waste, and it’s time they were held to account for it.

Qld Motorways up for sale

Friday, August 27th, 2010

Once again the Queensland taxpayer is being robbed blind by a high tax state government.

Anna Bligh’s plan to sell Queensland Motorways is just the latest con job our long standing labor leaders will force on us.

Surely a toll road should be publicly owned, with a view to removing the tolls once the cost of the road has been recouped?

Once these important transport links are sold off, we can expect even higher tolls, and to be paying them forever.

It’s high time things changed in Queensland. If we keep running the show this way, selling off all our assets, then we will end up broke. How will they fix the hospitals then?

Struggling Mums?

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

Just saw this gem on the Courier Mail website. Apparently mums are struggling to put a healthy dinner on the table. Seriously?

Okay, I will admit that as a society, we seem over the past couple of generations to have lost a lot of the home maker skills that prior generations would have taken for granted; Of particular concern is the lack of cooking skills, and a widespread lack of knowledge of nutrition.

Having put on too much weight myself in the past, and had to struggle to lose it, I know only too well that you must have a good understanding of nutrition if you are to remain healthy. That is why spent the time and energy to learn!

These struggling mums should make the effort to learn proper nutrition, and to ensure they always serve their kids a proper, healthy meal. It isn’t that hard, it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than McDonalds or KFC, and they owe it to the little ones they chose to bring into this world.

High time for classification overhaul

Friday, November 13th, 2009

The release this week of the game “Modern Warfare 2″ has once again shown how poor the system of classification for such things is in Australia;

At the mature end of the spectrum, the Office of Film & Literature Classification has only two options; Stamp the game suitable for 15+, or ban it completely.

Obviously, games like Modern Warfare 2 and Left 4 Dead, while full of gore and adult themes, are not so bad that they need banning altogether.

The ABC’s Sarah Collerton has a good piece on the topic, hitting the nail right on the head; We need an R 18+ classification. As far back as 2005, Bond University released a study showing that 88% of Australians supported the introduction of such a classification for games. With all that support, you’d wonder why it hasn’t happened;

The Problem

The Problem

Turns out this guy is the problem. South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson. His theory is by not having an R rating, anything that might have been rated R gets banned and the kids are safe. WRONG! Turns out anything that should have been rated R gets a fresh coat of paint (or in the case of MW2, gets nothing at all), and is slapped with a M15+ rating, and the kids ALL GET TO PLAY IT.

I would suggest everyone click on Michael’s smiling face, which will lead you to his parliamentary website, from which you should bombard his inbox with requests to pull his finger out and fix this!

Surely it’s time for Sandilands to go?

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Everyone by now has read about the terrible treatment dealt out to a 14 year old girl on public radio by her mother and radio host Kyle Sandilands. I don’t need to repeat the details here, but I wanted to briefly register my continued disgust with this grub, and suggest we as a community should not tolerate this garbage.

I think this piece at the Herald Sun sums it up for me, and I cannot believe there are enough Victorians that are prepared to listen to the tripe that Sandilands is serving up as entertainment to keep him employed.

Come on Victoria, Stand up for whats right and stop listening!

Airport Greed.

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Brisbane Airport Corporation is a very greedy company. You only have to look at the millions of dollars profit it is raking in from every direction, watch it sell off airport land to the highest bidder, and go there to pickup a loved one to feel the sting of the BAC profit machine.

While I have no problem paying to park in the car park when I am taking people to the airport, I have a problem paying to pick them up.

When they are flying out, I like to go into the airport and see them off at the gate; I like to enjoy an overpriced coffee and slice of cake with them while we wait for the boarding call. I don’t mind helping the BAC make money while this happens.

But when I am there to pickup someone who is flying in, I just want them to phone me when they have their bags, and drive round to the pickup point, have them jump in, and we go.

I don’t think I’m alone in this feeling, but the BAC wants to sting us all for some parking dollars.

They could do something to meet us halfway though. How about creating a small area, about the size of the Kingsford Smith Memorial site. Setup two or three rows of angled car spaces, such that a car can pull in from one side and pull straight out the other; Set this up for people like me who want to sit in our cars for 10 minutes until our passengers are ready.

Now, why not charge $1 for the privilege?  Have a cash only machine on the boomgate that lifts it to let you in for a buck. I’d be happy with that.

Rudd government set to censor your internet!

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

I can’t help but think that drawing attention to the pre election talk of Kevin Rudd’s communist leanings and love for communist China would make me seem like a bit of a sensationalist, but I can’t help myself.

Word through this past week that Kevin and his crack team of legislators are going to force all Australian ISP’s to censor the internet, blocking permanently web sites that they deem inappropriate.

They are using the word “illegal” to determine what sites will not be visible to Australian eye’s, but that is just a nice way to make most people feel like this is not a problem.

Take a look at China. They use the same rhetoric about their censorship efforts. They block stuff that they say is illegal, but we all know their definition leaves a great deal to be desired, at least by freedom loving western standards.

The fact is that Australia is supposedly a free country, and we should not be subjected to mandatory censorship. We all have it within our power to perform our own censorship on our own internet connections, decided what is best for ourselves.

It’s time to get in touch with Minister Conroy and voice your disapproval now!

Suggested Reading;

Ars Technica | Crikey

Fire danger for city kindy?

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

I read recently about the alleged extreme fire risk with the building that houses the Kindercraft centre at City Hall in Brisbane.

What wasn’t explained was what this fire danger was. Are they allowing the kids to experiment with matches? Do the staff enjoy a cigarette inside the building? Are they using flammable liquids as play toys? Why is it that this building is a terrible fire risk, and any other building isn’t?

Every childcare centre I have ever been in is full of things that burn, why aren’t they all fire traps?

And lastly, if it is such a terrible danger, why is it only a danger because there is a childcare facility there? The tenor of the article seems to imply if we filled it with adults they would be just fine.

There are probably very good answers to these questions, it’s just a pity the courier mail couldn’t devote a column centimetre or two to explaining them.