This was one of those rare columns, which practically wrote itself after chatting with my outraged workmates about the stingy financial response to the flood disaster from our State and Federal Govt’s. A letter to The Gladstone Observer summed up the strength of feeling: “5 million for fireworks, 1 million for flood relief. Let them eat cake” … which would be nice, except we can’t even get bread at the moment!
The recent floods have revealed more than they have covered. For starters, I didn’t realise how terrible our Governments’ finances were! It was only when I heard that Anna and Julia could only afford to donate a couple of million between them did I get an idea. Call me ungrateful, but I feel we’ve been short-changed.
So I’ve taken it upon myself to appeal (aka: beg) to a higher power to help our flood victims:
Dear Mrs. Oprah,
I hope you enjoyed your recent visit. Fortunately, the rain stopped briefly during your holiday, but it hasn’t stopped since you left and we are in a bit of trouble.
Mrs. Oprah, we are a generous and giving people. Our Government regularly raises taxes, fees, tolls, rego’s, rates and fines, while decreasing spending on essential services and infrastructure, and we barely complain. Instead we merely sigh, then break open our children’s piggy banks and pay up.
Earlier this year we shelled out 35 million dollars to help Pakistan’s flood victims. Then before Christmas we dug deep again and handed 45 million dollars to a very surprised, but delighted, Indonesian President to help him combat Global Warming. As he has over 700,000 heavily armed soldiers at his disposal, I can only imagine the hiding he’s going to give Global Warming when he attacks it. Perhaps Pakistan will lend him some of their nuclear weapons?
Meanwhile at home, our Premier has hocked our coal trains and forests, yet her purse is still bare! It must be, because I’m sure she would have given much more to help her own folk.
It pains me to ask Mrs. Oprah, but could you possibly return half of the two million dollars we gave to help fund your holiday? Because one million dollars will just be enough rebuild a single kilometre of our shattered highway, and if we’re extremely lucky it will be on a stretch of road outside of Brisbane.
Should you decide to deliver the money in person then feel free to pop by Bray Manor; phone first and I’ll tie up the dogs. I’ll even break open the packet of Tim Tams I’ve stashed at the back of my beer fridge. You can eat the lot, because like our Government, I’m happy to let my family miss out while giving abundantly to strangers who may not even like me.
Like I said, we’re a giving and generous people… apparently.