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We canít afford nonsense anymore

By Stuart Ballantyne - posted Wednesday, 3 May 2023


It was instilled into me from my labour voting Dad, a Presbyterian carpenter with a fairly black and white view of life, that "you don't buy anything until you can afford it" As a teenager I was enthusiastically viewing cars as my first acquisition target, and despite being offered "finance terms" from a dodgy car yard in Geelong, my Dad did not allow it, so after saving a meagre amount, I bought a Morris Minor convertible that was well past it's use by date.

Being home from the sea only 4-5 days a month and not having a driver's licence were two good reasons not to buy a car, but obsession trumps common sense any day. The following month I was arrested at Ocean Grove for driving without a licence and had to sell the car to pay the fine. Plan B was to find an older girlfriend with a car and licence. Little did I know, but cougars were prowling even in those days and that should have been my Plan A.

Six months after starting my small business as a 29 year old, I asked my accountant and lawyer should I upgrade my rusty VW Beetle. The accountant said "No way, the cashflow needs to be bolstered!" The lawyer said "Of course, the cashflow needs to be bolstered, but that wreck is the wrong image."

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At the time I couldn't afford my obsession, which was a Range Rover, so I settled for a modest second hand car. Slowly working my way up via second hand Range Rovers, 12 years later, when the company could afford it, I bought a brand new Range Rover. My pride was short lived as we were caught by Keatings "recession we had to have". Then NABbed by a bank squeezing 22% overdraft rates out of our cashflow faster than the smile they wiped off my face, they repossessed my house and took the Range Rover away. My concerned 8 year old son Ross, asked "why are they taking your car away Dad?" Dying inside, but noticing his genuine concern, I responded "Ross, they must love it more than me !". He appeared happy at that answer and wandered off.

After resurrecting the situation, I then ran my company like running a ship. Always plot the course well clear of the rocks and ensure the funding is always available for the ongoing fuelling, storing and crewing of the ship. If you find that you are heading towards a storm or some rocks, physically or financially, you have to make clear and decisive actions straight away, even if the ship lists to some considerable degree as you change course, whereby it may cause temporary discomfort to some people on board. Crew and passengers may moan, but not to my face.

As the new Captain of the "Australia", I would promptly see the ship heading for the rocks financially and physically and take immediate remedial action by getting rid of anything we can't afford.

Team Albanese has to exit the bridge. Some of this inept team were on the bridge 10 years ago and it seems their incompetence has reached new levels. We can't afford them.

We can't afford any association with the UN. They have proven untrustworthy and we can't believe anything they claim, whether it be about covid, vaccines, global warming, tidal rises, climate changes etc. If BS was electricity, these fools could power a continent.

We can't afford to import energy solutions of wind and solar and need to focus on what we have. Coal, gas, nuclear spring to mind.

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We can't afford to pay the crew four weeks holiday, plus fourteen public holidays per annum, in addition to superannuation, sickies, long service leave, stress leave, maternity leave etc., etc. WE ARE DREAMING! No other ship is doing this.

We can't afford the Federal and State EPA rules, as they are not only hindering our ship's financial ability to operate, but our ability to defend ourselves with new and expensive equipment.

We can't afford the preferential system of voting, from now on, one person one vote only!

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About the Author

Stuart Ballantyne is just a sailor who runs Seat Transport Solutions who are naval architects, consultants, surveyors and project managers.

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