Culture

Boom Times in Perth

Posted
A Steve Parish image of Perth, W.A.

Hi Zeitgeisters,


Those of you who are full of joy, need to turn away from this ‘blog post now, because today Mr Trivia is not full of joy, but piss and vinegar and he is referring to himself in the third person – never a good sign.

Perth, Western Australia, the glittering city ‘twixt the ‘scarp (Darling Escarpment) and the Sea (Indian Ocean) where I dwellest, is going through something of a transition at the moment.

According to Channel 7’s never-sensationalist and always-accurate TODAY TONIGHT program, our state is in the midst of a Boom. Everyone says this. In fact, they utter this piece of wisdom whenever possible. It fills in breaks in conversations and the moments between television programs.

WA is in the midst of a Boom. Everyone says that.

In the TODAY TONIGHT piece, the Pilbara was shown as a place where a shrewd landlord can make a stack of money renting out even a one bedroom fibroshack for $1000 dollars a week. And it’s all thanks to that modern economic miracle built on the remains of an ancient empire – China.

China needs mineral resources to feed its on-going transition into the world’s largest communist-capitalist super-power. Like every other nation, we are happy to trade with China because by doing so we’re making money hand over fist.

Certain theorists have for the last generation suggested that trading with China will lead to the Middle Kingdom adopting a democratic form of government. No real signs of this at the moment. In fact this theory seems like a load of B.S. to justify trading with a nation that has a shocking record on human rights.* Perhaps I should leave this kind of speculation to my ranty friends The Monopolymen.

So we’re in the middle of a Boom and we’re making lotsa money. Well, my neighbours, the Cashed Up Bogans are making lotsa money. Check the streets of Perth, plenty of brand new utes and SUVs. A decade ago if you left school you entered a really tough jobs market. Now you can walk into a high-paying job in the mining industry. Everyone says that.

There’s a television commercial running currently for a training organisation. This ad more or less says you can exit high school and earn $70,000 in your first year in the mining industry. These are great times to live in the most isolated capital city in the world.

So we had a housing boom (slowing slightly). And it’s become impossible to find a tradie to build anything or fix anything small. They’re all flat out working on houses, offices and commercial properties.

And try getting decent service in anywhere in Perth. It was never great. Now it’s woeful. Thanks to near full employment, many of your wait staff and especially your teenage French-fry slingers are more or less incapable of getting your order right. It’s not their fault, in an earlier age they would spend time on the dole learning how to write a CV and speak in full sentences in order to make themselves attractive to a potential employer.

Now, by the simple expedient of turning up, these formerly undesirable employees are the ones screwing up your order in the drive-thru at MacDonalds.

Allow me to dramatise:


Mr Trivia: Big Mac Meal, That’s all. Thanks.

DriveThru: What?

Mr Trivia: Big Mac Meal, That’s all. Thanks.

DriveThru: Sorry?

Mr Trivia: Big. Mac. Meal….Thanks.

DriveThru: Did you say Big Mac Meal?


Mr Trivia: Yes. That’s all.

DriveThru: Would you like anything else with that?

Mr Trivia: Yes, I’d like you to learn the menu and your job.

There’s only about a dozen things on that menu and I have

just ordered the most iconic of all MacDonald’s meals.

So please, wise-up and stop wasting my time, you

lazy, clock-watching, unmotivated burger drone.


And no. I didn’t utter the last line. I only thought it.

So what am I saying – SUVs, China, human rights, slow service at MacDonalds – what am I saying about all of this?

Well, it’s not good enough, is it?

They oughtta sort all of that out. Pronto. If I ran things it would be very different indeed. If I ran the planet – it would all be dealt with in other ways.

Cashed Up Bogans who were brought up in houses where slamming car doors and talking at the top of your voice and playing your music full blast at 3am was considered acceptable, would be given a one way ticket to Shanghai. They need your building expertise, there, fellas. They’ve got a new skyscraper going up every month.

Inadequate staff at fast food eateries, need to be given a one-way ticket to the nited States and sent to a do a course at the Ronald MacDonald College of Hamburger Knowledge.

SUVs – banned! CUB utes driven by anyone under the age of 30 – banned! Everyone in Perth is issued with a VW Golf.

Human rights and China? That’s huge. Maybe I’ve done enough … I think I’ll have to leave that one for another day.

Elevate the Intransigent,

Mr Trivia

*(China Apologists – feel free to post your self-justifications in my comments section. If any of it sounds like reasoned argument rather than party-line nonsense, I might just let it run. Hmmm, can we all see that irony…?)

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