How the Abolition of the Carbon Tax Changed My Life: Australian women share their stories

Australia’s prime minster’s greatest achievement as minister for women, repealing the carbon tax.

The Shovel:  How the Abolition of the Carbon Tax Changed My Life: Australian women share their stories

Thanks to the abolition of the carbon tax, depiction of basic female human function is no longer censored or enshrined in regulation as “abhorrent.”

Sunshine and bunnies

Yesterday morning I woke up and it was Saturday. This was good. I had pancakes and coffee for breakfast. This was good. Next was a trip to the newsagents to gift OzLotto and Lotto money in honour of their $100,000,000 and $21,000,000 respective lotto draws. And that’s when things started to go wrong (not that one expects sunshine and bunnies when the remainder of the morning has been set aside to complete one’s overdue tax return). The online tax program ate the tax file I had started months ago. This was irritating. I redid the income section and healthcare and checked out the tax return prediction. Owing the government tax?! Pay As You Go was clearly broken. I put in my obvious deductions (those deductions that don’t require trawling through boxes of receipts and business diaries). I still owed the government tax. Outrageous! At this moment GetUp! sent me an email about pokie reform and how gambling destroys lives. This concerned me but buying lottery tickets is less gambling and more gifting. I wondered if I could claim lottery tickets as a donation to charity. NSW Lotteries, Red Cross. Potato, potato (this joke generally works better when spoken). Best not. NSW Lotteries had probably been too busy playing with all its presents to have registered as a charitable organisation. Trawling began. Depreciation calculations began. The neighbours young child started screaming. My partner, cleaning the shower, began singing. Lunch came and went without going anywhere near my digestive system. Tax, receipts, printers, depreciation, babies, singing. Turdburgers. Everyone and everything.

At 3pm I emerged victorious. The government owed me $100. Take that! I lodged my return. A little box popped up on the screen. It was the the government reminding me that a penalty was due for late lodgement. A fine? For being three days late? Give me a break (one might say a tax break – hahaha, hee-larious)! It would lessen my victory substantially if the goverment and I ended up even stevens.

Lunchless and cranky, I walked to the train station and boarded a train. It ran three minutes late. At Strathfield I dashed across the platforms towards the connecting train. It was already departing the platform. The next train was not due for 40 minutes. As I stood and contemplated an array of chiko rolls and chocolate bars at the station kiosk, I thought this was not the kind of luck that won millions of dollars. It was also not the kind of luck that befitted a day that had begun with pancakes.

I was going to have to accept the circumstances of the day with grace and fortitude, take responsbility etc. If I paid more tax maybe the trains would have been on time. If I won the lottery I would have more money to pay tax with. Synergy.

The lottery balls spun. Lottery balls were drawn. It was clear that not only had I gifted NSW Lotteries with $2.60 but I had also graciously not picked any of the winning numbers. The Australian Tax Office would have to make do with tax already paid. The trains would continue to run late. And GetUp! would have to continue its fight against charitable donations. The least NSW Lottery could do is send me thankyou card. Or an Opera House.

Day 2 – Somewhere in the South Pacific

After a breakfast of scrambled eggs that didn’t taste like scrambled eggs, bacon that didn’t taste like bacon, starchy fried things that masqueraded as hashbrowns I decided to have a second breakfast of rockmelon, watermelon and honey dew melon. These fortunately tasted as nature intended and provided sufficient sustenance for an hour massage. The massage was such that I forgave the quality of my breakfast and accepted all future buffet lunches and breakfasts on the cruise with grace and fortitude.

I also participated in group activities with grace and fortitude (provided that your understanding of grace and fortitude includes some scowling at the hosts’ inducements to cheer, yell and otherwise express enjoyment on cue). I made a gecko from wrapping ribbon and cheap flourescent beads, sat in on music trivia and played word games. At times my friends and I retreated to our respective books. Cats were harvested, boys were caught up in Oedipal curses and the space between conscious and group sub-concious merged as our ship ploughed its way through the ocean.

Sunset provided entertainment, though this too was cued by perogatives other than my own. Fortunately I had received no advice from Today Tonight regarding how I should relate to the movement of Earth through the solar system so felt free to enjoy without impediment. It would, I reasoned, be an enormous conceit to reprove the will of celestial bodies.

Cruising Day 1

On the 26th September I boarded a P&O cruise ship. The itinerary included New Caledonia, Port Vila, Lifou, Mystery Island and the Isle of Pines. My friends had thoroughly enjoyed their previous cruise. I was a little more sceptical.  Today Tonight had provided a glowing advertisement of the Pacific Jewel to its audiences. I generally find that taking the opposite view of current affair programs is a sensible approach to life. For example, I think taxi drivers on a whole do a good job. I try not to misrepresent people I’ve never met (like immigrants and people on welfare). I am not interested in diets or shopping and I think Media Watch, libel laws and accountability are fine ideas. What could a business who targeted Today Tonight viewers possibly offer me? Two thousand people drinking, partying and participating in group activities in a confined space? If only pyramids could float.

It could be an upside-down floating pyramid if you squint really hard

I joined my friends at Hickson Road wharf in Sydney, dreaming of a stress free holiday with cocktails and tropical islands.We were effeciently herded through large temporary shelters that evoked a certain post apocalyptic atmosphere, through check in, identity photographs, customs and onto the cruise ship.

First we stopped at the Plantation restaurant for a belated buffet lunch. There was a lot of food that reflected its mass production and cheap, frozen ingredients. Knowing that this was my future breakfast and lunch for the next nine days made me sad.

We made our way to the Sailaway Party on the top deck. Waiters handed out cocktails and beer. The MC required that the people on deck respond to her question “Are you ready to party?!” positively, loudly and in unision. On stage, entertainers dressed in Australian flag shorts land skirts sung a medley of Australiana songs. Vanessa Amarossi, Men at Work, Christine Anu, Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport, Waltzing Matilda. There was a mistimed countdown to pass under the Harbour Bridge. One of the circus performers waved an Australian flag. As we sailed past the Opera House, people happily waved to one another – ship to shore. Behind us, some individuals tried to raise an ‘Aussie Aussie Aussie, oi oi oi” but lost enthusiasm after two rounds. The Governor Bligh harbour master guided us out of the harbour and the sun began to set. The jingoistic performance petered out and people begun to drift back inside the ship.

Exploration of the ship ensued. Today Tonight had not lied. I was on some kind of bogan-boat – a floating amalgam of a live-in RSL and Westfield. I booked myself into an overpriced massage to get over the shock.