• HOW many light bulbs in your house did the State Government pay for?

    And also the shower head and the funny energy monitor thing.

    But frankly, I’d rather the money was spent on something like … perhaps the hospital.

    If I take a trip into my son’s bedroom, again there are more gifts from the government.

    Their school bags were picked up at the Nambour Show. And I can’t tell you the number of pens I’ve collected over the years.

    It’s not just the State Government that seems to love to give handouts.

    We have Kevin Rudd to thank for insulation. Sorry, that wasn’t a “handout” that was a part of a stimulus package wasn’t it?

    I have a few gifts from our council too.

    Go to a council function and guaranteed you will be able to pick up some nice folders, pens and so on.

    And let’s not forget the many free activities the council organises.

    I love the free council buses over Christmas, but I doubt I’d use it enough to make me feel happy about the amount I pay on a public transport levy.

    I know the levy subsidises a lot more than the free buses, but I do wish instead of free buses we could do more to improve the bus network across the Coast.

    I think the tourists would also prefer something more regular and concise than a freebie.

    I’m one of those who signed up for the State Government and council-organised bicycle event things - where they hire a professional bike shop to offer a free course on how to maintain your bike. It was very interesting.

    And how my enjoyment of it justified its expense.

    I’d far rather that money was spent on building more bicycle paths so cycling from my house was a safe option for my family.

    Now I see the council is going to offer school students the opportunity to learn how to meditate at their local library.

    It’s supposed to be about teaching “kids to meditate their way to success” and help free their minds from worry.

    I wish they were offering free swimming lessons instead.

    But why the need to engage in PR stunts?

    There has to be a strong connection between a free activity and the overarching community benefit. Pens, light bulbs and meditation classes don’t do it for me.

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