P (Sadie) Taylor, Billinudgel
As an essential worker in the Shire over the last decade the impact of our current rental crisis is impacting this ‘resilient industry’ too. Who is left to clean up after the wealthy, and not so wealthy, who are visiting our Shire or coming here to live?
None of the people who I work alongside of live in the Bay (yes I’m a local of five generations).
Cleaners and other staff come from Murwillumbah, Alstonville, and Ballina and yet our travelling time is not included in our hourly rates.
Also there is one laundrette in town, which only has drop off facilities three mornings a week and no dry cleaning service. Business opportunity anyone?
With the limit of four hour turnarounds, especially during COVID, when upholstery needs laundering and bedding aired, this is all on the breaking backs of the essential workers.
Since August myself and others who do the same work have never had so many ‘complaints’ in the hope of securing upgrades or a free night’s accommodation! I’ve been called out if there is a spider in the room (on day five in a bushland setting) – under the threat of a bad review.
My regular cafe is having difficulty securing staff to clean after hours and in fiinding baristas.
I’m assuming the uber wealthy, building their giant houses, will not be cleaning their own toilets, perhaps it will be upstairs downstairs with the new money in town!
Where I’ve lived for the last 14 years is now on the market, and the rental situation is dire – perhaps I too will have to walk away.
I’ve heard of film production companies securing rental homes by paying rent from one to three to five years in advance! What hope is there for the rest of us?