‘Soft tar­get’ re­tirees cry out for cham­pion


Vet­eran jour­nal­ist Bob Mau­mill has lost none of the self-ef­fac­ing hu­mour that made him one of Perth’s most pop­u­lar ra­dio hosts for years. So when the team from West

Aus­tralian News­pa­pers called him at home on the Man­durah coast, he ini­tially laughed off sug­ges­tions he might have some­thing to con­trib­ute to un­der­stand­ing the chal­lenges fac­ing re­tirees.

“I’m happy down here se­cluded by the beach con­tem­plat­ing the fu­til­ity of ex­is­tence and lis­ten­ing to my ar­ter­ies harden,” Mau­mill said.

Nice try, Bob. We know you do have some­thing to say.

As his col­league and vet­eran Perth me­dia player Jenny Seaton says, the re­tiree gen­er­a­tion are stoic and not prone to over­state­ment.

Seaton has dis­cov­ered this on her Curtin Ra­dio af­ter­noon ra­dio show where she is lis­ten­ing to the sto­ries of grand­par­ents look­ing af­ter their grand­chil­dren.

“We don’t have them com­ing up say­ing ‘woe is me’,” she said.

“But when you open up the flood­gates, peo­ple say it.”

Mau­mill ar­guably has the ideal re­tiree’s ex­is­tence of still work­ing part-time writ­ing ad­ver­tise­ments and record­ing his pop­u­lar mem­oirs as a child grow­ing up around Fre­man­tle.

He said the gen­er­a­tion that grew up af­ter World War II was now fac­ing re­tire­ment in a so­ci­ety “ob­sessed with youth”.

“It’s as though it is a crime to get old,” he said.

He points to re­tirees be­ing the first to be hit with Bud­get cuts by the new State La­bor Govern­ment try­ing to fix the mess left by Colin Bar­nett. WA se­niors copped cuts to con­ces­sions and, of­ten spend­ing more time at home, the brunt of power price hikes.

“If you tried do­ing that to the min­ing lobby or oil and gas in­dus­try, they’d come out with a $10 mil­lion cam­paign,” Mau­mill said. “Re­tirees are pushed around, they don’t speak out, they don’t have a cham­pion. They don’t have some­one in the pub­lic arena that goes into bat for them.”

Pic­ture: Nic El­lis

Ra­dio broad­caster Bob Mau­mill says a gen­er­a­tion is fac­ing re­tire­ment in a so­ci­ety ‘ob­sessed with youth’.

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