‘Soft target’ retirees need 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 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 Government trying to fix the mess left by Colin Barnett. 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.”