Hold the junk food, please, we’re Ter­ri­to­rian

NT News - - NEWS - LAU­REN ROBERTS CRAIG DUN­LOP

BURGER-LOV­ING Aussies are spend­ing more than $640 mil­lion ev­ery month on greasy fast food and restau­rants, new re­search shows.

Com­mon­wealth Bank data re­veals its av­er­age Aussie cus­tomer is spend­ing about $90 per month on fast food, a 20 per cent in­crease since July 2015; and $143 each month on restau­rants, up 6 per cent in two years.

How­ever, Ter­ri­to­ri­ans are the most re­strained in the na­tion, spend­ing the least – $74.22 per month on fast food and $103.83 per month at restau­rants. This is well be­low the big­gest spenders, NSW – who splurge $84.19 per month on fast food and $129.57 per month at restau­rants.

Given a choice, Dar­wi­nite Nee­ladri Mi­tra would rather visit a restau­rant than a take­away out­let, for health­ier menu op­tions.

He was shocked at how much Aussies were spend­ing on junk food.

Mr Mi­tra said he wasn't the big­gest fast food fan, but loved the taste and con­ve­nience of the oc­ca­sional Hun­gry Jack’s Whop­per.

“From time to time, I do get fast food when I’m work­ing late nights, and I can’t cook at home,” he said.

Com­mon­wealth Bank ex­ec­u­tive gen­eral man­ager dig­i­tal Pete Steel said din­ing out was most pop­u­lar among mil­len­ni­als. “Peo­ple un­der 30 make up al­most half of all fast food pur­chases, and a third of restau­rants’ trade – in­ter­est­ingly, they’re not the ones spend­ing the most money,” he said.

“Cus­tomers aged 40 to 45 spend the most per month on fast food, po­ten­tially be­cause they are pur­chas­ing meals for a fam­ily, while those aged be­tween 50 and 55 spend the most in restau­rants.” DAR­WIN Coun­cil, the com­pany that runs Gar­dens Link Golf Course and a tree lop­ping firm have started the le­gal fin­ger-point­ing over the 2014 death of Wil­liam “Bill” Brown, who died af­ter be­ing struck by a fall­ing African Ma­hogany branch.

The NT News re­vealed in July that Mr Brown’s fam­ily had started le­gal pro­ceed­ings against the coun­cil and the two com­pa­nies for “in­jury and loss” stem­ming from Mr Brown’s death.

In Supreme Court doc­u­ments, re­leased to the NT News, ar­borist Ac­tive Tree Ser­vices Pty Ltd claims African Ma­hogany trees are not uniquely danger­ous and that it “dis­charged the stan­dard of care rea­son­ably ex­pected ... of an ar­borist com­pany car­ry­ing out the works”.

“In some cir­cum­stances (African Ma­hoganys) are prone to sud­den limb fail­ure but (the com­pany) says that all large trees are prone to sud­den limb fail­ure ...” the com­pany’s de­fence says. The com­pany says the branch that fell and hit Mr Brown looked un­re­mark­able and “was no more likely to struc­turally fail than any other branch in the crown of the tree.” The com­pany says even if the branch had been trimmed, it would not have made the tree safer, and would have ex­posed peo­ple be­low to branches higher up, with “an in­creased free fall dis­tance”.

Dar­win Coun­cil says two of its man­agers spoke with golf course man­ager Roger Dee just un­der a month be­fore the branch broke, and “iden­ti­fied risk is­sues with cer­tain trees on the golf course fol­low­ing storm dam­age”, in­clud­ing the tree which claimed Mr Brown’s life.

The coun­cil says the com­pany which op­er­ates the golf course, Perry Park Pty Ltd, was re­spon­si­ble for pay­ing for trees to be re­moved and pruned.

The coun­cil also says it del­e­gated “con­trol and oc­cu­pa­tion of the golf course and trees grow­ing on the golf course” to Perry Park.

The tree-lop­ping com­pany, in turn, says it trimmed dead wood from the tree in March 2014 but that Perry Park never asked it to un­der­take any work on the branch that fell.

Fol­low­ing an in­quest into Mr Brown’s death, Ter­ri­tory Coro­ner Greg Ca­vanagh said leav­ing the tree, “as it was, in the lo­ca­tion in which it was, with­out any pro­tec­tive mea­sures be­ing put in place for pa­trons was, in the broader sense, neg­li­gent”.

Pic­ture: KA­T­RINA BRIDGEFORD

Nee­ladri Mi­tra doesn’t mind the oc­ca­sional burger but is shocked at how much peo­ple spend on fast food

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