OPINION: When I first came to Gladstone I was warned repeatedly of the Gladstone 'tax'.
The extent of the 'tax' was never more obvious than a few months ago when people power forced fuel stations in the heart of the city to drop their prices to match those on offer in Boyne Island.
Until last Saturday week, that is.
As many will know, my wife is seriously crook in Brisbane.
While she is undergoing treatment, I have been living in an apartment beside the Mater in South Brisbane, looking after her.
Last Saturday I travelled briefly back to Gladstone to sort out a couple of personal matters while her sister stepped in to help at the apartment.
On the Friday I filled my vehicle with diesel at a Woolworths fuel stop on Wynnum Rd, Brisbane.
Price was 129.9 cents per litre before the rewards discount. I also stopped in at a BWS (Woolworths) bottle shop at the Gabba and bought a litre bottle of Bundy. Price was $48.
On arrival in Gladstone on the Saturday I went to Woollies at Kirkwood to get some provisions.
Diesel was 139.9 cents a litre. A litre of rum at BWS was $64. An 8% and 33% Gladstone 'tax' respectively.
Claims by Woolworths that it is the cost of transport won't cut it. On the way back I filled the car at Benaraby.
Price was 133.9. By Borallon it was down to the Brisbane price of 129.9 and it stayed at that or marginally lower all the way south.
Unfortunately the people power movement where people voted with their feet failed to sustain itself.
Vigour had been replaced by head-shrugging complacency.
Captain's calls continue to be horrible
On another matter, as a right of centre moderate, I can't believe the stupidity of Abbott's stewardship of the Coalition government. His captain's calls are horrible.
There was the knighthood debacle, the Bishopgate debacle, then the appointment of arguably biased closet Liberal Dyson Heydon to conduct the union corruption enquiry, now the marriage equality debacle.
The man seems intent on handing Labor victory at the next election.
Even his sister Christine Forster, a lesbian in a loving partnership, took to the media to point out that Abbott's position on how to get the same-sex marriage thing done had done a complete turnaround in the three months since his May announcement that it was a decision for parliamentarians in a conscience vote.
Now it's to be a $120 million plebiscite when surveys are saying that 72% of Australians are in favour of same-sex marriage.
That's of course if right-of-Genghis-Khan Scott Morrison doesn't get his cynical way and we face a referendum.
Only one in five referendums have ever got up. Either way, another free kick to Labor in the election that must be held within 12 months. Crazy stuff!
Not that it's more than a diversion - or should be - in the scheme of things.
China looks to be in diabolical shape having devalued the yuan three times last week to keep itself competitive as an exporter with the US and its Asia-Pacific neighbours.
Our currency traders and share traders recognised it for what it was and our dollar and share market tanked on the news.
Worryingly, so did those in the Asia-Pacific region.
Bob Lamont and Corporate Accountants have moved to Goondoon St, opposite Hog's Breath. Bob may be contacted at email@example.com.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.