REAL AUSTRALIA

Voice of Real Australia: Retirement woes and F-bombs in club anthems

Voice of Real Australia is a regular newsletter from Australian Community Media, which has journalists in every state and territory. Sign up here to get it by email, or here to forward it to a friend. Today's newsletter is written by Mandurah Mail journalist Carla Hildebrandt.

Retirement troubles: Peter and Shelley Bosustow (right) pictured with other Mandurah residents and family members affected by the collapse of Sterling First. Photo: Carla Hildebrandt.

Retirement troubles: Peter and Shelley Bosustow (right) pictured with other Mandurah residents and family members affected by the collapse of Sterling First. Photo: Carla Hildebrandt.

Hello from Western Australia,

Mandurah, 75 kilometres south of Perth, is a popular retirement destination, with its beach-front homes and relaxed living.

In fact, residents 65 years and over make up a whopping 22.7 per cent of the population, compared to the WA average of 14 per cent.

For one group of 60 pensioners the idyllic dream of hanging their hat in Mandurah was crushed recently after investing more than $10 million in a failed property management company.

More than 100 residents Australia-wide lost up to $300,000 each when Sterling First went into administration in May, taking $20 million of investors' money with them.

Worried faces: About 100 residents whose life savings are at risk met in Mandurah to get legal advice and weigh-up their options. Photo: Carla Hildebrandt.

Worried faces: About 100 residents whose life savings are at risk met in Mandurah to get legal advice and weigh-up their options. Photo: Carla Hildebrandt.

Some residents are facing eviction and others are busy organising a class action against the company to get back their money.

One resident who has lost tens of thousands of dollars is former Carlton footballer Peter 'The Buzz' Bosustow, who played 65 games for the Blues in his AFL career.

On June 21, affected parties, media and politicians packed out the Mandurah Bowling Club, as investors discussed their options with lawyers and listened to financial speakers.

Mandurah state MP David Templeman called the situation "scandalous" and questioned why the Australian Securities and Investment Commission had not acted sooner.

Shelley and Peter Bosustow.

Shelley and Peter Bosustow.

As a journalist, it was heartbreaking interviewing these residents. Some could not even muster a smile as they greeted me, and others couldn't speak as they cried their eyes out.

We will continue to speak with affected parties and hopefully play a role in helping them get their money back.

Speaking of people power, the Central Western Daily reports that residents in the NSW town of Molong have been canvassing for a larger police presence after claiming that while it isn't a big place "there are plenty of places to hide".

Meanwhile, in the New England region, a 1800 hectare solar panel project planned by a French company for land near Armidale has been canned after 250 residents came together to protest.

In sports news, do you think swearing in a club song is inappropriate? The Peel Football and Netball League here in WA thinks so.

South Mandurah Falcons football club were dealt a suspended $500 fine for using the F-bomb in their team anthem (though the Mandurah Mail's Justin Rake reports that the terminology is not part of the club song's official lyrics).

Peel Football and Netball League general manager Geoff Hiller said profanities in club anthems did not align with the league's code of conduct.

Fair enough, I suppose. Just so long as they don't start sending out AFL-style "behavoural awareness officers" to patrol the fans on the sidelines at local club matches.

What do you think about sweary club songs? Does it bring down the reputation of the game? Or is this political correctness gone mad?

Carla Hildebrandt,

Journalist, Mandurah Mail

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