Pack it in. We’re stuffed

box-packingNo surprise, of course, but The Age misses the real story yet again — several, actually. The piece, promo’d on the home page, is billed as a briefer on how humanitarian refugees are settling into their new homeland.

First surprise: only 5% report discrimination. As this doesn’t fit the narrative of racist, bogan intolerance and endemic hijab-ruffling, this upbeat info is buried in the last paragraph. Well it’s The Age. What do you expect?

Second surprise: Only 7% of humanitarian refugees are in paid employment. This actually explains what otherwise seems to baffle the reporter — that they complain of nice housing being difficult to obtain. Having a secure income generally draws an approving smile from prospective landlords. Again, this info is buried in the story’s tail and no connection is made between work, disposable income and buying nice stuff with it, like a non-leaking roof.

Third surprise: The story’s refugee poster person is studying — wait for it — “a qualification in furniture removal and warehousing”!

You need a formal qualification to hump sofas onto trucks! Who knew?

Well legions of public servants know because the web is replete with documents listing required standards and methods of training. This one in particular is a beaut: TLID2019A Pack and Unpack Cartons During a Removal.

And, yes, that is precisely what it takes eight dense pages to delineate. Packing may be done indoors or outdoors; fragile objects may be wrapped to protect them; the packing environment will vary, sometimes allowing plenty of elbow room and other times not. Astonishingly, the document’s Public Service authors advise that books can be transported in boxes!

If we have now reached the point where mandatory qualifications restrict access to what used to be a splendid job-entry point for industrious but unskilled migrants — lugging other people’s goods up and down stairs — this country and its future are in no small amount of trouble.

Coming soon: a mandatory course in being agile and innovative. Graduates will be able to regulate other regulators regulating regulators. It’s the road to national prosperity, obviously.

Follow the link below for a fascinating PowerPoint presentation — taxpayer funded, of course — detailing the latest bureaucratic imperatives in box-packing and tailgate-securing.

— roger franklin

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