I got trolled by Labor volunteers and supporters on Facebook last week.

I worked in commercial radio for over 30 years. I don’t mind a bit of trolling. It doesn’t get under my skin.

The two biggest things that it achieved were getting me a Canberra Times story about the online bullying and to send my Facebook reach numbers skyrocketing.

Most of the online aggressors attack along pure ideological lines.

Alistair asked me on Facebook which suburb I lived in. I replied ‘Bonython’.

He replied with this…..”Tough life with all of that public housing nearby.”

I didn’t bother responding.  I gather the inference is that as I’m an evil rich conservative I would look down my privileged nose at anyone who lived in public housing.

I shake my head.

When I was born at York Hospital in Western Australia in 1966, my parents brought me home to 58 Grey Street, which was a government house. The walls were made of asbestos….so let me get this straight, we’re not talking asbestos fibres in the ceiling cavity, I mean the walls were made of bonded asbestos.  It was a modest neglected Government house complete with holes in the fences and some walls. We lived there because it was all that my parents could afford.
Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 9.03.04 am

My mother and father had moved to York from Narrogin with not a cent to their names. After being knocked back by all of the banks, my father managed to borrow enough money from a private lender to establish a small retail business just off the main street of York and he then set about working his guts out to support us and to build his business. And build it he did. I don’t have any memories of the first shop because, before too long he had relocated to a bigger shop in the main street.

I grew up in the store room of Dad’s shop. I watched him work. I listened to the conversations he had with customers and wholesalers.  My father’s work ethic entered my little body in those early days and has never left. Tom Parton was the best small town supermarket operator that ever was. I am still in awe at what he achieved in all of those 12 hour days.  When anyone asks me who my biggest hero is, my response is instant. My father is my hero and he always will be.

I remember him saying to me one day, “I don’t know what you’re going to do when you grow up, but it’s not going to be this. This is too hard.”

In his early fifties, my father sold the business that he started from scratch and my parents became young, satisfied self funded retirees.Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 9.05.31 am

That modest fibro cement house on Grey Street has been demolished in the last 10 years but I will never forget it. It’s petty and ignorant for Labor trolls to suggest that it’s tough for me to live so close to public housing.