Let me tell you a story about being the ‘little guy’.

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little-personSo we’re part way through extending our house. We’re adding on an extra bedroom and bathroom. Sounds pretty simple right? Wrong! Let me start from the beginning. Don’t worry I’ll be quick.

We live in a warehouse that my other half converted about 6 years ago – the joys of living with an architect! Due to where we live our section of the street is zoned both Residential and Commercial, which gives us the ability to build to zero lot alignment, basically right to our boundary. So my very talent architect future husband designed a master bedroom/ensuite that popped out over the front courtyard. Yay for us!! The design was fantastic so we started to roll through the approval process.

We then discovered that Energy Australia’s power lines went diagonally across OUR property. And so it begins! Thankfully John’s brother is a lawyer so we had everything checked out legally and guess what? Yep, Energy Australia can do whatever they bloody want and they’ve got the law to prove it. We could have had the powerlines moved, for a small fee of $30,000 and then some. Remember their powerlines are on OUR PROPERTY!

So, plan B, the extension was re-designed, we get through Council in record time and the builders get underway. Inside framing up, outside framing up, then it was time for the roof to come off.

Smooth sailing? Yeah, no, not quite. Energy Australia then decided that our powerlines needed to be ‘tigertailed’, basically wrapped in yellow and black stuff because our scaffolding came within a certain height restriction. So for less than 2 days work we now have to pay them $8,500 for their troubles. And not only that, they’re taking their sweet-arse time to come and do it, so we have had NO BUILDERS for the last 2 weeks. Think I’m stressing much?! Only 82 days till the wedding!!

Anyway so after that long winded short version of the story, I do have a point! WHY do the big people, in this case Energy Australia have ALL the power (pardon the pun!)?! They’ve been out and seen that we have started our extension so know that we’ll just pay the bloody money so we can get on with it.

Julia Roberts as Erin Brockovich

Julia Roberts as Erin Brockovich

It would probably cost more time and money to fight them and they know this so they just get away with it. If you walked to the next block from our house you’d notice that the power pole is closer to the corner and no where near the person’s house. So while I’m having a little bit of a ‘poor me’ moment, it honestly annoys the crap out of me being the ‘little guy’.

What should the big corporations have all the power? I did have an Erin Brockovich moment and want to take them on, thankfully it only lasted about 5 minutes of ranting to my poor future husband before I realised it just wasn’t worth it.

So have you ever taken on a big corporation and won? Do you agree that it can be very frustrating and totally unfair, but at the end of the day really what are we going to do?

Such a shame – Erin Brockovich would have been so proud!

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