Ballina Marine Rescue Tower. Photo Cathy Adams / The Northern Star
Ballina Marine Rescue Tower. Photo Cathy Adams / The Northern Star Cathy Adams

OPINION: Towers don’t come cheap these days

PENNY pinchers are a dime a dozen.

You all know them.

They are the people who see you wearing something new, or driving on your new ride-on lawnmower, or hear you talking about your latest camping trip and want to tell you that you paid too much.

Let's call them Monday's experts.

Those who delight in telling you there was a better, cheaper, faster way of doing what you've just done.

So when I see FB comments like the one below I tend to bristle.

Let's get this straight, building anything in Australia is bloody expensive because of the high cost of wages and materials.

So when a figure of $2.1 million is given as the cost of replacing Ballina's marine rescue tower, it may sound like a lot of money when you say it out loud, but when you sit down and think about it, I can assure you it's not.

Anything that is not a box with a roof and as few powerpoints, windows and bathrooms as possible costs extra.

So you can imagine a tower with stairs or a lift, big windows, extra electrical fittings, not to mention a kitchen, bathroom, toilet is quickly going to add up.

Then there is the fit-out and sophisticated radio equipment, aerials and computers to consider.

Do the maths in your head. Think about the last time you got a tradie to do work around your house.

Everything is going to seem expensive if you compare it to the era you built or bought your home.

But as someone who has just built a new house, while counting every penny, I know $2.1 million is very reasonable for a building of this type.