the man behind me was talking into his mobile phone. He sounded outraged. He meant the factory on the outskirts of the CBD would be closing with the loss of about 180 positions.
I am sorry for those who work there. Brother Cat did a summer stint there while at university. I don't know what he did - but he still doesn't like "Coke". I have never liked it.
My brother-in-law does like Coke. His workmates gave him an entire case of the stuff and decorated his office with Coke cans when his eldest son was born. (It should be explained that champagne would have been wasted on him. He doesn't drink alcohol.)
But, for me, it is sickly sweet. I am not fond of any form of carbonated drink but Coke seems sweeter than most. As a kitten I thought it was more fun to be given a single spoonful in a saucer and watch it "clean" a half-penny or penny. Yes, it was a long time ago. It was something my maternal grandfather, who made some piece of fine-measuring equipment for the plant, showed me and my brother. It never failed to fascinate us.
But the news should not have come as any surprise. The land is a prime piece of real estate which will almost certainly be used for housing now. I can imagine a mix of medium/high density housing, shops, and essential facilities. Mind you, all this may take years. There is a site in the north of the CBD that has been vacant for a very long time - while people argue over the plans for development.
And people will have lost their jobs. They will have lost their jobs in a state which already has high unemployment. Perhaps some of them will get positions in the expanded factory in another state - but I doubt it will be many, if any. The 58yr old they interviewed last night is not likely to get another job easily, if at all. He knows it too.
The state's Premier complained the government had not been consulted about the closure. I doubt I would have been consulting him about a business decision either. He would do the arithmetic rather differently.
And will it stop people from drinking Coke?