HOTSPOT: Helena Garcia and Natalia Rodriguez at the Gympie region's bachelorette hotspot yesterday. The hot spot for bachelors is just down the road.
HOTSPOT: Helena Garcia and Natalia Rodriguez at the Gympie region's bachelorette hotspot yesterday. The hot spot for bachelors is just down the road. Troy Jegers

Sex, pillow talk and the 'road to Damascus'

DEMOGRAPHER and futurist Bernard Salt was talking mainly about money.

But sex came into it, though in the most wholesome and unexpected way.

The internationally noted Australian demographer, futurist and (it must be said) entertainer, addressed a big turnout of Gympie businesspeople and their employees, academics, media and Gympie Regional Council representatives on Thursday.

But money isn't everything, Mr Salt reminded us, even if it is what makes everything else easier.

There is always that primal motivation, sex (and marriage and you know, where little babies come from).

And even here, Mr Salt had some good advice for those wondering about what gives meaning to all that other stuff he talked about, like money.

In his talk, to about 250 people at a function organised by Gympie Regional Council and chambers of commerce from across the region, he touched briefly on the meaning of it all.

Cooloola Cove, he said is definitely the place for anyone seeking escape from the alleged regional Queensland "man drought”.

"Man drought,” by the way, is a term coined by Bernard Salt, who has single handedly added many new words to the language.

There are more eligible males between 25 and 34 per head of population at Cooloola Cove than in any other community in Gympie region.

So where are all the young women?

The answer is absolutely clear, Mr Salt says.

They are to be found in greater numbers per head than anywhere else, at Rainbow Beach.

"Cooloola Cove and Rainbow Beach are connected by Rainbow Beach Rd, which I suggest should be renamed 'the Road of Love,” he said.

Our own 'road to Damascus'

CHRISTIANITY has gone backwards in Australia in recent years, as a direct result of the royal Commission into institutional child abuse, demographer Bernard Salt told a Gympie breakfast audience on Thursday.

But Gympie region has retained more of its faith, according to figures from the 2016 Census.

"There's been a 45 percent rise in atheism in Australia; in Gympie it's 35 percent,” Mr Salt said.

But within Gympie region we have a clear and perhaps inexplicable disparity, according to data (which may show us more about statistics than anything else sometimes).

Mr Salt drew the distinction between the decent God-fearing people of Goomeri, where 664 people support three functioning churches and the relatively "godless hoards of Kandanga”.

In Goomeri, more than 77 percent of residents identify with a religion, all but a few of them Christians.

But the most popular religious designation among Kandanga people was "none”.

The road between the two may be our own "road to Damascus,” Mr Salt said, referring to the conversion to Christianity experienced by the apostle Paul when he travelled from Jerusalem to Damascus.

The "pillowfication of Australia”

ONCE upon a time, Australians naturally displayed their wealth by inviting guests into the living room, or dining room, or whatever was the best room of the house.

Guests did not see into bedrooms, did not get to walk through the house and probably did not take that much notice of the kitchen.

The host and hostess would display their status and prosperity in that central "good room”, where there would be a mahogany cabinet with an expensive and freshly polished silver tea service.

Now of course, demographer Bernard Salt tells us, that has all changed.

In our much more sophisticated age, guests walk through the house, noting our status and prosperity, as displayed by an open-plan kitchen, including an island bar instead of a table, set off with an Italian marble top and expensive German tapwearware over the sink.

Then we invite them out onto the Mediterranean-style back verandah, which we call a deck and which is our new version of that old-fashioned good room.

It has a barbecue, which these days includes a wok, to display our multicultural inclinations.

Bedroom doors, once firmly closed, are now left open enough for people to see our new symbols of wealth and good living: lots and lots of pillows.

Not just two or four, but often six.

"I call this the pillowfication of society,” Mr Salt says.

Pillows are set out in a perfect display of carefree luxury.

"You have two people working full time to pay for this, but they always find time to fluff the pillows,” Mr Salt saidsays.

Bedrooms must be "glimpse perfect”, he said.