Rocky man can't afford to live, but the housos get solar?
ROCKHAMPTON'S Darrin Ferguson has contemplated donating his body to scientific research to spare his family costly funeral bills.
In recent times, the 52-year-old, who has battled hereditary spastic paraplegia since his 2008 diagnosis, has been thrust into a life of nightmarish hell.
Having been forced to stop work because of his illness and invest a large chunk of his life savings to modify his home of the past 30 years, Darrin's financial nest egg has dwindled.
Now, he's really feeling the squeeze from rising electricity costs.
Darrin says he has been forced to cut necessary appliances including fridges, freezers, internet, air conditioners and alter his already difficult life just to make the electricity payments.
He's cut his bill in half, but it's still not enough.
Darrin had to cancel his house insurance and funeral insurance to afford food.
As his fears grow, he was left stunned recently when he saw solar panels installed on nearby housing commission homes.
"Instead of putting solar panels on housing commission roofs, surely the government can help us with power prices," a bemused Darrin said.
"I'm in the same boat as everyone else on this issue and we try and battle and just keep getting pushed back.
"They have to do something about electricity, that's what killing us all."
For the first time he's not going to vote the way he traditionally has in this coming election. He's chosen the party he thinks will do the most to curb power prices.
The retiree equipped his home with disability assistance equipment so he could live out the rest of his years in his Richardson Rd home.
Darrin's disease was neurological of the spinal chord and effected the movement in his legs.
HSP is a rapidly progressive disease which Darrin has an "unclassified" case of.
"I planned for the future so that I don't have to go to a nursing home, I want my independence," he said.
Persistent on keeping that independence and his daily walks around the block with dog, Kahn, Darrin refuses to give up despite the struggles.
"I'm trying to do the right thing and keep my independence and pay off a home so I'm not a burden to the government or my family," he said.
"Housing commission people are doing it hard, but at what stage does the government stop, they let the battlers continue to struggle."
The keen fish breeder lives with his carer and best friend of 15 years and can't fathom how a two-person household can rack up a $1400 power bill.
Darrin said he managed to bring his bill down by nearly half the price but electricity was still bringing him behind in rates payments, house repayments and his livelihood.
"Electricity is ridiculous for everybody at the moment, that's no secret," he said.
The Morning Bulletin contacted Minister for Housing and Public Works, Mick de Brenni, for comment but did not receive a response by time of publication.