Jenni Jurd has a little more money to enjoy life thanks to the help of George Christensen.
Jenni Jurd has a little more money to enjoy life thanks to the help of George Christensen. Caitlan Charles

'Do I eat or put petrol in the car?'

IMAGINE having to choose between putting petrol in your car or eating.

That was a question Jenni Jurd asked herself several times while paying off a car loan.

Having moved to Mackay in September last year from Bloomsbury to be closer to specialists, Ms Jurd found herself in a difficult financial situation.

Profoundly deaf, in chronic pain and with advanced heart and lung disease, she often found herself with between $40 and $70 a week to live on after paying her expenses, including the car loan.

The repayments on her two-year-old Suzuki, bought so she didn't have to worry about 'somebody else's trouble' totalled about $270 a fortnight.

"I've got my car on finance, I've been keeping up with repayments, I'm on a disability pension and paying private rent, but my main thing was to make sure my car was paid off because it is my independence," she said.

"Every time I have taken a loan out, they've said if you're having problems give us a call and we will try and help you."

The bank had a number of suggestions, but none of them suited her situation, Ms Jurd said, adding that they were just following their policy.

"I thought 'I'm sick of this, I'm cooped up in a unit and not having a life', that was why I approached my financial institution because I wanted some help," she said.

In the past, she had paid out a another loan on a new car and a home loan with the same financial institution.

That was when her brother-in-law, John Hinkley, wrote to George Christensen to explain the situation, and the Member for Dawson leapt into action.

"Without George's help, I would have still been sitting in my unit twisting my thumbs and thinking 'do I eat this fortnight or do I put petrol in the car', that's what it was like," she said.

Mr Christensen contacted the bank in the midst of the Federal election campaign to help Ms Jurd and managed to get her repayments down to $150.

"I'm overwhelmed that he actually did it," she said.

"I just am overwhelmed because it means that little bit of extra money now, it means I can get in my car and drive down and have a cup of coffee down the street.

"It makes a big difference to me."