Hmm. Doc, didn't realise you were in South Australia (!)

It's true, if it's not printed, you could very well lose it. But disasters happen. Tasmanian photographer Olegas Truchanas lost his life's work in 1969 when his house burnt down. He started again of course, but history was lost (chiefly Lake Pedder before damming). But you've also got to take reasonable care in storing negatives and transparencies, and prints; I think the majority of APUG people here have a good working knowledge of that.

Interesting stuff from a lab. I don't use local labs for cheapie prints because they are digital-centric and frown on the notion of film photographers. But my own prints at pro-level cost anything from $66 to $300 (then add framing cost). The best must, must, must be printed, no exception. They'll be around for a long, long time, much longer than the troves of data masquerading as "photographs" on millions of PCs. None of my early digi pics from around 2001 on CDs are readable now. Not that I care (I remember I kind of looked embarrassingly younger then...)

Wang Computer Co. published a report in the early 1980s warning that digital storage had no proven, established permanence. Working in actuarial administration at the time, it was recommended that we backed up data 3x a day, and "critical" content be copied "multiple times" with one copy established as "hard output" (e.g. printed) for security. This was done, albeit with a huge amount of paper used! I remain unmoved by overtures in digital that it has any degree of permanency because warnings were made many decades ago. But you can't tell today's generation of know-it-alls! Are their photographs ever going to be printed? Ever...?