Category Archives: Infrastructure

OLIVER FRANKEL. Making housing affordable. Vancouver’s new “Empty Homes Tax”

Vancouver’s response to the housing affordability crisis,  now includes a new Empty Homes Tax at 1% per annum of the value of each empty home covered. Australian reports suggest that there may be 90,000 empty dwellings in Sydney and 83,000 … Continue reading

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CAROLYN WHITZMAN. States drag feet on affordable housing, with Victoria the worst.

Moral panic over recent increases in visibly homeless people in central Melbourne has brought to the fore the critical shortage of affordable housing across the metropolitan areas of Australia’s wealthiest cities. But living on the street is only the tip … Continue reading

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PETER PHIBBS and NICOLE GURRAN. Why housing supply shouldn’t be the only policy tool politicians cling to.

If politicians were serious about the affordability crisis, they would be trying to support the important but underfunded affordable housing sector. Better targeting tax breaks towards new and affordable rental housing, rather than fuelling demand for existing homes, would also … Continue reading

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TIM AYRES. What We Leave Behind: The Case for Universal Inheritance, including an inheritance tax.

Older Australians are enjoying a growing share of Australia’s wealth; the wealth of younger Australians has stagnated. Structural changes to the labour market threatens to leave more young people in low wage, precarious work than any generation before them, and … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. We are losing our sense of community

Markets are displacing society and community. Exclusion is winning out over inclusion. 

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OLIVER FRANKEL. Focusing on supply only will not solve the affordable housing crisis

There is now widespread recognition in the echelons of government, both Federal and State, that we face an affordable housing crisis. However, there is still no consensus about how to solve it.   The Coalition insists the problem can be … Continue reading

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LUKE FRASER. Congestion charging: Stockholm, Melbourne and Turnbull’s legacy.

On congestion charging. There are three lessons: first, congestion charges are devilish hard to put in place, even when they work demonstrably well; second, don’t try to implement this in a city where there is no serious traffic congestion, or … Continue reading

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JAMES O’NEILL. ‘One belt one road’ (OBOR) – a new geopolitical paradigm.

The scale of the projects (OBOR) is astonishing. As of July 2016 China had more than 900 contracts in place or under negotiation with a propose investment value of over $900 billion dollars. This was in addition to a separate … Continue reading

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JOHN FALZON. The housing crisis in Australia is not an economic inevitability

The government is actually intervening in the market, especially through such levers as negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount, to ramp up housing inequality!  

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JOHN MENADUE. Gladys Berejiklian and NSW Ports

As a former Minister for Transport, Gladys Berejiklian leaves a very dubious record in port privatization. The Chair of ACCC, Rod Sims has said ‘Privatisation (of NSW ports) is costing consumers and damaging economic reform’.  

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OLIVER FRANKEL. Sydney second to Hong Kong in housing unaffordability

Demographia International’s latest (13th) annual International Housing Affordability Survey provides yet more evidence of the burning issue of housing affordability in Australia, particularly in our largest cities.  Sydney ranks second most unaffordable, and Melbourne is only a few places behind … Continue reading

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JOHN AUSTEN. Badgerys Creek – testing times

The new airport at Badgerys Creek will test national competition and state transport infrastructure policies and may reveal the latter to be gravely flawed. The usual Commonwealth-state funding fight spectacle should be treated as a trivial pantomime and not distract … Continue reading

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OLIVER FRANKEL. Short-term leases – salt in the wounds of unaffordability for long-term renters

An increasing number of Australians are being forced into long-term rental accommodation, unable to afford the prohibitive and ever-increasing cost of home ownership.  In the private rental market, heavily debt-laden, individual landlords are the norm. Their short-term investment outlook deprives … Continue reading

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GETHIN DAVISON & EDGAR LIU. Neighbours’ fears about affordable housing are worse than any impacts.

Housing affordability is a hot topic in Australia. Governments are increasingly recognising that more needs to be done to provide a greater range of affordable housing options, especially in the major cities. It is well documented, however, that proposals for … Continue reading

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ALAN MORRIS. Why secure and affordable housing is an increasing worry for age pensioners.

There is no doubt that an increasing proportion of older Australians on the age pension will be dependent on the private rental sector in coming decades. This is because of the housing affordability crisis and increasing divorce in later life, … Continue reading

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JOHN AUSTEN. Roads – another year of congestion-causing deficits

We are spending enormous sums on roads and increasing our national debt. Communities are being seriously disrupted and the congestion is increasing. When will we put a stop to this nonsense?  

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PETER DAY. Homelessness v houselessness

We need to change the way we do charity and welfare; we’re out of kilter: lots of giving and receiving of things, but too little giving of ourselves – we just don’t have the time. It hardly needs saying, “People … Continue reading

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SUSAN RYAN. Housing affordability requires immediate government action

The 2016 Intergenerational Report from Treasury predicted that by 2050 the numbers of people in Australia over 65, currently nearly a quarter of the population, will have doubled. Average age expectancy will be over 95 for women and men. Where … Continue reading

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LAURIE PATTON. Turnbull’s New Year resolution should be a fibre-based NBN for everyone

 As we all make our New Year’s resolutions, here’s one for Turnbull: build us a better broadband network. It’s time to allow NBN to dump copper and revert to a fibre-based model. The sooner the better.  

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OLIVER FRANKEL. Sharing our space (Part 2) – implications for housing affordability

Sharing our space undoubtedly makes accommodation more affordable for those willing to share, albeit with some sacrifice in privacy. 

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OLIVER FRANKEL. Sharing our space (Part 1) – the sharing economy and beyond

Part 1 – Part 2 will be published tomorrow. Space sharing is an important part of the fast-growing sharing economy. New co-living paradigms are emerging which could have significant implications for the way we live and the type of housing … Continue reading

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OLIVER FRANKEL. Exploiting our under-used housing capacity – a way to ease the affordable housing crisis

The substantial under-used capacity within our existing residential built environment offers a quick, and capital light, opportunity to ease the affordable housing crisis. … There are an estimated 90,000 properties empty in Sydney and 83,000 in Melbourne. 

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LUKE FRASER. Good, bad and ugly of congestion charging in Melbourne.

Attention to Stockholm’s congestion charging system should be seriously studied in Australian cities. … In roads, we have a pricing crisis rather than an infrastructure crisis.

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OLIVER FRANKEL. When does housing become unaffordable?

Affordable housing has become one of the most hotly debated social problems of our time, yet there is no consensus on how to identify when it exists, let alone its root causes and how to fix it.

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JOHN AUSTEN. Sydney, metro again: $10billion more to ‘build something later’?

John Austen suggests that the NSW government’s approach to railways is at least back-to-front and probably misconceived. 

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LAURENCE TROY. Sydney needs higher affordable housing targets.

  The release this week by the Greater Sydney Commission of city-wide draft plansmandating some measure of affordable housing in new developments is a step in the right direction. However, the target of 5-10% on rezoned land is too low … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Donald Trump – a false prophet and implications for Australia.

  Trump prides himself in being a change-agent, but he really wants to restore the past and protect privilege. He will also do a great deal of social damage. Analysis of the US election tells us that many American ‘working … Continue reading

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JOHN AUSTEN. Sydney Metro – a disaster in store.

The public has been given no serious justification for why Sydney needs a separate, distinct and very expensive new rail system like Metro. All we have is a very big bill and more on the horizon. Sydney could spend almost … Continue reading

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Why Trump should work with China on a massive infrastructure partnership

This is an extract from an interview on CNN on the 10th November 2016 with Kishore Muhbubani, Dean of the Lee Kwan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore.  Trump will have to make some painful … Continue reading

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SUSAN RYAN. Affordable housing and inclusionary zoning.

  There are recent signs that governments are belatedly starting to move on the urgent problems created by the lack of affordable housing. A variety of data sources shows that increasing numbers of people, especially older women, face homelessness. Based … Continue reading

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