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Category Archives: Infrastructure
The value of infrastructure depends on how well it is used. Australia’s main infrastructure problem is misuse of what we have; a symptom of an absence of sensible policies, advisory failures and lobbying to build monuments to keep the concrete … Continue reading
There are indications the Prime Minister wishes to modernise infrastructure policy. Reports regarding rail to Badgerys Creek highlight the discomfort this causes to the NSW Government- and enormous benefits if the Prime Minister gets Commonwealth involvement right.
Legend has it that Charlton Heston flashed a Rolex wristwatch during a chariot race in the 1959 Ben Hur movie. Some recent Prime Ministerial comments could be considered flashes of a policy Rolex in an infrastructure discussion fitted to the … Continue reading
Before the advent of the “free enterprise market economy” model’s dominance of economic thinking, there was a distinction made between private and public goods. The idea was that some things had to be provided for a healthy, well-ordered society: such … Continue reading
Housing affordability was to be a key focus of the Government in this year’s federal budget, according to the ‘nods and winks’ that traditionally precede the Treasurer’s budget speech. A journalist who has often been privy to the thinking of … Continue reading
In the Fairness, Opportunity, Security policy series and the resulting book, Dr Michael Keating AC and I wrote of Australia’s out-of-control transport infrastructure spending that: ‘It is scandalous that this investment escapes proper scrutiny, while at the same time the … Continue reading
The Commonwealth’s budget has a Keynesian boost for a sluggish economy, and is based on an optimistic, or even heroic, assumption that economic growth will deliver a fiscal surplus within a few years. We have heard similar claims from treasurers, … Continue reading
Budget repair was never going to be easy. That is one reason why it has taken so long with quite a few false starts. While some of the individual decisions in this Budget are debateable, overall the quality of the … Continue reading
Making Housing Affordable Series. HAL PAWSON. Can Institutional Funding be Channelled into Rental Housing?
Channelling institutional finance into affordable rental housing has long been a ‘holy grail’ urban policy aspiration. Recent developments suggest that this may be edging towards reality.
Making Housing Affordable Series. SAUL ESLAKE. The causes and effects of the housing affordability crisis, and what can and should be done about it.
Treasurer Scott Morrison is right in saying that “there are no single or easy solutions” – even though he (and others on his side of politics) tend to ignore this advice in emphasising ‘supply-side solutions’ and decrying any suggestion of … Continue reading
Making Housing Affordable Series. PETER PHIBBS. The politics of property and the role of urban planning
The narrative provided by the property industry and by some politicians is that the planning system creates large bottlenecks to more supply. Yet the reality is that we have been generating record levels of supply in Australia in recent years. … Continue reading
Making Housing Affordable Series. NED CUTCHER. Running the private rental market at a loss, for profit
Understanding how unaffordable housing affects renters is increasingly important, since more Australians can expect to rent for longer. How do negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount affect affordability, amenity and security for renters? Encouraging “mums and dads” to … Continue reading
Making Housing Affordable Series. MARCUS SPILLER. The planning system, politics and housing affordability
Forever expanding supply on the urban fringe is unlikely to provide a solution to retreating affordability of home ownership. Housing needs to be expanded in those places where good jobs, services and infrastructure are. The inner and middle suburbs – … Continue reading
The housing affordability debate is being wrongly understood as just a supply problem. The real cause of house price inflation is excess liquidity and debt, combined with overly generous tax incentives.
Tony Abbott is not the only one anticipating a change of government at the next election. Voters across the board are increasingly fed up with the Coalition and there are even signs that some of its most devoted cheer leaders … Continue reading
It is increasingly evident how pernicious the privatisation myth is. Two recent examples have underlined it: the failings in Australia’s privatised energy grid and the usurious pricing in airport car parks. Both examples demonstrated that it is folly to expect … Continue reading
With only a month to go to the federal budget, the news that Sydney’s median dwelling prices rose by 18.9% in the 12 months to March is sobering. It is surely enough to jolt the Turnbull government into finally adopting … Continue reading
The housing crisis, hitting young Australians in particular, is one of the cruelest consequences of economic rationalist policy making to which both our major political parties remain super-glued. Neither party has a clearly articulated, long-term solution to this ideologically generated … Continue reading
The trigger has been cocked. Our attitude to property has changed. No longer is it merely a castle, a family retreat and a place in which to find shelter. It’s now a highly geared investment vehicle. It will take enormous … Continue reading
A National Tragedy Australia’s National Broadband Network is heavily dependent on a soon-to-be-obsolete technology (FTTN) that most of the world has rejected. The FTTN-based network was sold to the Australian public based on an underestimate of Australia’s broadband needs (Tucker, … Continue reading
BOB BIRRELL and DAVID McCLOSKEY. Sydney and Melbourne’s housing affordability crisis: no end in sight.
Our projections show that, on these demographic assumptions, new migrants will add about 64 per cent to the need for extra dwellings in Sydney over the decade 2012 to 2022 and 54 per cent in Melbourne.