Coalition: If you want a house, get a highly paid job

By Leith van Onselen

Remember this comment by Joe Hockey:

“If housing was unaffordable in Sydney nobody would be buying it”…

“The starting point for first home buyers is to get a good job that pays good money”.

Well, the Assistant Treasurer with responsibility for housing affordability, Michael Sukkar, came out with similar words last night, effectively telling young people to get “a highly paid job” if they want to afford a home. From The SMH:

“We’re also enabling young people to get highly paid jobs which is the first step to buying a house, it’s not the only answer but it’s the first step,” Mr Sukkar told Sky News.

“I want to see young people like me, leave university, I was a terrible university student but I left university because the economy was so good, I got a great start and I was able to forge a career,” he said…

As a parliamentarian he is paid a base salary of $199,040 per year plus 25 per cent as a parliamentary secretary or assistant minister. This does not include the generous travel allowances granted to MPs.

The average wage in Australia is $78,832 per year.

Leaving aside the fact that not everyone can get a highly paid job as a politician, Sukkar might want to look at wages growth, which is at the lowest level on record at the same time as Sydney and Melbourne house prices have rocketed:

ScreenHunter_17560 Feb. 21 07.40

He might also want to examine the labour force data, which shows that the Coalition is failing badly to meet its own soft target of creating “one million jobs in five years”:

ScreenHunter_17561 Feb. 21 07.42

Instead of making daft statements, Sukkar should have outlined a plan to actually deal with Australia’s housing mess by committing to most or all of the following:

  • Undertake fundamental housing-related tax reform (e.g. unwinding negative gearing and the CGT discount, and incentivising the states to swap stamp duties for a broad-based land tax);
  • Financially incentivising the states to free-up land-use and planning restrictions;
  • Providing the states with funding (or facilitating funding) for housing-related infrastructure;
  • Cracking-down hard on foreign investment into established real estate;
  • Financially incentivising the states to build more public housing and to change rental laws to provide greater security of tenure;
  • Slashing immigration to sensible and sustainable levels.

The time for talk is over. Australia needs fundamental action on housing affordability.

[email protected]

Unconventional Economist
Latest posts by Unconventional Economist (see all)


  1. What a worthless political representative Sukkar is! Selling out his whole generation for the interest of his class.

    Luckily he is still young enough to have the potential of long-term unemployment ahead of him. There is also reason to believe that his party will get tossed out inalandslide next election. I find comfort in this.

    • “I want to see young people like me, leave university, I was a terrible university student but I left university because the economy was so good, I got a great start and I was able to forge a career as a liberal MP,” he said…

      I think being a terrible student must be a requirement of joining a party like the Liberals..

    • I do too, thanks. You’re a peach. There is silver lining of epicaricacy over the horizon if nothing else.

  2. He’s not talking to those who can’t afford houses, he’s talking to the Liberal Party constituents. The man virtue signals and victim blames all at once. He shall go far.

    • rob barrattMEMBER

      When you are poor, you vote Labor. As you accumulate wealth through property, politics or a good job with the CFMEU you move steadily into a comfortable Liberal state. Of course, that is entirely necessary to prevent those Labor bastards jumping the queue….

      • It’s like the saying, “if you’re 20 something and you’re not a Liberal you have no heart, if you’re 40 something and you don’t vote conservative you have no brain.”


      • rob barrattMEMBER

        Exactly! Anyone who thinks they’ll get something for nothing hasn’t been watching enough Attenborough documentaries! Either that, or they think the Nanny State is financially viable…

      • Then most industry associations seeking subsidies or various sorts of protection should take note. I note that the small business types who applauded the sale of SA’s generators by the Liberals in 1999, are blaming the ALP. I’m also hearing some disquiet in the business community about their internet being not-quite-adequate, and don’t get them started on their mail delays since Malcolm “fixed” Australia Post. No doubt they’ll wait till the ALP gets in Federally to spend some money to help them become competitive. Followed by loud complaining about spendthrift Labor.

        Maybe if we had decent infrastructure at reasonable cost, it might be cheaper for business to do business, and then we’d get more profits and tax and not have to cut so much. Nah! What am I thinking.

    • FiftiesFibroShack

      That’s right. He’s talking to the types whose first retort on housing affordability is something like “it’s always been hard to buy a house” followed by a rambling anecdote that extolls their ‘virtues’ i.e. their superior work ethic and ability to sacrifice.

      • Numbers dont lie.

        Hairdressers and brickies used to be able to afford to buy a home, now they can’t.
        FHB have dropped from about 25% to 12% (or less)

        When boomers and the entitled are hit with those two facts they go quiet or they start talking about smashed avocado.

      • Well bubbley, go take a look at the graph on this here very site showing the cost of housing in Australia.

        Have a look at pricing trajectories before 2001, when boomer voters outnumbered gen x+y.
        Then look at what happened to the trajectory of prices after 2001 when gen x+y outnumbered boomer voters.

        Boomers are mere amateurs in the game compare to gen x+y.

      • @emess – you constantly point out the fact that x&y voters outnumbered boomers from 2001 to now. This may be true demographically, but boomers have outnumbered x&y in positions of power for much, much longer

  3. “I was a terrible university student”
    Is this something government looks at favourably when employing?

    • I picked up on the same thing.

      Let’s be honest, politics in this country doesn’t really exhibit any symptoms of intellect now, does it?

      • That’s a misdirection, not a slip up. He was a PWC corporate tax lawyer.
        That’s all you need to know to understand how he fits into the LNP pantomime.

    • Jumping jack flash

      I too was a terrible university student, but managed to forge a decade-long, highly paid career in IT. Back in those days though (late 1990’s), working in IT was still worth something, and there were still good jobs to be had, and no global labour market to compete against.

      The times are changing with the new global labour market. New IT graduates today will look at people like me with scorn and disgust at my “lucky break” as they drive around in their Uber cars between lawnmowing jobs in the new service economy, or perhaps before moving overseas to where the real jobs actually are.

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      “We’re also enabling young people to get highly paid jobs which is the first step to buying a house, it’s not the only answer but it’s the first step,”

      What are these highly paid jobs of which he speaks ? ……….I know ! ……I’ll bet he is referring to management jobs in the NSW government that fires Australian IT workers and contracts out for their replacement to outsource companies who then import 457 workers from India to do the work ……..

      • I have 1 of those highly paid jobs I should be doing right now ;). Trust me, it only helps in so far as turns your situation from utter despair of nothing being affordable, to some hope you might be able to buy into a not yet gentrified suburb for some crazy sum of money that means you need to remain in said high paying job for only like the next 30 years… If you want any hope of paying down that debt. It’s at that point you put up with renting and tell yourself this is all temporary (or you hope). Reusa knows best after all.

    • Pretty shit Asst Treasurer as well. Andrew Leigh gave Sukkar a lesson in economics last week over company taxes. Guess he’s bound for greatness then given the Libs long standing tradition of promoting mediocrity.

    • Not just government but the private sector also.

      We all know AUS is not a meritocracy – unlike Norway.

      I looked at job ads in Hong Kong, they actually care about what school you went to and what subjects you did!

      Aussie bosses keep saying “qualifications are worthless, have you got experience?”

      So they hire people purely on the basis of talking skills and then complain that they have terrible staff!

      • The Libs care which school you went to.

        Its got to be River View in Sydney, Churchie in Brisbane or Xavier’s in Melbourne – otherwise you’re one of the plebian masses who has to come in through the servants entrance.

  4. Mining BoganMEMBER

    Remember that scene at the start of King Ralph when the entire royal family got zapped?

    That should be organised for the next Question Time.

    • LNP is all about connections. You either are born to the right family or you have to suck up really, really hard to get a turn. Like Tim Wilson. Bearing in mind that when it comes down to it, the Tim Wilsons will be the ones asked to fall on their sword for the good of the party. The children of the anointed can dance in Malaysia wearing their flag for budgie smugglers and the foreign minister herself will come rescue them.

  5. Stop Chinese capital. That is the most important fix. There is no other explanation for the insane prices being paid for houses. $4.95 million for a run down place in the Chatswood for example on the weekend. Like to see what job the politicians recommend someone get to buy a $4.95 million house.

    • Actually the equation is very simple: Buy a house for $5M and enjoy $500K in asset appreciation each and every year, for this return you need to pay $250K of this to some bank for the loan. I can’t think of many real world jobs that pay net in excess of $250K, so playing the RE game sounds like it’d be the highest paid use of your time and skills. @#$% working for someone else, just hangon until you have 10% equity in one property before repeating, manage 4 mortgages and you’ll earn $1M/year.

      • rob barrattMEMBER

        And, obviously, most of you won’t be able to afford to get to the first rung on the ladder. When you think about it, the system wouldn’t work if everybody could do it. It’s hard enough pumping the population numbers to keep the rent slave army the size it is already. Another important thing to realize is that the rate of wages growth is ENTIRELY IRRELEVANT! The affordability multiple for the current level of speculation will always be beyond the average punter and will be set at whatever the relevant stage of the bubble dictates. Remember, at the peak of the Black Tulip bubble, it cost the average punter a year’s wages to buy a bunch! So, if wages rise by a certain percentage, the nominal price of housing will rise by the corresponding amount required to keep the speculator threshold to punter wage ratio the same. Anyway, got to go, I’m just off to buy a couple more investment properties so I can reach critical mass and cease being bothered by this irksome work business…

    • Have a look at the suburbs in Sukkar’s Deakin electorate. Outer East Melbourne. It’s currently going gangbusters with overseas money.

      • Dunno.
        That might apply to Mitcham, where his electorate office is, definitely Blackburn and maybe Vermont, but I’d have thought Croydon and Bayswater remain some of the whitest suburbs in the whole of Melbourne.

      • ” Croydon and Bayswater remain some of the whitest suburbs in the whole of Melbourne.”
        Those suburbs are also going gangbusters. Property bubble is not just an Asian thing.

      • rob barrattMEMBER

        守 株 待 兔
        A slight expansion of a chengyu proverb. Of course my Mandarin aint what it used to be…….

  6. This is it isn’t it?
    The mission statement that everything & everyone will be thrown in the fire to keep it all cooking.
    I’m out. I’d buy, just can’t afford it. this bear is done. Utterly depressed at fucking myself over via common sense & rational thought.

    • The market can stay irrational longer than you can remain sane i guess. The most painful thing is that all the prudent got burned waiting while the reckless keep jumping on the bandwagon and getting rich.

      • and if you look at the numbers – the imprudent have done the right thing while the bears (me included) are howling into the ether on the internet about how the numbers dont make sense.

        Damned because we didn’t, damned if we did.

  7. As much as I hate the logic that the median salary is insufficient to purchase the median house. Is there any better advice for the average Sydneysider than to: Get a better job?
    Hard words maybe, but I’m at the point where I’d also say it’s the only solution. It could take the form of labor voluntarily withdrawing it self from ALL underpaid jobs. If I need to live in Sydney to do this job than I need to be paid an annual salary of 1/3 the median Sydney house price, not a penny less.
    Economists would call this wage inflation, it’s not really a solution but it is a step in the right direction.

    • >As much as I hate the logic that the median salary is insufficient to purchase the median house. Is there any better advice for the average Sydneysider than to: Get a better job?

      Yes – a harem… Multiple median salaries! Woohoo! it’s a win-win…win-and-win-and-win… You know – lots of money and lots of nookie-nookie!

      • I’d forgotten about the solution of multiple jobs.
        Back in the early 80’s I worked in London and the factory ran 3 shifts, the night shift was the least productive so when we looked into it we discovered that many of the Engineers and Technicians employed would sneak off home for a few hours sleep, or just sleep in the factory, fortunately the equipment they were producing had a kinda built-in bed. Come the morning they got up early and headed off to their day job. Fantastic scam with one minor flaw, they didn’t foresee the possibility that the company would shift all production back to the US because their US workforce was so much more productive and actually got the job done. ooops…wonder what those two job engineers are doing for work these days?

      • They probably either migrated to ‘murica, or stayed and started flipping houses for real money. Almost as productive as sleeping during night shift, but much better paid. 😉

      • rob barrattMEMBER

        And of course our next generation of industrial robots will be replacing our night shift roadside repair workers. It won’t be difficult to come up with an algorithm that ensures the machine can work faster than the current repair rate of one square foot of road per dosser year…

        Mmmmmm, come to think of it, there are quite a few places where those mobile robots are likely to be appearing.. (and there I’m NOT kidding)

      • @rob barratt Absolutely, robotics is coming to a road near you. Matter of fact I was at a factory in Germany a few months ago and saw exactly this sort of device, it could dig up potholes and repair/refill in a matter of minutes. all done without the need to completely shut down the road,,,of course the lane had to remain closed till the concrete set. The operator was never at risk, he sat safely in the cabin well away from passing traffic and oversaw / controlled the repairs via video link.

      • rob barrattMEMBER

        Only a question of time before they’re hiring bikie gangs to intimidate management. Of course, that will require a significant software upgrade to balance any uncomfortably high levels of work ethic with a touch of street savvy…

    • Yes but what jobs? What jobs pay high enough for someone to buy a median house in Sydney? Very few. Most high income professionals can no longer afford to buy. Even if they could, we can’t sensibly suggest that everyone become a doctor or a lawyer – and the legal job market is already over supplied.

      The problem is that wages are defined by reference to the local economy, and house prices are now defined by global capital.

      • In the end it’s all about average people withdrawing their labor unless they are properly compensated, and not compensated in this Aussie Monopoly money, I mean paid in genuine Sydney Housing dollars! Change the labor laws so that the minimum wage is: One hours work = 1/5000th of a Sydney house.
        Maybe you don’t remember the 70’s but there was a time when hardly a week would go by without one union or another going on strike, heck unions even went on sympathy strikes so that their brothers at the other less critical unions could force through their conditions. It was a terrible solution for the economy but many average people profited handsomely from this “solution”.

    • You are correct. We just rented a unit in Brisbane which the landlord (interesting term in itself!) paid $405K in 2011. Our rent is $390 per week. Not much inflation there. Different world to Sydney, of course. On the House estimate of current median price for the unit is $443K, which I would surmise is on the high side.
      Of course, the wage inflation to which you refer is anathema to the neo cons as the plebs are a non deserving lot (according to them). Maybe give them a parlimentary pension would be an easier fix.

      • The real problem is not that the neocons dislike wage inflation but rather that your typical worker sees themselves as middle-class managers. As such the workers are themselves vehemently opposed to solutions which benefit the workers….interesting dilemma….but that shows just how powerful a motivator perceived status actually is. workers knifing other workers in the back so that they look good to workers….Marx would role over in his grave.

      • Well said CB. I’ve seen it routinely back when I used to work regular jobs. People would routinely betray, sabotage and ignore other’s problems if it meant a bit more payola for themselves down the road by looking good to MGMT. House slaves. It’s a reason why I left and forged my own path. Now that I’ve seen what it can be like, I’m never going back.

        Solidarity is long dead – between the ladder-climbing backstabbers and globalism, there’s no way that oldschool strikes can work anymore.

        Y’all don’t have to take my word for it either:

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Sure Tony, The first thing any dictatorial regime does, whether communist or Fascist, is shut down independent Labor Unions.
        Our Sunny form of Plutocratic totalitarianism shuts down Unions just as effectively, may be more.
        Serfdom here we we come!,…my advice is that if you can’t join the ranks of the one Percent, learn how to best serve them,….like Samuel here.

        Gonna be a big increase in People who “just Couldn’t resist” as things get more Dog eat Dog.
        Maybe War really is the only possibility for a “Reset”.

  8. Jumping jack flash

    After bringing so many extra people into the country over the same period, they are STILL way off target to create a million jobs in 5 years?
    These guys couldn’t organise coitus in a house of ill-repute.

  9. “good job paying good money”

    Well that’s a relative (and stupid) comment which is actually impossible for every person to achieve.

    • adelaide_economistMEMBER

      Coalition narratives (in particular) are especially devoid of logic. Once I remind myself that the main qualification most of them have was to be born to the right parents and to have joined the right party at university then it’s easy to understand. Very few of them have ever had to ‘compete’ on a genuine basis to get any position (and note how many of them are parachuted into other government (taxpayer) funded roles when they stuff up or get dumped from office). It doesn’t stop them telling the rest of us that it’s all about hard work and moral rightness.

  10. Alas. I am the same. I tried to wait out the cycle for 7 years. I was naive and didn’t understand the power of vested interests and just how long these things could last. Now I feel it’s too late for me and my family. Oh well…all I can do is vote, testify, do the best I can with the hand dealt me, be grateful for what I have and try not to take it personally. At least the reality of these things is becoming more well known. Like climate change, history will be the judge… Unfortunately though potentially written by the victims it will be too late. God how depressing!

  11. Why are you using the politicians’ words “housing affordability”?

    I though MB was about straight talk?

    We don’t need housing affordability, we need cheap houses.

    The prospect of anything else becoming cheaper is celebrated.

    • Jumping jack flash

      Indeed, and what about the trillion dollar debt bubble that depends on the house prices increasing, or at the very least, remaining constant, but never, ever, falling.

      If anyone thinks the banks don’t get a say in all this, they are incredibly naive.

  12. TailorTrashMEMBER

    This smug prick has his great job courtesy of the taxpayers . I hope they give him their answer on his thoughts at the next election. He will then have to forge another career …… where he might be required to deliver results for his salary …..

  13. I got a better job, but im paying a 50% marginal tax rate (probably more after i factor in loss of PHI rebate).

    If i was earning the equivalent in Singapore i’d be on an overall tax rate of <12.5%. At least i'd have a good after tax income to buy a nice condo within walking distance of the MRT and be within 3 stops of the downtown area.

    • A mate of mine had a well paying job in Singapore for a few years. He generally liked the place.
      Except for the health system.
      A visit to the doctor for a cold etc will set you back a few HUNDRED dollars.

    • Marginal tax rate of 50% doesn’t magically make your overall tax 50%. Assume you had a gross income of $200,000 and if you didn’t do any tax avoidance stuff like salary sacrifice to super etc. The tax you actually pay is $68,000, which is 34%. Sure it’s higher than Singapore, but just quoting your marginal tax is quite pointless.

  14. Vote One Nation. Imagine a bunch of conspiracy theorists with no connection to the “way of doing things” lobby groups.

    This isn’t Trump “besmirch Goldman in public and then appoint them all over the place” these are true nutters. There is no way the country and the level of household debt could withstand the volatility.

    They are catalyst to the housing market being destroyed.

  15. Jumping jack flash

    We need affordable (government slum) housing. And lots of it. There’s plenty of space.
    Build them in the desert, next to the rocket testing facility that we will build for the new Australian Space Agency.

    Make them out of the cheapest, shoddiest materials imaginable.
    Service them with the most expensive utilities and zone them with absolutely no industry to speak of so people living there will need to commute. Provide no public transport or infrastructure. Toll roads as far as the eye can see.

    Build them far enough away from the rest of the the houses so they don’t fall in price. The existing debt bubble, that enormous trillion dollar lump of pain and misery that is at least 30 years’ worth of future earnings, is secured against houses at their current prices, and in many cases depends on the fact that they increase in price after every debt transaction to improve the banks’ positions. The current houses cannot fall in price without having an effect on the banks.

    The new houses must be undesirable enough so their prices stay low and don’t hyperinflate like the rest of the houses have, and what happened in the UK with their affordable housing project(s).

  16. Why don’t all nurses, doctors, teachers, police, fire fighters etc use this opportunity to all go on strike and ask for higher wages???

  17. Just want to headbutt this guy.

    At the very least, he should admit that cashflow is only part of the problem, so a “good job” is just the start. Even on his salary, 2.5x the average, he could not afford to buy a block in my average burb, 15kms from Melb CBD, with a 20% deposit (1.3M, so mortgage would be 1M+).

    So even with a cool quarter mil saved, you are nowhere near. You need to be already IN the market, to be in the market.

    He should F right off with this sort of nonsense talk.

  18. boomengineeringMEMBER

    Well if you really want house prices to go down, start a tenants union then stop paying rent( strike). Without your rent money the forced sales would collapse the ,market. Members of that union would have a clean bank record without CRA impingement, thereby having first choice of mortgage providers.

  19. Can we spare the bullshit about getting a high paying job.

    Case Study: a couple in their mid 30’s, both have very good jobs. One has been in the workforce for a while, the other combined workforce/study as they’re in a profession which demands many years of study to gain entry. They live in Sydney

    They own an apartment, but are looking to start a family and would like to buy a house. They work in the city and understand that they may have to move somewhere with a bit of a commute.

    They’ve looked at the maket and are terrified at the levels of debt they’d have to take on. And remember, they want to have a child and would prefer to spend some time actually raising it, not just dumping it in full time childcare after a couple of months. And of course servicing an enormous debt required two incomes, and while one of them is probably very safe in their career, the other one isn’t, so there’s a risk factor there too. So they’re trying to work out what to do.

    By objective measures they are a wealthy professional couple. But they can’t really afford a house in Sydney, not without assuming large financial risks. Now they’re not suffering by any means, but the simple fact is that the traditional path available to married couples wanting kids is not available to them.

    I’ve suggested renting out the apartment and renting a house, but then they face the usual problem renting a house in Sydney: shit landlords and no lease security. Not what you want when bringing up a child.

    Now let’s be clear here: this couple is not whingeing about their situation, they know they have a financial security that is the envy of many. But they can’t afford the quality of life bringing up a family that used to be available for working class families, let alone the rich. Not without taking substantial financial risks.

    • I don’t understand their dilemma.
      IF the housing market turns south the real trick is to avoid being in the bottom 10% (or worst case the bottom 20%). Lets assume the worst and imagine an economy where 20% are delinquent on their mortgages and 10% are facing foreclosure. It’ll be a sick sad economy that prints these numbers AND it’ll be an economy where both Politicians and RBA officials are looking for solutions ANY solutions that avoid 20% foreclosure. If you’re not in the bottom 20% than these “solutions” will benefit you, you’ll be the buyer that they are trying to protect, you’ll be the one with a good stable job that has a snowballs chance of making their mortgage payments.
      Bottom line is that you’ll be protected….just make sure you avoid that bottom 10% bracket…the system needs to make examples of someone.

      • That made zero sense. Bottom 10% of what? House Prices? So make sure you buy the most expensive house you can? The thing is when this thing pops, the credit contraction is going to be so bad, you won’t have a job to service that mega mortgage.

        The alternative is for a total Chinese takeover and just turn into another province of China. Not totally out of the question given current trajectory.

      • The alternative is for a total Chinese takeover and just turn into another province of China. Not totally out of the question given current trajectory

        At current trajectory with Sydney house prices growing 50% faster than China’s GDP, we’re not that far off there being fewer people in China who can afford a house in Sydney as there are currently in Australia.

      • The wealth isn’t evenly distributed so just looking at GDP isn’t enough :P. Australia doesn’t have a high house turnover, doesn’t take too many millionaires from China to turn the whole thing into a sh.tstorm as it is evident now. Amazingly MB still doesn’t see this.

      • Granted it doesn’t take too many to create a storm – but to sustain the current house price trajectories requires market entrants in greater numbers every year.

      • For reference Australia has 7.7million households. A family (assuming 2 adults and 1 child) earning $33k aud is approximately 6th percentile. So there are around 7.2million Australian households having income of more than $33k. So basically three times the Australian population.

        Calculated from the following website:

        Obviously we know an annual household income of $33k aud has no chance in hell of buying any property, so the actual number of Chinese who can actually buy in Sydney is much less than 23 million households.

        So we are potentially already at the level where the number of Chinese who could afford to buy in Sydney is equal to the population of Australia.

      • @kevin,

        I assume you’re referring to this comment –

        At current trajectory with Sydney house prices growing 50% faster than China’s GDP, we’re not that far off there being fewer people in China who can afford a house in Sydney as there are currently in Australia.

        I was trying to say that the not only is there a relatively small and finite people in China with the ability to purchase a house in Sydney, Sydney house prices can’t increase at the current rate very much longer without pricing that group out of the market.
        I think from your comments you believe I am arguing the exact opposite of what I was actually trying to say.

      • If I use 99th percentile instead, the number of households with disposable income ¥559k per year, which is $106k aud. That’s just 4.56 million households.
        Page 18

        In Australia, at $106k aud household income would put you in the 66th percentile, which works out to be approximately 2.6 million households.


        I suspected I might have misunderstood, hence I put the following:
        “So we are potentially already at the level where the number of Chinese who could afford to buy in Sydney is equal to the population of Australia.”

        Basically saying your assertion may already be bang on.

    • Can we spare the bullshit about getting a high paying job.

      Ultimately, the LNP plan for housing affordability,as stated by Hockey is for more than 50% of people to have a job in the top 1% or 0.5% of wages.
      They probably shouldn’t make jokes about doing badly in uni, people will start believing that they are just as stupid as they sound.

    • sounds a lot like my situation…. but, at the end of the day there is more to life than working in a capital city & living in a tiny unit! Might move to the country and take up a Centrelink membership

  20. reusachtigeMEMBER

    It’s great advice. Buying property has always been hard but the best way to accumulate wealth is to get a good job, buy lots of investments, then retire while style building your property portfolio. Seriously, youse are poor scum that know nothing. This politician is smack on!

    • I fundamentally disagree with you on this point. We don’t need a good job to become wealthy. We need APRA and the banks to drop this ridiculous LVR malaki and go back to lending us as much money as required to build up our investment portfolio.

      Consider how prosperous Australia would become if we all had 10-20 investment properties each. We would become the only nation where everyone was a millionaire without needing to work. Stuff lefties and their Universal Basic Income concept. Shoot for the stars via property.

    • Reusa, your advice is not quite up to its usual inimitable best here. Don’t get a good job, invest in real estate and retire early. Instead, inherit wealth and invest. Good looks are inherited as is serious money.

  21. I have said it here before and will do so again. The Liberal party and a big portion of their constituents just hate poor people for being poor. They think everyone who is, must be stupid and lazy.

    • “They think everyone who is, must be stupid and lazy.”
      Nailed it.

      Everyone is potential an Nietzshean Uber Mensch and the environs don’t contribute squat to these bosos.
      We are all free to do as we wish with no limits except those with which we impose onto ourselves.

      A fantastic idea if you are morally bankrupt and wish to make money off bored housewives watching Oprah.
      But it has absolutely no correlation at all with reality.

      And please don’t misinterpret the above as me saying that people have no control and environment rules all, as that is also bunkum.

    • It’s not just the Liberal Party, JC. You have a short memory if you don’t remember Rudd pulling out all stops to double down on our housing bubble, and then Gillard not doing a thing to reverse any of his crazy bubble blowing policies.

      Understand this: neither Labor nor Liberal are prepared to make housing affordable at all. Kudos to Labor for their policy to change negative gearing, but don’t think that means they’ll also do something about the immigration rate nor foreign investment.

  22. Not a lib/lab thing, most of your politicians are out of touch. Coems from never having held a real job and sitting in a masturbatory echo chamber of self congratulation.

  23. What are your thoughts, i don’t think prices will fall on their own in Australia they will throw everything at it to keep prices up. However i think that there are powers in USA that are tryjng to overthrow Trump and start some sort of war, civil or with Russia and may use a huge financial crash as a bit of a catalyst. This would kill our country financially and cause the crash many people are waiting for, i doubt we will get through another financial crisis like the last one. Am i crazy or does this seem possible in the not too distant future?

  24. In the recent past I’ve been very sympathetic to the view that our young people (of which I can no probably no longer call myself one) are hard done by because of the ridiculous state of the Australian housing market. That said, my main concern with house prices is how they make Australian-based businesses less competitive compared with their overseas peers.

    I recently looked at the situation in a part of rural Australia with which I’m intimately familiar (Tully, in FNQ). The banana industry cannot get enough local workers and relies upon overseas workers on working holiday visas to get by. Banana growing, harvesting and packing operations aren’t seasonal and operate 5 days a week, 52-weeks a year, so seasonality of employment isn’t an excuse for Aussies to stay away. They employ about 30% women as well, and pay rates are well above minimum pay ($20-$25/hour).

    Houses on 1000sqm blocks in and around Tully sell for well under $300K and as little as $200K. Rents are reflective of the housing purchase prices. Schools and shops are within walking distance, there is plenty of childcare and the big farmers have flexible hours to suit working mums (e.g. 9am starts). Commonwealth family assistance is nominally the same as it is everywhere else, so it’s relatively higher compared with living costs.

    If we put the employment options, pay rates and housing costs together, there are opportunities for young Australians to make a big go of it, own their home and live in paradise to boot. We’re not talking about moving to Mary Kathleen, this is the heart of the GBR with more recreation options than most places on earth.

    If we look at generations past (going back as much as a hundred years), when the Italian’s migrated to Australia en-masse, it was common for the wife and kids to remain in the southern states while the men travelled to NQ cutting cane (by hand). Once they were established, the rest of the family went north. This was how communities like Tully and Ingham grew in the 1920’s, another time when debt was at unsustainable levels. People that came to Australia from OS always made a go of it, regardless of the circumstances. Going back further, my great grandparents went to Maytown (probably the hottest hell-hole imaginable) to make a go of it, which they did.

    Putting all of that together, I now look more at howls of complaint from young people as evidence that they just aren’t willing to do hard work or make hard decisions.

    If you’re living in Sydney and you can only get casual work and this makes life look miserable, pick yourself up, take the bus to Tully and work in the bananas for a few years. You’ll have a house, you’ll know how to work, you’re kids will have grown up in paradise and will know how to fish and dive and waterski and whitewater raft and what real rainforest is.

    If you’re not willing to do that, please stop complaining. You’re wrecking the concept of what made Australia what it is…hard work and doing what it takes.

    • Most Australians living in the cities don’t have relatives or friends in the countryside, so they have no idea how to live in the countryside. Young people is also conditioned to believe getting a tertiary education is the only way to become successful in life.

      • Or, indeed, the countryside exists as a place you can get a job. When I was a young fella just starting uni, I suddenly had a lot of friends who had moved to Melbourne from country Vic, giving the strong impression that the countryside was somewhere you moved from to get a job, not too.

        I see that Tully has a population of about 2,400 people. I guess that means the numbers employed picking and packing bananas at any particular time could be as high as 500? Getting city-kids to move out there, and to the other banana picking centres, should go a real long way to absorbing those priced out of Sydney housing.

      • Robert,

        I wasn’t suggesting a solution to the house-price problem but you’ve inadvertently hit the nail on the head wrt to the wailing of some. The available employment in Tully might *only* take 100 people to fill, yet it still hasn’t happened – and it’s been that way for over a decade.

        Yes, it’s a drop in the ocean, but the ocean is apparently dry. That there aren’t even 100 young people in the whole of Sydney and Melbourne with the willingness to take that opportunity is an indictment on an entire generation of young city people (and their parents).

      • My guess is there actually are at least 100 young ‘uns in Sydney who’d be happy to go pick bananas in Tully, maybe not forever, but for a gap year, for example. And given for all practical purposes Tully is a million miles from any of the Eastern capitals, I’d say if you can’t find them in Sydney, you’ll find them in Melbourne or Brissie. Just a question of how to let kids in the Eastern capitals know that the work exists.

        To which end, I observe there are no banana picking jobs in Tully advertised via Seek or via the gub’mint’s agricultural labour notice board (though there are positions in other towns advertised on the latter). Instead, there is a large backpacker hostel in Tully that specifically targets tourists with working visas, helping to introduce these tourists to local farmers. Which makes me wonder how widely welcomed kids from Sydney rocking up in Tully to pick, sort and pack bananas would actually be.

      • Good question Robert.

        All of the growers that I know gave up trying to attract young Australians from down south years ago. It wasn’t worth the effort given the few people that showed interest. That’s why they went to the tourists, who were travelling through anyway and just pass on the word when they get home. Koreans especially are hard workers and love NQ. But, tourists come and go and farmers would happily take on permies if they’re available.

        I don’t think lack of information is a reasonable excuse for no-one moving. Back in the days of canecutting by hand, people upped and left down south and hitch-hiked north with far less information than is available now. There were thousands of Chinese that disembarked in Darwin and walked to Cooktown in the gold rush days. No Internet advertising required to get them to jump on a boat for a month and walk a couple of thousand Ks. If waiting for something on seek is how people pursue opportunity, then maybe its best that they stay where they are. Wouldn’t want to pollute the population with that sort of attitude.

        On our farm we had several Victorian families that moved up back in the rust belt days of the 80s and Brisbane-folk that came in the 90’s recession. From what I hear, since the turn of the century its all been too hot, too humid, too little to do. Too afraid of hard work could be a more likely reason. Those that were willing to take the heat and work hard have been going into the mines and making a killing, and good on them. I’m guessing that they aren’t the people complaining about Sydney house prices.

    • What is there in Tully other than some crappy jobs to keep you busy while you waste your life away? There is a reason why people want to live in the city and while it maybe an alternative to a few people who wants that kind of lifestyle, for most, it’s just a non-starter, not much better than slaving away at the office and coming home to a crappy rental. At least you can go out and live instead of just existing.