Memo to Racism Rob, Jess Irvine, Adam Creighton & Greg Jericho

It’s always good when one looks at the simple, forensic truth about house prices, via BofAML:

With population growth expected to keep underlying housing demand robust, we see underlying demand outpacing supply in Australia’s largest housing markets, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, from 2020:


Laws of supply and demand suggest that house price pressures would be expected to build from this time.

Our analysis supports our view that any oversupply now, with Brisbane of greatest concern, should not create large imbalances over an extended period and present as a risk to financial stability.

And there you have it. Population growth (read immigration) drives house prices. When you take all of the balderdash out of it the truth is simple.

The pervasive “housing shortage” argument is driven by two overwhelming factors. The first is mass immigration on the demand side. The second is the broken planning system that allows developers to “land bank” to increase prices, governments to hold back supply in support of higher stamp duties and a broken funding system for development infrastructure.

All of these supply side issues are fixable in theory but that is besides the point. Nobody on the inside wants them fixed. The system is not incompetent it is corrupt. Thus the only possible lever to change this equation is on the demand side via reduced immigration where there is enough community anger to make it a political winner.

There are four Australian economic commentators that are young enough to know the agony of the property class war: Racism Rob (Burgess), Jess Irvine, Adam Creighton & Greg Jericho (we could perhaps add a fifth in Chris Kohler). Each claim to care about high house prices. Yet all four have slapped Tony Abbott down in recent days suggesting darkly that racism is the only motive for the debate.

Well, the time has come for each to stand up and be counted. In the captured Australian political economy, these opportunities are rare as hen’s teeth. If you let the perfect be the enemy of the good (or even flawed) in the Australian policy process then you will achieve nothing.

Leith and I will both lose personally if house prices fall. MB has already lost some subscribers. So what? There are bigger issues at hand. We are bashing open the rhetorical space for arguments in favour of lower immigration against the propaganda of the corrupt system. This space is designed to allow commentators to get on board without being singled out and branded by interests. It is a singular tragedy that all four young(ish) economic commentators have been leading voices in trying to close it again.

MB has already helped win battles on negative gearing and macroprudential using this method. But immigration is the big one. Demand must be lowered to win the house price war. It’s a war against government, class inequality, rent-seekers, generational greed, corrupt ideology, the selling out of the national interest and even a defense of democracy. It’s a war to make any real journalist salivate.

If the best you lot can do is hide behind and promulgate the wowserish misinformation of the corrupt system, or to weigh-in based upon nothing more substantial that politicised snowflakery,  then do us all a favour and turn your rhetorical weapons upon yourselves.

Comments

  1. Keep up the good work, I hope you are not pushing the proverbial up hill? I suspect however that you are. In an Adelaide weekend paper the news reporter “Sheridyn something or other” wrote a long winded article basically attempting to tear shreds off anyone who talked about reduced NOM. Seriously the article was so poorly written with no facts & the last paragragh basically said come to Adelaide because Eastern cities are crushed loaded, which was sort of the point really. I don’t think the writer had a clue what they said but the point of it all was that she was anti reducing NOM. Had absolutely no reasons but was anti reducing NOM. I guess it was just because? That is what you are up against, its just because….”racism, growth, younger immigrants (who magically don’t grow old..?), net economic activity & consumption of energy & resources because that is always good…….?” It is actually ridiculous that a country like Australia cannot have a discussion about the quantum of NOM without poeple trashing & name calling! As if a reduction of NOM by 80,000 is actually a big deal. I am stunned that Australians are not waking up to this bulldust quicker. Seems like there is a bit of traction but not really anywhere near enough.

      • You are definitely making it harder by defending clown shoes. You need to convince the electorate and any new readers that MB has nothing to do with Tony and his reasons for arguing this issue and that MB argues about lower immigration for all the right reasons. Then people will say “hang on there are also some sensible people who think we should have lower immigration ” .

      • St JacquesMEMBER

        Tones is an opportunist’s opportunist, in short a typical professional politician. He has seen a chance to revive his moribund career. Don’t fret – most people can see through Lord Abbott. Tones jumping on board is actually a good sign. My worry is that people start to think it is only about massive immigration, and important as it is, it is not.

    • We need a reset. I suspect only a recession will see sensible policy prevail.The rent seekers have too much to lose at the moment, and until a lot have people have lost, the notion that anyone could be a loser out of any policy appears to not be palatable. The capacity for delayed gratification no longer exists in a wide swathe of the electorate.

      • A recession wipes out the whole joint and resets so that only those without debt survive.
        HnH is wildly incorrect that immigration drives house prices, debt drives house prices and to repay debt you need a job which pays more than your expenses. Anyone with any nous will tell you robots are coming for the jobs. No job, you cant repay any debt, then you will have a recession. A HUGE recession.

    • Sool,

      I support a large reduction in the level of our immigration, but one of the biggest reasons any talk results in name calling is because for a large number of people, a reduction is more based on ethnicity, rather than economics behind the numbers. Do you think Hanson’s concern is numbers? That is newly found for her.

      Sool, for example go to Patrick at 2.09am below.

  2. Relevant StakeholderMEMBER

    Why does Jess care so much about middle class Chinese and Indians? Does she think they’re reffos?

    They no doubt treat their unemployed and poor brethren with similar compassion.

    The world’s a beautiful place.

    • She possibly doesn’t care about them specifically; it’s more likely to me that she is driven by concerns about her association as a “professional” economist and writer with soft (l) liberal values and economic theories of the benefits of globalisation.

      It’s very easy to take the glass half full view of higher rates of immigration. There are plenty of real world examples to show that it can all work out in the end – it’s just a matter of incrementally adjusting your expectations as to what it means to be an Australian.

      It will all work out in the end.

      Do you think those generations 100 years hence, living among a population of 100 million fellow Australians, sacrificed by their parents at the altar of financial security promised by the Gods of Property Development, Banking and Real Estate Broking, who have known nothing other than a world of rental apartment living, and overpriced pay as you go infrastructure, cramped public transport, and crowded public places, will really lament the loss of personal space and Anglo-centric cultural traditions ?

      It will all work out in the end.

      Irvine and Jericho are just doing the Gods’ work.

  3. “There are four Australian economic commentators that are young enough to know the agony of the property class war: Racism Rob (Burgess), Jess Irvine, Adam Creighton & Greg Jericho (we could perhaps add a fifth in Chris Kohler). Each claim to care about high house prices. Yet all four have slapped Tony Abbott down in recent days suggesting darkly that racism is the only motive for the debate.”

    The thing is, young people have been through the progressive left brain washing factory that the education system has become.
    One of those progressive policies is multiculturalism or asianisation, to give it the proper title, and the key to a softly, softly asianisation of Australia is the implementation of the policy through the education system..
    As the massive permanent immigration program is more than 80% non european intake, any reduction will have a disproportionate affect on the continuing multicultural program.
    To a great many young people this is inconceivable, even young economic commentators with huge mortgages primarily caused by the massive 3rd world immigration program

    • I’m not quite sure how the left have come to decry any suggestion of lowering migration numbers as outright bigotry but it is certainly a vulnerability that capital have gleefully exploited.

      There was a time when workers and their unions understood that capital has always sought access to a reserve army of labour in order to undercut workers wage demands. Yet now they champion the same.

      On this issue, the left are like turkeys cheering for Thanksgiving.

      • I’m not quite sure how the left have come to decry any suggestion of lowering migration numbers as outright bigotry but it is certainly a vulnerability that capital have gleefully exploited.

        What is unreasonable about questioning the motives of people like Abbot and Hanson ?

        There is a more nuanced discussion necessary than “RARGH ! IMMIGRATION !”. You could reduce it to zero tomorrow and a whole host of problems would not disappear.

      • “What is unreasonable about questioning the motives of people like Abbot and Hanson ?”

        Nothing. My own view is that Abbot’s recent comments on immigration are indeed underpinned by a healthy dose of political opportunism. He isn’t concerned about workers wages, he just feels that this is an issue which his mob could possibly use to hang onto power (and maybe return him to a better position). But just because I have no time for someone it doesn’t mean that I totally disregard every word they speak because sometimes they may tell the truth. I would not have given Margret Thatcher the time of day but I am completely in agreement with a quote attributed to her: “there is nothing so insidious as a fashionable consensus”.

        The feeling I am getting from many supporters of the status quo is that merely questioning the status quo is akin to blasphemy. I agree that it is a difficult question to address dispassionately. But there is also no doubt in my mind that it is a sensible question that needs to be formally posed. But most proponents of the status quo I have thus far encountered will not even entertain the notion that this is a question we should be asking – in their view, simply asking the question is an act of bigotry.

        There is plenty of prejudice and xenophobia about but it looks to me that a lot of it is to be found on the side of the supporters of the status quo – why can’t I or Leith or anyone else simply ask “are we bringing in people at too high a rate for our current circumstances and would a lower number be more appropriate?” without automatically being motivated by xenophobia, racism, hatred for Islam, for particular ethnic groups etc? To assume those are always the motives for anyone who asks this question is blatant prejudice.

        “There is a more nuanced discussion necessary than “RARGH ! IMMIGRATION !”

        Indeed. But the issue of how fast we should be running immigration is important to the well being of the nation and the subject should not be taboo just because people might (will) equate a sensible and important question with a bigoted attack on immigrants themselves.

        “You could reduce it to zero tomorrow and a whole host of problems would not disappear.”

        Well I don’t see too many people proposing zero, merely a reduction. And I don’t see anyone arguing that reducing immigration levels would by itself solve every issue that afflicts our society. But I think it likely that it would help reduce some problems.

        I think it might strain credibility to suggest that reducing the speed at which we are pouring people into Sydney and Melbourne would have no effect alleviating the demand pressures on transport infrastructure, health infrastructure, education infrastructure etc as state governments scramble to keep up.

        There is nothing bigoted about asking the question of how fast we can absorb population growth without negatively affecting those who live here.

      • Well I don’t see too many people proposing zero, merely a reduction.

        Well, I don’t see many people calling just anyone who talks about immigration racist, either. 😉 Usually they need to be associating themselves with someone in the past who has been and ignoring that or pretending it never happened. Like, say, Tony Abbot. Or Pauline Hanson. Or the myriad of outraged snowflakes claiming they can’t saying anything about immigration without being called racist, but who can be seen to be motivated by racism and bigotry often within the same discussion (not directed at you). You have been a long-term poster here, I’m sure you’ve noticed the tone changing over the last 12-18 months compared to 3, 4, 5 years ago.

        Further, there’s plenty of people posting on MB calling for zero immigration, and even the MB guys – given they apparently think high-skill, technology workers on six figure incomes wouldn’t qualify as “skilled” – are almost implicitly suggesting it should be damn near that level simply by virtue of setting an impossibly high bar.

        However, “zero” was just hyperbole to make a point that there are many, many other problems in Australia that are, at most, tangentially – usually in that immigration exacerbates their impacts, rather than have any causitive influence – related to immigration.

        And I don’t see anyone arguing that reducing immigration levels would by itself solve every issue that afflicts our society.

        Well, there’s a frequent poster just above who thinks that literally the only problem that needs resolving in Australia is high immigration, after which everything else will take care of itself.

        I think it might strain credibility to suggest that reducing the speed at which we are pouring people into Sydney and Melbourne would have no effect alleviating the demand pressures on transport infrastructure, health infrastructure, education infrastructure etc as state governments scramble to keep up.

        Speaking of ‘nobody is saying X’…

        There is nothing bigoted about asking the question of how fast we can absorb population growth without negatively affecting those who live here.

        Sure. Never suggeted otherwise. But it’s foolish to take anyone doing so on face value when they have a history of being not particularly concerned (to put it mildly) about the average punter.

      • “Well, I don’t see many people calling just anyone who talks about immigration racist, either. 😉 ”

        You might want to check out the comments section of Greg Jericho’s article then – you’ll find no shortage. If you were wondering why this fundamental issue is not being debated on the floor of the house, it’s because it’s taboo for that very reason.

        “Sure. Never suggeted otherwise. But it’s foolish to take anyone doing so on face value when they have a history of being not particularly concerned (to put it mildly) about the average punter.”

        You referring to Abbot? If you are I made it clear that I felt that his motivations are political opportunism – which is the opposite of taking someone on face value. I thought H&H and Leith both mentioned something to the effect that it was the message itself that they were agreeing with, regardless of who the messenger is. Abbot didn’t come up with this himself, MB and others have been making the argument well before Abbot opened his mouth on the issue.

      • You referring to Abbot? If you are I made it clear that I felt that his motivations are political opportunism – which is the opposite of taking someone on face value. I thought H&H and Leith both mentioned something to the effect that it was the message itself that they were agreeing with, regardless of who the messenger is.

        My point is that the messenger influences the message through context.

        David Attenborough saying Australia needs to reduce immigration is not the same thing as Pauline Hanson saying Australia needs to reduce immigration, even if they’re using the same words.

      • Oh noes! Teh left have done got themselves a black eye.
        Thank goodness the good doctor is here to patch them up and send them on their way!

      • “My point is that the messenger influences the message through context.

        David Attenborough saying Australia needs to reduce immigration is not the same thing as Pauline Hanson saying Australia needs to reduce immigration, even if they’re using the same words.”

        Then it’s high time that someone the public view in a different context delivered the message. But no one wants to put their hand up, in no small part because of a widespread perception that will cause the messenger to be shot.

        Have a look at some of the more influential supporters of high immigration – the Australian Industry Group stands out as notable. And why do you think they back it? Is it because they are a caring, charitable organisation who are deeply concerned about the welfare of immigrants? It’s blindingly obvious that the current settings suit their agenda, which is to have ready access to a large pool of surplus labour to pick and choose from, thus suppressing the ability of workers to win wage rises.

        I repeat – the motivations of many of the ordinary people commenting on this issue and crying “BIGOT!” are good. They (misguidedly) believe that simply asking this question is proof of bigotry, which is something rightly abhorred. But it’s a sad fact of this world that good intentions can sometimes be exploited and that is exactly what those such as the AIG and others are gleefully doing.

        Turkeys cheering for Thanksgiving.

    • If the solution isn’t to reduce migration, what is the solution according to Jericho and his buddies?

      Is there a thorough point by point plan that covers the difficulties caused by rapid population growth and detailed solutions to those problems?

      – Is the increase in infrastructure going to happen in the next year ? 2 years? 5 years?
      – When is the policy on housing coming forth that doesn’t mean people have to live in a shoe box that catches fire ? That can actually raise kids or have a pet?
      – Where is the policy that addresses the fact that the train is so packed that you can’t get on and skip it in the hope that you can get a spot on the next one ?
      – Why is Melbourne considering congestion charges on its traffic to pay for infrastructure and why is this fair to working people ?
      – Why should working people have to pay for policies decided by those who can afford to live in the inner city?
      – Why is it that governments aren’t rezoning the leafy suburbs of Toorak and Malvern or the Sydney North Shore to make way for massive apartments ? Or does immigration only work by dumping new arrivals in the poorer parts of town ?

      When, and why, did the progressive parties abandon the working classes in favour of identity politics ?

    • So do you agree that lowering our annual migration intake by a significant amount will likely take pressure off state governments trying to provide enough schools, hospitals and transport infrastructure and help ensure that said crucial services and infrastructure are not strained?

      Or do you think a slower rate of growth in people using the system would make no difference?

    • We don’t need any more children. They are expensive – they consume a lot without producing anything. Then you have educate them. Mum has to take a few years off work as well. It all adds up to reduce the size of the mortgage that people take out. Ain’t nobody wants that.

      Much better import some young adults from the third world. Pre-fed and pre-educated. Mmwelcome to the post-child world.

      • Yep. Everything’s financialised. People can’t afford to look after their own children, or their aged parents, even if they want to. And whole industries provide the “care” the families can’t or won’t, farming endless childcare subsidies and aged pensions for profit.

      • Yep. There’s no fat lick of profit to be made if dad (or mum) stays home to look after the kids (or the olds).

        Concentrate the kids (olds) into a childcare (aged care) centre, however, and suddenly you have a fat stream of income, supported by the government. Chaching!

    • This same pattern exists in every rich country where women have good access to contraception and good economic — not having a child now keeps the option open to have one in the future. In my view it would be an outrageous failure for a huge share of women to have had more children then they desired (which would get our averages to a point where the average woman is having their desired number of children).

      • Cam, choosing not to have a child now because you may wish to have one later is one thing (hypothetical concern).

        Not being able to afford one because you need two incomes to pay the frigging mortgage (practical concern) is quite another.

  4. Barnabys Left Bollock

    Hear Hear!

    Irvine would lose her job and her ability to service her rented house in the boondocks if she went against the grain. Reading her housing pieces its obvious shes a tortured and confused soul on this topic. Jericho should know better but how would he get a reduced migration piece past Guardian editorial? His Gungahlin house would be up for sale in the morning.

    Creighton arguably in the best position to speak freely though hes a flip flopper.

    The sad thing is that this crowd are all around 40 now. No spring chickens.

    The voice of change needs to be younger and it needs to come now.

    • Modern day Benedict Arnolds the lot of them.

      Like I’ve been saying since 2000 (!), when somebody doesn’t acknowledge there’s a problem we can safely assume that they are either stupid and need to get out more and/or they themselves stand to benefit from their rich boomer parents one day kicking the bucket.

  5. MSM is so untrusted. Most people are finally seeing through their vested interested BS.

    Seen SMHs new format? Horrifically bad. Yesterday the entire site shut down.

    What they’re saying is probably doing their cause more harm than good, and as long as those with counter views are not shut down, this seems to have momentum.

    Connect the four to distrust. They are outright trying to convince young Australians to vote against their own interests. They are lying scammers. They are connected to wealth, big business and politics. In other words they want us to pay for their views that hurt us but assist those paying their wages. You couldn’t make this up. It’s corruption at its worst.

    Ramp up the rhetoric, call them out and hopefully their careers fade away.

  6. Always back self interest. These youngest are worried about their career future, so they toe their master’s line. The older commentators are more likely to be independent of thought.

    • Almost everyone I know connects the media to vested interests.

      It’s amazing that with the net things haven’t evolved away from it entirely. When you needed enormous presses, journalists and distribution networks to make it happen they were indispensable, but now?

    • Michael Janda from the ABC has been writing about the real estate bubble for some time. Has also done some pieces that a question current rates of population growth. Young and one of the good ones.

  7. I’ll say it again even though I know I’ll be slammed again. Keep up the pressure but leave Tony out of this. As per my comments in the past, Tony uses the immigration issue because it suits his political ambitions and not because he cares about ordinary Australians. He is racist, a bigot, compulsive liar, a lunatic, a megalomaniac too so leave him out of this debate. Otherwise MSM will make you an easy target and portrait you as another red neck site.
    And yes, Tony will never change so stop being naive about this.
    Keep arguing what high immigration does to our infrastructure, environment, housing, jobs, etc.. you need, we all need, to win new voters on the issue but dragging Clown Shoes along this journey will not bring any sane people to our cause. Do you understand what Tony did while PM? Every single living creature was relived when Malcolm brought him down. Every time this bigot opens his mouth people cringe. Hence why MSM is using him as a driver for lower immigration, it makes people think this is most idiotic idea. So leave him out of your articles please.
    Go out and slam Tony too for who he is, what he is and why he is arguing for lower immigration. Then continue fighting on this front for all the right reasons.

    • “He is racist, a bigot, compulsive liar, a lunatic, a megalomaniac ”
      Hung up on Tony are we comrade Nikola…Hall marks of the lefty, just insult people with different views weather they speak the truth or not.

      • Yep, hung up on Tony and very proud of it. For your information, I do support lower immigration and yes I do have left views at same time even though people like you will never get it.

        1, Tones on his view that First Fleet was good for the Indigenous Australians.
        2. his explanation why he tapped Indonesia’s president’s mobile.
        3. knights and dames idea.
        I can go on all day – as a matter of fact I can go on for a week but I am sure you’ll find a reason to prove comrade Nikola is lefty as if lefty means fascist these days and Tony is right and sane for that matter.
        Again, I am not arguing against lower immigration but I am arguing on how we should all bring the issue to the masses. I don’t think holding hands with Pauline and Tony will be right way about.. They just happen to be right on this issue but for all the wrong reasons.

    • The left have destroyed their brand enough. Consequently, you’ve destroyed the environment and worker.

      Step aside. Get out of the way.

      • “The left have destroyed their brand enough. Consequently, you’ve destroyed the environment and worker.

        Step aside. Get out of the way.”
        LOL – Are you claiming I did/caused all the above? I never agreed and don’t agree with high immigration. What is your point exactly? If you read my comments you will see I am big supporter of lower immigration.

      • Yet I’m guessing you voted for big Australia Labor or Greens?

        You are more of the problem than say, me, who voted for change. Own it.

    • “Keep arguing what high immigration does to our infrastructure, environment, housing, jobs, etc”

      When did the left ever say that?

      “will not bring any sane people to our cause”

      The catalyst for this has primarily been Abbott.

      Rose coloured glasses of today’s left is staggering. You are wrecking Australia.

      • “When did the left ever say that?” – I never said the left said that – not sure what your point is. I am arguing for MB to keep pushing this as they do. Just to leave Tony out of it.

      • Nicola

        My point is the left have completely failed Australia’s environment, it’s young and social structure. They’ve failed. It’s time to do what it takes. Abbott’s brought it up. There’s no harm riding his comments.

        Your criticism should be levelled at the left for their astounding hypocrisy.

      • BaldbadgerMEMBER

        Why are people so hung up about being either on the left or right of politics?
        Can’t we decipher for ourselves what is best for society and the world as a whole without picking sides?
        Left/right……who cares.

      • at your second comment – I agree about the left and hence why I joined SA and will never vote Labour again – sorry EP.
        But I don’t agree with bringing Abbot or any other red neck along the journey. We can all destroy the myth around immigration debate – that it is not about racism but we will not be able to do it while we are defending the top racist in this country.
        MSM is making it up as if Abbot brought the issue to the surface but this is not true. MB has been pushing this issue for much longer.

      • Nicola.

        Attack both Abbott and the left. They equally suck. The left have gotten away with this which consequently let LNP and Abbott get away with it. Abbott is the left’s fault. Labor should have won/retained government long ago and would have if they hadn’t lost their marbles. They’ve lost the plot. In no way are they interested in Australians or Australia. What we’re seeing happening to Australia is a direct result of most of us not being able to vote Green or Labor because they no longer reflect what we want. Ergo, we get LNP.

      • Baldbadger

        It’s simply a way to identify who thinks what. “the left think x” the right think y”.

        I agree it’s not a left right issue. It’s corruption designed to take from you and me and hand to their favourite people. However it’s rusted on left and right voters who continue voting for the same party’s that are shafting us. Vote for change. Hopefully someone comes up with a coordinated way to vote and get of them all.

    • No, I don’t agree. As much as I have been hyper critical of Tony in the past I think he is genuine about this.
      We should give Tony Abbott the benefit of the doubt.
      I am going to.

    • +10000000000
      Abbott is being being used (or volunteered ) as a stalking horse to discredit the lower immigration arguement.
      Good on you for calling it Nikola.

  8. MB is doing well with this argument and has all the data, pricking the claims and getting plenty of airtime. UE is now on heavy rotation with other media as a commentator, so this can be seen as a success. It also is resonating with the community. The only place it does not are with vested interests and the rather dim media which consistently obfuscates on race and also fails to see marginal vs absolute levels of intake.

    Irvine is blithe with data and facts and her logic is absolutely risible. Her last article on Abbott’s speech misrepresented what Abbott said and had no nuance at all. Whether Abbott’s motives are pure is not the point, he is an unpleasant idiot, but his remarks should be represented and debated accordingly.

    • I think all of the SMH journalists toe the company line. And often with articles that make no sense at all. Gittens is probably the only one I pay any attention to. I thought Lizzie Farrelly’s weekend article was a bit of a turnaround for her.

  9. The confluence of the Machievellian right who think they won’t be elected if house prices go down and the class traitors on the left who don’t care about low wages and house prices as long as they can stack the next preselection, with both sides transferring government funding to their sponsors, make tough well funded opponents. You do us all a great service by what you are doing. The issue is front and centre now notwithstanding the hired help in the form of the “independent” thinkers. They will crawl over broken glass to protect that corrupt sinecure. Winning a change of policy is good, but calling this unrepresentative swill out in Parliament and the media is better. People need to get angry. I have never seen systemic corruption like this in Australian politics, facilitated by the media, using tame journos, denial of platforms,fake allegations of racism, and the citizenry put consistently last. Keep up the good work.

    • Fantastic comment. I entirely agree. This could even be a quantum shift away from MSM.

      Australians need to get angry and demand change. I too have never seen such wholesale coordinated corruption in the left and right. ATM, the electorate can’t find an alternative.

      The LNP/Labor/Greens Coalition wrecking your country.

    • I’m proud that I haven’t been a fan of the LNP/Labor/Greens coalition for 15 years.

      I saw the tripartisan disgrace they are very early and am revelling in finding others that do too.

  10. The second is the broken planning system that allows developers to “land bank” to increase prices, governments to hold back supply …… The system is not incompetent it is corrupt.

    It’d be a damn shame if we fixed the truly corrupt rather than just modifying the immigration flow rate sufficiently as to mask these corrupt practices. Hey but hiding corruption should go a long way towards fixing corruption..just ask the citizens of any African country.

    • Look, nobody is arguing that the corruption should not be fixed. But let’s have some pragmatism here as well. Standing on ceremony while your children drown does not make a lot of sense.

    • St JacquesMEMBER

      I think what you’ve said about massively boosting tenants’ rights, – which are absolutely pathetic in this country – would make a significant contribution to turning this country around.

      • Along with rights it’d be good to also see responsibility and onus on tenants.

        From what I can see, they have a lot of rights. What specifically would you like to see change?

      • St JacquesMEMBER

        fisho has been banging this drum so it’s best to ask him, though one thing I’d insist on is a big extension in notice to leave. I’d also look at places like Singapore, Germany, Scandinavia and the Netherlands for models to learn from.

      • Careful there StJ you’re probably consorting with the enemy and maybe even guilty of feeding the trolls.
        Anyway it’s good to hear that there are some other Australian’s that also support strengthened Tenants rights, personally I’ve been working with one particular Tenant’s rights organization and in the process I’ve seen some very questionable practices. I’m hoping to be able to fund a few test cases. As much as we say, politicians should pass new/better/more suitable laws it’s worth remembering that, Australian commercial law is still for the most part case law. The laws we need are mostly already on the books, making it really a matter of judicial focus and industry awareness.
        As I see it strengthened tenants rights equates to cautious bank lending practices when funding would be landlords. From my experience over-stretched landlords are a big part of the problem, when they get in trouble tenants suffer while the banks laugh it off.

      • Fisho

        That was a bit unfair. I’m a fair guy. It was a genuine question from someone that both rents and owns a few regional houses. I’ve consistently championed lower Sydney prices. As a tenant I’ve never once had a problem so was curious what you saw as a problem. You STILL haven’t said what changes are reasonable.

        Good luck with your non argument asking for some vague suite of who knows what.

      • @Ric
        In my mind it really doesn’t matter if a family (or an individual) chooses to buy or rent a house/apartment they should have similar rights. If we don’t give both groups similar rights then as a society we are indirectly influencing the investment decisions that young adults make.
        To put it simply a young family should have the opportunity to invest in themselves (or their business or their career) without suffering because this choice necessarily prevented them from “investing” in their shelter. The dearth of Australian startups stems indirectly from the necessity to pay the mortgage because a rented house simply does not offer the same security as a house that you own (mortgage).
        I believe strongly that young Australians should be investing their time and money in building the businesses of tomorrow and not simply become wage slaves feasting on the carcass of companies that their grandparents built.
        For me Tenants rights are the foundations of a risk tolerant entrepreneurial society in that they provide the necessary certainty in one aspect of their lives.

      • fisho

        I’m with you entirely. Surely you’ve seen me say similar, but what specifically do you want changed? Longer leases? Lower rents?

      • @Ric This has really drifted off topic so I’ll be quick
        Longer Leases / Lower rents are not really the problem, because in the Sydney rental market for at least the last 5 years tenants had few avenues to complain, one complaint and many landlords would simply fail to renew the lease, replace the tenants and move on with renting the same shitbox in the same dilapidated condition. It’s not a life when you pay close to $1000 pw to rent a house where the sewers are clogged with tree roots but the landlord has decided not to properly fix the issue. Tenants need to know that they have the right to call a plumber and get these issues repaired, at the landlords cost, without any risk of retaliation (non renewal of lease….) the law is clear on this issue but the RE management industry is equally clear that “trouble” tenants will not get renewals and will likely get blacklisted. Both of these practices need to stop immediately. RE rental agents need to give tenants honest references, why make the process somehow secret, it needs to be completely transparent, furthermore anyone violating this transparency needs to suffer the consequences for their illegal actions. At the moment our interpenetration of these laws favors landlords/RE agents the pendulum just needs to swing a little in favor of tenants.

      • fisho

        There’s too much demand. When sht owners have choices they’ll take tenants that put up with anything. If you get harder rules they’ll find a way around it. Exactly the same as we’re seeing in work relations.

        IMO you’re fighting the wrong problem. Every single problem Australia has comes back to population growth.

      • @ric Clearly house demand and house supply are in imbalance and no law can change that reality however changes in the law (our interpretation of existing laws) does change the risk that we assign to these activities. If tenant rights are substantially increased than this creates an additional risk/liability for any landlord and by extension their lenders (aka our banks). In a way what I’m trying to do is make the banks more cautious, a sort of legal guidance towards macro-prudential lending behaviour changes.
        If we can take “investor” pressure off the RE market than the market will find a new equilibrium driven by owner occupier financial constraints minus the fear of having no alternative.
        I think what you’re missing here is that there are good tenants, with families) that have decided not to buy (for whatever reasons) these tenants genuinely fear having their lease terminated and their reputation tarnished, all because they had the audacity to ask that necessary repairs be made. That’s wrong, just plain wrong …as such it’s a problem that we need to fix.
        Yes: excess supply would be the right way to fix this problem, but we’re back in this circular argument, because our corrupt system is rewarding collusive market behavior wrt land supply and existing suburb redevelopment.
        IMHO population growth is simply the vector that’s making the extreme corruption of our land/development processes completely undeniable, so we can reduce the population growth and live with corrupt development OR maybe we can simply fix our corrupt development process and in so doing address our chronic housing under-supply issues.

  11. “Racism Rob (Burgess), Jess Irvine, Adam Creighton & Greg Jericho (we could perhaps add a fifth in Chris Kohler)” – seriously?? These are your hero’s – gather around children, and let us witness the fab 4 save the magical land of Oz.

    Lets be honest, if we wanted bench strength at old mate’s kink club back down Fyshwick way… maybe. But save the Australian polity from itself. Little bit out of their league isn’t it?

  12. The government is back playing ‘tough on immigrant’ games as a way of trying to make people think they are reducing immigration when they are not. See the daily Tele article this morning – ‘Covert missions to weed out bad migrants before they arrive’.

    This is just the same old ‘bash the boat people’ strategy as a way of trying to get people to relax about mass immigration. It shows that they have not listened. I don’t think they just don’t understand why this is a problem for people. This is the fundamental problem, they live in a totally different universe to the Australian people and are utterly disconnected with the values and expectations that the community has of its political leaders.

    The Government is catastrophically bad at politics and exceedingly badly led. The backbench is going to have to bring them into line and that will only happen when political oblivion is staring them in the face.

  13. TailorTrashMEMBER

    A lot of people don’t like Abbot and it’s easy to see why …like most politicians he will put himself before the country and it’s people
    But right now he is the stick in the hornets nest …the more it gets stirred the more the Canberra sellouts and their press supporters get angry and buzz around in circles while trying to shut him out, shut him down or ignore him .
    MB has been plenty critical of Abbott over the past few years so they have some cred that allows them to side with him on this issue while still taking a critical stance should he stray off the numbers not race arguments .
    Ignoring him and his opposition to the over immigration programme and it’s consequences for the incumbent population and their children is only helping the Canberra sellouts .
    Abbott had a tin ear as Primeminister but he does have an ear to the punters as an opposition leader and smells the wiinds of change in the electorate ( and let me say they are getting pretty gusty in blue liberal land …at least those parts not yet fully sold out to foreign interests ) .
    So we should use Abbot as he would use us by making sure his arguments get as much coverage as possible and calling him out if he strays from the path of numbers .
    At least he is taking an alternative position to that other tin eared Primeminister . And where better to have a wrecker running amok than inside the tent of one of the most corrupt, most inept and most misguided governments that I ( and many of my fellow boomers …bless us we are not all as bad as made out ) have ever seen in post
    war Straya .

    • +1 all this with the support of the Big Australia Green and ALP opposition. Don’t forget them, they disenfranchise the ordinary voter because there is no choice amongst the mainstream parties. The LNP couldn’t do it without them.

    • Agree.
      I don’t think Tony has mentioned race at all, it’s the progressive left media that keeps making racial innuendo.
      I doubt there would be any fuss about reducing permanent immigrant numbers from the progressive left and their media apologists, if the permanent immigration program was overwhelmingly ‘blue eyed northern Europeans’.