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Roger2

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 #61 
Look at the supply and demand for housing or more particularly, beds.
Australian population includes temporary (international students and a huge number of other visa holders) and permanent residents in addition obviously to Australian citizens (who are entitled to vote in elections).
On any one night, beds are need for these people as well as tourists. With the huge number of students and tourists, hotels can only accommodate so many. Investors buy units to offer on Airbnb and even hotel groups allocate space for rentals. Homeless people make up a big number too.
So with foreign and local investors leaving properties vacant (at the trophy end of the market as well as profit boxes in the towers, this signficantly reduces the supply available and rents increase. Now we are realising a surplus of units built, rents are lower.
This is not just the 'normal' housing/economic cycle. Conditions are very different as huge funds flow in particularly from China looking for safety and economic return.
Australians want detached freestanding houses for their families but can;t compete with overseas fund pressures even with moderate constraints by Government and still have to struggle to afford a basic living unit. This is not conducive to bringing up Australian children or living as a family. Negative gearing and capital gain reductions exacerbate the financial burden for first Australin home buyers.  Politicians only see their own privileged circumstances and those of their 'big end of town' mates. The Foreign Investment Review Board has been 'asleep at the wheel' and has passed off responsibility for monitoring to the Australian Taxation Office within Treasury. We have to ask the right questions. Agricultural land as well.
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Roger2

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 #62 
Foreign investors have bought our children's future
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Bruce

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 #63 
i cannot for the life of me understand why someone even working in a country for a while does not try to speak some of the language, and if you are truly settling in Australia then you would want to learn English would you not?  i believe that if you are not prepared to try to learn and speak English, then you are not serious about being in Australia and making Australia your permanent home.  i actually do not care if people have another passport or not [after all i still have a British passport], and there are sometimes advantages in having a passport to another country [e.g. lack of need for a Visa and hence ease of travel].  i see no objection to people who are NOT YET citizens owning property here if they are resident.  after all buying property shows an indication you intend to stay.  beyond that it gets difficult. should a foreign company be forbidden to buy housing so it can easily move people interstate to work, or to house immigrants hired by them to work in Australia?  i was offered that by one company before i came here and it would have been very handy at the time if i had taken it up.  Both Australian owned and foreign firms did that sort of thing in the 60's and 70's.  i think it was a good thing.  However, allowing foreign nationals to buy property and not living here is overall a bad thing and should be discouraged.  i do know of Australians who buy property in NZ for holidays there, so what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander is it not?  this is an awfully difficult thing to legislate and be fair at the same time.
more restrictions on immigration to keep it at a lower level than currently, and to direct migrants away from the major cities?  yes i am in favour of that -- strongly.  that alone would decrease the pressure on house prices.
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Roger2

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 #64 
ALL the problems start with increased population caused in the main by increased immigration. Australia needs a POPULATION POLICY. At this point we need to reduce immigration. The Australian Government calls it votes, jobs & growth and leaves the problems of providing services like hospitals, schools, roads, electricty, sewerage, water & gas and HOUSING to the states. This severely affects resident voters in Sydney and Melbourne. It is changing our country adversely and creating disharmony in the so called most successful multicultural country in the world. It would help if migrants could speak some English. Some don't hear, want to hear or understand and communication fails. Smiles cover up all sorts of communication breakdowns.  We want them to be Australian citizens but many choose to retain their passports. It is not a racist or skin colour issue or discrimination. You wouldn't migrate to another country without a working knowledge of the local language would you? Ask the question: Are you an Australian citizen? Many are. Are you a permanent resident? Many are and don't become Australian citizens. Remember, only Australian citizens have the right to vote and influence our future. But now you can do it with money.  Only Australian citizens should be allowed to buy Australian residential real estate. Compare what we do with other countries who look after their citizens and protect their culture and their children's future. Our governments puts everything up for sale to get power and win the next election.
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Bruce

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 #65 
well I for one agree, even though i think the government may water it down a bit [a lot?].  it would be a start if we can get SOME action.
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Tony

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 #66 
This is an excellent suggested proposal.  It needs to be put to community action groups. Once agreed apon we need to devise a coordinated action plan to get it put into effect by politicians.
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Greg

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Posts: 155
 #67 

I propose THAT overall planning and development decisions be returned completely to local councils and that each council be required by law to put before residents between 3 and 6 months before each council election a 3 year  plan in numbered point form, each point of which would be adopted if it received more than 75% voter support at the council election and would then be carried out by law without variation until after the following council election. On points that did not receive 75% approval by voters the status quo would remain unaltered until after the next council election.

THAT development expenditure by state and federal governments  be spent 50% on state capitals and coastal cities and 50% on inland regional and rural Australia.

These two proposals would put expenditure back in the hands of voters and push population increases into inland Australia where they are wanted and out of major cities where they are not wanted.

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Greg

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 #68 
Agree Pat. We are on the American style  "Merry-go-round".
Buy more; earn more; borrow more; buy more; earn more;spend more; buy more; borrow more....etc.. money needed faster and faster, population becomes denser and denser; people move slower and slower; they become more and more time poor; they run faster and faster.
Let's have everyone's solutions. Here are my thoughts:-
Be more satisfied with what we have, less aggressively aspirational; buy second hand or free on Ebay; stop spending on non essentials ; save and clear debt.

As we increase immigration we lose more and more say over our lives. Our voting power is reduced. Our Government ignores us more;we become more frustrated and angry. Australia is a very big country with beautiful inland cities and towns. Unemployment is not much different there to big city. Houses at a quarter the price of Sydney mean far more spare money even on lower salaries. They are friendly and life is less pressured. NBN allows goods and services businesses to thrive in cheaper premises. Won't suit everyone any more than Sydney or Melbourne, but sure suits a lot of people.
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Pat1

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 #69 
The problem is that people get used to a life style which can only continue by bringing in foreign investment and debt.

We need to make the hard decisions as voters.  Perhaps we can start by identifying what those are.


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Greg

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Posts: 155
 #70 
Please continue this discussion on "Capital city population, housing and congestion" below.
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Roger2

Hub Leader
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Posts: 21
 #71 
You should not be able to purchase Australian citizenship with money. Excessive constant growth is not possible with finite resources and there must be a sensible limit to immigration even if we cannot survive with natural increase. We want a better Australia, not a bigger Australia in the name of increased GDP. The measure is more realistic when it is worked out as per capita. All the problems start with increased numbers of people - schools, housing, hospitals, congestion, water use, sewerage, pollution and lifestyle which is being eroded and with environmental (wildlife, water, soil, flora, fauna)degredation and extinction.
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Bruce

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Posts: 37
 #72 
you have obviously come across a problem with which i am not familiar.  it sounds like there are some who are abusing the system in some way.  my gut feel is to address this as an individual and one-off event that is best taken up with the MP of that area.  i guess, Grant that i need more information on what is the problem.  do you see it as coming from a group to exploit our system in order to bring over family?
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Grant1

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Posts: 1
 #73 
I would like to see women from overseas that come to Australia on marriage visas not be able to obtain their permanent residency for 10 years, and after receiving not be able to file allegations of abuse to gain the upper hand in family courts. Thus enabling them to bring their family here, at the husbands expense through child support and government incentives.
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Greg

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Posts: 155
 #74 
excellent analysis Bruce. I will think on it and come back. What do others think on other paths? My own view is a that the government is simply incapable of managing Sydney at its current size. Trains fail, roads clog, projects are ill conceived and badly planned. There seem to be too many people and too many projects and too many cars and trucks in too small a space so that everything takes much longer than it should and tempers flare. Housing costs are just absurd. I will try to come up with comparative costs in those major towns and cities you speak of Bruce.
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Bruce

Hub Leader
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Posts: 37
 #75 
we have a net migration inflow, and we could and should discuss how big it should be.  However, i am sure that there will continue to be a net inflow, so what do we do about it?  My belief is that we should be directing the vast majority of immigrants away from the big urban centres and into the major towns and cities of our states.  in order to do this we have to set up incentives for businesses [including the business of government] to move into those areas to provide employment which in turn provides incentives for people to move there.  this will not happen unless we persuade our governments to set up the appropriate strategies to allow this to happen. 
so let us do this.  How?  we tell them that is what we want, AND we tell them how we think they should do it.  we have had discussions about this in the past and come up with a number of ways:
Here they are in no particular priority order:
1.  decide which centres should be targeted as growth centres [either town/city or region]
2.  plan and execute the infrastructure needed. [road, high speed rail, airport, housing estates, schools, medical facilities, etc.]
3.  set financial incentives for businesses to move out of the major cities to these growth centres
4.  determine that all state assisted and refugee immigrants should reside and work in these growth centres for a set minimum period.
5.  create financial incentives for retirees to move to the growth centres [e.g. financial incentives for retirement villages etc.]
6.  move government departments out of the capital cities.
7.  encourage by incentives for work from home to be done out of the major cities using the modern techniques now available, [expand the infrastructure to give high speed internet for example]
8.  financial incentives for businesses to move the help desk centres to these areas from the cheap labour places overseas.
9.  expand the universities outside of the major centres and fund students to attend there by providing low cost halls of residence locally.

There are lots of other things that can be done and maybe someone can think of a major item to be included in the above list.
We need to regularly push the de-centralisation strategy wheelbarrow and each time promote some or all of the above list as solutions, and WHY this should be done by listing the benefits.  i think we all know the benefits, but have to keep stating them.  some are:
a. less crowded major centres.
b. less crime caused by overcrowding.
c. cheaper for people to live which leads to a higher standard of living all around.
d. children growing up to appreciate rural as well as city living
e. less time spent travelling to and from work which means both more time available for those who want to work longer hours and more time for those who want to spend more time with families.  i.e. more time to do what one wants.

What has been stated here is too much to send to any MP at any one time.  indeed you may well have become a bit tired of reading it yourself.  we just need to decide which are the really key points of all this, push them hard, and keep adding the little extras not in the key points to emphasise the overall requirements and benefits.

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