That bastion of rationalism, The Terror, has launched a Save Our State Kickstart the Economy campaign that Santina Iemma certainly won’t be reading.

Front and centre is housing affordability with a call to abolish or drastically reduce stamp duty and “re-think” negative gearing and capital gains tax to compensate. Yep, the majority of voters, especially on the city fringes, would really love to see the value of their heavily-mortgaged homes fall further.

And speaking of housing costs, it’s a common developers’ whinge that various NSW state and local government charges and fees add scores of thousands of dollars to the cost of a housing block.

Well, that’s not necessarily true. Lockhart Shire Council will sell you a fully serviced block in the “Veranda Town” for $20,000 if you build a house on it within three years. It’s $25,000 if you leave it empty.

Of course it’s a bit of a commute to Sydney, being closer to Melbourne, but it’s only 45 minutes from thriving Wagga Wagga. There’s a school, hospital, show ground, annual picnic races and even a golf course. The Aussie Rules ground is in top condition but the rugby field is in a very sad state of neglect. That must be why they’re offering land cheaply.

Meanwhile St George head of home loans Steve Blinkhorn is sticking with the bank’s forecast of housing credit growth of between 10 and 12% this year. That’s well down from the heady bubble days, but it still says there is a healthy housing industry at work somewhere in the nation.

Perhaps The Terror could take the former RBA governor’s advice: if you don’t like Sydney housing prices, leave.

Moving Piers Ackerman to Lockhart could well be a start.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey