It may be time to redefine the central debate in Australian public life. Time to redraft the traditional lines of engagement. In reporting the results of the 2006 Census, today’s edition of The Australian plucks the following figures:

Sydney’s median household income rose just $7 a week in real terms since the last census in 2001, and Melbourne’s by $48 a week.

There it is. Melbourne wins in the Federation’s longest-running turf war, a result that puts this week’s Sydney v. Melbourne tussle over major events, grandes prix, tennis tournaments and the like, into a crisp fiscal perspective. But maybe Melbourne shouldn’t count its chickens just yet. Put the champagne on hold rather than on ice.

Brisbane’s median household income grew by $154 a week across the same five-year period, and Perth’s by $151.

Its seems the old game of north and south has been set on its ear.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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