Altona bashing is a classic inner-Melbourne snob pastime, and today 774 presenter Jon Faine decided to get in on the action. In an interview with the byelection candidates of Lynne Kosky’s former seat —  Jill Hennessy from the ALP and Greens candidate David Strangward (Liberal Mark Rose declined the interview invitation) — Faine declared Altona the cheap real estate suburb people only live in because they can’t afford anything better. Presumably they move straight to the east or inner-north once they’ve cashed in their Altona real estate.

Jill Hennessy: Well Jon, there’s a reason that people are moving in droves to this part of the western suburbs, it’s because it’s a terrific place to live.
Faine: Why? In what way? Name the best thing about Altona.
Hennessy: Well, we have great …
Faine (interrupting): It’s industrial, it gets the fumes from the industrial zones wafting across it. It’s not a very attractive area and never has been and never will be.
Hennessy: Oh well Jon, I don’t know what parts of the Altona electorate you’ve been down to look at, but there’s the gorgeous bay along Altona, there’s fabulous wetlands …
Faine (interrupting): They’re spoiled, it’s the worst part of the bay.
Hennessy: There’s Cherry Lands (sic)and there’s fabulous vibrant communities throughout the entirety of the electorate.
Faine: It’s cheap real estate, that’s the only reason people look to it, come on.
Hennessy: Well Jon, people are entitled to access affordable housing and as this community grows it is absolutely essential we continue to invest in community infrastructure  to ensure that the west is a livable part of Melbourne. Melbourne has again been identified as the world’s third most livable city.
Faine: most of the area you represent — there are some houses that sell for a lot of money with water views — but the rest of it is cheap real estate for people who are getting a foothold in the ‘own your own home’ market.

At the end of the interview — which admittedly did also focus on political laziness by the Labor government accustomed to the safe Labor west — Faine gave a small disclaimer about his initial rudeness.

Faine: And thank you for putting up with my impertinence. No point having you come in and just having a jolly old chat, instead the whole point of it is to put you under some pressure.

Some of the “pressure” may have sounded more like blatant cheap insults, but don’t be confused, he was just being a hard-hitting journo.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
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