A lifetime of renting ahead?

Eamon Waterford writes: Re: “Future for property bulls looks decidedly bleak” (yesterday, item 19) I generally love Adam Schwab’s pieces on housing — they are controversial but well thought out and based on solid, solid evidence. However, he had a stinker in this latest piece.

He claims that we don’t have a housing shortage, arguing instead that we may have a glut. Yes, dwelling constructions have increased this year and yes that is good, but we absolutely have a serious housing shortage because we’re coming off a low base and we will have a shortage for the next decade at the least. In the latest National Housing Supply Council’s State of Supply report (which admittedly doesn’t take into account dropping migration levels), we’re currently at 178,400 less dwellings than households, which is estimated to jump to a shortage of 308,000 by 2014 and 640,600 by 2029. Hard to see one year of dropping prices iron that out.

As a 24 year old renter, this scares the hell out of me — I’m currently girding myself to a lifelong rental cycle!

The Misinformation Project

Denise Marcos writes: Re. “The 7PM Project and a dose of climate misinfotainment” (yesterday, item 5). The 7PM Project has set a benchmark in the global warming debate.

Now I can barely wait for their informed discourse on whether or not there’s an Easter Bunny — chances are that expert panel will be unevenly skewed, too. And if Cadbury or Nestle happen to be sponsors, the outcome is a foregone conclusion.

Andrew Davison writes: Disappointing though the discussion on climate change may have been, it is not the first time that The 7PM Project have shown poor judgement. I was disillusioned last year when they gave uncritical coverage to “psychic” John Edward, who claimed to channel not only the spirits of deceased people, but also of pets!

The 7PM Project covers medical matters quite well, I think — it is a pity their coverage of other scientific matters is less informed.

Keith Bins writes: I trust that no-one is surprised that The 7PM Project is moving to the Right as evidenced by the climate change reporting. As soon as Murdoch took over it was inevitable that it would become Fox News Lite.

Tom Slattery writes: The loony element might have convinced you and Julia, but Bolt has tens of thousands of admirers who support him in questioning why we accept guidance from a Government that manages to stuff up everything.

I am amazed that there are 30% of Australians who still give them their vote.

Wake up Crikey!

Twiggy in trouble

Vincent Burke writes: Re. “The video of Twiggy Forrest that everyone’s talking about” (yesterday, item 8) Whilst not fully understanding all the issues or procedures associated with FMG’s efforts to secure a native title deal with the actual traditional owners over lands in the Pilbara, it was clear from the video that the meeting fell well short of due process and was possibly rigged.

I hope this issue is taken up by a reputable TV or radio current affairs program in order to fully examine and publicise more widely all that went on in relation to that meeting to ensure an injustice is not perpetrated on the Yindjibarndi people.  Let’s not forget that Andrew Forrest has proven form for being ziggy zaggy.

Andrew Bolt

H S Mackenzie writes: Marlabungu’s (comments, yesterday) contribution to the Andrew Bolt debate eerily echoes Bolt. Marlabungu categorises all Australians who do not identify as Aboriginal as “you” and defines the “you” group solely by race as “White Australia”.  He ascribes offensive characteristics, beliefs and attitudes to this racially defined “you” group as a whole.

I can understand Indigenous people offended by Bolt’s articles hitting back.  I accept that many people see (and even that all should see) that European settler society in Australia has some form of continuing collective responsibility for the invasion of Aboriginal land and all that resulted from that. I can accept that Marlabungu sincerely believes what he has written. But if it was wrong for Bolt to try to define a racial group in his articles and if it is not only offensive but unlawful for him to ascribe motives and beliefs to those he puts in that group it is equally wrong, offensive and unlawful (although perhaps more understandable) for Marlabungu to do the same.

But there is a further echo of Bolt. In a similar way to the way Bolt saw benefits flowing to those of partial Aboriginal ancestry who identified primarily with that part of their ancestry, in Marlabungu’s world if twins with say an Aboriginal grandfather, identified differently, one as Indigenous and one not, then the first is a victim and the second someone who in Marlabungu’s  words, is trying to “get away with destroying a society …”  I think not.

Barry Everingham writes: Maybe it’s the lack of a skerrick of Australian  DNA that makes Bolt the man he is — after all centuries of running around  in wooden clogs, funny little caps, plugging holes in dykes and providing South Africa with the genesis of the apartheid system doesn’t  necessarily give a bloke with that kind of heritage much sympathy for a 50,000 year old black (plus white mixture) culture.

David Thackrah writes: Re. “Australia’s black box of foreign investment regulation” (yesterday, item 1). Wouldn’t the rationale be to produce crops or product on farmland and simply harvest the crops and export direct to ‘home’, free of any meddlesome things like taxes and Australian freight costs etc. ?

Am I hearing vast tracts of farmland are left idle since being purchased by “foreign interests”? Given the fragility of Australian soils the farming neighbours would be disaffected by having idle property next door. Where is the national interest here ?

Literary Brand Names

Michael Harvey writes: Re. Literary and brand jokes in “Richard Farmer’s chunky bits” (yesterday, item 14). I suggest: “The Return of the Plaintive” by James Hardy.

Terry Towelling suggests:
Optus of the Underworld
Unisys, by Tennyson
Dolce Vita and Gabanna
The Man from Snowy Rivers
The Marchants of Venice
Epilady Macbeth
La Vie en Rose (Life in Red Bull)

Peter Fray

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