Australian election enters the home strait?

We are in the home strait now. Which will prevail?

Newspoll (results available on Poll Bludger) shows the yawning gap that has opened up in two party preferred (TPP) terms:

I’ve taken it back to months before the 2019 election, which was on 18 May 2019, to show that the situation now is not like the situation then. With six days to go, incumbent PM Scott Morrison is looking for a miracle. Simon Benson, Political Editor for the Oz, wrote after the penultimate poll:

    According to the latest Newspoll, Labor would not only win government but it would win with a comfortable majority.

    Any notion of a hung parliament is extinguished on these numbers, irrespective of whether any Climate 200 independents get elected or not.

    Morrison needed the the contest to tighten with only two weeks to run. Newspoll has shown the opposite.

The first arrow indicates when the 2019 election was held. The second shows when the Brittany Higgins incident became public.

The AFR Ipsos poll of May 4-7 is calculated differently but shows Labor with a TPP lead of 52 per cent to 40 per cent for the Coalition, with 8 per cent undecided. They also do a gender divide, which shows women have given up on Morrison:

    Mr Morrison’s approval rating, which was at 44 per cent among women at this same time of the 2019 election campaign, now averages just 29 per cent over the past three polls.

The penultimate Newspoll also asked “Which government would be better at managing the cost of living?” Overall it was 44/41 to Labor, with 15% undecided. Within that males scored the parties evenly, but women favoured Labor 45/38 with 17% undecided.

That undecided component is Morrison’s big hope. Simon Benson after the last poll said that everything now hinges on the campaign launch in Brisbane on Sunday, where everything hinges on a last ditch effort.

As I type, we’ve just had it.

Just to divert for a moment, Barrie Cassidy queried why a party would leave their launch so late.

There are two answers, apparently. First, up until the official launch ministers, shadow ministers and their staff have their travel expenses paid by the taxpayer.

Second, the Coalition tries to avoid scrutiny of its costings.

The penalty is that many have already voted. Antony Green tweets that postal vote applications have passed 2.5 million or 14.6% of enrolment, with returns now past 1 million or 5.8%, while pre-polls have passed 1.6 million or 9.5% of enrolment.

There was plenty new expenditure announced by Morrison, but you would need to go through it with a fine tooth comb. For example, $9 billion over 10 years sounds great, except that less than a billion a year is almost small change, and the amounts over the next three years may be vanishingly small.

The signature policy was about first home-buyers being allowed to access their super.

First home buyers would still need to save a 5% deposit, then could access up to $50,000 from their super provided the sum is less than 40% of their super balance (for $50K that would be $125K).

This costs the government nothing, so why not?

When the idea was floated back in 2017, not all Coalition members were in favour. Ann Ruston said “We need to be careful that you don’t pour a bucket of kerosene on a fire.”

Then PM Malcolm Turnbull had earlier said it was a “thoroughly bad” idea, so it did not go anywhere.

Back then Chris Bowen said the main beneficiary would be vendors, as new home buyers with a bundle of super in their pockets tried to outbid each other.

Stephen Jones, Labor’s shadow on super, has tweeted:

    Scott Morrison has just trashed any vestiges of economic credibility.

    Costello, Hockey, Turnbull …. all said super for housing was a dumb idea that would blow up the housing market.

    But Scott doesn’t give a dam. It’s all about the politics for this bloke.

Other than that his message seems to be a combination of “you’ve never had it so good as it is now”, plus the new me, the new government, and the new Australia are going to move up a gear, and be nothing like the past. He is re-imagining the past, essentially saying it was as challenging as WWII, where:

    “I had one focus as your prime minister – save the country,” he told Liberal true believers.

    “And we did.”

Note that the “I” becomes “we” but he takes all the credit. In fact the states saved Australia in spite of his negligence and interference. Fundamentally, he failed to recognise his true role in the federation. His normal form was to take credit for what went right and blame someone else for anything that went wrong.

Now he has disowned himself by saying ‘I can be a bit of a bulldozer’ and ‘I have to change’ my leadership style. Katharine Murphy finds in Even Scott Morrison is trying to distance himself from Scott Morrison now:

    The prime minister is largely a positive for the Coalition in the regions and outer suburbs, but in the Liberal party’s disillusioned progressive heartland, Morrison is seen as irredeemably toxic.

It’s a clarion distress call, she says, by a man whose ruthlessness knows no bounds and who is a narrowcaster par excellence.

Laura Tingle records just how ruthless he is in Scott Morrison has made a gruesome election bet, and it’s moderate Liberals like his deputy Josh Frydenberg who stand to lose. She’s talking about his support for Katherine Deves after the Liberal candidate for Warringah says she still believes trans youth are ‘mutilated’.

Niki Savva in Morrison’s strategy a political masterstroke or moral failure says the strategy has been deliberate, staged, and may be a political masterstroke, but:

    Most troubling is the morality of it. It is cruel and reprehensible that such a sensitive matter, with the potential to cause grievous harm to vulnerable people, has been planted in the middle of an election campaign by a flailing, floundering prime minister.

Michael Pascoe in Why the death of the Liberals’ liberals is bad news for Australia points out that in 2019 eight relatively progressive Liberal ministers or assistant ministers were leaving – Malcolm Turnbull, Julie Bishop, Christopher Pyne, Kelly O’Dwyer, Steve Ciobo, Michael Keenan, Craig Laundy, and Jane Prentice.

Now, he says further moderates in John Alexander, Scott Ryan and Tony Smith are leaving. We are then left with three moderate “quieter’ ministers in Simon Birmingham, Marise Payne and Paul Fletcher, so we have:

    the Finance Minister who believes rorting is fine if it pays off at the ballot box, the Foreign Affairs Minister while defence and the security industry took over foreign policy, and the Minister for Foxtel who let his arts portfolio be left behind the door when COVID largesse was being given out.


    What changes if Messrs Sharma, Wilson, Zimmerman, Falinski, Fletcher and Frydenberg (not that the Treasurer is in the moderate faction) were all to be replaced by female candidates serious about climate, integrity and gender equality?

He says that the odds of real action on all three counts would soar, but surely not with the residual rabble that would be left in the Liberal/National coalition. Fundamentally most of the Climate 200 are conservative, so would incline to the capitalist class on matters related to industrial relations and taxation.

Real change can only come through a Labor government.

One of the images which should disturb the brain cells of all politicians is this queue outside the OzHarvest Waterloo market in Sydney:

Food insecurity is increasing. People are working multiple jobs, but still can’t consistently put sufficient food on the table. Even those with full-time jobs can be affected.

Last Month Roy Morgan published a piece that found unemployment and underemployment was far higher than the ABS figures showed, affecting 16.2% of the workforce. Their most recent Financial Wellness Survey found small improvements to December 2021, but 14.3% of Australians were struggling, while the 19.8% who were getting by also felt their situation “bad”.

Morrison has made it crystal clear that those struggling with pay that has not kept face with inflation for a decade should nevertheless bear the cost of rectifying the current surge in inflation by falling even further behind. His focus is on governing for the 43.1% doing OK and the 22.8% no worries groups.

What Labor can do for those in need remains a concern, because, as Laura Tingle finds, for both parties’ deficits extend years into the future. The country is not facing square-on how government services are to be paid for. The Coalition has drawn an arbitrary line at raising no more revenue than 23.9% of GDP, which is where the Howard government landed. Labor rejects the line, but sees no need to go beyond it, relying instead on focussing government expenditure on improving productivity.

Labor’s dilemma is that if they promise to raise taxes or rescind the already legislated tax cuts, the scare campaign will keep them out of power.

Alan Kohler, looking at a world happiness survey, finds that The secret to happiness is more taxation. Countries where governments spend about 40% of GDP on services (about 40% more than our measly 27% or so, with state taxes thrown in) are happier.

This is a conversation we need to have, but won’t until civility and rationality can be restored to public policy discourse. This will not happen unless the current ruthless power mongers are removed.

85 thoughts on “Australian election enters the home strait?”

  1. What I like about Mandy, the Greens Richmond candidate is strong on social justice because she has had a hard life.
    (Dunno whether I have said it before but I remember when I was 12 talking to my widowed mother about how much easier it would be if she was able to get the male basic wage. That was when I was going to high school wearing pants that had patches on patches. During primary school I lived with my sister and parents in a garage that had been divided into two rooms.
    Hazel was an only child with a communist coal miner father so she didn’t do it tough. However, her parent’s had lived it tough as kids and as adults during the depression.) You might have noticed Hazel’s attitude to social justice.)

  2. John, humble beginnings certainly can be formative of lifelong values.

    For me it was pretty basic on the farm, but we were fed well and had a roof over our heads.

    From young on there were farm labourers that we mixed with, plus after the war quite quite a lot of refugees from WW2 in Europe appeared in the district.

    My mother had worked as a house servant to a prominent Toowoomba family for I think for 8-10 years. They treated her well, but I think she had insights about position and privilege from that experience which were part of the values she imparted to us.

    Then boarding school at St Peters made a difference, as we had about 20% non-Lutheran kids with a mixture of cultures from SE Asia and the Pacific because it was the cheapest boarding school in Brisbane.

    Then full-time university.

    I won’t go on, but in the post I had thought of including a reference to the Harvester case of 1907 :

      In 1907, the Harvester Decision set a ‘living’ or ‘family’ wage. It was supposed to allow an unskilled labourer to support a wife and three children, to feed, house, and clothe them. This became the basis of the national minimum wage system in Australia.

    We are a long way off that now.

  3. John, I’ll comment on your comment about Morrison’s first home buyers policy here, because I’ve raised it in the post.

    At best it’s shoring up his base with beneficiaries likely to vote for him anyway. He’s been thoroughly excoriated by Saul Eslake and others.

    However, I think it’s the appearances of vision I think he is after. Essentially it’s something that doesn’t cost government anything, but makes him look good.

    Meanwhile Labor has been mucking around with its policy presentation on the web. If you go to their policy page they now have nothing on housing, but if you search you get the Help to buy policy with links to four more policies at the end, including the Housing Future Fund and the establishment of a National Housing Supply and Affordability Council .

    Albanese is setting up the architecture to take leadership in resolving the housing problem.

    Adam Bandt says he’s going to press for a million houses.

    I think if you vote Labor the journey begins. If you stay with the present mob it will be fluff and mirrors, with a bit of help for the ‘deserving’ in society.

  4. In terms of housing I think the basic problems are that housing has become an investment and developers have too big a role in the supply of housing.
    For example, when we lived in Melbourne we bought a house to live in for about twice my annual salary as a senior engineer. (We also bought it to function as a rental property when we moved back to the bush.) Years later we sold it for about six times what a senior engineer was earning at the time. (Compound rate of return averaged about 10% for the price increase with rental income on top of this.) My take is that the house had gone from something a senior engineer could afford to something a senior engineer probably could not afford.
    Both the Labor and LNP proposals have providing an investment as part of the deal.
    Me I am in favour of a public home ownership system that provides government supported low cost home ownership. One of the key points about what I am proposing is that people who get homes under this system can only sell them back to the government at a price that reflects inflation during their ownership, not the crazy horse things going on in the housing market. (Other attraction is that cost to the government is negligible because the government would build houses and sell them at the average building cost.)
    Trust me: Will write a post on the subject after Sat.

  5. Congratulations, JohnD.
    “ One of the key points about what I am proposing is that people who get homes under this system can only sell them back to the government at a price that reflects inflation during their ownership, not the crazy horse things going on in the housing market”
    …. You’ve come around to the thinking of the CGRPT concept, which is essential what you have said, only different in that it removes the Government from the “in between ownership” process with a title structure to ensure and quantify the transfer value and process. This is vitally important as where a government is involved there is the very real risk that the properties will be sold off for profit by a right leaning government to full fill ideological preconceptions.

    CGRPT’s can be supported by government to some degree in the creation process with grants, fore gone costs, special zonings, levies and sales taxes, and such gifts can be indefinitely protected in the Title Creation ie reflected in the property value but not assigned to the owners credit in the document thereby creating a “pass it forward” gift each time the property changes hands.

    Once we can get people agreeing on an environment to preserve the value of social housing independent of government, we can start looking at ways to ensure that such properties are available at down to a third of standard market value properties. I have lots of ideas in that department.

  6. Bilb: In this context when i say government I mean something set up by the government like a housing commission.
    BTW the starting point for some of what I have said is the Singapore system for setting up systems that create owned homes.
    Big attractions:
    People helped get all the benefits of being a home owner.
    Governments avoid the huge loans needed to support rented public housing because the houses are sold to the future owner.
    I am conscious that Europe has some good systems such as variations on co-ops. Have you details on ones you favour?

  7. Madonna King at Crikey is not buying the new Scott Morrison. In the 7.30 interview:

      He was loud and shouty and dismissive and blind to any fault he might have. He deflected and dismissed questions and didn’t blink at his own suggestion that his will, determination and strength are what the nation needs.
  8. Probably the best take-down of Morrison yet is James Ley in the Sydney Review of Books:

    If anything it gets better as it goes, finishing with:

      It is common knowledge that Morrison is despised by many of his colleagues. Recent testimonials from his own side of politics have described him as a ‘liar’, a ‘fraud’, a ‘bully’, a ‘complete psycho’, an ‘autocrat’, a ‘deeply ingrained chauvinist’, an ‘absolute arsehole’ and a ‘horrible, horrible person’, who is ‘volatile, sly and untrustworthy’ and has ‘no moral compass’. The last of these character references was given by Liberal senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells in a furious speech accusing the leader of her own party of corrupting the New South Wales branch. ‘The fish stinks from the head,’ she declared, going on to observe that Morrison’s actions ‘conflict with his portrayal as a man of faith’.

      The latter point is debatable. Morrison’s conduct in office has been entirely consistent with those Pentecostal doctrines that would conflate virtue and selfishness; it has been entirely consistent with a world view that divides people into the deserving and the undeserving. But it has also been consistent with the ideology and culture of the party he leads. Ultimately, it is of little consequence whether or not Morrison is genuine in his religious beliefs. He probably is. But so what? It does not matter whether his religion determines his politics or his politics determines his religion; the signal is coming from the same source. It would be as as much of a mistake to dismiss him as a religious crackpot as it would be to regard him as an anomaly. That a man once described by Peter Hartcher (hardly a leftist stooge) as ‘the greatest grub in federal Parliament’ should have ascended to the position of prime minister is symptomatic of a deep rot at the heart of Australia’s political culture, but more to the point it is a comprehensive indictment of the government he leads, the party to which he belongs, and the rancid ideology that sustains them. The unflattering testimonies of his colleagues merely confirm what any reasonable person could deduce from observing Morrison’s public conduct. They may hate him, but they own him. The fish may stink from the head but that is a sure sign the whole thing is rotten.

  9. Women have had a gutful, according to Bernard Keane at Crikey.

    He notes that women voted for Hillary Clinton 15% more than for Trump, a differential that Biden maintained.

    Keane says it goes beyond Morrison’s conduct and lack of understanding:

      Beyond personal shortcomings, closer inspection reveals key reasons voting preferences of women and men have diverged. While conservatives focus on the economy, taxes, national security and immigration, centre-left parties target wages and working conditions, health care, education and the environment. Sexual assault and domestic violence have also become prominent political concerns. This issue spread reflects the different policy priorities of women and men, and how the parties have responded to them.

      Moreover, centre-left parties have made greater efforts to include women, both in party leadership and elected office. Aside from this demonstrated commitment to advance women, it also means they have more women with a seat at the table to shape the policy agenda. It’s a self-reinforcing cycle.

  10. I knew what you were saying, JohnD. You were saying the government can fix it, but that is to ignore the size of the problem , and to ignore the fact that the government has no intention to get back into housing commission type arrangements, and it ignores that our cities the nature of work, and the country is very different to the Australia of 60’s.

    The problem is $1.5 Trillion large (one whole year’s GDP). How do you calculate this? It is the affordability gap (the difference between mortgages that low incomes can support and the properties on offer), times the number of people affected.

    Most of the schemes that I am aware of set out to provide some sort of accommodation of various forms but which must be sold back to the organisation at the end of a person’s use of the property. The organisation controls the buyback price and the representation price for their viability. I believe Nightingale is one of these. This is the end of life model for old people’s villages, but Nightingale seeks to offer something for people of other circumstances by refurbishing and recycling commercial properties as private accommodation.

    I’m not aware of any successful operations here in Europe other than one in the UK which is similar to Nightingale but with a regulatory twist that I can’t quite remember. The problem with all of these is that they are based on the organisation remaining viable and not going broke, or in the US context bought up by speculators for profit taking.

    Germany manages accommodation affordability with rent control, as I believe Singapore does too.

    Even government is a risk with changing ideologies.

    The only truly secure solution is the CGRPT model where people own their property outright and their property value is predictable and determined by the CPI (inflation rate).

    In the CGRPT concept the owner decides what type of construction he wants rather than having that decided by the organisation. In CGRPT the preferred construction is a multilevel “soil to sun” building type, though it can be one of many types of constructions.

    The vital improvement is in using the CPI rate as the value stabilising factor to prevent run away property values for this class of ownership. The CGRP Title is simply the enabling legislative instrument that creates the environment to allow this type of property ownership to go ahead.

  11. bilb, Thanks for that. I had the impression the Nightingale was dependent on a particular organisation, its values, commitments and circumstances, which doesn’t really help the general situation.

    My main hope is that the Housing Future Fund and the establishment of a National Housing Supply and Affordability Council are both oriented to affordable housing. The problem with the former, I suspect, is that it is going to rely on government profits for expansion.

    The Council should be a target for new approaches offered by CGRPT.

  12. Thanks Bilb: What you say is in line with my thinking. Systems that provide home ownership while insisting that the home must be sold back to the organization at a controlled price that reflects the changes in the cost of building equivalent homes rather than the crazy things going on in the housing market.
    My take is that a lot of the problem with housing in Australia is that the home is viewed more as an investment rather a commodity. Government capital gains tax breaks for the home vs rental property mean at the moment it is more profitable to invest in the biggest mansion you can afford rather than a smaller home for yourself plus some rental housing. (Landlords pay capital gains tax, In WA they also pay land tax. My experience is that rental properties give a profit of about 3% from rent-expenses. The capital gain is much much moe than this.

  13. Brian: What our local paper “The Echo” had to say:
    Mandy for Richmond: ‘I’m there to break things’
    “To win in Saturday’s three-way contest, Mandy must out-poll Justine. The Greens vote would need to rise from around 20,000 to 26,000. A big task. And if the swing came purely from the Nationals, the seat would remain Labor’s, all other things being equal.

    But all things are not equal. Candidates matter. As does mood. Our region is rattled by the floods, and Mandy is not your average candidate. Her name recognition, according to Greens campaign manager, Bec Talbot, is ‘off the chart’. In Ballina, where many people mistakenly believe their local member is Kevin Hogan, Mandy is known by four times as many people as Justine Elliot, their member of 17 years.

    In 2019, the Greens put forward Michael Lyon, then a Byron councillor, as their candidate. Michael was pedestrian, at best, compared to Mandy, and certainly no harbinger of change. Mandy is a loved local brand. An actual activist. Her profile is stratospheres above that of Tamara Smith, who won the State seat of Ballina from the Nationals in 2015 with a 30 per cent swing when the key issue was coal seam gas and she was a quiet school teacher.

    Mandy and her team have had conversations with 6,000 people in the community and believe there’s a real chance of victory. Housing and climate are the dominant concerns out there and the Greens think they can deliver solutions from the crossbench.
    When I ask Mandy how she’s faring a week out from polling day, she says she’s been at it for 14 months, working really long hours, noting how the challenger ‘must work twenty times as hard’. But the incumbent is clearly worried. Justine Elliot is mimicking Mandy by wearing pink clothes and sporting blonde hair while accusing the Greens of being ‘as untrustworthy as Scott Morrison’.”
    Justine is a non-event in the Byron and Ballina shires.

  14. She looks a likely lass, John.

    I voted today. Took me about an hour. Lines moving very slowly. I didn’t appreciate the Greens preferencing Labor third, and fifth for the senate> However, everyone was civil around the booth.

    I think we may not know the result on Saturday night.

    Poll Bludger looks at Essential and other polls – Labor on 48, LNP on 46 and 7 doubtful. Adds up to 101 because of rounding.

    It’s not especially good for the Greens, but looks like a seat by seat contest, probably a minority Labor government.

    Peter Lewis has interesting thoughts on how we will remember the whole thing depending on the outcome. I think he’s pretty much on the money. If Morrison loses he will have lost in 2019 when he went to Hawaii.

    If Albanese loses, Labor will regret the early gotcha gaffe.

    Waiting now for AFR Ipsos and Newspoll.

  15. JohnD,

    My impression is that the controlled sell back price to the corporation, as with retirement villages is lower or the same as the original purchase price, ie the vendor loses money. This is how the corporation funds its operations. In CGRPT’s the vendor receives inflation adjusted the same as he bought the property for, unless he trashed it.


    Is Ian Palmer doing his spoiling act on YouTube advertising this Election?

  16. Bilb, I think you mean Clive Palmer.

    He is spending his usual $70-$80 million. Not so much on billboards, but in the AFR today we have two and a half pages on ads. He’s had full-page ads there for about the last year.

    He’s promoting Craig Kelly as the next PM, so he’s taken on Kelly’s lunatic ideas on Covid, but a leading policy is that interest rates on housing are going to be pegged by law at 3%.

    He comes up at 3-4% in the polls. Generally I think people are over him, and he’s not having as much effect, although Poll Bludger says this:

      The Australia Institute has Senate voting intention results for the five mainland states, which suggest the Greens are looking good across the board, One Nation might be a show in New South Wales as well as Queensland, the United Australia Party are competitive in Victoria, a third seat for Labor is in play in Western Australia, and Nick Xenophon might be in a tussle with One Nation for the last place in South Australia.

    I’m astonished UAP might be a show in Victoria, but in Qld I think it will be 2 Labor, one Green, 2 LNP and the final a competition between Pauline Hanson, Clive Palmer and Amanda Stoker, the third LNP. My money is on Pauline.

  17. I’ve just heard, Toonbull shopping Centre, flooded earlier this year when we had a metre of rain in 30 suburbs and close to that over the whole SEQ, is not going to re-open.

    Also Bunnings at Oxley.

    Dangerous climate change is here.

  18. Brian,

    That is a great Greg Jericho article. The one positive item in their goes to answer JohnD’s suggestion on European solutions, the cooperative solution in nordic countries. This is very close in effect to CGRPT’s but is more specific to blocks of units on the one hand and does not give individual freedom on the other.

    A co-op building operation (more or less what I had in mind) would be a good way to construct affordable housing then create the titles as CGRPT’s, same benefits but with individual independent ownership (ie no corporate body fees).

  19. Flooding. Very depressing. Dangerous Climate Change is real. My prediction that most houses built today will not survive longer than their mortgage payments might actually come true for many. And insurance costs will escalate.

    You’ve gotta be pleased for 20 years of “good economic management” by Liberals, haven’t you??

    We’ll see at this election if people people have memories and can add things up. At kindergarten we are all pretty good at “connecting the dots”, but it is something, curiously, that many people become worse at with age.

  20. Yes, Clive Palmer, is who I meant. Clearly some one who is easily forgotten. 3% fixed interest rate? That’ll achieve nothing after an initial housing price adjustment. And 3% to 4% interest rate, they match. He’s managed to fix both.

  21. Bilb: Fixed interest rates could lead to banks being more careful re who they lend to. Not necessarily a good thing.
    I think that it would be desirable that limits be placed on repayment rates as a function of the basic wage. (Limits would depend on partner income.)

  22. They’ve basically fixed interest rates for some years now at around the 4%, and that did nothing for average home affordability. Maybe Palmer is thinking about affordable property prices in the over $4 million range for CEO’s.

    There can’t be a dramatic drop in the general house market prices as that would trigger a massive recession with mortgage recalls and re-financings, all over the place.

  23. Just in from Crikey:

      Up to 200,000 Australians who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 and are self-isolating risk not being able to vote in this election because they’re ineligible for phone voting and instead must rely on their postal ballots arriving in time.

      Since 2013, about 2000 blind or vision-impaired Australians have voted each election via the phone voting method. The Australian Electoral commissioner was given the power to allow “coronavirus-affected individuals” to use phone voting from 6.01pm on the Wednesday before the election when the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 was amended in February. The Wednesday cut-off is written into the act and can’t be changed by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).

      A total of 193,882 Australians reported testing positive for COVID between Sunday and Wednesday. These people are expected to self-isolate past election day but are ineligible for phone voting. Instead they must rely on their mail ballots arriving in time or miss out on voting. Some have been told by the AEC that their ballot papers won’t be delivered until after the election.

  24. Waleed Aly and Scott Stephens do go on a bit, but I usually try to listen to them. Today they talked about How do you solve a problem like housing affordability? with Dr Rachel Ong ViforJ, who is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow and Professor of Economics in the Faculty of Business & Law at Curtin University.

    My machinery was making listening difficult, but they were looking at how the concept of housing fitted with value systems and social arrangements in various societies.

    I think perhaps we could start with concepts of human rights and human dignity. Perhaps we could start with Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, where safety, shelter and sustenance are basic.

    They raised the Muslim approach to banking to avoid charging interest, which for them is usury and a sin. Seems the bank and the borrower are in it together, like the Labor joint ownership policy.

    The basic proposition, I think, is that housing has moved from being a home to an investment. Like everyone they call for change, but getting change is not so easy, as no-one wants the value of properties to devalue significantly.

  25. There was a kerfuffle today when Labor decided the press pack following Albanese should go to hear Chalmers and Gallagher on Labor costings, rather than follow him to hand out how-to-vote cards with Palaszczuk in Qld.

    In the end they were able to choose, but the gang were shirty enough to actively disrupt Albanese’s press conference.

    Bernard Keane reckons low grade journos go on these things. He reckons some from Newscorp aren’t even journos, rather staffers sent to disrupt.

    On costings Keane reckons they are a joke, as are those by the Coalition.

    I Don’t on the face of it agree with that. He says Labor accepted Frydenberg’s costings as a base. I heard Gallagher say specifically that they did not. They started with the latest figures supplied by Treasury.

    Any way, $7 billion extra over 4 years doesn’t even rate as a rounding error. The action is in the off-budget items which if Morrison was correct amount to $52 billion. Sounds a bit low, as it would include the $20 billion for reconstructing the electricity grid, and $20 billion for the housing fund.

  26. Next week I promise to get back to housing policy. All day tomorrow at the polling booth helping to get another Green in the lower house and more Greens in the Senate.
    In our electorate the real contest is between the Green’s woman candidate and Labor’s woman candidate. The National’s woman candidate is most unlikely to win None of the male candidates appear to have any chance.
    In the Senate I expect David Shoebridge to win a place for the Greens to increase the number of Greens NSW senators to one woman, one man.

  27. At the New Daily both Alan Kohler and Michael Pascoe comment on housing:

    Alan Kohler: The major parties have no plan for housing affordability

    Michael Pascoe: Housing crisis? Look over there – a puppy!

    Alan Kohler shows how out of whack we are with the rest of the world. Who would want to come to live here?

    Both make a worthwhile contribution as one would expect. What I expect, however, is that if you are going to pee over Labor’s lack of policies, you really need to read them. What do they think of Labor’s proposal for a National Housing Supply and Affordability Council?

      An Albanese Labor Government will establish a National Housing Supply and Affordability Council, to ensure the Commonwealth plays a leadership role in increasing housing supply and improving housing affordability.

      The Council will be advised by experts from a diverse range of relevant fields including finance, economics, urban development, residential construction, urban planning and social housing sectors.

      Improvements in land supply and land use planning have the potential to improve housing affordability and provide a boost to national productivity and economic growth.

    The Council will play a key role in the development and implementation of Labor’s National Housing and Homelessness Plan.

    Then this:

      Housing Australia

      An Albanese Labor Government will also expand the role and work of the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation and rename it Housing Australia.

      Housing Australia will be the home of the National Housing Supply and Affordability Council.

      Housing Australia will also be the home of key national housing programs. This includes:

        Help to Buy

        Regional First Home Buyer Support Scheme
        Housing Australia Future Fund
        Existing programs currently run by the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation

    It does not help when the Labor leader and the shadow for housing, Jason Clare, don’t mention their own policies, but it seems Albanese does want to, as he says, bring people together to clean up the mess this lot have left.

  28. Tomorrow if it’s fine I will be in Upper Brookfield working. However, BOM predicts a 95% chance of rain, which could be 25-40mm.

    If it rains I may need to hold an umbrella over my wife for a few hours as she hand out HTV cards.

    Newspoll has come in 53-47 to Labor (see Poll Bludger):

      The Australian reports the final Newspoll of the campaign has Labor leading 53-47, which compares with 54-46 a week ago (and 51.5-48.5 in the erroneous pre-election Newspoll in 2019). The primary votes are Coalition 35% (steady), Labor 36% (down two), Greens 12% (up one), One Nation 5% (down one) and United Australia Party 3% (steady). The two leaders are tied at 42% on preferred prime minister, after Scott Morrison led 43-42 a week ago. Scott Morrison is down one on approval to 41% and up one on disapproval to 54%, while Anthony Albanese is up three on approval to 41% and down three on disapproval to 46%. The poll was conducted Friday to Thursday from a larger than usual sample of 2188.

    That brings his Bludger Poll Aggregate to 53.6/46.5 which he says he doesn’t really believe.

    My son Mark says that people who deal in probabilities say Labor has a 75% chance of winning in its own right, whereas the Coalition chance is 6%.

    Sarah Martin at The Guardian seems to think a Labor outright win is more likely than not.

    However, seat by seat the stories are many and varied, so anything can happen.

    I’d say two things.

    First, I think the Greens are being underestimated.

    Secondly, it is very likely that Morrison’s goose is cooked, as the teal indies won’t deal with him.

  29. Have a look at this:

    Albo after voting today in Marrickville.

    It’s either what we are going to get, or what we missed out on.

    I understand when planning the campaign he wanted to get his dog Toto into the images. His PR people gave him a flat “no!”

    His final word was that he wanted to change politics.

    Couldn’t agree more.

  30. Alan Kohler nails it, but doesn’t put a figure on the $1.5 trillion problem, probably because like Climate Change, the reality is too scary, particularly when there are no solutions on offer.

    Setting up a council is code for “we need to look like we are doing something”.

    Kevin Rudd had his “meet the People” event culminating in a photo of him sitting on the ground with a kid, followed ultimately by no Carbon Pricing (the failed CPRS and a rising Tony Abbott) and government directed escalating electricity prices.

    What can a “Council” achieved? Easy to predict when you look at the players “ finance, economics, urban development, residential construction, urban planning and social housing sectors.”, all of the key profiteers of the last 20 years property money bonanza. Answer? As little as possible.

    As for the Liberal approach, give the housing price bubble more fuel from the National super funds so that property developers can run around in the streets jubilantly while it rains money. For the record I am in favour of using super funds for funding property that is Capital Growth Restrained ie will not be subject to demand driven value escalation.

    They can have CGRPT’s underway in a month, or, we will be starting to see the first mediocre limited number social housing “developments” getting underway just before the next (2026) election.

    It’s all so predictable, and depressing.

  31. Brian: 10.25 PM may 21:
    Labor has won.
    The Greens in Qld have at least won Ryan. (Bilb: Ryan was the electorate I used to live and campaign in.)
    The Greens got the highest vote in Richmond NSW where I now live (29.4%) but will probably lose when prepoll and preferences are counted.
    Bilb: “For the record I am in favour of using super funds for funding property that is Capital Growth Restrained ie will not be subject to demand driven value escalation.” I would tend to agree.

  32. That Albo interview is painful. “I want to make a difference” but no substance, no driving vision. He’s the Prime Minister now. Let’s hope he doesn’t stuff it up with “bob each way” party pleasing, or try to please everyone to the extent that the primary purpose is lost as Julia Gillard did with the proceeds of the Carbon Price where she lost sight of the primary purpose of needing to build renewable infrastructure at the fastest rate. Instead the proceeds were collected then used to compensate both business and parts of the public.

  33. Bilb: I preferred Shorten to Albo because Shorten wanted to do things I wanted done and had a track record of doing things well.
    I guess Albo saw what happened to Shorten and kept a relatively low profile while Morrison destroyed himself.
    Will wait and see whether Albo can do more than provide a small profile and use the skills of people like shorten.

  34. John, what happened in Richmond (if it goes the way it looks) is what we hoped might happen in Griffith and still might happen in Brisbane.

    In Ryan what killed us is what killed Morrison nationally. Angry women, especially middle-class, upper middle-class and rich.

    Unfortunately many would not vote Labor in a fit. So we had Julian Simmonds down about 11%, Greens up by about 11%.

    Unfortunately we had lousy messaging from Albo and the national campaign on housing and climate.

    I saw Adam Bandt introducing his magic Qld team today. Rental seems a big problem in Brisbane and Griffith, plus aircraft noise. All the want on the latter is the same curfew already existing in Sydney.

    I don’t know why it is such a big problem for us to do the same.

    Bandt was talking about working constructively rather than forcing Labor to do what he wants, as he was earlier, so that’s fine.

    His big problem is that the Greens have a ‘plan’ for everything, which is not really a plan, more an ambit claim. The problem is paying for stuff that we all know is needed. Labor’s problem is that if they raise money like the Greens want they will be a one-term government, consigned to another decade in opposition. Not sure the party would survive.

    Bilb, I think Albo understands what his role as PM will be. Karen Middleton, who did a biography on Albo says he talked to Hawke while he was still alive and has cultivated relationships across the board. He’s more likely to act rationally and deliberately than most politicians you can think of.

    He’s got a pretty decent team, and they seem to be working as a team. I don’t think they’ll lose anything by losing Kristina Keneally.

  35. Particularly pleased that the Greens appear to have won Ryan. Ryan was the electorate where I started helping the Greens in elections. This experience led to me joining the Greens. To make matters better the LNP person who was the Ryan member before this election is not a very nice man.
    Mandy Nolan, the Greens candidate for Richmond NSW where I live got the highest first preferences but seems unlikely to stay ahead after preference distribution. Justine Elliot the long term Labor candidate will probably win on preferences.

  36. John, I just discovered, the Greens could still win Richmond.

    If you look past the three main contenders you have around 22% who voted for someone else. Among these are Lib Dems on 7.3, PHON on 3.8 and UAP on 3, all of whom should push the Nat to the top.

    Then the Greens and Labor are line ball, but which ever comes second will win the seat.

  37. I agree, JohnD. Bill Shorten was very good. The worst thing to happen to Australian Government was John Howard’s revenge, Tony Abbott, followed by the lingering bad smell of Abbott, Scott Morrison.

    Labor has really got to step up with some truly great government policy.

    What is the list of existential threats to Australia?:

    Climate Change requiring massive Sustainable Energy
    Affordable Housing
    Declining Industry and Sustainable Industry
    Rising Chinese Dominance of the Mid Pacific
    Sea Level Rise
    Declining Agriculture and Declining Agricultural commercial Viability
    Inland Water Supply
    Did Australia ever get an Internet System that works??
    Eliminating Educational Debt
    Review Media Structure to reverse some of the Monopolistic Ideological Consolidation.

    ….off the top of my head.

    If I put Education in there it would be because I think that Education in Australia lacks direction, and that links in with Income Disparity in many ways.

    The hangover from the Howard era money, money, money, focus demeans genuine productive effort. “What should I learn, is it worth it, will I ever be able to pay out educational debt?”

    The last thing Australia needs is a “Rinse and Repeat” government.

    The world now is completely different, it needs a different approach.

  38. Bilb, Shorten was on the Channel 9 commentary team. He’s still there, and he’s better than ever, I think. very much a team player and empathy with rationality.

    Your list is a good start. From memory Morrison accused Albanese of wanting to set up 52 separate inquiries. It’s going to take more than one term to turn the place around.

    We’ll see what comes out of that.

    Whether he will achieve enough in one term to be re-elected is a question.

    Frank Biongorno has an appreciation of what Albo is trying to do.

    My real hope on climate is on:

      Re-establish leadership by restoring the role of the Climate Change Authority, while keeping decision-making and accountability with Government and introducing new annual Parliamentary reporting by the Minister
  39. Underneath Labor’s election win is a complex electoral reality. Here are five graphs that tell the story
    Lots of graphs tell an interesting story of significant changes. For example: “Anthony Albanese becomes Australia’s 31st Prime Minister with his party winning a historically low primary vote.
    Altogether, the share of the primary vote going to candidates outside the major parties looks to be over 30 per cent.
    That’s a record high, and a significant increase even compared to the trendline of recent decades.”

  40. John, interesting graphs, but the Labor loss is tempered by some strategic voting by Labor voters in ‘teal’ seats, where Labor voters voted to get rid of the Liberal member.

    I’m not saying that is the whole story, but part. I can’t put numbers on it.

    On Richmond, Kevin Bonham thinks Labor will probably win because Greens don’t do so well in prepoll:

      At the last election the Byron prepoll was strong for the Greens but the rest were awful, especially Ballina and Tweed South which were also the largest.

    There is no way of telling whether it will be the same this time.

    Susan Harris Rimmer asks Is this the end of the two-party system in Australia? The Greens, teals and others shock the major parties.

    She answers pretty much “Yes” to her question. However, she gets it wrong in the Qld Senate, which will definitely see a Green. The fight is over the third conservative seat. Seems Legalise Cannabis Australia are giving Pauline Hanson a run for it.

  41. Brian: In Richmond @ 6pm, 23/5 Labor is on 28.7% of the vote vs 25.4 for the Greens. I expect the Greens to do well on preferences from the National Party because they didn’t want Labor to have a majority in the house. Some of the other candidates in Richmond may put the Greens ahead of Labor. I live in hope.

  42. John, if you select ‘seats in doubt’ on this page the state of play is LNP 54, Labor 73 and Other 15, with 9 in doubt.

    Looking through the doubtful ones it seems like Labor has to win 3 out of Brisbane, Lyons, Macnamara and Richmond.

    I’ve never been confident Labor will make it.

    Personally I don’t mind if the HoR is hung. We may get better government because of it. At least we will have a multiplicity of voices, and Albanese has enunciated a collaborative style.

    Labor may be able to side-step the Greens in the HoR, but can’t in the senate if the regressive forces oppose.

    Last time I looked, things looked pretty good for the progressive forces. Labor looks good for 26 if we can jag a third in WA. Greens should end with 12. A combined vote of 38 means you can block things, but 39 are needed to pass. For that there should be David Pocock in the ACT or the second Lambie in Tasmania.

    One Nation, who might get a third in SA, will become entirely irrelevant.

  43. John, sorry it looks like Richmond has fallen to Labor, which now has 74, and has to get two out of Brisbane, Lyons and Macnamara.

    Although Labor is only 31 in front of the Greens in Brisbane, all of the prepoll and postal is yet to come, which is said to favour Labor.

    In the Senate, it still looks good for Labor and Greens to get 38, with an extra vote to pass legislation from 2 Lambies and/or Pocock.

    Meanwhile Victoria looks like electing conspiracy theorist Ralph Babet from UAP.

    According to Crikey:

      Beyond arguing that the election was going to be fraudulent, Babet promoted the same conspiracy theory that the World Economic Forum is carrying out a globalist takeover of the country’s sovereignty. Soon after the election was called for Labor, he posted on his account: “I would like to congratulate the prime minister of Australia on an excellent campaign. Well done Klaus Schwab.”


      While showing a disdain for all major parties, Babet particularly dislikes those with left politics. He called the Greens ideology “cancerous”, spoke disparagingly of “hardcore communists” on Twitter, shared a video claiming that drinking blood is a new trend on “the left”, and criticised Labor’s Dan Andrews for his handling of the pandemic.

      Like the UAP’s former parliamentary leader Craig Kelly, Babet is staunchly anti-lockdown, wants to end vaccine mandates and tweeted about vaccine injuries, a common argument of the anti-vaccine movement. Babet also campaigned closely with Rebekah Spelman, a fellow UAP candidate who once said she wanted to chant “Hang Dan Andrews!” at a rally, and anti-vaccine content creator Morgan C Jonas.

    Sounds like a contender for ‘loopiest ever’.

  44. More on housing:

    A Climate Council report, saying all new housing should be built to a Star 7 standard.

    Hal Pawson, an academic housing specialist, advises what he says a new government should do:

    He links to this appalling comment from the then PM:

    To my untutored eye Pawson had not read Labor’s policies, as one of his leading recommendations seems to line up pretty well with Labor’s proposed National Housing Supply and Affordability Council.

  45. On counting, Labor still looks on track for 76, but Brisbane is unclear. There were media reports that Labor had pulled ahead by over 400 votes, but on checking the relevant sites the opposite seems to be the case.

    There is a fair bit of counting still to do. Greens could win on Animal Justice preferences.

  46. Hi Brian,

    Labor is still just scraping in, so they are going to have to do some pretty dramatic “Goodly” things to win over the public.

    Hal Pawson does make one good point, and that is that Investment Housing is subsidized to the extent of $100 billion dollars per year through Forgone Tax from Negative Gearing, and suggests redirecting that advantage.

    The problem with that is that to remove that tax advantage is to collapse the system, so a partial redirect is possible. The problem with that is that the Housing Affordability gap is $1.5 Trillion, and marginal improvements will have little to no effect on their own.

    Low income earners need housing at half to a third of the market median price to be able to enter into home ownership.

    To Labor the point, the receipts from a marginal adjustment to negative gearing used to share out into CGRPT new home buyers will have a very real and escalating impact, while marginally reducing the open market property investment signal, and encouraging builders to transition to supporting the CGRPT construction needs.

    Structure is every thing to good government.

  47. Brian,

    There is nothing in that Labor Housing policy that offers anything other than knowledge on the size of the problem, and where and when there will be new land released, and we will have council with all of the past profiteers of the past 25 year property boom.
    On land releases it doesn’t offer a land release quota’s for different income groups for instance, nor a lottery system or a land access waiting list.

    Also to plan a solution on block land releases creates the usual dislocated population problem of large housing blocks completely isolated from business centers thereby requiring new highway projects and the pointless consumption of fossil fuels from long commutes to work locations.

    Because the CGRPT formula depends on the recycling of land (one quarter acre block equals 6 to 8 CGRPT’s) the CGRPT solution spreads affordable housing throughout existing communities, making it possible for low income earners to be available to service those communities (staff for shops, restaurants, ,,,etc).

  48. Bilb, Pawson says “Tax concessions to owner occupiers and private landlords total in the region of $100 billion per year, …”

    I was interested in that, but I’m not sure he means just negative gearing, or also a capital gains tax, which could also be termed a also a concession.

    In the National Housing Supply and Affordability Council policy piece it says the Labor govt is going to develop a National Housing and Homelessness Plan which will “make it easier for Australians to buy a home, easier to rent, and put a roof over the heads of more homeless Australians.”

    That’s not everything (cf Hawke’s “no child shall live in poverty”), but I think the intent is serious.

    However, I agree with most of what you say, and your last two paragraphs are spot on. I heard yesterday that hospital staff in the big public hospitals in Brisbane are working 8 hours on, 8 hours off and many are living a hour away.

    That’s murderous.

    I’m also concerned that skilled immigration will also become a problem, because who will be paid enough to get a roof over their heads, if they can at all?

    This is bound to be a topic on our next branch meeting agenda.

  49. I followed your link, Brian, and looked at “Achievements so Far” to get to a statement that the plan had created $203 million value of properties, $138 million of which was provided by the Qld Gov. Now 5 years into a 10 year plan to have created just 1000 affordable social houses, if that is the correct interpretation is not an achievement that is going to solve any problem.
    There was a phone number, which I rang which turned out to be the Qld Government general number (give us a call) but after 3 redirections from really well meaning people (a really good experience) I have a phone number into development and planning. Along the way I got “that’s a really good solution” several times, so people are definitely engaged and informed on the problem.

    The objective here is to find some one with responsibility to leave the website with.

    3007 4208
    Is a phone number to ring, and the website is

    Queensland may be the government to give CGRPT a proper evaluation. The need is enormous, that might help focus peoples minds.

  50. To the first link, Brian, everyone is good and recognizing that there is a problem, and the government has failed to address it, but there are no solutions on offer. Why is it so hard to get a hearing for CGRPT’s?

  51. Bilb: Negative gearing is the tax deduction for the interest paid on loans for the purchase of a private rental property. It is the same as what is paid on any other business loans.
    On the other unlike rental homes, land homes buyers live in don’t attract capital gains tax. In WA and I think Vic land lords pay land tax, home owners don’t.
    Concessions to home owners is good politics.
    Funny thing is that there is a shortage of private rental homes. (Some people would say we simply need public home rental. However, not good for people who have to move around and can’t really wait for years to get a home every time they move.

  52. Bilb, thankyou for trying and the information provided. However, the link in your comment didn’t work for me. I think it is an email.

    I think the correct link is here. It seems to be a contact sight for property developers who want to make a “Properly Made Submission, as required by Schedule 6, Part 5, s30(1)(e) of the Planning Regulation 2017(External link) ”

    I’ve been wondering where the money comes from. There was an article in the Oz today about “Alert on $45bn Labor spree”, beginning:

      Labor risks putting the country’s triple-A credit status in danger if it races to implement nearly $45bn in ‘off-balance-sheet’ election promises, one of the top rating agencies warns.

    The article is paywalled, but there is a short video report here.

    Switzer Daily has a comment, which says Labor has a classy economics team and they probably know what they are doing, lets hope so.

    The basic concern is that some of Labor’s big spends – $20 billion on rewiring the nation, $10 billion on public housing, and $15 billion on a national reconstruction fund are ‘off-budget’, and as such must make a return on investment at a certain level. On the housing fund, there is a suggestion that future earnings would be spent on more housing.

    So two questions arise.

    First, if we spent the entire amount needed over 10 years (the Greens say we need 1 million homes) would it overheat the economy, cause inflation, cause the Reserve Bank to put up interest rates etc etc, causing economic mayhem?

    Second, is it even possible?

    It seems the industry builds roughly 200,000 homes each year, pre-COVID. That’s 2 million over 10 years. So we’d have to up the numbers by 50%.

    The total value of residential dwellings went through $8.2 trillion about a year ago.

    I heard that prices increased about 30% under Morrison’s watch. Make that a $2 trillion or so contribution.

    We are becoming enslaved to the property market.

    I can see, bilb, that your interest in small dwellings is needed, but I wonder whether we can blow the whistle on the whole thing.

    Make CGRPT universal? Build in a prescribed or regulated profit?

    Ideas please!

    CGRPT as delineated looks like a modest proposal.

  53. Not that I am any kind of knowledgeable person on this subject, John, the real issue is that you are able to buy an investment property for rental income and offset the mortgage interest cost against the rental income form a taxation point of view. I think that this was the essential change by Howard in 1998. I could be wrong about that.
    The negative gearing part is that if you make a loss on the investment, ie interest higher than earnings, you are able to claim the loss against you personal taxable income.
    I think we have to go back and remind ourselves what actually happened way back then.

    I don’t have the time now to do that.

  54. Back on politics, earlier tonight, I think around 7pm, Labor got Macnamara.

    It looks comfortable, but I believe a few hundred extra votes to the Greens and they would have been sitting there on 62%.

    The bottom line is that under our political system Labor has a mandate to implement the policies they took to the people, whether anyone read them or not.

    I believe Hewson’s ‘Fightback’ was 600 pages long. I didn’t read it but my daughter did and told me that it was worse than we were being told. I believed her (she is actually genuinely smart – she gets that from her mum).

    Anyway Albo has promised to be civil, consultative and inclusive, and the senate is a genuine house of review where the Greens can’t be side-stepped, unless considerable numbers on the Libs and Nats agree.

    I was hoping to write a post on whether the two-party system had ended.

    I think the answer is ‘yes’ if you ever thought there ever was one since WW2.

    I think the Libs and Nats were never really been as one. Barnaby was the great hope – he would stop the Nats from being a doormat.

    Bernard Keane reckons he, possibly as much as Morrison, finally blew the whole thing up.

    Can there honestly be a Coalition in opposition and say they are aspiring to the sensible centre?

    Labor is still intact, but is definitely under threat from the Greens, especially in Queensland.

    A considerable achievement, but only 4 seats from 11.8% of the national primary vote, and 12.6% in Queensland.

    With the New Zealand system it would have been 18, I think.

    ‘Others’ did even better with 12 seats from 10.3% of the vote

    Therein lies a story to be completed.

  55. Just saw a Tweet from Katharine Murphy that the ‘left’ are adding Dr Anne Aly to the front bench.


  56. Brian: “It seems the industry builds roughly 200,000 homes each year, pre-COVID. That’s 2 million over 10 years. So we’d have to up the numbers by 50%.”
    Problem is that the average house size has doubled to 240m2 and brought our m2/occupant the to the highest in the world.
    Consequence is that too much of our construction capacity is tied up building mansions for the rich instead of helping to resolve the affordable housing crisis.
    My calcs say a self contained unit for a couple would need a self contained house 3x7m (21m2) with a one metre wide passage to handle a wheel chair running down the center the length of the building.
    You may not want something as small as that but you could overcome the housing crisis if we concentrated on producing low cost houses for a while,

  57. JohnD,

    If you look on the website, as no doubt you have, you will see that I have designed a relocatable student dwelling for 2 which is on 3 by 8 meters, with a Smart car parked across the width. This was designed on a skid for relocation allowing for the use of rented land.

    The rented land is a realistic solution for students in big cities.
    If you run the numbers on it, you will see that with your Brisbane inner suburbs 1/4 acre block of say 900 square meters, populated with dwellings like the on illustrated you could fit some 25 such dwellings housing up to 50 students with 2 access corridors suitable for small cars such as the smart car.

    With a slot rental rate of $120 per week that is going to yield an income of $150,000 per year for that plot of land. Of course rates are going to be higher to cover the water supply, the sewerage, and the waste collection.

    The benefit is that the students will be paying $60 per week plus services for their accommodation and be able to live much closer to their University.

    Does that sound like a win/win/win?

  58. Brian and John,

    Also on the website:

    The other building I feature there is a concrete 3 bedroom prefab type construction for a land area of 90 square meters with a 171 square meters of internal floor area and an external living area of 48 square meters plus 16 square meters of deep soil garden and roof area for 2/4 kilowatt PVT ie 2Kw electricity and 4 Kw thermal collector capacity. There is provision for a log fireplace in this design.

    This is a 3 level building with a large diameter spiral staircase and an optional elevator large enough for a wheel chair up the center of the stair case. The European design elevator runs off battery power so is not affected by blackouts. The Lift Batteries are part of the roof top solar energy and energy storage system.

    This is a small land footprint building with 60% of the total footprint as open air living space in what I call a “soil to sun” construction. There are no common walls with neighbors so the building has no “Body Corporate” complications as blocks of flats have. The building has a 1 meter wide bicycle garage and 15,000 litres of storm water storage which can multi function in times of drought.
    Apart from the 16 square meters of roof terrace level deep soil (not deck sitting planters) garden space there is 12 square meters of bare wall space suitable for vertical gardening (beans, tomatoes, strawberry’s, lettuce) .

    The building was designed to demonstrate that it is possible to achieve a very high level of sustainable live ability on very little land, and at a very realistic price.

  59. John and Brian,

    You should note that the “what Elon Musk is up to video” is not about something that Elon created. However it looks like something he will be investing in , and that is a good thing. Musk seems to be doing the Dick Smith thing of applying his identity to many things others are doing.

    Vital to understand is that making cheap houses DOES NOT solve the housing affordability problem.

    The problem with the open housing market is that with relation to dense cities property values are driven by location opportunity, not property or even land value.

    This is why decoupling social housing from the open property market is essential. Without this you can have a 10 square meter plot valued at a million dollars, if its location offers a commercial opportunity to some one with a specific need.

    The other fish hook in “affordable” housing design is windows. You will notice that Architects love to make their houses look appealing with big picture windows with pleasant views. The problem with that is that views require open space ie land.

    The sea of Sydney red tile roof properties were all built on long narrow blocks with one meter each side and a fence between each property most of the windows in these blocks were down the long side and all had a one meter view to the paling fence.

    Even the BOXABL Cassita house House

    Has windows on all 4 sides which therefore require a much larger plot size, and that costs more money than low incomes can afford.

    The CGRPT concept designs follow the European and Mediterranean (and the Sydney Melbourne terrace housing) high density housing wall to wall model but without common walls. The art of these designs is to let light in by as many other means as possible.

    The larger CGRPT design has very open street facing windows, a large upper level outdoor living level with deck skylights passing light into the level below, and there is a light well in the rear taking light to the rear of the lower level. There is a new design trend where natural LED light panels are connected directly with rooftop solar panels so the light emitted inside equals that collected outside, and there are light pipes which collect outside light and transfer that via the highly reflective internally polished light pipes to interior spaces.

    Elon’s investment is a refreshing take on relocatable houses, but it will fail if there is no solution to the open market location price escalation.

  60. Bilb: 2x8m is very close to what I would get for two students who are not a couple. (Separate bedrooms.) Smarts like roll up beds etc. could bring down the 16 m2.

  61. JohnD,

    Your 2 by 8 is a very small but comfortable narrow boat.
    My 3 by 8 is based on refrigeration panel sizes with the 3 M being a dwelling width to the outside of 2.4 meters and the remaining .8 meters is side access for rear fire escape. So in a row with left and right hand dwellings two blank sides are back to back and two rear access sides make combined a 1.6 meter passage between the dwellings to the back. My model design has 2 levels and includes all standard house features including a large study room for students to work, and multiple separated spaces for personal privacy. To make it work, though, it required a fairly steep staircase for upper access. I have experienced the same stair case in a 200 year old cottage in the Cotswolds, so not unprecedented.

  62. Bilb: My figures assume one story with stuff lined on both sides of the central passageway. A lot of it is based on my experience as a donga dweller in the mining and construction industries. This is combined with the equipment sizes in the retirement unit where we now live.
    I assume better results could be achieved by the use of loft beds, the equipment used in boats and mobile homes, rooftop gardens and other smarts that are used in many compact house designs.
    I am more interested in the general principles than detailed alternatives.

  63. JohnD

    To interested in the principles of affordable accommodation, what are those as you perceive them to be.

    What do you see as the objectives of micro housing?

  64. “Bilb: How about photos of the boat you live in?”
    Nice looking boat; What is the effective living area? Would you want to live in the same area if you were on land?
    Bilb: “To interested in the principles of affordable accommodation, what are those as you perceive them to be.”
    Bilb:I define “affordable housing” as housing that leaves enough money after accommodation related expenses to pay for other living expenses. A commonly used figure is housing costs below 30% of after tax income. This could obviously go higher for higher income earners.

    Bilb: “What do you see as the objectives of micro housing?”
    There are a number objectives that may be different for different people. Objectives include:
    1. Providing more affordable housing.
    2. Increasing housing density without creating tall towers. (However, micro housing might include smaller units in a tall tower.)
    3. Increasing the % of green areas without reducing population areas.
    4. Providing housing that could be easily moved in response to changing personal or societal needs. Micro housing can be made small enough to fit on trucks. (Hoses made from shipping containers might be particularly suitable.) “Tiny houses are a subset of micro houses that are built on trailers and can be moved by hooking up to an appropriate vehicle. In some countries putting the house on wheels is a condition of approvals. Gives councils the power to force the removal of tiny houses if required in the future.

  65. JohnD.

    My Home Living space, acceptable for 2, being a curved boat at 13 meters is 13 times 4 for the beam times 2/3rds as it is a curved shape is around 34 square meters of waist height (considering that it is curved vertically as well) living space, plus deck space for outdoor living with great views and an abundance of fresh air.
    If this was plonked on land it would take up 60 square meters of land.
    Now compare that to the house design at which takes up 90 square meters of land and is suitable for a family of 4. This 3 level open terrace 9 meter by 10 meter CGRPT design is an optimum solution for dense living as it includes a healthy level of open air living space with good privacy (54 square meters) plus sufficient deep soil garden space (16 square meters) for most of the vegetable needs for that family of 4.

    This modular design works in a range of sizes from 7 by 6, through 7 by 8 and 8 by 9 to 9 by 10. So you could take your 400 square meter $1 million dollar inner suburban block and build 6 off 7 by 8 module of these CGRPT constructions for around $400,000 including the land to work within the $40,000 income bracket.

    Feeding the family.
    This company makes packaged gardens. With compressed soil in a 25cm by 20 cm by 2 cm pack, this compressed soil expands up to 10 cm high in a Jute bag, add the seeds (in the one I bought in 100 days I will have carrots, cherry tomatoes and broccoli) as long as i water them. So with a vertical wall of 3 meters by 6 meters available if I start 2 of these Staro mixed vegetable garden bags a week that will take up (14 off per shelf(100 days divided by 14) by 25 cm) for 3.5 meters on 20 cm deep shelves 30 cm above each other, for a steady rotation of healthy vegetables for the family. Not to mention sufficient vegetable waste to feed a couple of hamsters. All of that for just 10 minutes of effort per week. That takes up just a small percentage of the growing space available for each CGRPT regardless of the module size. On the deep planting side the first fruit tree to plant is a lemon tree for year round lemon supply. On the wall behind on that side you would have string beans growing and grapes.
    On the vertical garden side you would have a top row of strawberries full length. Next row down would be a row of lettuce of various types. This whole side with a plastic drop sheet becomes a green house for winter. And then there is the hydroponic option, not to mention the aquaponic option for some fish protein and greater sustainability.

  66. To your list JohnD
    1 Obvious
    2 Necessary
    3 Desirable
    4 Google “ready Player One the stacks.

    My daily commute includes the A20 which is the highway to the Hooke of Holland in which area there have been “holiday” home parks of American Style mobile homes. Recently I have seen dozens of these being relocated on semi trailers to some where else.

    The Spielberg movie “Ready Player One” features a future where such “mobile” homes are stacked in steel frames to increase density and reduce land share cost in a dystopian but very believable future.

    I prefer the CGRPT design solution for the reasons above. In designing that I considered what sports could be played in the 9 meter by 6 meter terrace space. That included a lap pool and a table tennis/pool table. You could play a compact version of racquet ball depending on how the walls were used, and have a netball hoop. Plenty of scope for young kids to play actively. A swing and climbing frame with parallel bar, rings, and balance beam all for gymnastics work well in this space. You could do an outdoor rock climbing wall on the vertical panel above the bicycle garage with the landing mat stored in the bicycle garage. Handball, hopscotch, skipping and fencing.

    A lot of scope for creative minds.

  67. Bilb, thankyou for being such a creative and caring human being.

    Today I was a bit rocked again by threats of doom again:

    Seriously, I think we need to make ecocide a crime against humanity, as the gathering in Stockholm wants to do.

    Especially since Model-based net-zero scenarios, including those of the IPCC, aren’t worth the paper they are written on, say leading economists.

  68. Yes, Brian. It is all both fully predicted and horrible. Yet the morons who effectively stopped serious climate action are still there. Ted Cruz, remember that 2015 “Climate Science Hearing”
    … with the list of standard denialists given centre stage, is still there tearing the world apart as only such deranged people can.
    Judith Curry is still there, now talking up Nuclear and Gas, so apparently now there is Global Warming but these are the “real solutions”, or rather where the money is for corrupt scientists.
    Ecocide, good idea. The courts will be busy. Of course the biggest crime in that field has been the reduction of all Vertebrates globally in the wild to just 5% by body mass, the rest being Humans and their dinner. Yet the American constitution, written at a time when there were millions of buffalo roaming the Central West Plains, still gives all Americans (supposedly) the right to have a gun and go hunting, and Republicans are fully on board with that.

    Net Zero scenarios are only as good as the creativity, resourceful ness, and determination of those charged to create and enact them.

    The end result will be small nuclear reactors every where on land (any accident despoils the just 20% of the Earth’s surface land we need to live on), and none on the very empty 80% of the earths surface ocean powering ships where they should be, meaning we keep burning oil to power trade.

    There is insufficient lateral intelligence being applied to the solutions. However, there is hope.

  69. Bilb: Have heard murmurs of using clean ammonia to fuel ships. From a handling point of view it has similar properties to LPG. I seem to recall that it will run a internal combustion engine with minor adjustments.
    On farms ammonia can be used as a fertilizer as well as a fuel so you don’t need separate storage tanks.

  70. Bilb, John, we had a wrap session on what went wrong in the Ryan seat in the election.

    Our candidate, who broke all records in door-knocking, and did not deserve to lose, said that when he door-knocked the main issue on people’s mind was housing.

  71. Brian: “we had a wrap session on what went wrong in the Ryan seat in the election.
    Our candidate, who broke all records in door-knocking, and did not deserve to lose, said that when he door-knocked the main issue on people’s mind was housing.”
    Able to share more details re what people said about housing?

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