Looking on the bright side, at least by now everyone should be familiar with the new Act, and be able to tell a frankfurt from a mettwurst. The TU expects the new regime to commence early November or so – we'll keep you posted and have a look at some of its more important and interesting elements before then.
In other news, we've had a federal election. To the discredit of the major parties and – perhaps even more blameworthy – the Australian media, this was preceded by a campaign of very little brain: awfully short on substantial policies, even shorter on intelligent scrutiny and criticism. (At least one journalist noticed that there was scarcely a word said about housing affordability. For your info, Labor didn't have a single discrete housing policy – you can read some announcements here; the Liberals did have a policy, released the day before the poll – you can download it here; and here's the Greens' policy.)
What a contrast to now, where we find politicians, the media and the wider public engaged in an intelligent, reasonable and even a little inspiring discussion about the possibilities of our system of government.
('If you have a problem, if no one else can help....' From left to right: Rob 'Face' Oakeshott, Tony 'Hannibal' Windsor, Adam 'Murdoch' Bandt, and B A Katter.)
While we've got so many people apparently talking reasonably, here's a few people – all of them in the lower 50 per cent of the population by income – to think about and include in the conversation:
- the 505 000 lower income households who rent privately and pay more than 30 per cent of their income in rent
- the 179 000 lower income households who rent privately and pay more than 50 per cent of their income in rent
- the 397 000 lower income households whose mortgage debt repayments consume more than 30 per cent of their income
- the 193 000 lower income households whose mortgage debt repayments consume more than 50 per cent of their income.
(From the National Housing Supply Council)
And here's a few slogans for the next campaign, whenever that might be. Instead of, say, 'stop the boats', how about:
- Stop housing stress
- Stop house price inflation
- Stop housing speculators
- Stop evictions.