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Complaint of ABC bias in 7.30 Report on Housing - Article by Bob Couch

Why, once again, does the ABC avoid the issue of population growth, the primary cause of housing affordability. It is simply a fantasy to believe that adding another 400,000 people to Australia's population every year is not relevant

What follows is the text of a complaint lodged with the Australian ABC regarding the bias in its reporting on housing in a series of segments on the 7.30 report:-

“This week, the 7.30 Report included 4 segments on the above subject.

Once again, the ABC avoided the key issue like the plague.

It can be argued that housing affordability is Australia's greatest problem. Thousands of young couples in particular are having to save for years and years to accumulate a house deposit while prices skyrocket. This puts relationships under strain, and means that they often have to put off having families until they are well into their 30s, while often having to pay back a large HECS debt, and repay large mortgage instalments at the same time.

And it is not only young people who are affected. There are many older women who are caught in a rental trap.And don't get me started on the desperately bad housing conditions being experienced by our indigenous folk.

None of your "contributors" to the segments offered any real solutions, apart from densification, which many people do not want in their neighborhoods
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So why, once again, does the ABC avoid the issue of population growth, the primary cause of this problem. It is simply a fantasy to believe that adding another 400,000 people to Australia's population every year is not relevant.

The answer to the problem is to reign in this insane population growth. This is easily done by big cuts to immigration, and encouragement of small families.

This is not the first time I have raised this matter with you. Why do you avoid it. I refuse to believe that ABC researchers are not aware of the problem. It seems clear to me your reluctance to discuss population growth is idealogical, or perhaps you are frightened of being labelled racist. Proposing to cut immigration is not racist unless the proposer is advocating cutting immigration of particular races.

I have 3 children and six grandchildren. Two of my children have managed to break into the housing market, but the housing opportunities for the other seven are very uncertain, and a cause of worry for them as they enter into relationships and try and get on with their lives.

I am very angry that my family members are having to worry about getting a roof over their heads. My anger is made worse by the stupidity and ignorance of the political parties who will not acknowledge the problem. And of course, the ABC is aiding and abetting them by refusing to discuss the issue.

I have noted this week the saturation coverage the ABC has given to the so called sports rorts affair. Yes, that is a case of seriously bad behaviour by the Government, but it pales into insignificance compared to the pressure put on many Australians in obtaining housing. So why does the primary cause not get more attention.

ABC people, you are not doing your job. Your people have been whining in recent times about freedom of the press in particular having a good old bitch about AFP raids on the ABC offices. Well do not expect any sympathy from me. You are guilty of keeping relevant information from the public. It cuts both ways you know. Keep your bloody ideaology to yourselves, and start reporting/ commenting on ALL relevant facts, not just the bits that suit you.

PS And while you are at it, you might like to comment on the fact that the housing affordability issue is worsened by the fact that many Australians own multiple properties. I believe there are 20,000 Australians who own 6 or more investment properties, including many of our politicians. At one stage Barry O’Sullivan, a Nationals MP, owned 50. What about reporting on whether this is having an effect on housing affordability (or are you frightened the Government might cut your budget if you do). It is clearly a serious question as to whether ownership of residential property in particular should be controlled to ensure that house ownership is shared equitably by all Australians.

Bob Couch

cc Ita Buttrose, Nicolle Flint, Minister of Communications”