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Downsizing cost trap awaits retirees – five reasons to be wary

Add up all the neglected costs of downsizing and retirees have good reason to be wary of making the move. It’s time to debunk the myth of zero housing costs in retirement if we want to understand why retirees resist downsizing. Retirees have at least five reasons to be wary of the costs of downsizing. [Article first published at https://theconversation.com/downsizing-cost-trap-awaits-retirees-five-reasons-to-be-wary-80895 on 31 July 2017.]

The Carbon Footprint of Australia’s Construction Sector

Josh Frydenburgh, the minister for Energy and the Environment has belatedly released the greenhouse gas pollution data for the period up till the end of 2016. According to the report there has been a considerable improvement in the way the data is recorded allowing them to give more accurate estimates from individual sectors. The data show a total increase of GHG emissions of 0.7% for the last 2 quarters of that year but a considerable drop in emissions from the electricity sector. This could be due to more solar, hydro and wind use, the closure of big users like smelters but also the impact of high energy prices causing more restrained use.

Good bye Eltham, hello Utilitarianism

High-rise apartment blocks

During a recent conversation with a rather misguided friend, he remarked on the pleasure he claimed to experience at a glimpse via the window of a magpie feeding its young in his backyard. I have never actually seen his house but he described it as a wide bungalow running east-west along his outer suburban property, designed to catch the north sun. He also admitted to owning vacant bush land with wildlife on either side of his house.

The rich as thieves of time: Review of In time - the movie and Time Bomb - the book

We are all here for a limited time, but when we have to work harder and harder to stay in one place, that is not really living. Who is stealing our time? Were it not for the cost of housing, Australians would need to work only half the hours they have to and manufacturers would halve their costs! We have only to consider how, in two generations, Australians have gone from needing one income to purchase a house to a situation where both spouses must work and pay for others to bring up any children they may find a brief instant to produce. The writer reviews two works on time-poverty: one a heavyweight and the other a lightweight and remarks that time is money. Time is life. See the film or watch the trailer; feel the truth: spot the enemy.

Torquay - coastal village under siege from State "plans"


Planning Minister Matthew Guy has told the Surf Coast Shire Council that ''ministerial amendment'' to planning controls for the land is warranted to ''respond to the urgent need to address housing affordability....and proactively manage growth for Torquay-Jan Juc''.  In other words, the Surf Coast Shire Council must cave into State government demands, or they will be forced to!  ("proactively"!)    It will become another ubiquitous part of Melbourne's sprawling housing estates.  It's an attack on democracy, public opinion, and is ecologically destructive.

Victoria - land sales slump but prices reach new heights


Due to greed, favouritism towards developers and population growth, it sounds like land prices may have actually peaked. The “chronic shortages of land” is being blamed, not boosted demand due to population growth. There are limits to growth, including prices. Once prices peak, they will find sales go downwards. It just becomes unaffordable for the average family to buy.

Cost of housing and cost of dependency in Australia

Republished here to give background to Sheila Newman's remarks in her debate with Steve Bracks on the Jon Faine show 19-4-2010. You can comment on Jon Faine's "Population Forum" about the debate here and you can listen to the podcast here. The sector in Australia that has the most costly dependency ratio must be the property sector, since it costs all Australians an enormous and unreasonable amount just to cover the cost of land for housing, business and agriculture. Most of the very high costs involved are completely unnecessary, except in the eyes of greedy developers and their hangers-on. The only reason that the costs are so high is that the industry wants it that way and our state and federal governments are in cahoots with it. See also on Labor Resources and Labor Holdings etc. Early identification of the Growth Lobby is to be found on my thesis by that name, notably in Chapter 6. The latest article on candobetter on dependency ration is "Discussing Australia's Dependency ratio 2009 with graph by Dr Katharine Betts"

Carbon taxes in Sweden since 1991, low population and good economy

Sweden has had taxes on carbon emissions since 1991 but claims to have an economic growth rate of 40%.
At the same time it has not allowed its population to become outsized and guarantees its citizens housing and income.
It has a multi-party democracy.
Compare these qualities of life and environment and characteristics of the economy in Sweden with Australia's winner-take-all cannabalistic economy and politically forced population growth in a media-plutocracy.

UK: Immigration, population pressure and social inequity: Migration Watch

New research looks at the impact of immigration on social housing in the United Kingdom. Proportion of foreign born in social housing rises 50% in ten years. This is relevant to Australia and most English speaking countries since they have inherited from the United Kingdom housing and population and citizenship policies and laws.

How the media prepared us to give up our land

The propaganda against the 1/4 acre block started a few decades ago. - appearing as opinion pieces in newspapers. I believe this propaganda was aimed at very ordinary people in suburbs with traditional blocks. It was to prepare them to relinquish this lifestyle and for their children not to expect it in the normal course of events. It wasn't aimed at the rich; it was aimed at ordinary people.

The new refugees in the first world

The growth model produces extensive areas that are riddled with debt and have no genuinely productive function or options by which to repay that debt. The extremity of circumstance shown in these videos also presents a new, terribly real, but currently unreported wave of refugees - the repossessed homeless.

ALP Kelvin Thomson MP says Five Million is too many; Melbourne should control population growth

"Everything that makes our city the great place to live, work and raise a family, is potentially under threat if population growth and urban sprawl continue at the current rate. We must implement a strategy to control population growth, urban expansion and development. Our way of life, open spaces and infrastructure cannot be sacrificed on the altar of ever expanding population. We have a responsibility to secure our city’s future through thorough, thoughtful and detailed planning. This planning should not include an expanding Melbourne waistline." (Kelvin Thomson MP, Federal Member for Wills, "Five Million is too many: Securing the Social and Environmental Future of Melbourne: Submission to the Urban Growth Boundary Review, July 2009)

Victoria: Urban Boundaries Expansion is another name for Lebensraum

Developers, led by Planning Minister Justin Madden, in a move reminiscent of Hitler's tanks on Poland, are poised to invade and bulldoze the green wedges to enrich themselves, with the same excuses for aggression of ‘lebenraum’ – living space - despite the objections of the people who live there. Is there a Churchill in Victoria with the guts to stop the bulldozers or will the government sacrifice democracy completely? Here is a submission that spells out what the damage will be if the Opposition allows the government to legitimise the totalitarian aggression of “lebensraum” – Urban Boundaries Expansion.

Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission will fail to protect Victorians and fail to stop history repeating itself

The Victorian Premier Brumby's Royal Commission into the January-February 2009 bushfires is a mere incident review. If Victoria is to be protected from firestorms in future, it should undertake a root cause analysis, including the numerous past investigations into bushfires, with a view to achieving a cultural shift in rural fire fighting methods, resourcing and emergency management and into ecology management, housing approvals in bushfire prone areas, building design in bushfire prone areas, in bush arson criminology and into serious resourcing of rural fire management.

Australians have until 15 June 2009 to complain about their declining human rights

Did you know that Australians have until 15 June 2009 to complain about their declining human rights?
There are avenues for people concerned about the government's big population policy and its effect on human rights to safe clean water, a healthy wild biodiverse envelope, kind treatment of farm animals, functioning democracy not overwhelmed by commercial interests, the right to local self-government, to affordable housing etc to get demands on public record via the National Human Rights consultation.
It could be our last chance. UPDATE 7 Sep 2009: Note that a submission based on this article has been published as Submission # AGWW-7SM63S on the National Human Rights Consultation pages. Please support its content if you agree with it.

Australia's Human Rights Inquiry - should we codify our rights?

Did you know that Australia is conducting a Human Right's inquiry? There are some very good submissions already and we reproduce one here, by Sally Richardson, "Housing as a fundamental human right - submission to the Human Rights Inquiry, Australia." The inquiry makes recommendations to government and Australia's government is very good at ignoring citizens' opinions, but if we make a very big fuss it may be possible to claw back some democracy and citizens rights in this country. The rumour is that Murdoch doesn't like the idea, so it must be a good one.

There goes the view! Destruction by development.

The costs of environmental destruction wrecked by the growth lobby in the name of 'development' are huge and felt by many people and other creatures on a daily basis, long after what they loved or needed is covered in concrete and roads. Without the growth lobby, we would have environmental peace and democracy in this country.

Voter beware! Rudd solution to mortgage debt compounds debt

Rudd and the banks' 'solution' to poverty, debt and homelessness is no solution at all. It drives up the mortgage burden in the long-run and relies on business as usual returning in an increasingly uncertain future. Forget debt, let's dump the banks.

Is the home-building industry the prime mover of our ecological ruin?

The former Premier of New South Wales, Bob Carr, once offered Australia a choice. It could sustain jobs and economic security by using its brains, by being a smart economy, by adding value to the products it produces and by transforming manufacturing. Or it could continue to be a “lazy Australia” that depends on job growth simply by driving up population numbers and depending on the growth you get by building homes and shopping malls. ... That the home building industry is the prime mover and catalyst of our ecological ruin was never more clearly illustrated than by statements recently made by University of West Florida economist Rick Harper, director of the UWF’s Haas Centre for Business Research.

Immigration in Italy: love it, hate it

The bizarre politics of immigration in Italy, known in Europe for its porous borders.

French housing market collapses

It is predicted that a new house will have to be on the market for a year before it sells now in France.

Overpopulation, immigration, multiculturalism and the White Australia policy

On December 4, 2003, Australia’s population was estimated at 20 million and projected to reach about 30 million by 2050. Slightly less than 50 per cent of this growth rate resulted from net overseas immigration. By 5 November 2007, Australia’s population had ballooned by more than one twentieth of itself (or 5.66 per cent) to 21,131,216 and was projected to reach 34 million by 2050. In fact, with that growth rate of 1.5 per cent per annum, it is on course to double within less than 50 years. Annual immigration has been responsible for more than half this growth, even though the birth-rate had increased in a context of misleading pronatalist propaganda.

Help us put final nail in coffin of Mount Cotton Superquarry Wed 9am Cleveland

According to the Bayside Bulletin Newspaper, the vote of two councillors who had formerly favoured approving the expansion of the existing Mount Cotton Quarry into a rainforest-destroying superquarry, may change in response to concerted community oppostion. Nevertheless it is still important that the pressure be maintained.

On housing affordability

The government-owned Housing Trust of South Australia never cost South Australian taxpayers a cent, yet for decades was able to provide affordable good quality housing to all sectors of South Australian society. Money that would have been unproductively invested in property speculation in the Eastern states was, instead, directed towards establishing viable manufacturing industries in South Australia.

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