This is part of an an ongoing discussion over housing affordability and population growth on Online Opinion in response to an article "A crisis in housing affordability"by Queensland Democrats Senator Andrew Bartlett. I am posting here, in part, because of inflexible rules limiting the size and quantity of contibutions on Online Opinion. Other posts can be found here. --- Foundation, No, our raising of the issue of population is not an attempt to hijack the discussion and steer it in a different direction. If property speculators, who wish to drive up the cost of housing, believe that immigration driven population increases achieve that as I have extensively shown, then I would have thought that we are entitled to also argue that that is the case. You wrote: "Over the last decade, the supply of new dwellings (~1.8 million dwellings) has exceeded underlying demand from population growth (~2.2 million persons), yet prices have risen dramatically. This would be evidence enough for a qualified economist to rationalise that population growth is not increasing the cost of housing, only the STOCK of housing." Firstly, it needs to be pointed out that statistics from the ABS, presuming that that is where you got them from, have become less reliable due in part to the outsourcing of their collection at airports. Nevertheless, in a superficial sense, if we accept these figures they seem to suggest that immigration pays for itself and that only factors other than immigration are causing the current housing hyper-inflation. If we take a narrow view that doesn't take account of the costs to our natural environment and which equates the ever more cramped and ever more shoddily built 'dwellings' of today, lacking outside sheds and gardens, with the free standing homes, many on quarter acre blocks, that were the norm a generation or more ago, then this may have some validity. However, we can't. For a start, immigrants don't bring with them their own land, particularly land in pleasant locations next to natural beauty and/or amenities(aka 'positional goods'), and this, rather than 'dwellings' is the commodity that property speculators ultimately speculate on, and the value of this investment has clearly skyrocketed as a direct consequence of increased population size. Furthermore, it would be reckless and irresponsible to implement policies to achieve affordable housing which disregard the costs to our natural environment and long term sustainability. The arrival of an additional 2.2 million did not somehow cause the additional natural resources necessary to construct their dwellings and to support their ongoing lifestyles to appear from nowhere. They did not bring their own concrete, clay, fossil fuels, metals, all of which are finite non-renewable resources and they did not bring their own water and topsoil. Each of us needs 100 times our own body weight of water each day if we take into account all the food we eat according to Fred Pearce, author of "When the Rivers Run Dry". That is why South East Queensland, which has added 1,000,000 to its population in the last 15 years is currently in the grips of a water supply crisis. The people who have monopolised the land and other essential natural resources are clearly counting on the arrival of new immigrants to drive up the price of land and housing regardless of the consequences for many current members of this society and for our long term sustainability. The evidence suggests we may have already exceeded the limits past which our long term sustainability is threatened, particularly given that the export of non-renewable mineral resources upon which our economy depends is adding to global warming. We certainly should not sit back and allow an already bad situation to become worse.
Amy (not verified)
Sat, 2006-12-30 08:30
Anonymous (not verified)
Wed, 2013-01-02 02:21
Turkish language popular music site
Turkish Language popular music broadcast site at http://www.ztk3.com/
Comment was originally posted probably on 1 January 2013 with a comment and subject of http://www.ztk3.com/ . The relevance of the site to the above article is not clear to me, but we never censor any visitor's post unless it somehow prevents other visitors from being able to effectively use candobetter, for example, by being too verbose, contains personal abuse, is defamatory or illegal in any other way or is spam. Were we ever not to publish any material, except in the case of spam, we would do so transparently, and not secretively as, for example, was done by the (now defunct) web-sites Lavartus Prodeo and Web Diary, so that other visitors would at least be aware that material had not be published and be free to raise any concerns about the non-publication with us. - Ed, 2 January