Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Government Inquiries

The NSW Government has announced an inquiry into improving the planing system and has requested public comment. The address to send submissions is given as "Planning Reform".

An SOS member has written to this address as follows:

Dear Sir/Madam, Another point I should have made is my strong objection to your use of the term “reform” when you are putting proposed changes out for public comment on whether they will make things better or worse. By using the term “reform” you are saying the changes will definitely make things better, which implies that you are not going to be paying genuine attention to any public opinions that they will make things worse.

Could you please correct that misuse of English language by changing all your headings to ‘planning changes’?

Please let me know ASAP that you are doing that; and if not, why.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Can lies go on forever?

SOS member Adrien Krebs has done some research on the cost of housing. He writes:

In yesterday's Australian Financial Review (2 January 2008) an article entitled Adelaide Steals Perth's Crown mentions that the median house price in Australia in 2007 was $482 601 and that of a unit was $386 873.
So out of curiosity I did a little research and found the median home (I assume house and unit all included) price for the USA in 2007 was $212 000 USD, which roughly equates to $237 000 AUD.

Not including interest rates, which are slightly higher in Australia, the cash price of a home is DOUBLE in Australia of what it is in the USA, the world's wealthiest nation!!

- Is it that the USA have much more land available than Australia? NO. Mainland US covers 7.8 million km2, when Australia is 7.7 million km2. So reasonably the same size

- Is it that Australia has much more people competing for land? NO. The exact opposite is true with only 20 million people in Australia vs. 300 million in the US!

- Perhaps our Aussie homes are made of silver and gold or diamond bricks? NO. When driving through the Sydney suburbs, I mainly noticed sandstone for old and historic houses and mostly bricks for more modern ones, and a few wooden ones.

- The US must be going through a severe real estate crisis! There has been a lot of news about this, but according to the US Census http://www.census.gov/const/uspricemon.pdf the historical record month for Real Estate was April 2007 where the median home price was at $257 000 USD. Still a universe away from our Australian prices.

The American median income is also higher than the Australian one, so I am definitely out of options and can not figure out why a small 500m2 lot of raw land 60 kilometers West of Sydney will sell for the same price as a built house with a garden in the US.

This information is public. When spread accross Australia, lies will not be able to go on forever and people will want answers. What answers will Frank Sartor and our governments provide us with?