THIS GRAPH below surely brings home the impact that the population Ponzi will have on SYDNEY … a doubling of bodies getting around … competing for facilities … where will the water come from?
DESAL … along with $Thousands in Water Rates for the privilege of having the overwhelming abundance of housing those from Our Big Neighbour to the North …
CHINA has eased its capital controls … is that to further facilitate the spread of its Diaspora beyond its City of Chatswood now to the Northern Beaches, the North Shore, the Northern Districts … the Inner West … and Hurstville in the South with their highest population … as they fly in to Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin, Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast?
Are we outside the Middle Kingdom supposed to remain mute to allow this massive sell-off of Our Real Estate?
Through the deve-loper/property sector token gesture of deploying ‘affordable supply’ with the proposal that our people become life-long Tenants in BUILD-to-Rent or Boarding Houses?
Governments need to step up their efforts to release land faster to solve the housing affordability conundrum, property industry leaders told The Australian Financial Review Property Summit.
The National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation was the latest government intervention but it alone wasn’t enough to solve the housing affordability puzzle especially in Sydney and Melbourne.
They said governments needed to do more to provide not just land but help with making planning delays shorter and in providing *tax breaks for build-to-rent housing…
*Looser planning and bigger tax breaks would obviously boost developer profits at the expense of residents, who will pay higher taxes to have their liveability smashed by over-development, more congestion, and reduced access to open space.
The reality is that “the housing affordability puzzle… in Sydney and Melbourne”won’t be solved as long as both cities are stuffed to the gills with 200,000 extra residents each and every year.
But it’s a lot more convenient to wax lyrical about supply shortfalls than reducing demand, and fattening developer profits in the process.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) yesterday released its quarterly labour force report, which breaks-down employment at the industry level to August 2019.
Below are some key charts, which present the changes in employment aggregates on a trend basis.
First, the quarterly change in employment by industry:
Next, the annual employment change:
And finally, here are the job changes since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC):
As you can see, the manufacturing industry is the big loser, with manufacturing jobs falling by 14,200 over the quarter, by 77,200 over the year, and by 171,400 since the GFC.
The below time series chart shows that the number of manufacturing jobs fell to an all-time low 871,700 in August, as well as to a record low 6.7% share of the labour market:
If I had to guess the cause of the manufacturing decline over the past year, I’d put it down to the slump in dwelling construction, which is likely driving fewer inputs into the construction process (e.g. bricks, plasterboard, kitchens, etc):
That said, overall construction jobs actually risen over the year to August, with the fall in housing-related construction jobs likely being offset by higher infrastructure construction jobs:
The outlook for construction jobs is poor, however, with dwelling approvals crashing:
At the same time as the infrastructure pipeline is shrinking:
Expect significant construction job losses over the next 18 months.
For about two-thirds of Australian households, that primarily means the homes in which they live and the rental properties they own.
*Too bad about the other one-third. For them, high-and-again-rising housing prices are the key element in our worsening wealth inequality.
There’s also the little matter of the very high debt load carried by Australian property-buying households – the stuff of world records. Applauding a housing price rise that is much higher than the inflation rate means also applauding an even greater household debt ratio.
But the one thing politically worse for a government than housing prices rising is housing prices falling. Winning elections is about the majority. The one-third disadvantaged doesn’t matter.
Oh, Mr Frydenberg trotted out the government’s bits-and-pieces policies to help some first home buyers to borrow more and help with a few social and affordable housing projects, but there was nothing that adds up to comprehensive housing policy or anything serious to deal with our real housing crisis – shelter for people on low incomes, people who will never be able to buy.
The government likes to simplistically portray the housing market as purely a matter of supply and demand. No acknowledgment of the role of tax policy, cutting interest rates only seen as a jolly good thing.
As always with a politician, Mr Frydenberg cherrypicked the statistics to put the best spin on the state of the economy – no mention of rising unemployment, the downturn in job vacancies, that nearly all the extra jobs over the past year came from the state and local governments, that household consumption remains between flat and weak, that wages growth remains substandard and shows no sign of improving.
But he did include figures that underlined the importance of a housing industry recovery. Building approvals are at a six-and-a-half year low, the budget forecasts dwelling investment to fall by seven per cent this financial year and by a further four per cent next financial year, and nearly 1.2 million Australians are employed in construction – but that number is falling and will continue to fall.
Mr Frydenberg seemed nostalgic for the good ol’ boom times:
“From 2012 to 2017, combined capital city housing prices increased by over 50 per cent.
“In Sydney, the median house price rose from $600,000 to over $1 million at its peak.
“From 2013-2017, dwelling investment growth averaged above 5 per cent per year contributing around 0.3 percentage points to annual GDP growth – significant when you consider that dwelling investment represents just under 6 per cent of the economy.”
Now, it’s a matter of hoping prices keep rising again, and encouraging more buyers to chase supply as low and lower interest rates make buying a house more attractive – for those who can.
HAS this article hit a ‘raw nerve’ … there are 877 comments … is that a record?
FOUR more long years of this … One of the Panelists for the Review is Professor Ralston who was also a spokeswoman for the Alliance for a Fairer Retirement System – a group set up to oppose Labor’s franking credit policies in the lead-up to the federal election.
Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers and opposition social services spokeswoman Linda Burney said:
“After six years of attacks on retirees and older Australians, [Prime Minister] ScottMorrison and Josh Frydenberg must rule out the possibility that this review will become a stalking horse for cutting the pension, including the family home in the pension asset test, and further delaying the legislated increase in the superannuation guarantee to 12 per cent,”
Super and pension budget measures in firing line of retirement review
The review will cover the current state of the system and how it will perform in the future as Australians live longer and the population ages, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says.
A three-person panel headed by former senior Treasury official Michael Callaghan will run the review.
A consultation paper will be released in November, with the final report due by June.
The next increase in compulsory superannuation and a string of budget savings measures that have crimped retirees’ incomes will be investigated in the first comprehensive review of the nation’s retirement income system in 30 years.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Friday released the terms of reference for the inquiry, which will cover the age pension, voluntary savings including the family home, aged-care funding, franking credits and the role of the powerful $2.9 trillion superannuation industry.
The wide-ranging review would examine “the current state of the system and how it will perform in the future as Australians live longer and the population ages“, Mr Frydenberg said.
Noting that retirement incomes were based on three pillars – a means-tested aged pension, compulsory super and voluntary savings – the terms of reference require the review to establish a “fact base” of the current system.
It will then identify how the retirement system helps supports people in retirement, the role each pillar plays in that support, distributional impacts across the population and over time as well as the impact of current policy settings on public finances.
A three-person panel headed by former senior Treasury official Michael Callaghan will run the review. He will be joined by Carolyn Kay, a member of the Future Fund’s board of guardians, and Deborah Ralston, chair of the Self Managed Super Fund Association and a member of the Reserve Bank’s payments system board.
* Professor Ralston was also a spokeswoman for the Alliance for a Fairer Retirement System – a group set up to oppose Labor’s franking credit policies in the lead-up to the federal election.
The Productivity Commission in December urged the government to undertake the review before “any increase in the superannuation guarantee rate”. The guarantee, which is the amount of compulsory super that must be paid to employees, is scheduled to rise from 9.5 per cent to 10 per cent by 2021, before reaching 12 per cent by 2025.
They have also raised concerns about the efficiency of the overall system, which has seen some workers in underperforming funds up to $188,000 worse off.
*Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers and opposition social services spokeswoman Linda Burney said Labor would engage with the review but warned it should not be used to hit the next superannuation guarantee increase.
*“After six years of attacks on retirees and older Australians, [Prime Minister] ScottMorrison and Josh Frydenberg must rule out the possibility that this review will become a stalking horse for cutting the pension, including the family home in the pension asset test, and further delaying the legislated increase in the superannuation guarantee to 12 per cent,” they said.
Industry Super chief executive Bernie Dean said the sector responsible for Australia’s retirement savings had to ensure the system was working as efficiently as possible.
“Compulsory superannuation is the cornerstone of our retirement income system and we all have an obligation to work together to ensure it is operating as well as it can be,” he said.
Council on the Ageing chief executive Ian Yates said the review “would have a lot of ground to cover” and the pressure on the government to act on its recommendations would become “quite substantial”.
Mr Yates said he expected the review to investigate the level of compulsory super, the asset level at which pensions were reduced, housing and aged care.
“It’s quite a powerful terms of reference,” he said. “I think clearly taxpayers’ money is not being used as well as it could be to achieve best outcomes. There are different bits that don’t fit together at the moment.”
National Seniors’ chief advocate Ian Henschke said past changes to the age pension taper rate meant people with $800,000 in savings were now up to $12,000 a year worse off than people who had savings of $400,000.
The review offered a real chance to look at changes made in recent years that had hurt the bottom line of many retirees as well as the plight of pensioners, particularly women, who were now living in poverty, he said.
“We’ve seen some perverse outcomes from the changes made over the years and now we have a chance to see what damage they’ve caused,” he said.
Brendan Coates, household finances program director with the Grattan Institute, said the breadth of the terms of reference was promising and Mr Callaghan was a strong choice to lead the review.
It’s quite a powerful terms of reference.
The only problem might be the tight deadline facing the review panel, he said. A consultation paper will be released in November, with the final report due by June.
“With such a broad scope the review panel will have its work cut out to deliver the final report by the Treasurer’s deadline,” Mr Coates said.
of CorelLogic International, Lisa Claes, says while it’s getting tougher
to buy a house four out of five Australians still
believe it’s important to own your own home.
course they do … to have the security of a Nest …
Now to save for a 20% deposit it takes an average
of 11 years in Sydney with Stamp Duty averaging 3% of the purchase price
The downturn has had little impact upon affordability with low incomes … the dwelling price to household income … that is six and a half times the gross not net household income!
is now 50% higher than it was 20 years ago … impacting not only Gen X and Y
locked out but their families having to house them!
HOW did this come about? Was it the massive competition of those from
our big neighbour to the north?
-the hideous Foreign Investment Board Review (FIRB) that allowed
deve-lopers to sell 100% ‘new homes’ to foreign buyers
-no Anti-Money Laundering Rules to prevent black money awash in our Real
Estate (RE gatekeepers exempt October 2018 from second tranche)
AUSTRALIA needs is a Party that will enable HOUSING AFFORDABILITY for this
Whole Cohort locked out … by enforcing the Second Tranche of the AML
Legislation, eliminating the overseas sell out and dissolving the FIRB!
had that opportunity in 2019!
SHARE TO LET OTHERS KNOW!
THE BUSINESS: WITH CEO OF CORELOGIC INTERNATIONAL: 4 OUT OF 5 AUSTRALIANS Believe it is Important to own your own Home!
NIGHTINGALE HOUSING was unable to develop in Sydney due to the high cost of land … however a solution would be for our Governments … rather than selling off Public land and/or property to developers for private development … to make it available for Collaborative Housing … a Solution for the Housing Affordability Crisis affecting a Whole Cohort of Australians!
For those renting … feeling insecure … having to put up with damp, mould, and a dwelling in poor condition … the constant anxiety about the rent rising … and a bleak future of being an insecure life-long tenant in private rental housing, Build-to-rent, or boarding houses owned by either a property developer, investor, even a foreign developer … having to share a laundry in a collaborative housing project would seem to be insignificant compared to the opportunity to break this cycle, and buy an apartment that is cheaper, energy efficient, and has access to bulk power savings!
That’s what collaborative housing can be about.
Every building has defects … but none more so than it appears those built since about 1998 to date! Listen in!
Collaborative housing resident Bronwyn and architects Jeremy McLeod and James Legge discuss the pros and cons.
China’s growing military might has replaced North Korean belligerence as the main security threat to Japan, according to Tokyo’s annual defence review — this despite signs that Pyongyang could have nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles.
China’s military spending is set to rise more than three times that of Japan.
Beijing now routinely sends its air and sea patrols near Japan’s western Okinawa islands
Japan considerrs Chinese patrols near its territory a ‘”security concern”
The document’s security assessment on China — listing them as a threat — comes after a section on Japan’s ally, the United States, which, along with Japan’s own defence system, forms the cornerstone of Japan’s security.
This is the first time Beijing has achieved second place in the Defence White Paper, pushing North Korea into third position.
Russia, deemed by Japan as its primary threat during the Cold War, was in fourth place.
“The reality is that China is rapidly increasing military spending, and so people can grasp that we need more pages,” Minister of Defence Taro Kono said at a media briefing.
“China is deploying air and sea assets in the Western Pacific and through the Tsushima Strait into the Sea of Japan with greater frequency.”
Today, this means the PLA is swiftly catching up to the technological prowess of Washington and Moscow, and military analysis website Global Firepower estimated the Chinese military draws upon about 2.18 million active personnel.
Japan has raised defence spending by a tenth over the past seven years to counter military advances by Beijing and Pyongyang, including defences against North Korean missiles which may carry nuclear warheads, the paper said.
North Korea has conducted short-range missile launches this year, which Tokyo believes show Pyongyang is developing projectiles to evade its Aegis ballistic missile defences.
To stay ahead of China’s modernising military, Japan is buying US-made stealth fighters and other advanced weapons.
In its latest budget request, Japan’s military asked for 115.6 billion yen ($1.6 billion) to buy nine Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighters, including six F-35B short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) variants to operate from converted helicopter carriers.
The stealth jets, US-made interceptor missiles and other equipment are part of a proposed 1.2 per cent increase in defence spending to a record 5.32 trillion yen ($73.1 billion) in the year starting April 1.
“It’s a reflection of the level of cooperation we undertake with each partner,” a defence ministry official said at an earlier briefing.
South Korean government officials took issue with the White Paper’s reference to ownership of an island in the Sea of Japan that is also claimed and controlled by South Korea. The outcrop, also called Liancourt Rocks, is known as Dokdo in Seoul and Takeshima in Tokyo.
“Our government strongly protests Japan’s repeated claim. The Japanese government should acknowledge that it is not helpful for bilateral relations,” South Korea’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
You won’t be able to live in your purchase, so you might still need to bunk in with Mum and Dad or your housemates, but — if the scheme is to be believed — you take a cut of the rental returns and any increase to the property’s value when you sell.
However, like buying and selling any other property, it’s not risk-free and investors are subject to the same fees and charges, like stamp duty when you buy and capital gains tax when you sell.
“The upside, downside of the market is still there … the only difference is now that anyone can access it,” Lakeba Group chief executive Giuseppe Porcelli told ABC News.
“Now with Bricklet, even people who have money in their savings account — like [a] small chunk of money, like $20,000 for example — they can have the same kind of investment.”
Buying and selling bricklets also incurs pro-rata costs, with the company charging fees on the transactions.
But the concept is quite innovative in the way it uses blockchain technology to transfer land ownership and carry out the transactions — a program Lakeba Group believes will make it cheaper to buy property.
How is blockchain involved — and will it work?
Blockchain is a word brandished around so commonly these days, but still one that nobody really understands.
Essentially, it’s a technology that records and verifies transactions without the need for an external authority.
You can’t modify any block without altering the entire chain, which makes it an immutable digital ledger.
Selling and buying property using blockchain technology could eliminate the need for lengthy settlements and costly conveyancer and solicitor fees, analysts believe.
University of Adelaide housing affordability expert Chris Leishman thinks blockchain could be the key to making home ownership more affordable — but doesn’t believe the bricklet concept alone will achieve that.
“This is actually quite a welcome innovation [but] it’s not going to deliver a magic solution in terms of affordability … it needs to be combined with something else and some other innovation,” he said.
“But we do think that financial technology, new tenure models, new financial models are a part of the answer in making housing more affordable.
“What we want to see is more research into making housing tenure and housing finance options more flexible and more accessible to people on the margins of home ownership.”
The university is exploring its own housing affordability concept which involves a new tenure model — like blockchain — which could allow a tenant to rent a house and gradually acquire more ownership stake in that property.
“A blockchain-enabled tenure could in theory reduce those transaction costs, so it isn’t punitive in terms of gradually acquiring a fractional ownership right in a property,” Professor Leishman said.
“It’s a new concept that still requires a lot of thought and research to develop.”
Is buying a small portion of a property risky or worth it?
The Bricklet scheme is designed for first-time investors who otherwise might not be able to afford to invest in property and own their own home.
Mr Porcelli said there was a lot of demand for this kind of property investment, with the first 40 bricklets in Adelaide’s tallest residential building, Kodo, so popular there was already a waiting list.
Professor Leishman welcomed the concept but warned other investments, like buying and trading shares, could be more lucrative and help people buy their own home faster.
“In a city like Adelaide, prices don’t grow that quickly like they do in other Australian cities, so you could potentially be putting investment into something that’s going to grow more slowly than other opportunities, such as shares,” he said.
“The other point is even if house prices do grow, the cost of buying a house is going up at the same rate of the value of this $25,000 investment so the buyer never really gets any closer to achieving home ownership.
“We haven’t identified any risks as yet, but clearly this is innovative, it’s a new concept using blockchain to confer ownership rights so it really does require additional research to identify what its barriers are.”
Flinders University senior researcher Dr Matt Fisher was also concerned the scheme wouldn’t address other housing affordability issues.
“Housing stress for purchasers, housing stress for private renters, and the supply of social housing,” he said.
“Housing stress is generally defined as a situation where people are paying 30 per cent or more of their income on housing costs and obviously can apply to purchasers with a mortgage or to those in private rental.
“Housing stress can have adverse effects on people’s mental and physical health.
“Further, the reality for most people is that housing costs combine with costs for other essentials such as food and electricity, which together constitute a major part of week-by-week cost of living.”
Why is this global concept only being trialled in SA?
The certificate reduces any grounds for dispute litigation because it includes all property details about ownership, easements and rights of way, as well as any finance on the land, including mortgages and leases.
It’s a concept now adopted worldwide, because it keeps the cost of land sale and transfer as cheap as possible.
But the founders of Bricklet believe using blockchain technology will make property sales even cheaper and faster.
Despite eventually planning to take the Bricklet concept global, Lakeba Group said it wanted to trial the idea in Australia — a place where home and property acquisition is regarded by some as the definition of success.
“[South Australia] has a strong understanding of title change, they fully understood the story when we pitched to the Government, and it would make sense for us to start in one state,” Mr Porcelli said.
“In Australia, the property market is a hot topic but worldwide there are so many other items that can be tokenised in the same way.
“We’re in very advanced conversation with some European countries and the state of New York.
“But first, we need to achieve a certain target and goals in our own country and then we can talk about the rest of the world.”
-it is stating the bleeding obvious … if you project into the wider world … you put it out there … you peddle influence, etc, etc
IT is only natural there is some:
.questioning to be had
BUT what always seems to be spoken of lightly is any thorough examination of the big picture:
-what is the real geopolitical strategy that is in play?
-what are the plans that run parallel to the Belt and Road Initiative?
-what about the debt driven compliant relationships being made with smaller countries
NONE of us ought to lose sight of the fact the:
PRC is a totalitarian regime that deserves all examinations and appraisals provided because there is more to being a global player than being an important trader in just about everything, after all the dignity of:
-being free of oppression, overt and covert and
-upholding human rights is above all else
AND also it is:
–about values and what in a real sense does the PRC value?
Are we outside the Middle Kingdom supposed to remain mute, or set aside the criticism for the sake of the benefits of trade?
IS what is happening in the current coverage of this global player really warranted? Only one answer cuts it and it is a positive thing …
AS for the final paragraph could it be:
-trying to create warm and fuzzy feelings about rural village life in contrast to the real game in town?
WHILST true it is not what the country is about, is it an attempt to distract or ignore what is happening?
RELATED ARTICLES …
CLICK onto about 9.5 minutes into the talk and David Lee, a GeoPolitical Strategist hones in on Chatswood … 15% of the entire GDP of Australia comes from Sydney to Chatswood
This city has happened out of nowhere … massive high-rises … it looks like Hong Kong … it’s a city being built ostensibly with China’s money …
Australian media’s coverage of China has more than doubled since this time last year, led by growing interest in topics like Hong Kong and the US-China trade war, new data shows.
More than 300,000 stories mentioned China in the last year
Topics like human rights and espionage are on the rise
Experts question the quality of coverage
The research shows a particular surge in the past three months, partly driven by increased mentions of topics generally seen as negative about China, such as human rights and espionage.
“The recent spike in China-related coverage has been dramatic, when you consider that China’s emergence as a global power has been decades in the making,” said Conal Hanna from media monitoring company Streem.
Streem compiled data from 28 of the country’s major media outlets across online, print, radio and TV, and found trade was the number one topic mentioned, followed by Donald Trump, security and Hong Kong.
It found more than 300,000 stories mentioned China in the last year, with topics like Crown Casino and Huang Xiangmo experiencing big recent rises
“Often with these big issues, increased attention begets even more scrutiny as reporters dig into the various security, economic and political threads that emerge. But not all of the issues are new either.
“It’s interesting to me that mentions of human rights are up 150 per cent in China stories year-on-year when there have long been concerns over China’s attitude to human rights.”
Problematic for Chinese-Australians
Professor James Laurenceson, acting director of the Australia-China Relations Institute at the University of Technology Sydney, said he had concerns over the way some issues were being covered.
“The scrutiny of potential connections between China and the Chinese Communist Party and Australian organisations and individuals — there is absolutely nothing wrong with that at all. I’m glad Australian media outlets are putting resources into [this].
“[But] sometimes, media coverage and commentators’ analysis can be sensationalised and run ahead of facts and evidence, and that can be problematic. And one of the groups it can be problematic for is Chinese-Australians.
“Chinese Government trying to interfere in Australia … [is] not the entire Chinese-Australian relationship.
“We have a lot of Chinese friends. They tell me that the tone of Australian debate around China relations generally has affected them personally. In particular, [when] their loyalty to Australia is called into question.
“It’s a very unfortunate turn and I don’t think it’s fair.”
What about rural China?
The increased interest in China is not happening in Australia alone.
Muyi Xiao from ChinaFile, a US-based not-for-profit online magazine, said she was seeing a rise in coverage of China in global media, but not all of it was hitting the mark.
“I’ve read many very solid China reports coming from international media but at the same time many ‘parachuting-style’ irresponsible stories,” she said.
“One thing that matters a lot to the quality of reporting, is the resources the media put into its China coverage.
“Human rights issues and geopolitics topics are often in the spotlight of international media coverage. They are indeed very important topics and deserve the attention, especially when these topics can not be brought up in public in China.
“What I feel is being neglected are stories happening in rural China where the majority of China’s population live.”
Former Department of Immigration Deputy Secretary, Abul Rizvi, has slammed the Morrison Government’s attempted outsourcing of Australia’s visa processing to the private sector, claiming that it carries “immense risks” for the integrity of the visa system …
Former Department of Immigration Deputy Secretary, Abul Rizvi, has slammed the Morrison Government’s attempted outsourcing of Australia’s visa processing to the private sector, claiming that it carries “immense risks” for the integrity of the visa system:
[Abul Rizvi has] called for any proposed contract to be first vetted by Australian National Audit Office and Australian Competition and Consumer Commission before it is inked…
“The risks associated with visa privatisation, once Home Affairs has become totally dependent on a monopoly owner of the visa processing IT platform, are extensive,” Rizvi said in a submission to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee inquiry into the impact of changes to service delivery models on the administration and running of Government programs.
“Home Affairs has provided no explanation of how these many risks are to be managed.”
The essence of the alarm bell Rizvi is soundinggoes to the commercial-in-confidence shielding from public view of the visa processing outsourcing program’s business case and the assumptions it is based on…
While there is still a paucity of official acknowledgement on who is bidding for the work, the two main contenders are known to be ‘Australia Visa Processing’ – a conglomerate consisting of Ellerston Capital, PwC, Qantas Ventures, NAB and Pacific Blue Capital – and Australia Post and Accenture consortium…
“Maintaining an IT platform for such an increasingly complex visa system will inevitably involve growing costs. Will Government agree to ever increasing visa application fees to meet the demands of the private company that would be the monopoly owner of the IT platform?”…
“Another ‘innovative’ way for the owner of the IT platform to increase profit would be through the extraordinary data the owner would hold,” Rizvi said.
“Australia’s citizenship and visa databases hold some of the most extensive and detailed data on Australian citizens, family and humanitarian sponsors, education providers, overseas students, tourists and companies who sponsor overseas workers. This database would be incredibly valuable.”
Aside from the issue of data protection, Rizvi questions if and how “the IT platform owner could use and/or sell the data.”
“While Home Affairs may argue it would never agree to this data being used inappropriately, the pressure from the owner of the IT platform to chip away at Home Affairs’ resistance would be relentless.”
*The first assistant secretary of the immigration department, Andrew Kefford, recently claimed the privatisation of Australia’s visa system is the “most significant reform to the Australian immigration system in more than 30 years”, and said it would make the “visa business” profitable by including “premium services for high-value applicants”, different access for those able to pay more, as well as “commercial value-added services”.
Photo: The Guardian
However, the experience in the United Kingdom, which privatised its visa processing in 2014, has beennothing short of disastrous, with the Dubai-based firm holding the government contract accused of rampant exploitation, providing a “substandard” service for “inflated” prices, as well as turning the visa system into ‘pay-to-win’.
Abul Rizvi is right. The plan to outsource Australia’s visa processing should be vetted by Australian National Audit Office and the ACCC before it goes ahead. This is unlikely, however, given there is no way that an independent and comprehensive review would approve the plan.
In addition to the inevitable cost increases a monopoly provider would charge as they load-up their profits, Australia’s sovereignty would be compromised as the system is inevitably corrupted and turned into ‘pay-to-win’, whereby those willing and able to pay extra fees are granted priority treatment, as witnessed in the United Kingdom.
Seriously, how can the Australian Government ‘control’ immigration numbers when it adds a profit motive and turns the visa system into a quantity-based business? It cannot.
We have already witnessed what happens with the international student market, where Australia’s tertiary institutions have obliterated entry and teaching standards in order to suck in as many full fee paying students as possible.
Clearly, privatising Australia’s visa system carries enormous risks. It will swiss cheese Australia’s borders, drive private monopoly profits, and put Australian taxpayers on the hook when the inevitable privatisation disaster must be fixed down the road.
The Coalition’s visa system privatisation is another prime example of Australia’s ‘Game of Mates’ and must be stopped.
Governments must provide these essential services, they must be sacrosanct and marked ‘never to be outsourced’.