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Hundreds gather at Sydney’s Town Hall for a Pro China Rally

SBS NEWS Report a Pro China Rally today at Sydney’s Town Hall following the second pro-Hong Kong rally in as many days was held in Melbourne’s CBD on Friday 16 August 2019.


Let the World know they are liars Hong Kong Rally defies Beijing’s Threat

Hong Kong: Thousands marched in the rain with teachers towards Hong Kong’s government house on Saturday, after an undeterred crowd of 60,000 people chanted “Freedom for Hong Kong” at a rally in the business district on Friday evening.

The Independent Police Complaints Council said it had received 2000 complaints about police handling of the ongoing protests, and 24,000 photos, videos and other evidence.


Anti-Hong Kong democracy protest in Sydney marred by ugly confrontations

By Nick Bonyhady and Vicky Xiuzhong Xu

An anti-Hong Kong democracy rally turned ugly in Sydney’s CBD on Saturday, with protesters shouting jingoistic slogans and two men escorted away under police protection after they were confronted by rally attendees.

*The protesters, most of them believed to be migrants from mainland China, attended the rally to support Beijing’s policies in Hong Kong. The group gathered at Belmore Park about noon and marched to Sydney Town Hall, chanting “long live China”, with attendance estimates varying from 200 to 3000.

An anti-democracy protester grabs a man with a Taiwanese man around the neck at a rally in Sydney today.
An anti-democracy protester grabs a man with a Taiwanese man around the neck at a rally in Sydney today.CREDIT:AAP

*During the protest, an elderly man holding a sign supporting freedom in Hong Kong was escorted away by police after being surrounded and verbally abused by mainland protesters.

**“He’s being protected by the police, otherwise we’d beat him to death,” a woman said in Mandarin as others cursed at him “Traitor! Traitor!”

*A man holding a Taiwanese flag was confronted by rally attendees at the tail end of the event and appeared to be grabbed around the neck by another man before he fell to the ground.

Police later broke up the fracas and escorted the man to safety.

Several speakers led the rally in aggressive anti-Hong Kong protest chants.
Several speakers led the rally in aggressive anti-Hong Kong protest chants.CREDIT:SMH

Police said one person at the rally was taken into custody to prevent a breach of the peace and was released without charge.

*A Sydney resident who attended the rally but did not give his name, said: “Only one incident occurred where someone tried to spread disinformation but they were kicked out by the Chinese community.”

It comes after two men were moved on from protests in Melbourne today and scuffles broke out between pro and anti-democracy protesters in that city on Friday night.

*During the rally, the crowd named individual student leaders in Hong Kong and called for a crackdown. The crowd cheered: “Those in Hong Kong who don’t love HK, get the f— out! If you don’t love China, you’re our enemy! Isolate them! Get the f— out!”

*In response, someone shouted: “Hong Kong separatists are c—s!”

Many who participated in the rally were well-dressed young students angered by the protests in Hong Kong and reactions in Australia. They dubbed their rally Hong Kong No Riot, holding pictures of what they called “riots” in Hong Kong and condemned those in Australia who support the “rioters”.

*The organisers, including a man named Liang Junshen (Jack) who said he was a former university student in Sydney, took weeks to purchase the Chinese flags and design posters.

*However, a group on WeChat (a Chinese messaging app) where participants were mobilised was taken down days before the rally following heated political discussions that triggered concerns from Chinese censors.

Mr Liang said he was in meetings with other leaders of the rally, but denied that they had any political affiliations or was connected to Chinese officials.

*Familiar faces from previous pro-China protests were at today’s rally: a young Chinese couple who spoke at the rally had attempted to disrupt a talk at Sydney University earlier this year about China’s mass detention of the Uighur people.

*Another protester who told the crowd “if you are a separatist, I wish death upon your father”, played an active role in another pro-China rally in 2017 that was reportedly organised by the Chinese consulate in Sydney.

Earlier this month The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age revealed one student’s account of how his family in China was approached by authorities after he participated in a pro-democracy Hong Kong protest in Brisbane.


Police remove a Chinese nationalist from a Melbourne rally in support of Hong Kong democracy protesters.

Pro-Hong Kong groups rally in Melbourne after clash with Chinese nationalists

*A post from the state-owned Chinese newspaper The People’s Daily on Twitter portrayed the protest as a peaceful and cheerful event and posts on WeChat cast it in a similarly positive light.

*The Chinese Ambassador to Australia Cheng Jingye issued a statement on the morning of the protests in Sydney,  describing protesters in Hong Kong as exhibiting “radical, violent and illegal behaviours”.

“Their behaviours have grossly trampled on the rule of law and social order in Hong Kong, seriously threatened the local residents’ life and safety, severely jeopardised Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability. No responsible government would sit idly by,” the ambassador said.

*“Hong Kong affairs are solely the internal affairs of China.”

Hong Kong has been rocked by weeks of street protests, some attended by more than a million people, demanding democracy for the city, which is governed under a separate arrangement to the rest of China.

Nick Bonyhady

Nick is a journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald.

An anti-democracy protester grabs a man with a Taiwanese man around the neck at a rally in Sydney today.





SBS NEWS Report a Pro China Rally today at Sydney’s Town Hall following the second pro-Hong Kong rally in as many days was held in Melbourne’s CBD on Friday 16 August 2019.

Hundreds gather in Sydney for police-heavy pro-China rally

A pro-China march has been held at Sydney's Town Hall.

A pro-China march has been held at Sydney’s Town Hall. Source: Lin Evlin/SBS News

Hundreds of supporters of pro-China groups in Sydney have rallied against Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests, calling for a “peaceful resolution” to ongoing unrest.



Hundreds of people have gathered in Sydney at a pro-China rally, condemning violence stemming from pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

Videos posted online show swathes of people descending on the city’s Town Hall, many chanting “one China”, “stop the violence in Hong Kong” and singing the Chinese national anthem.

“If Hong Kongers don’t love Hong Kong, get out. If you don’t love China, you’re our enemy. Isolate them. Get out,” some protesters chanted.

The rally – attended by a diverse range of people including new migrants, international students and second or third generation Chinese-Australians – had a heavy police presence.

People attend a pro-China march in Sydney

People attend a pro-China march in SydneyLin Evlin/SBS News

Some demonstrators also filmed attending media outlets.

The rally was largely peaceful, except for one incident.

A man attempting to distribute leaflets in support of Hong Kong’s protesters was met with cries of “f*** you traitor” and “shame on you” before being escorted out by police.

Hong Kong has seen over two months of violent clashes between pro-democracy protesters and police, with authorities accused of deploying heavy-handed tactics towards protesters.


A man reacts as policemen with riot gears ask him to move during a protest in Hong Kong.

‘It will end like Tiananmen Square’: What is it the Hong Kong protesters really want?

Jack, an organiser of the Sydney rally who did not give his last name, said the aim of the event was to “promote peace and end discrimination”.

“We are seeing there has been a [anti-China] bias here in Australia as well. We want to let everyone know what is happening in Hong Kong and what the truth is,” he said.

“We support Hong Kong’s police to restore the peace, and therefore reduce the tensions in the Australian-Chinese community.”

Jack, an organiser of the Sydney rally

Jack, an organiser of the Sydney rallySBS News

“Because of the Hong Kong issue, we also see there’s some bias in Australia as well, therefore we want to let everyone know what is happening in Hong Kong and what the truth is.

“So we can reduce the tension in our community. Our main message is to promote peace and avoid discrimination.

“We also want to express our view against the “Hong Kong is not part of China” message spread around by some pro-Hong Kong people, we promote peace and support the Hong Kong police.”

Eric Kwan, a taxi driver born in Sydney to parents born in Hong Kong, said the protests have been affecting his business.

“I have had customers from Hong Kong who have been cancelling their bookings,” he said.

“There can be a peaceful resolution. If violence stops from the protesters, there is no need for violence from the police side.

“I believe the Chinese government will exercise reasonable solutions.”

Eric Kwan

Eric KwanSBS News

It came as a second pro-Hong Kong rally in as many days was held in Melbourne’s CBD.

Saturday’s peaceful rally, attended by over a hundred people, stood in contrast to Friday’s event. READ MORE

Chinese actress Liu Yifei poses on the red carpet during the closing ceremony for the Jackie Chan International Action Film Week in Datong

Calls to #BoycottMulan after film’s star backs Hong Kong police

The rally on Friday saw people supporting Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters clash with Chinese nationalists, with videos posted to social media showing the rival groups pushing one another before being separated by police.

The event was estimated to have attracted about a thousand people at its peak.

More rallies from both sides of the divide are expected in the coming weeks.

With additional reporting from AAPSOURCE SBS NEWS

A pro-China march has been held at Sydney's Town Hall.





‘Our Sovereignty, our freedoms will be diminished’ …  this it would seem is happening with our Title Deeds being Our biggest EXPORT!

Does it not seem that through poooor government policies allowing so much Visa manipulation by inviting temporary Visa holders including Students, PhD Student, Investors, 10 Year Visa, Family, Parent, Guardian, Skilled Workers (formerly 457 and others) to buy our real estate to gain a Permanent Residency Visa … to boost the coffers of the residential development sector and State Government stamp duty coffers … that the Chinese Diaspora has grown disproportionately large? Like a Trojan Horse …

For those xenophobia phobes among us who leap upon anyone who is observant and who speaks their mind, and calls them out for racism … we recommend you read this article! We have highlighted passages!

With his controversial op-ed, Liberal backbencher Andrew Hastie set off a debate that has riven Canberra along unexpected lines. By Mike Seccombe.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is untitled-1_0005_mike-seccombe-raw-mono.png


Parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security chair Andrew Hastie.CREDIT: AAP IMAGE / LUKAS COCH

At first Clive Hamilton did not understand the significance of what was said to him at the end of an interview he conducted for his controversial 2018 book, Silent Invasion: China’s Influence in Australia.

The interviewee was John Garnaut, a former China correspondent for the Fairfax newspapers, who would later work for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and compile, with ASIO, a classified report on the extent of Chinese influence in Australia.

Hamilton recalls that Garnaut “was one of the first people I spoke with. At the end of our meeting, he said, ‘You know, it’s important that you are writing this book, Clive.’

“I asked why, and he said, ‘Because you are from the left.’ I only understood what he meant after the book was published.”

By virtue of his background, Hamilton thought he had been inoculated to some extent against such criticism. He was, and says he still is, “proudly of the left”. His previous books championed environmentalism, debunked the climate deniers, challenged consumer capitalism and assailed the Howard government for its “systematic” dismantling of democratic institutions and its efforts to stifle dissent.

He was the founding executive director of the progressive think tank The Australia Institute and ran for federal parliament for the Greens in 2009 in the Higgins byelection, where he scored 32.4 per cent of the vote. He could not be accused of being in league with the Americans or the right-wing establishment. He had never before in his career been accused of xenophobia or racism.

By his description though, he found himself “leapt upon” by people he once thought of as being broadly on his side of the ideological divide.

“The multicultural warriors, headkickers from the right of the Labor Party, old comrades from the University of Sydney, that section of the left motivated by anti-Americanism and what I call xenophobia phobia – the fear of being accused of being racist,” he says.

*Of particular concern to Hamilton, still a member of the Greens, was that a section of his own party – the hard left “aligned with [former senator] Lee Rhiannon” – was and still is hostile to the ideas expressed in his book. He says, “They fall into the trap of accepting that any attack on the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] is an attack on the Chinese people.”

*As disconcerting as his sudden opponents, says Hamilton, were his sudden champions, many of them people with extreme right-wing views.

“Talk about strange bedfellows,” he says. “I never thought, for example, that I would appear on Andrew Bolt’s show, but I did – a couple of times.”

It was all very strange, and it has lately become stranger. Now we find Hamilton defending Andrew Hastieformer SAS soldier, committed Christian, former Tony Abbott acolyte within the Liberal Party’s hard right, an opponent of same-sex marriage and climate action – over his opinion piece in the Nine newspapers, likening China under Xi Jinping to Germany under Hitler.

“I thought Hastie’s remarks were necessary, and important coming from him … carrying the authority of his chairmanship of the PJCIS [parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security],” Hamilton tells The Saturday Paper.

This is remarkable of itself, but even more remarkable is the fact that all across the political landscape, people are suddenly crossing the lines of ideology and party solidarity on the question of China.

Namely, how Australia should approach its relationship with the rising superpower under the leadership of President Xi.


Look at what has happened during the past couple of weeks, starting with Hastie’s August 8 op-ed, in which he warned against our longstanding and comfortable assumption “that economic liberalisation would naturally lead to democratisation in China”.

“That intellectual failure makes us institutionally weak,” he wrote. “If we don’t understand the challenge ahead for our civil society, in our parliaments, in our universities, in our private enterprises, in our charities – our little platoonsthen choices will be made for us. Our sovereignty, our freedoms, will be diminished.

“… This was our Maginot Line. It would keep us safe, just as the French believed their series of steel and concrete forts would guard them against the German advance in 1940.”

Hastie suggested that Xi’s agenda was no less than the destruction of Western capitalism and democracy.

It was alarming – some would say alarmist – stuff, particularly because it came from the chair of the PJCIS, who was therefore privy to the thinking of Australia’s security establishment.

Hastie was quickly slapped down by people on his own side. The Christian soldier’s fellow Western Australian and political mentor, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, called the comments “clumsy and inappropriate”. Another senior Western Australian, Attorney-General Christian Porter, also demurred, saying Hastie was guilty of “oversimplifying” a complex relationship.

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham was less blunt but equally clear on ABC TV last Sunday, imploring any of his colleagues contemplating the airing of their views on sensitive foreign policy issues to ask themselves if such airing was “necessary” or “helpful”.

“There are a range of ways in which any of us can contribute, and we can do that with direct discussion with ministers and with leadership in backbench committees and other ways,” Birmingham said.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne offered soothing prattle: “There are many opportunities for both Australia and China in our bilateral relationship. It’s an important relationship underpinned by a comprehensive strategic partnership and a free trade agreement, and it benefits both countries.”

Though she acknowledged there were “differences from time to time”, Australia could “continue to manage the relationship in Australia’s best interests while protecting our sovereignty and adhering to our values”.

Despite these efforts to put a lid on it, though, Hastie found significant internal support. Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton suggested that as PJCIS chair, Hastie knew what he was talking about.

Dutton emphasised the need for Australia to guard its “sovereign right as a nation”, against external threats.

“We need to recognise the fact there is a lot happening in the cyber space at the moment, foreign interference is at an all-time high in our country.

Dave Sharma, a backbencher who is also a former diplomat and foreign-policy wonk, and seen as a rising star in the Liberal Party, also backed Hastie, saying he was “right to ring the bell” and to “warn that our greatest vulnerability lies in our thinking”.

“Our strategy and thinking needs to reflect this shift, which is basically Hastie’s point – that we need to remove the blinkers from our eyes, recognise reality for what it is, and act accordingly,” Sharma said.

In response to this split in his party, Scott Morrison, the son of a policeman, offered variations on the old copper’s cliché: “There’s nothing to see here, folks. Move on.”

Hastie was saying “nothing new”, insisted the prime minister, noting pointedly that Hastie is “of course, not a minister”. Morrison was sure there would be no blowback from Beijing.

*Well, not yet at least, in a material sense. But the language from the Chinese embassy was ominous.

“We strongly deplore the Australian federal MP Andrew Hastie’s rhetoric on ‘China threat’ which lays bare his Cold War mentality and ideological bias,” the embassy said in a statement.*

“History has proven and will continue to prove that China’s peaceful development is an opportunity, not a threat to the world.”

Australian politicians need to view China’s development in “an objective and rational way” and promote trust “instead of doing the opposite”.

As might be expected, the Labor opposition sought to highlight the government’s discomfiture. The shadow minister for foreign affairs, Penny Wong, called for Morrison to control his troops, and ensure a “disciplined and consistent approach to the management of Australia’s relationship with China”, rather than “pandering” to his backbench.

“This government has a history of its members making ill-advised and unnecessarily inflammatory statements. This is far too important to our national interest,” Wong said.

The Labor premiers of Western Australia and Queensland – the two big resource states – also weighed in with criticisms of Hastie.

But Labor’s attack was blunted by the reality that some in its own ranks, most notably the deputy chair of the PJCIS, Anthony Byrne, backed Hastie.

*Byrne said the concerns expressed were shared on both sides of the parliament and agreed “that we’re facing – and I think our intelligence agencies are saying – that we’re facing an unprecedented level of attempts to subvert our democracy through foreign interference and espionage”.

*And another prominent Labor figure, Senator Kimberley Kitching, joined Hastie in inviting all federal politicians to join a new group, anodynely and somewhat comically called the Parliamentary Friends of Democracy. You would hope all our democratically elected representatives are friends of democracy.

In their email, Kitching and Hastie darkly warned of the rise of “authoritarian regimes that use coercive means to pursue their strategic objectives” and encouraged their colleagues to “rise above party to defend the rule of law, democracy and the constituent freedoms that make Australia a special place to live”.

*It is clear that despite Morrison’s declaration there’s “nothing new” here, there is a great deal that is new, and the cross-party, cross-ideological outbreaks of the past couple of weeks are but a symptom of it.

Of course, it is true that Australia has long had concerns about Chinese government interference within our borders and in our region. As Richard McGregor, a China expert and fellow at the Lowy Institute, notes.

“Going back to 2012, we saw the banning of Huawei from involvement in the NBN, and more recently from the 5G communications network we passed foreign interference laws,” he says. “We’re doing the Pacific step-up, an internet cable to the Solomons, we’re planning a military base on Manus Island, we’re shoring up ties with Japan. We’ve increased the number of marines in Darwin.

But things have become much pointier during the past couple of years.

*Under President Xi, says McGregor, the “nature of the Chinese government has become much more authoritarian.

“Xi Jinping’s China is richer than it has been for 150 years, much more powerful diplomatically, with greater military capability than ever. They can now do a lot of things they didn’t previously dare to do because they lacked the capability to do it.”

At the same time, the Trump administration in the United States has proved to be bellicose and erratic. Australia now finds itself in a precarious position – facing a trade war between our most powerful ally and our most important trading partner.

Things have changed very quickly, even if Morrison wants to say otherwise. His actions show it.

*This week at the Pacific Islands Forum in Tuvalu, the prime minister promised $500 million in extra funding to island states, as part of an increased effort to counter the Chinese influence. The money was earmarked for investment in renewable energy and “climate and disaster resilience”.

Tuvalu’s prime minister, Enele Sopoaga, dismissed Morrison’s announcement, labelling it “immoral” to give “money in a sense to people to shut up [and] not to talk about their rights to survive”.

*McGregor says the Australian government is certainly not “sitting on its hands”. Yet until Hastie’s op-ed, there was a reluctance to specifically identify China as its overriding concern.

“Politicians haven’t, at least publicly, been prepared to talk about China publicly or very often,” says Alex Joske, an analyst with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

Instead, he says, they tended to talk about “abstract problems like foreign interference or authoritarian states, but not have detailed, specific statements about how China fits into that.

“It’s pretty clear that China is the main source of foreign interference and probably the main source of cyber espionage and technology they have in Australia.”

And while Joske is pleased that the government has recently taken action – he says the passage of foreign interference laws, for example, has made political parties more careful about whom they associate with and whose money they take “serious issues” of domestic influence remain.

*One of the really important aspects of this is how we have overlooked Chinese–Australian media. There’s a disturbing number of groups seeking to represent the Chinese community that have come under the influence or have even been established by the CCP … and the main platform by which people receive information, WeChat.”

Joske’s concern about the influence of Communist Party propaganda among the Australian Chinese community has also come sharply into focus in the wake of the rising tensions in Hong Kong.

*The conflict between pro-democracy demonstrators, police and pro-CCP forces in the former British colony has been all over the news for weeks. And it has flared on Australian university campuses, confrontations that have attracted the kind of media coverage not normally accorded to competing groups of student activists.

On Wednesday, The New York Times gave prominence to a piece by Louisa Lim, a senior lecturer at the Centre for Advancing Journalism at the University of Melbourne, under the headline “The Battle for Hong Kong Is Being Fought in Sydney and Vancouver”.

It detailed how Beijing was “weaponising” social media in its efforts to crush the protests in Hong Kong.

“The battle over Hong Kong is, in effect, being exported, pitting overseas Chinese communities against each other,” wrote Lim, enumerating how, during recent weeks, Lennon walls covered in messages of support for the pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong had been torn down by pro-Beijing students on campuses “from Auckland, New Zealand, to Vancouver, British Columbia, and from Hobart, Australia, to Harvard Square”.

*The piece mentioned, in particular, the confrontation between students at the University of Queensland, which became violent, and after which the Chinese consul-general in Brisbane, Xu Jie, issued a statement praising the “spontaneous patriotic behaviour of Chinese students”.

*There has been a lot of coverage, too, of other alleged avenues of Chinese Communist Party influence in Australia: the role of Confucius Institutes at Australian universities, among other week a newly elected Liberal MP, Gladys Liu, was outed by the ABC for her former role as chair of an organisation – the World Trade United Foundation – “affiliated with China’s efforts to exert influence on foreign governments and expatriate Chinese”.

*This week a newly elected Liberal MP, Gladys Liu, was outed by the ABC for her former role as chair of an organisation – the World Trade United Foundation “affiliated with China’s efforts to exert influence on foreign governments and expatriate Chinese”.

In Clive Hamilton’s view, these are serious matters. “Events like these give pause to the public that is not formerly focused on the issue of CCP influence to say, ‘What the hell is going on?’ ” says Hamilton. “If you have a bunch of angry students who appear to be representing a dictatorial regime on one of our campuses, that fires people up, in a way that events in the South China Sea might not.”

Others see it very differently. David Brophy, senior lecturer in modern Chinese history at Sydney University, thinks the debate risks sliding into McCarthyism and racism.

He stresses that he is no apologist for the Chinese Communist Party.

“I’m very critical of the situation in China,” Brophy says. “I am particularly concerned about what’s happening in Hong Kong and in Xinjiang [where the Chinese government is engaged in a process of cultural genocide against the Muslim Uygur population].

“But it all needs to be put into perspective. There is a tendency to link all these issues – of which there are many – into a common story. If there’s a sense that the hundreds of thousands of Chinese students are part of some conspiracy to deprive us of our liberties and/or democracy, I can see that easily turning into something quite nasty.”

Brophy suggests such thinking is the obverse of Chinese propaganda that promotes the notion of conspiracy against it. He points to the “citizen panellist” on Monday’s episode of the ABC’s Q&A program, Li Shee Su, who suggested the Hong Kong demonstrators might be termed terrorists, and that foreign intelligence agencies were behind the protests. Many, including Hamilton, were concerned by Li’s rhetoric, which appeared to echo the propaganda in official Chinese media.

“I saw Li on Q&A,” says Brophy. “There’s no doubt he was expressing views that exist in the Chinese community, but equally there’s no doubt in my mind that a lot of this simply reflects a Chinese patriotism, a sense among the Chinese–Australian population that China doesn’t get a fair run in the Australian media.”

He has a point. As does Hamilton. It’s a difficult balancing act.

At least, though, such debate can be had. Unlike in Xi’s China.

This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on Aug 17, 2019 as “How the China question split Australian politics”. Subscribe here.





IT would appear there has been a lot of planning and plotting for population growth & real estate by some in Sydney … over decades … and it really took off with the 2012 planning law changes … regardless of the amenity of Sydneysiders …

Key Points …

-within a year Melbourne’s population grew by 120,000, or 327 people a day

.Greater Sydney added 93,000 residents, or 256 people daily

-the 2 cities account for 40% of Australia’s 25 million

270,000 temporary and permanent migrants will arrive in Australia in 2019

not just road congestion; public transport overcrowding is tipped to grow five-fold

-heat island effect as concrete, apartments replace playing fields, parks, trees, gardens and the quarter acre block

-inner city schools were closed by govts in 1990s and early 2000s due to lack of demand

.now a large number of school children … where have they come from?

-the influx into inner, older suburbs is putting pressure on pipes; 75 even 100 years old; how soon before they burst?

DESPITE all of this … more and more want to live in our cities … it’s a global phenomenon … Vancouver, Seattle, London, Paris ….throughout Europe, Asia … is it because of China’s Millions of High Net Worth?

Growing pains: Australia’s squeezed suburbs

By Eryk Bagshaw and Shane Wright

AUGUST 17, 2019

It took Treasurer Josh Frydenberg 34 minutes to deliver his first budget to the House of Representatives in early April.

*As he outlined the government’s plans to spend an extra $23 billion on infrastructure to cope with a growing nation, an additional 36 people moved to Australia from a distant land.

In the year leading up to his speech, in the Treasurer’s home town of Melbourne, the total population swelled by almost 120,000, or 327 people a day.

*The greater Sydney area added more than 93,000 residents, or 256 people daily.

Australia's suburbs are growing at an unprecedented rate.

Over the past decade, the population in suburbs such as Parklea in Sydney’s north-west has grown by 200 per cent, and by 84 per cent in Waterloo in the city centre, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data analysed by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. 

In Melbourne, the population in Tarneit, west of the city centre, has grown by 372 per cent23 times the national average of 16 per cent – and almost double that in nearby Truganina.

It’s a phenomenon that is stretching the urban fringe around the east coast, and sending inner-city suburbs such as Docklands and Waterloo skywards.

The two cities alone account for 40 per cent of Australia’s 25 million-strong population but planning has failed to keep pace with their growth – leaving schools, water, health and transport services creaking, and millions of commuters stuck in traffic or opting for a coastal change.

Infrastructure Australia chief executive Romilly Madew says the lack of planning means the economy has a lot of catching up to do. She has urged the Morrison government to heed the calls of the Reserve Bank of Australia to ramp up infrastructure spending.

“There is an unprecedented pressure on infrastructure services,” Madew says. “The infrastructure boom is the new normal.”

This week, the regulator released its latest audit of the nation’s infrastructure.

*Despite the hundreds of billions of dollars spent by federal, state and local governments since the last audit four years ago, the 640-page report found it was nowhere near enough.


NSW population increases by suburb 2006-2016

Source: ABS (SA2 areas)


A day later, the federal government announced the first major inquiry into Australia’s migration program in 30 years.

While some government MPs insist it will be focused on diverting migrants to the regions, others believe the inquiry’s broad terms of reference allow it to look deeply at infrastructure and population pressures across the country.

*The Morrison government has pledged to ease urban congestion by slashing the permanent intake by 30,000 places, but federal budget figures show more than 270,000 temporary and permanent migrants will arrive in Australia in 2019, up from 259,000 last year and an increase of 40,000 on what was forecast in last year’s budget.

EY’s global immigration leader, Wayne Parcell, says the time is right to revisit a migration program “that is heavily influenced by the old economy” and “historic migration settlement patterns of the mid-20th century that have now become more fluid”.

*One government MP was more blunt: “This is the chink in the population armour.”

Infrastructure Australia’s executive director of policy and research, Peter Colacino, says: “We need an idea of the country that we want and then define the steps to get there.”

“Rather than looking back and expecting the same to continue, the key is to look forward and to understand the type of country that we are likely to see because of the trends that we have identified.”


Take the experience of residents of Tarneit and Truganina, who can access the Melbourne central business district on either of two roads – the Princes Freeway or the M80 Ring Road via the Western Highway. 

According to Infrastructure Australia, both roads will remain among the 10 most congested in Melbourne by 2031.

*It’s little better in Sydney. Workers in Parklea wanting to head north out of the city will face one of the most congested roads, the M2, while those in Waterloo will have a choice of roads-come-carparks on either the M1, the Eastern Distributor or the Cahill Expressway.

Illustration: Matt Golding
Illustration: Matt GoldingCREDIT:

Worse still, by 2031, it will be much more common for peak congestion to be encountered in both directions on major routes in Sydney and Melbourne.

*And it’s not just congestion on the roads. Public transport overcrowding is tipped to grow five-fold, even with the current works under way in Sydney and Melbourne.

Changing services

It all means fewer people will be able or willing to travel far to essential services or social infrastructure such as schools and hospitals.


Road congestion is set to cost the country almost $40 billion a year without a substantial lift in spending and planning, Infrastructure Australia has warned

Sydney, Melbourne coming to a standstill as infrastructure struggles

*In Blacktown in Sydney’s west, where more than 53,000 people have moved in over the past decade, you can drop into a super GP for dialysis after doing your shopping. There are now 60 of them around the country.

Many more will be needed by 2031 to stop patients using hospitals when they aren’t essential and clogging up roads on the way there.

*In some cases, technological and societal changes are ahead of our existing infrastructure.

The advent of home shopping, particularly for groceries, is a boon for consumers who think there are better ways to spend a Saturday afternoon than plying the aisles of Coles or Woolworths.

*But the home delivery of bags of oranges, milk and breakfast cereal means an explosion in the number of trucks on our suburban roads. Those are roads that have, over the years, become increasingly narrow as councils have sought to maximise the number of properties in new suburbs.

Hotting up

That phenomenon has also created inner-city “heat islands”suburbs with little tree cover and miles of concrete. The end of the quarter-acre block, and the large number of people moving into units, means the natural cooling elements of trees and parks are being lost.

Melbourne’s population growth

Percentage growth from 2006 to 2016 

-20% 100%+


*Parts of Canterbury, Holroyd and Blacktown in Sydney all experience temperatures up to 6 degrees hotter than they should because they don’t have enough green space. The same is true of a vast stretch between Sunbury and Melton in Melbourne.

“This is because the heat of the sun is absorbed and not reflected by urban surfaces such as buildings, car parks and roads,” Infrastructure Australia found. “Human activities, such as traffic and the use of air conditioning, also increase the waste heat generated.”

*It’s not just clogged roads or standing-room only trams and buses that require a response. In some of our suburban schools, lines of demountable classrooms have replaced football fields and netball courts.

Since 2008, the number of schools with fewer than 300 students has fallen more than 10 per cent. The number with more than 300 students has climbed almost 12 per cent.


Suburbs in Sydney and Melbourne where population is booming.

Melbourne and Sydney suburbs at ‘tipping point’ as population soars

Between the 2016 and 2017 school years alone, the nation’s 6228 primary schools, 1408 secondary schools, 1336 combined schools and 472 specialist institutions added 51,000 students, pushing the student population above 3.9 million.

Infrastructure Australia noted that the demountables, many of which had been in place for a decade or longer, were a sign that current school capacity was inadequate for the projected demand in our largest cities.

Caught on the hop

Authorities have been caught on the hop. Particularly in the inner suburbs, where two-thirds of growth is now expected to occur.

The increase in unit living closer to city CBDs has meant a lift in demand for services in areas where state governments believed interest was falling away.

*”Some parts of inner Sydney and Melbourne currently have a large number of school-aged children but many schools were closed by governments in the 1990s and early 2000s due to a temporary lack of demand and an assumption that families would not reside in inner-city areas,” it found.


Docklands 2006 and 2019.

Source: Google Earth

Water pressure

*Something as vital to our cities as water is also suffering. Here, it’s a combination of growing population pressure, poor government policy, climate change and ageing infrastructure.

*The influx of people into inner, older suburbs is putting pressure on a network of pipes that can be up to 75 years old.

*”As our population grows, pressure grows and the system will eventually break,” Colciano says.

Sea change

*For some residents, it will all become too much. A pattern is already emerging as flexible work allows more people to make a sea change to satellite areas like Torquay off the Great Ocean Road in Victoria and Thirroul close to Wollongong and an hour out of Sydney.

“We see people moving from our cities to small coastal communities so you have this kind of dual growth story of big cities and small coastal centres,” Colacino says.


Play video2:17Growing cities

The populations of Sydney and Melbourne have swelled over last decade, increasing pressure on infrastructure and transport.

“And with that there is just this changing need on the infrastructure network that is associated with it.

That starts with distributing access to technology like the national broadband network evenly across income divides and geography.

“The digital inclusivity of our lowest-income quintile is one-third below the national average,” Infrastructure Australia found.

New technologies are enabling substantial improvements to user experience and quality of life outcomes, but these benefits are not being shared by all Australians.”

There is an unprecedented pressure on infrastructure services. The infrastructure boom is the new normal.

Infrastructure Australia’s Romilly Madew

City slickers

*Despite that trend, it’s nothing compared to the sheer volume of Australians who want to live in a handful of our major cities. Almost seven out of every 10 people live in our capital cities, with the proportion growing.

*Bernard Baffour, from the Australian National University’s School of Demography, notes it’s a global phenomenon.

Despite the traffic, the heat, the road rage and the difficulty of life in a big city, that’s what most of us want.

“People just want to live in the capital cities and you have to expect that’s what is going to continue to happen,” he says.

Grinding to a halt

Sydney’s most congested roads (user experience) 2031



Share of journey time due to congestion Delay per vehicle

1 North Sydney to Sydney CBD via Sydney Harbour Tunnel (S/B)84%19 mins

2 Mount Druitt to Westmead via M4 (E/B)75%25 mins

3 Liverpool to Sydney Airport via M5 (E/B)74%49 mins

4 Ashfield to Sydney CBD via City West Link / Anzac Bridge (E/B)73%27 min

5 Artarmon to Surry Hills via Pacific Highway / Sydney Harbour Bridge / Cahill Expressway / Eastern Distributor (S/B)72%25 mins


Share of journey time due to congestionDelay per vehicle
1Sydney CBD to North Sydney via Sydney Harbour Tunnel (N/B)81%15 mins
2North Sydney to Sydney CBD via Sydney Harbour Tunnel (S/B)79%14 mins
3Westmead to Eastern Creek via M4 (W/B)76%25 mins
4Chatswood to Narraweena via Warringah Road (E/B)72%32 mins
5Sydney CBD to Ashfield via Anzac Bridge / City West Link (W/B)69%22 mins

Note: N/B, S/B, W/B and E/B represent northbound, southbound, westbound and eastbound, respectively. 


Eryk Bagshaw

Eryk Bagshaw is an economics correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

Shane Wright

Shane is a senior economics correspondent for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.

Australia's suburbs are growing at an unprecedented rate.




Melbourne and Sydney suburbs at ‘tipping point’ as population soars



-apparently mass immigration population growth is something that can’t be stopped

-esp. when you and your donors and vested interests want it to prop and pump up your income

-at everybody else’s expense

-New York and London are seriously vibrant, smart and connected; Australians leave for these cities and don’t want to come back

-Sydney and Melbourne are force fed bland and crowded with low and semi-skilled workers and multi millionaire imports mainly from the Third World in greater numbers than the U.S.

– Melbourne and Sydney will be more like crowded low productivity Asian cities than New York or London. New York has the highest GDP per worker in the world by a mile at US$172,000 


what happens is the immigrants move in to these suburbs and the original residents are overwhelmed with the changes happening … that they are more likely to move to regional areas

-with Sydney’s geographical and resources limitations ideally having a max of 2 million people it has now turned into a dump because of unchecked immigration, and poor planning

-and myopic political vision catering to big business need for a third world workforce

-Sydney now ranks very low in the global cities liveability index; now in freefall in quality of life and housing affordability

-even tourists now shun Sydney due to congestion and expensive costs

View the comments … the majority are opposed to the growth agenda apart from a few developer lobby commentators …

Melbourne and Sydney suburbs at ‘tipping point’ as population soars

By Eryk Bagshaw and Shane Wright

August 16, 2019

View all comments

Five Melbourne and Sydney suburbs grew at more than six times the national average over the past decade, pumping residents into the inner-city, north-west and western suburbs of both cities, amid claims the federal government’s plan to push more migrants to the regions is doomed to fail.

New figures show Parklea in Sydney grew by 200 per cent over the past decade. Tarneit in Melbourne doubled that, adding almost 30,000 residents over the same period of time.

VIEW SOURCE LINK FOR VIDEO: The populations of Sydney and Melbourne have swelled over last decade, increasing pressure on infrastructure and transport.

The populations of Sydney and Melbourne have swelled over last decade, increasing pressure on infrastructure and transport.

Between 2017 and 2018 alone, Riverstone and Leppington in western Sydney beat the decade figure for the rest of the country of 16 per cent, adding 20 per cent to their populations of more than 20,000 in a single year.

Mickleham in Melbourne’s north grew by a staggering 50 per cent in 2017-18 while to the south-east Cranbourne’s population has soared by 21 per cent.

Deputy director at the Australian Urban Design Research Centre, Julian Bolleter, said the notion of the 1980s and 1990s that people would move out of the cities and work from home via their laptop had so far failed to materialise.


NSW population increases by suburb 2006-2016


Dr Bolleter said most of the nation’s GDP was generated out of a few city blocks in the major capitals, forcing many Australians to crowd into the inner city or inner suburbs.

If that trend continued, there would come a time for which governments had to now start planning.

“There’s going to come a tipping point where people will just get sick of the congestion and the pollution and the problems.

In Sydney and Melbourne, we could be getting to that tipping point now,” he said.

Maybe Newcastle and Wollongong or Geelong, where you get the right coastal amenity and which aren’t as expensive as Sydney or Melbourne, with the right transport links, could take pressure off Sydney and Melbourne.”

Dr Bolleter said before Sydney and Melbourne became “mega-cities”, which are cities with more than 10 million residents, planning for high speed rail links or even technology such as trackless trams had to start now.

Melbourne’s population growth

Percentage growth from 2006 to 2016 

-20% 100%+ SOURCE: ABS

VIEW SOURCE LINK for details on map

The government is set to ramp up its efforts to push more migrants to the regions desperate for more workers as strain grows on inner-city infrastructure.

This week the government announced the first immigration inquiry in 30 years. It will examine methods to attract and keep migrants in areas such as Shepparton in Victoria or Wagga Wagga NSW, more councils are expected to be given visa sponsorship powers, while tax concessions for businesses moving to regional areas have also been floated.

Bernard Baffour from the Australian National University’s School of Demography said there have been many policies to direct people away from the cities and into regional areas and “none of them have worked”.

“New policies are probably going to continue to fail unless there is a major discussion about how to make regional areas more attractive places to live and work in,” he said.

Dr Baffour said while major cities may be plagued by congestion or a poorer quality of life than regional centres they continued to be attractive because of the employment opportunities and social networks they offered.

He cited New York and London as examples of cities that were complained about but continued to grow.

“People just want to live in the capital cities and you have to expect that’s what is going to continue to happen,” he said.


Leppington 2006 and 2019

Source: Google Earth

Eryk Bagshaw

Eryk Bagshaw is an economics correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

Shane Wright

Shane is a senior economics correspondent for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.

An aerial view of the Bays Precinct area

PHOTO: The NSW Government said over 725,000 houses must be built in Sydney in the next 20 years. (Supplied: NSW Government) … whose idea? Cough … cough … ABC:






It’s winter. The desalination plant is running full throttle. Sydneysiders are consuming less water. And yet Sydney’s dam levels have fallen below 50% – the lowest reading since 2004 when the Millennium drought was raging – with worse to come:

Sydney added 93,400 new water consumers last year; 77,100 through immigration

what will happen to Sydney’s water supply with an additional 4.5 million people over the next 48 years; as droughts become more common because of climate change?

Sydney’s West is projected to have an extra 1,000,000 people in the next 20 years

-a long way from the coast with the cost of piping desalinated water uphill will be very expensive


WHY are those advocating for a Big Australia ignoring Australia’s fragile water supply? Across the nation from the coastal cities into the regions

Why persist with an immigration programme triple the historical average?

Sydney dams set to drop below half capacity for first time since 2004

Peter Hannam
By Peter Hannam

August 15, 2019

View all comments

The dams serving metropolitan Sydney will sink below 50 per cent full for the first time in 15 years by the weekend, with long-range weather forecasts suggesting the slide could accelerate.

Sydney’s storages dropped to 50.1 per cent capacity on Thursday, and are losing 0.4 percentage points per week with little prospects for more than the odd shower.

Avon Dam in the Woronora catchment area to Sydney's south is sitting at just below 50 per cent full - about where the overall storages for the city sit.
Avon Dam in the Woronora catchment area to Sydney’s south is sitting at just below 50 per cent full – about where the overall storages for the city sit.CREDIT:JANIE BARRETT

The Bureau of Meteorology’s three-monthly outlook for the September-November period suggests the relatively dry times will continue for most of the nation, including most of NSW.

Chance of exceeding the median rainfall

September to November 2019


The key climate influence is from the Indian Ocean, where conditions off north-western Australia favour reduced moisture flows. Such a pattern typically produces a drier than normal spring for south-eastern Australia.

The odds also suggest day-time temperatures for most of the continent will be warmer than average for the September-November stint.

Coastal showers have bumped up Sydney’s winter rainfall tallies but these have virtually dried up in July and August. Inland regions, such as the city’s catchments, have been drier still.

Rapid decline

The last time Sydney’s dams dropped below the 50 per cent was in May 2004, during the Millennium drought of the mid-2000s.

According to a WaterNSW spokesman, the rate of the present slide in storage levels continues to exceed the pace of that dry spell more than a decade ago.

Sydney water storage

Currently available 50%


NB – Updated August 2019.  Source:

The decline continues even though Sydney’s desalination plant began producing water for the city’s users in March and reached full capacity of about 15 per cent of total demand at the start of August, a spokesman said.

“Preliminary expansion planning” has now begun on doubling the plant’s capacity of 250 million litres of water a day, he said.

Sydneysiders have responded to first-stage restrictions, with usage about 7 per cent lower since July than forecast, a Sydney Water spokesman said. Total demand is about 100 million litres per day less than a year ago.


Water security for major Australian cities including Melbourne and Sydney is likely to become more of a challenge under climate change, scientists say.

‘Quite scary’: Rising temperatures threaten Melbourne, Sydney’s water security

“From August 2018 to July 2019, Sydney used 563.5 gigalitres of water compared with 602.5 gigalitres for the same period the year before,” he said.

Warming up

Warmer conditions and longer days will likely see evaporation rates increase. So far this month, Sydney’s Observatory Hill has collected 3.2 millimetres of rain while evaporation was about 20 times that.

Sydney can expect to reach 25 degrees on Friday, about 7 degrees above the August norm. Inland temperatures will rise further – ahead of a front moving through early next week – with Bourke to hit 30 degrees on Sunday, Jordan Notara, a bureau forecaster said.

The best chance for rain for Sydney in the next week may be on Monday but even then it is just a 15 per cent probability, he said.

Alpine regions could fare better, with another 20-30 centimetres of snow possible early next week.

The generally dry conditions have prompted the Rural Fire Service to add another nine districts to the list of areas where the official fire season is under way. Those regions – including Byron, Bellingen and Lismore – will enter the fire restriction period from August 17.

Authorities are considering whether to bring Sydney’s official fire season start to September 1 rather than the typical October 1 commencement.

Peter Hannam

Peter Hannam writes on environment issues for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

Avon Dam in the Woronora catchment area to Sydney's south is sitting at just below 50 per cent full - about where the overall storages for the city sit.

SMH Photo: Avon Dam in the Woronora catchment area to Sydney’s south is sitting at just below 50 per cent full – about where the overall storages for the city sit.CREDIT:JANIE BARRETT





Left and right unite in calls for an investment allowance

By Unconventional Economist in Australian budget

August 16, 2019 | 8 comments

Earlier this week, the Business Council of Australia (BCA) called on the federal government to introduce an broad-based investment allowance to help stimulate the economy.

Now, the BCA has received support from the Australia Institute. Ben Oquist, the executive director of the progressive think tank, says an investment allowance is preferable to a general cut in the company tax rate. The Institute believes any investment allowance should only apply to investment in Australia, while it should also be limited to new investment, not to investment that would proceed anyway. From The AFR:

AFR Photo: Ben Oquist

“Given the weakness of the Australian economy, with interest rates heading towards zero and monetary policy effectively being exhausted, other measures to stimulate the economy deserve support,” Mr Oquist said.

“An investment allowance is preferable to an across the board company tax cut. Australia Institute research has shown a cut in the company tax rate would provide a large windfall gain to overseas investors, and only provide a small benefit to local investment.

“A targeted approach to investment incentives with a sunset clause would provide the stimulus we need today without the revenue problems in the future.”

In a similar vein, the Grattan Institute has argued that policies like accelerated depreciation allowances and investment allowances would promote new investment directly and at far lower cost than cutting the company tax rate:

There are alternatives to a full-blown company tax cut that could boost investment without delivering large windfall gains to foreign investors at such cost to the budget bottom line…

An investment allowance, via a tax deduction to businesses for the purchase of new assets, would provide incentives to boost investment. Since the deduction would apply only to future investments, not past ones, it provides incentives to investment without sacrificing tax revenue on existing investment.

Clearly, expanding investment allowances would deliver far more ‘bang for the buck’ than cutting company taxes.




Concern over Australian population growth

International August 15, 2019

Infrastructure Australia has released a report saying that in order to cope with population growth, the government must invest $AU600 BILLION in major infrastructure projects over the next 15 years … WT *!

Anthony Albanese has conceded our Cities are facing an overcrowding crisis ….

BUT when he indicates that migration levels should go up and down according to producing the best economic outcome … who is that for?

IS it to maintain the Housing Ponzi of the Building Industry?

OR rather about boosting our home-grown Knowledge Economy? Returning to manufacturing for our own needs and an export market?

With family reunion isn’t that likely to place a greater burden on taxpayers with an increased demand on Medicare for elderly parents? And more housing competition?

Concern over Australian population growth

Xinhua / Share:    

CANBERRA (Xinhua) – Australia’s opposition leader has called for the nation to engage in a mature debate about “appropriate population growth”.

Anthony Albanese, the leader of the Australian Labor Party, on Wednesday told The Guardian that Australia’s major cities are facing an overcrowding “crisis”.

Infrastructure Australia, a government agency, on Tuesday released a report saying that in order to cope with population growth, the government must invest 600 billion Australian dollars (407.8 billion US dollars) in major infrastructure projects over the next 15 years.

Australia’s population is expected to reach 31.4 million by 2034 a 23.7 percent increase. And it is expected to grow to between 37.4 and 49.2 million people between 2034 and 2066.

“It’s a matter of appropriate population growth,” Albanese said.

A vast majority of that population growth is expected to occur in the nation’s four biggest cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

Melbourne and Sydney are expected to have more than 10 million people by the middle of the century.

The population is growing by an average of 450,000 people every year, with approximately 270,000 coming from overseas migration.

“I don’t have a target number, (but) we need to have an assessment about an appropriate number as we develop,” Albanese said.

Migration levels should go up and down according to what level is necessary to produce the best economic outcome while fulfilling social objectives as well, issues like family reunion.

He said the government seems to be drifting along on these issues without a strategy about the likely implications, like urban congestion.




ASK WHY? … The End of the Suburban Sprawl

HOW is high-rise, higher density going to solve the issue of providing enough inner-city services when we started from behind?

QUESTION for Infrastructure Australia and our political leaders … why persist with this to cope with the surging population? When the elephant in the room is the Housing Ponzi to meet the demand of high immigration and visa manipulation

HOW can planting more trees prevent the devastation from overdevelopment … where can trees be planted on such tiny lots?

-with lot sizes reduced to as little as 200M2 X 6M wide (Greenfields Housing Code)

-the Medium-Density Housing Code allowing for as many as 10 terraces on a 600M2 lot

Why do we really need to accommodate a larger population? Cough … cough …

Where will the water supply come from?

-Australian continent; the driest continent on Earth; it is almost as large as that of the U.S. but has few rivers crossing it; the Murray Darling has been sucked dry by irrigators

-we are currently continuing to experience water restrictions; our gardens are shrivelling up

-where will the water come from to quench the thirst and shower millions more people; 10 MILLION people in Sydney by mid Century … 2066?

-desalination is prohibitively expensive; plants can only operate on the coast

Have you noticed how our working conditions and wages have decreased with the competition for jobs from high immigration and Visa manipulation?

That despite this population growth our retailers are struggling? 

WHY not once again become a ‘clever country’?


By Eryk Bagshaw and Shane Wright

August 13, 2019

View all comments

Infrastructure Australia has declared the end of the suburban sprawl across Australia’s east coast and warned the biggest challenge facing government will be providing enough inner-city services to cope with the surging population.

The chief executive of the infrastructure regulator, Romilly Madew, said “the 70-year dominance of our urban fringe has ended” and a wave of investment and reform was needed to maintain quality of life.

Infrastructure Australia says the focus in Sydney and Melbourne has changed to building up existing suburbs.
Infrastructure Australia says the focus in Sydney and Melbourne has changed to building up existing suburbs. CREDIT:JAMES ALCOCK

Speaking ahead of the release of Infrastructure Australia’s four-year audit into the country’s transport, road and service needs on Tuesday, Ms Madew said Sydney and Melbourne had shifted from growing new suburbs to building up existing areas over the last two years.

“We are definitely transitioning into inner-urban [areas],” she said. “It’s quite clear.”


Road congestion is set to cost the country almost $40 billion a year without a substantial lift in spending and planning, Infrastructure Australia has warned

Sydney, Melbourne coming to a standstill as infrastructure struggles

Infrastructure Australia’s executive director of policy and research, Peter Colacino, said the audit was “the first time we have really called out that type of growth as the holistic challenge facing cities”.

He identified inner-Melbourne and Green Square in Sydney as areas that faced unprecedented levels of growth, as families looked to move closer to services and away from congested travel arteries to and from the outer suburbs.

The audit found that shift was likely to accelerate as commuters grew increasingly frustrated with gridlock on our road and rail networks, which is forecast to cost $38.8 billion in lost productivity over the next 12 years.

Mr Colacino said population forecasts, which relied on past estimates, were “not hitting the mark”.

“Population growth occurring at a higher rate or lower rate means that investment is not well targeted,” he said.

The audit found many hospitals and schools had reached capacity or were showing signs of age, requiring the construction of expensive new and upgraded facilities, especially in inner-urban areas.

Why are Sydney’s western suburbs heating up so much? We explore the the Urban Heat Island Effect.


Compounding the challenge was the lack of green space, turning some concrete-bound city suburbs into “urban heat islands”.

The report found some suburbs had temperatures up to 6 degrees higher than elsewhere because of the “heat island” effect.


Housing in Sydney.

Young families shut out of ‘huge swaths of Sydney’, Minister warns

“This is because the heat of the sun is absorbed and not reflected by urban surfaces such as buildings, car parks and roads. Human activities, such as traffic and the use of air conditioning, also increase the waste heat generated.”

The effect was particularly noticeable in the outer suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne, where urbanisation had reduced tree cover.

“The proportion of [Melbourne’s] cover located in outer suburbs is stark, indicating the majority of canopy cover is privately owned (in private residential backyards),” the report said.

It warned green canopy cover was increasingly hard to provide in cities as backyards decreased in size and more people moved into urban areas.


Developers are exempt  from all regulations.

The Herald’s Population Summit to shape conversations of the future

The report added that public green spaces and recreation infrastructure was already overused and the high cost of land made it difficult to fund the delivery and maintenance of this type of service in these cities.

“Our fast-growing cities risk not having adequate high-quality, accessible green and recreation infrastructure as they grow and densify, particularly in inner-urban areas.”

Eryk Bagshaw

Eryk Bagshaw is an economics correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

Shane Wright

Shane is a senior economics correspondent for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.

Infrastructure Australia says the focus in Sydney and Melbourne has changed to building up existing suburbs.




REPORT FINDING Young Australians still want big houses, and are surprisingly sure they’ll get them

IS this despite ‘the political lobbying’ by CJ, the UT, the PCA and the UDIA … that the majority will be living in vertical villages … the Housing Ponzi … ?

WHY? We suggest because storey upon storey they make a motzer … and why they call for high immigration to continue …

WITH their SPIN that apartment living is the preferred living option …

WHAT is holding Young Australians back?

Was it John Howard who introduced the Visa Worker to compete for their jobs? The Uni Vice Chancellors seeking the International Student fees? And the lure of buying our Real Estate to gain a ‘Permanent Residency’ Visa?

Key Points …

60% aged 18–24 years see home-ownership as the preferred housing option

-between 25 and 34 70% dream of home-ownership

-many acutely aware of the constraints relative to their parents’ generation to home ownership

-a key finding despite the relative optimism of young Australians to buy a home; a notable disparity in confidence between the tertiary educated and those educated to year 12 and below

-housing and informal sharing with friends and family was common; 34% young adults reported periods of homelessness

Young Australians still want big houses, and are surprisingly sure they’ll get them

young people and dog
Photo by Stephanie Liverani on Unsplash

Poppy Johnston | 15 August 2019

The Great Australian Dream is still alive and well for many young Australians.

*A new report from Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute found 60 per cent of people aged 18–24 years see home-ownership as the preferred housing option.

*Between 25 and 34, the dream of home-ownership jumps to 70 per cent.

The detached house endures as the preferred type of home for “emerging adults” (18-24 years), with 54 per cent aspiring to live in a house and 34 per cent in an apartment.

Bigger is better for this age bracket, with around 32 per cent wanting four or more bedrooms compared to 30 per cent wanting one or two.

“Early adults” (25-34) also want room for a pony. Sixty-eight per cent aspire to live in a house, compared to 21 per cent in an apartment. Over 43 per cent want four or more bedrooms compared to 22 per cent wanting one or two.

And despite the prominence of housing affordability issues, young Australians seem to have “blind optimism” they will own a home. Nearly a third of emerging adults felt that purchasing a dwelling was a possibility within the next five years and over a third considered owner-occupation as attainable in five to 10 years.

*The remaining third are not-so-confident and did not feel it would be possible to purchase or were not intending to purchase a dwelling. Many were “acutely aware of the constraints relative to their parents’ generation” to home ownership.

*A key finding in the report was despite the relative optimism of young Australians to buy a home, there’s a notable disparity in confidence between the tertiary educated and those educated to year 12 and below.

This divide becomes more prominent in the older age bracket. Nearly 61 per cent with a tertiary education believed it was possible to purchase a home within five years, compared with just 36 per cent of those with a year 12 or below education.

*The report also found that housing instability and informal sharing with friends and family was common, with 34 per cent of young emerging adults who had lived out of the family home reporting periods of homelessness.

The figures suggest more young people will in fact be staying at home longer. Just 17 per cent of emerging adults were living in independent households in 2016-17.