Monday, January 28, 2019

Constrained land availability leads to desperate measures

When land to build on is scarce, people do all sorts of things to cope with that.  But there is no shortage of land.  What there IS is a shortage of land that you are allowed to build on.  Greenies, NIMBYs, farmers and budget-conscious councils together mount a huge blockage to the release of new land for housing

A picture of two so-called “McMansions” so huge their gutters overlap has gone viral.

The photo, taken by Newport resident Karen Evans, was captured last week during a visit to the newly-established Stockland estate.

Ms Evans later shared it to The Redcliffe Peninsula Facebook group, where it attracted hundreds of likes, shares and comments.

“We had heard the houses were really close to each other so thought we would have a look at some existing houses in the estate,” she told local newspaper the Redcliffe & Bayside Herald.

But when she arrived at the estate, located north of Brisbane, she was shocked to spot two houses built so close together their gutters were virtually touching.

“It was a bit too close,” she told the publication. “Some of these homes you wouldn’t even have room for a swing set.”

Located on the Redcliffe Peninsula, the Newport waterside community was developed by the Stockland real estate group.

A spokesman told the Redcliffe & Bayside Herald the company was aware of the issue.

“In the early stages of Stockland’s Newport community, the project’s approval allowed a small number of neighbouring properties to build to the same shared boundary in select locations,” the spokesman said.

“We became aware of the issue in 2017 and quickly amended the development application for current and future stages of the community in order to address the distance between neighbouring properties.”

Of course, Australians are famous for our love of “McMansions”, with a CommSec report released in late 2018 revealing Aussies were still building the second-biggest freestanding houses in the world behind the US at an average of 230.8 square metres, although this was down 0.9 per cent over the year.

However, it seems the trend is decreasing, with Australian Bureau of Statistics data revealing Australian homes have shrunk to 22-year lows.

The average floor size of a new home is now 186.3 square metres, down 1.6 per cent over the past 12 months and the smallest since 1996, according to CommSec’s Home Size Trends Report.

Apartments, which now account for around half of all new dwellings, fell in size by 2.7 per cent to an average of 124.8 square metres in 2017-18.

“There are still McMansions being built, but there are fewer of them. The smaller home size reflects the increased building of apartments,” CommSec chief economist Craig James said in the report.

“Generation Y, Millennials, couples and small families want to live closer to work, cafes, restaurants, shopping and airports, and are giving up living space for better proximity to the desirable amenities.”

The average size of freestanding houses peaked in 2011-12 and has stabilised in the past five years. The average house is 8 per cent bigger than 20 years ago and nearly 30 per cent bigger than 30 years ago in 1987-88.

As our homes have expanded, our backyards have shrunk — and last year, outspoken entrepreneur Dick Smith sensationally claimed modern kids were “living like battery hens” as a result.

“For middle class and working people, it was definitely better (in the past) because families could afford a backyard,” he told he told Sydney publication The Beast.

“We were free-range kids whereas now kids … end up living as battery hens and that’s a real pity.”

It was a claim backed up by Griffith University urban and environmental planner Dr Tony Matthews, who said the Australian backyard was “under threat”, having become “accessible to only those that can afford it”.


Federal Environment Minister approves Coal Mine despite Greenie opposition

The Greenies have made clear that they oppose ALL coal mines so their opposition here tells us nothing about the particular mine concerned

The Wallarah 2 Coal Mine has received Federal Government approval, despite the NSW Land and Environment Court still to rule on it.

Environment Minister, Melissa Price’s, decision on Friday, January 18, to give the go ahead to the Wallarah 2 Coal Mine has been condemned by community groups and opposition politicians.

The Australian Coal Alliance (ACA) said it was short sighted and reckless. The Greens called the timing of the decision cynical. Resident activist, Gregory Olsen, who started a petition against the mine, called it outrageous.

But Wyong Coal, owned by Korean company Kores, said its Wallarah 2 project would add significant direct and indirect employment and long term economic benefit, including more than 800 ongoing jobs, and more than $600M every year in regional economic contribution.

The company is working on final feasibility and detailed design activities in line with both the federal Government approval, and the NSW Planning Assessment Commission approval from 12 months ago.

Wyong Coal said it had been to the Land and Environment Court appeal in November, 2018, and remained confident of the determination process and approval. “This action reviewed the various administrative steps, processes and responsibilities culminating in the planning approval granted by the PAC in January, 2018,” the company said in a newsletter. The legal judgment is expected early this year.

Australian Coal Alliance (ACA) said it had been estimated that the proposed mine would result in the loss of between 900 to 1300 ML of drinking water a year from the Central Coast’s drinking water catchment during its 28 year lifespan, though there was some uncertainty about the quantum of that loss.

ACA Campaign Manager, Alan Hayes, said the mining company, in their own Environmental Impact Statement, stated that between 2.5 to 3.25ML of water would be lost each day.

“Proponent Kores, which plans to export the coal for power generation, proposes to construct a pipeline to deliver compensatory water to Central Coast Council, although there was no actual documentation in their EIS to show how this could be achieved,’’ Hayes said.

Federal Member for Dobell, Emma McBride, labelled the decision reckless. “Minister Price has ignored the Central Coast community’s pleas to use her powers to stop this mine,’’ McBride said.

Central Coast Greens repeated their multiple calls to stop the mine, saying that, Minister Melissa Price, should have used the risk to Coast water supplies as a reason to halt the mine.

Greens’ NSW Upper House candidate, and Coast resident, Abigail Boyd, said that Jilliby Creek or Wyong River could not be repaired if damaged. “Coal from this mine will add to emissions, which are contributing to a climate emergency. “It makes no sense, in 2019, to approve a new coal mine anywhere in Australia, and certainly not on the Central Coast,” she said.


Australians shouldn’t be ashamed

#changethedate not about changing date

In recent weeks we have been treated to yet another #changethedate campaign based on how terrible it is to celebrate Australia Day on the day of the arrival of the First Fleet, the day Australia was invaded by the British.

However, let’s be clear: this is not really about changing the date. That’s why there are no serious alternative dates proposed by opponents to January 26.

And it’s not just because there are no other viable days for a national celebration: federation happened on January 1, but that’s already a public holiday and — as it celebrates the political union between the colonies — it has the same problems as Australia Day.

Other foundational events are equally problematic: ANZAC day too is already a public holiday and not without its own controversy. The Eureka stockade was built and manned by miners, whose compatriots led decades of racist opposition to Chinese immigrants. Nor are significant milestones in Indigenous affairs less political (or more inclusive to broader society) than Australia Day.

Nor will picking a different day to celebrate solve the activists’ real problem: the foundation of Australia is inextricably linked with the dispossession of Indigenous Australians.

The objection is to celebrating the foundation of Australia (or for some even modern Australia) at all.

While there are some who compare Indigenous living standards today with those prior to the first fleet landing and argue that Indigenous Australians too are better off, this is beside the point. We cannot know what Australia might have looked like had settlers treated with Indigenous people as equals and partners.

Moreover, ahistorical counterfactuals are irrelevant: invasion and colonisation occurred here and elsewhere. Indigenous people have a right to reflect on the dispossession, racism and violence that occurred as a result of settlement.

Nevertheless, Australia has grown into something great and special — which is why the thousands of people who seek Australian citizenship today desperately do want to be here.

There are some who want Australians to feel shame and guilt: for colonisation, for our refugee policy, for our failure to pay ‘our fair share’ of taxes and ultimately because we are the fortunate ones. They think pride in Australia is for bogans and nationalists. They are wrong.

Australia is not perfect. Yet Australians can feel proud of our country and its people, how far we’ve come, and what we’ve achieved, in spite of those who seek to shame us. An overwhelming majority of people believe the existence of Australia is something worth celebrating.

It is ok to celebrate the good as long as we don’t bury the bad.


Crazy gender quotas in the music industry

Bettina Arndt

I’m excited this week to introduce you all to the wonderful jazz pianist Emma Stephenson who is now handling all my social media from New York. I thought you would be interested in how this happened.

Here’s my latest video, talking to her about all of this:

Please don’t forget to like my videos. It really helps me get noticed. 

But briefly to explain the story of how we connected. Emma wrote to me over a year ago saying she wanted to volunteer to help me. She’s a brilliant jazz musician who has been learning her craft since she was a child, winning some of Australia’s top prizes along the way. She was prompted to contact me when the music industry announced they were introducing quotas. Yes, here is yet another industry kowtowing to the feminists to ensure more women win prizes and gain unfair advantage. This made Emma see red and she wrote offering to do what she could to help me with my various campaigns.

What a stroke of luck for me. She’s very smart and computer savvy and is now managing my Twitter and Facebook, helping me post all the news items you all send in to me. I hope you have noticed I’m finally getting pretty active in social media, which is helping spread the word about what I am doing.

It's been a big decision for Emma to agree to go public about her interest in these issues. The music industry is being steadily taken over by feminists, and cowardly men who don’t dare take them on, and there’s a real risk for a young musician to challenge this new orthodoxy. But Emma is now going for broke, having launched her own videos to take on the diversity disease. As a PhD student she is smart, articulate and perceptive. I am sure you will enjoy her detailed analysis of the corruption of our music industry and many other topics.    

Emma's YouTube videos are called Stuff You Can't Say (on the Rational Rise). Go to her website for more information about her.

By email from Bettina --

 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

1 comment:

Paul said...

"The music industry is being steadily taken over by feminists..."

And yet the pop charts are now chock-full of the vulgar rantings of grubby, misogynistic American negros? Good work feminists. Or should that be (((feminists)))?