Tales of quarantine and homelessness

Had it not been for the coronavirus outbreak (the WHO calls it COVID-19), few Australians would have known of Manigurr-ma, a purpose-built accommodation village 30kms from Darwin. Manigurr-ma, or Howards Springs as it is zoned by Australia Post, was built in 2012 at a cost of $600 million as part of the Ichthys LNG gas project. Developed by infrastructure company Aecom for the multinational INPEX consortium, the village can house up to 3,500 people in…

Continue reading

Who the Hell Approved That?

The Cheeseparer family from Victoria, fed up with the overpopulated rat race, spent the school holidays cruising the south east Queensland coast, looking for a more ambient place to live than the far-flung commuter suburbs of greater Melbourne. Margolia and Basil Jnr are sick of Melbourne’s unpredictable weather, the traffic, the pollution, the high cost of living and the four-hour daily commutes (including dropping the kids off at school and picking them up from daycare)….

Continue reading

Apartments, starter housing and the impatience of youth

A developer friend from my days as a business journalist sent me his frank appraisal of the housing affordability crisis, which he described as more of a ‘crisis of expectations’. There are many Brisbane suburbs, Dan wrote, where post-war houses sell for less than $450,000. He named a few – Keperra, Ferny Grove, Grovely, all 12 kms from the CBD with good public transport networks and excellent shopping amenity.  Most of these homes are ex-…

Continue reading

Residential development – is anything sacred

To begin this two-part series on residential development and how it became not only unaffordable but also distressingly generic, we ask the universal question – is anything sacred? The example here looks at an unpopular proposal to build luxury houses on the doorstep of Scotland’s famous battlefield, Culloden. Regular readers would be familiar with this image on my website, cheekily captioned ‘Bob’s writer’s cottage’. In truth it is a stone crofter’s cottage within Culloden Battlefield,…

Continue reading