Pork barrels and billboards ahoy

You can tell there is an election looming when the government promises to reduce the price of beer – a classic example of ‘pork barrelling’. The move to halve the excise on draught beer would save beer drinkers 30 cents on the price of a schooner (a New South Wales term for three quarters of a pint of beer). Pork barrel, or simply pork, is a metaphor for the appropriation of government spending for localised…

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Affordable housing – a key election issue

Wherever you go in Australia to visit friends and family, the conversation very soon turns to the scarcity and high cost of rental housing. The topic will then quickly shift to the ever-rising cost of houses and why parents worry about their adult kids taking on seven-figure mortgages. As residential property analyst Michael Matusik recently said, it comes down to the Bank of Mum and Dad. Few cities or towns have escaped the 20% rise…

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