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…

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People without lists are listless

Someone (possibly one of my lecturers), once said: ‘People without lists are listless’ – perhaps an observation on my then lack of motivation. Decades later, I went in search of the origins of this quote and came up empty, although there are many other pithy quotes about the universal ‘to-do’ list. Author Mary Roach, who has many opinions about lists, says that by making a list of things to be done, she loses “that vague,…

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Housing affordability and the empty homes scandal

The inspiration to start writing (again) about housing affordability came from left field. I was sitting back enjoying an American roots band, The Brothers Comatose, at the Blue Mountains Music Festival in Katoomba. Lead singer and front man Ben Morrison introduced the band, saying they were from San Francisco but maybe not for long. “The price of houses is crazy there (man) and most of the musicians I know are moving out because they can’t…

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Homeless for a rainy night

For some, today is a reminder that anyone can become homeless, with various agencies (and reality TV) bringing this urgent issue to light. It also marks the end of the financial year, a kind of witching hour for those engaged in financial markets, investing in rental housing, or running Australia’s businesses, large and small. For seventy-nine intrepid souls, our charity sleep-out on Maroochydore beach was thwarted by early morning drizzle turning into heavier rain. Some…

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