In which Sydney seeks more friends, more allies!

Matthew Moore in the SMH:

A 10-YEAR fall in the percentage of migrants settling in NSW and the lowest rate of economic growth of all mainland states has Melbourne on track to overtake Sydney as Australia’s biggest city, a report predicts.

The Going Nowhere report, produced by the economic forecasters BIS Shrapnel for a property developer lobby group, says lower developer levies on new housing land in Melbourne have allowed construction of homes at twice the rate of Sydney. This is fuelling a population and economic growth in the Victorian capital that means it will become the country’s biggest city by 2037.

This is some ridiculous reporting. A bunch of lobbyists cajole some economists into releasing a report saying their crystal ball has figured out Melbourne will be bigger than Sydney in 27 years time, and the Herald reports this as news? And regurgitates the assertion that the only way to avoid a fate Sydneysiders would understandably be horrified by is to implement the tax policies the lobbyists want? Thumbs fucking up, Matthew Moore; you’re all over this one.

I particularly like the way Moore inserts this at the end of the piece:

While the NSW Department of Planning has recently upgraded its population forecasts, predicting Sydney will reach 6 million by 2036, [Lobbyist] Mr Gadiel dismissed those projections and said they ”won’t happen” without radical changes to the planning system to make it easier and cheaper for developers to build more homes.

Thank god we’ve got experts like Aaron Gadiel there to offer incisive critiques of Department of Planning projections like “won’t happen.” And thank god we’ve got Matthew Moore, who’s willing to regurgitate facts like this —

The report, commissioned by the Urban Taskforce, says NSW’s share of national migration has fallen from about 42 per cent 10 years ago to about 30 per cent due to the ”extremely challenging conditions” in the residential property market when prices leapt after the Olympics.

— without considering that Sydney’s share of migration has reduced not because of Melbourne or the local housing market, but because of the booming resource economies in Western Australia and Queensland. In this case, growth is dependent on demand, not supply.


In which Belinda Neal turns on Kelis’ “Caught Out There”

Unless Belinda Neal’s got a whole lot calmer in the past twelve months or so, I would think her husband and now ex-Health Minister John Della Bosca would be looking to spend as much time at work as possible. I dare say it would be a whole lot safer in the Bearpit than in the, uh… Iguana Pit? But like the link says, Della Bosca’s been caught playing around with a 26 year old, and so he’s leaving his Health position and relinquishing his leadership of the Legislative Council.

Bad news for those of us anticipating the Constitutional novelty of John Della Bosca leading Parliament from the upper house — an unusual but apparently entirely legitimate idea that’s been thrown around in the “can’t we find someone better than Nathan Rees to run this state?” stakes. But it does seem a bit odd that Della Bosca caved so quick.

The guy survived the stupidly named Iguanagate scandal last year, where surviving is roughly equivalent to maintaining a rep as one of the best ministers in the state. And since NSW Labor has shown no real proficiency with damage control, it seems an odd time to start, when a potential leader’s career is at stake over an issue not related to his ministerial duties, and one probably unlikely to damage his standing with the electorate. (I get the distinct impression NSW voters would be quite sympathetic to someone with a desire to spend less time around Neal.)

So come on, Della. Stick it out. If not for your own ambitions, at least for those of us who would rather read about your shenanigans rather than a slew of policy announcements your party has no intention of following through on anyway.