Introducing the White Australia Real Estate Policy
As you get older and more cynical it gets harder for governments’ mendacity to surprise you. But yesterday the Rudd regime announced a plan so creepy and ill-thought out that it made me want to vomit.
Responding to concerns over skyrocketing house prices which are - in my opinion - primarily a result of its own immigration policy and its refusal to do anything about the rort that is negative gearing, the government annouced it was reversing its 2008 decision to liberalise the rules for foreigners who want to buy property in Australia.
Those rules had been relaxed during the GFC panic and had - allegedy - led to an influx of foreign buyers to Australia, driving up house prices and forcing decent Australians to sleep eight a room in conditions not seen since the dark days of the 1930s. Or something.
Anyway finding itself struggling on a number fronts lately - from disasters all of its own making - the government decided yesterday to reverse the decision.
As someone trying to buy a house I support, no I applaud the move. I’ve been hoping for a while they would do something like this months. No, the nauseating part of the announcement was Senator Nick Sherry’s accompanying plan to create a hotline to encourage people to ``dob in foreigners they suspect of breaking the rules,’’ the Herald Sun reported.
According to the report the government is ``concerned by anecdotal reports that foreigners are ``‘collecting’’ hosues, often in the same street and leaving them empty when there is a shortage of housing.’‘
``Anecdotal reports’‘, like its cousin ``anecodatal evidence’’ is a lazy journalistic device which means ``we hope this is true, we reckon it might have happened somewhere once but we can’t find where’.’ It means the reporter was in a hurry and there were a lot of pages to fill. It’s not good but it happens.
And I honestly thought I would never live to see the day when we had a government so useless that it would actually base an important economic decision on something so flimsy as ``anecdotal evidence.’’ Do you honestly think that if this street actually existed somewhere that a newspaper or television crew would not have found it by now?
Every newsroom has been chasing this story for months. You talk to people in the Real Estate business but no-one can ever point you to an example of this pernicious practice, probably because it isn’t happening.
And can someone please explain WHY these foreigners are ``collecting’’ houses and leaving them empty?
Is it a strange celestial custom to leave property unrented in a housing shortage? I have heard many things about foreigners over the years but never that they are so stupid as to leave assets sitting around earning nothing.
And as for this hotline, how are we to know if the people buying houses are foreigners inelligible to buy a slice of Australia? If next weekend I am outbid at auction by someone of Asian appearance I think I might just call up Senator Sherry and get him to check out if the dastardly celestial is entitled to buy.
Will everyone with a Chinese or Indian name now have to produce a passport when buying land? Every crank and racist will have the hotline on their speed-dial, you can bet on it.
The Herald Sun also reported yesterday that ``Treasury is invesigating 50 suspicious residential buys by foreigners in Melbourne.’’ What does this mean? How are they suspicious? If they were made under the old rules then surely they are legal?
It is an obvious question but I suspect that it is one you are going to hear asked more and more frequently with this government, but can you imagine the reaction there would have been if John Howard had done something like this?
The same was true of the government’s asylum seeker policy. Having made a complete bollocks of the boat people issue but being reluctant to admit so, Rudd’s government has instead adopted something infinitely worse than the temporary protection visas Howard employed. Now people from Afghnistan and and Sri Lanka stuck in a limbo in internment camps on far-flung islands with no guarantee their claims will ever be heard. And the left used to whine that Howard was cruel!
I predict that as time goes on more and more people will be able pinpoint the moment at which they finally admitted to themselves Rudd’s is the nastiest and most incompetent government Australia has ever had. For me that moment was yesterday.
- Today (Sunday) from midday join the Sunday Herald Sun’s James Campbell and Vexnews Editor Andrew Landeryou and host Glenn Ridge on Melbourne Talk Radio at 1377 on your AM dial or online at http://www.mtr1377.com.au/index.php”
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