Join 3,425 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Sydneyoutsider
June 29, 2011 8:50 PM   Subscribe

Starting July 1, to make Sydney more liveable, the state government of New South Wales (NSW) will pay AU$7000 to Sydneysider families that relocate from metropolitan areas of Sydney to rural NSW.

The official website has more information about eligibility criteria and other details. This scheme is part of an AU$630 million plan for "Making Sydney Liveable Again" (PDF document). A few months ago, Sydney was ranked 7th on the list of World's most livable cities (not that these lists matter).
posted by vidur (181 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Starting July 1, to make Sydney more liveable, the state government of New South Wales (NSW) will pay AU$7000 to Sydneysider families that relocate from metropolitan areas of Sydney to rural NSW.

There is a GREAT Australian joke in there, but I'm too much of a nice Kiwi to point it out.
posted by hal_c_on at 8:56 PM on June 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


"Responsible Sydneysiders! Do you care about your community? Great! We would like you to leave!"
posted by koeselitz at 8:59 PM on June 29, 2011 [13 favorites]


As an Austin resident, I'd be happy to assist with a similar "Go back to California" fund.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 9:00 PM on June 29, 2011 [10 favorites]


Get thee to rural areas, eh? Australia must be feeling pretty darn confident about the future of non-fossil fuel-based transportation.
posted by anarch at 9:01 PM on June 29, 2011 [6 favorites]


This made so little sense to me that I fired off an angry e-mail to the SMH, but they didn't run it.

Can somebody explain the logic behind this? Sydney is shit. It's hard to get around, trains and buses are late, the CBD is a wasteland after 10pm and our best live music and arts venues are closing. But instead of spending money to improve it the state government is literally PAYING PEOPLE TO LEAVE, thus ensuring that it gets worse instead of better!

They need to spend more money on Sydney, relax the height restrictions, and increase urban density.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:02 PM on June 29, 2011 [6 favorites]



There is a GREAT Australian joke in there, but I'm too much of a nice Kiwi to point it out.


Don't get so smug. I showed a Kiwi around Sydney and she was shocked at the existence of trains, and was angry that she had to wear shoes in a nightclub.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:03 PM on June 29, 2011 [14 favorites]


As an Austin resident, I'd be happy to assist with a similar "Go back to California" fund.

And so ended the liberal days of "Keep Austin Weird", and started the days of "Keep Austin Safe".
posted by hal_c_on at 9:03 PM on June 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


Don't get so smug. I showed a Kiwi around Sydney and she was shocked at the existence of trains, and was angry that she had to wear shoes in a nightclub.

Oh was she a new immigrant to OZ from NZ? A lot of that seems to be happening these days. Well its best for all, as the average IQ of both the countries seems to increase because of this phenomena.
posted by hal_c_on at 9:05 PM on June 29, 2011 [18 favorites]


Sydneysider here. Not defending it, but I don't this policy is about making Sydney more "livable" (as in making it a better place to live for existing residents). I think it is about reducing house prices by increasing supply.
posted by smithsmith at 9:06 PM on June 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


There is a GREAT Australian joke in there, but I'm too much of a nice Kiwi to point it out.

Don't bother. It's NSFW.
posted by twoleftfeet at 9:08 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh was she a new immigrant to OZ from NZ? A lot of that seems to be happening these days. Well its best for all, as the average IQ of both the countries seems to increase because of this phenomena.

Nope, an Internetty person to get around.

Sydneysider here. Not defending it, but I don't this policy is about making Sydney more "livable" (as in making it a better place to live for existing residents). I think it is about reducing house prices by increasing supply.

Why not increase supply by building more apartments and houses, getting rid of height restrictions, and filling in all those blank spaces on the map? I live off Paramatta Road and its a wasteland, and I'm right near the city.

This place feels like a slightly overgrown country town that's afraid of growth or glory.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:09 PM on June 29, 2011


As an Austin resident, I'd be happy to assist with a similar "Go back to California" fund.

I think you probably just have a bad impression, because only the insane would move from California to Austin.
posted by smithsmith at 9:10 PM on June 29, 2011 [5 favorites]


But at least I can still fucking swear in Sydney, unlike Melbourne.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:10 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


The problem with Sydney is the people who live in it so I for one think this in a brilliant idea.
posted by tumid dahlia at 9:11 PM on June 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


...relax the height restrictions...

Ha! And I used to wonder why everyone was so short!
posted by tumid dahlia at 9:12 PM on June 29, 2011 [10 favorites]


Sydneysider here. Not defending it, but I don't this policy is about making Sydney more "livable" (as in making it a better place to live for existing residents). I think it is about reducing house prices by increasing supply.

I assumed it was just because even other Sydneysiders hate people from Sydney so much that they will pay up to $7000 for them to go away.
posted by No-sword at 9:26 PM on June 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


Don't get so smug. I showed a Kiwi around Sydney and she was shocked at the existence of trains, and was angry that she had to wear shoes in a nightclub.

Well, that's just reasonable - you can't really dance in shoes.

(and I miss my own barefoot-kiwi friend. She was all blasé about trains, though).
posted by jb at 9:26 PM on June 29, 2011


If only I weren't in the "you'd need to pay me about a million to live in Sydney" demographic, I would totally take advantage of this.

Of course, I'm not; and I am also completely cowed by the State, and have to tug the forelock left and right on a daily basis. As a result, the people of Sydney who value swearing freedom of speech should certainly stay North of the Murray.

I hear Brisbane is lovely.
posted by pompomtom at 9:29 PM on June 29, 2011


Don't get so smug. I showed a Kiwi around Sydney and she was shocked at the existence of trains, and was angry that she had to wear shoes in a nightclub.

Well, that's just reasonable - you can't really dance in shoes.


This was a tiny, crowded rock club. Broken glass, boots everywhere...

I literally cannot understand the logic of this payment, and it makes me angry. And I fear for the poor kids whose parents haul them out in the country for a life of boredom and animal sex.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:30 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


What about Australia doesn't make you angry, Lovecraft?
posted by liquorice at 9:32 PM on June 29, 2011 [45 favorites]


I think you probably just have a bad impression, because only the insane would move from California to Austin.

You should at the price of renting a uhaul from California to Austin and vice versa. Wonder why the large discrepancy?
posted by meta87 at 9:33 PM on June 29, 2011


$7000 and animal sex? Sold!
posted by villanelles at dawn at 9:34 PM on June 29, 2011 [19 favorites]


I hear Brisbane is lovely.

Honestly they're much of a muchness. My personal order of preference would be Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, but keeping up with the goings-on in Victoria is making me think I actually prefer my fourth preference, which I didn't mention, and which is Hobart.
posted by tumid dahlia at 9:35 PM on June 29, 2011


What about Australia doesn't make you angry, Lovecraft?

Pub rock, Perry Keyes, Terry Dowling, alcoholic cider, and about 25% of LA Noire.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:35 PM on June 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


I literally cannot understand the logic of this payment

And no-one is surprised.

How about this: in Soviet Victoriastan a payment (of about seven grand) has been paid to new housebuyers who get a house built, rather than buying an existing house. This payment is a measure, much like that referenced in this FPP, to encourage the expansion of available housing stock in our overly-urban country.

You should probably just call it socialism, and then pop down the street for a calming latte and get back to complaining about Sydney's housing market.
posted by pompomtom at 9:37 PM on June 29, 2011



You should probably just call it socialism, and then pop down the street for a calming latte and get back to complaining about Sydney's housing market.


I just had a latte, thank you very much. If said latte was 'calming' then the barista has not done his job. And he did do his job, since good coffee is another thing I like about Australia.

Again, wouldn't that $47 million be better spent actually improving the CBDs? If people leave them, there's less incentive to improve.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:40 PM on June 29, 2011


Well its best for all, as the average IQ of both the countries seems to increase because of this phenomena.

If you want to use Piggy Muldoon as your inspiration for humour, well I won't be standing in your way.
posted by wilful at 9:41 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Typical Sydneysider dialogue:

"I'm from Sydney and we have lots of things on our house made of cast iron!"

"I'm from Sydney and I'm looking for a particular type of granite for my sink!"

"I'm from Sydney and look at my quirky shoes!"

"I'm from Sydney and I was at the same place where a movie director was having brunch!"

"I'm from Sydney and this whole stock market thing is really making me think hard about that second Range Rover!"

"I'm from Sydney, our thrift shops are better!"

"I'm from Sydney and I am at once disinclined to talk to you but I also can't shut up!"
posted by tumid dahlia at 9:42 PM on June 29, 2011 [8 favorites]


Why Sydneysiders are you hanging out with, tumid? The ones I know mostly bitch about too many hipsters while lamenting Justin Hemmes buying up all the good venues.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:43 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


anarch: Get thee to rural areas, eh? Australia must be feeling pretty darn confident about the future of non-fossil fuel-based transportation.

Australian politicians and the media seem completely incapable of comprehending the possibility that one day oil and gas will go up in price, let alone run out completely. Well, maybe some of them understand the concept but they very rarely if ever bring it into the public discourse. Even the Greens don't talk about resource depletion anywhere near as much as they talk about refugees or climate change (although this could just be the way they are reported in the media). It's surreal at times.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 9:43 PM on June 29, 2011


No, no, wait, I've a better explanation!

It's like we've all listened to you, and decided that Australia needs to be more like America, so we're trying to get a bunch of cockies in poxy wee towns in the middle of nowhere a true heartland

If said latte was 'calming' then the barista has not done his job.

You know 'latte' means 'warm milk' right? Do you not get real coffee up there?

The ones I know mostly bitch about too many hipsters

Yeah, that's that 'confirmation bias' again...
posted by pompomtom at 9:44 PM on June 29, 2011


Wow. This has got to be the single worst urban-oriented piece of policy I've ever seen.

And that's saying a lot.
posted by schmod at 9:45 PM on June 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


Maybe this isn't actually for Sydneysiders, it's for people like LiB, who for some reason have made a considerable effort to migrate, settle in and become a citizen of a place they apparently can't stand and can't stop complaining about at every opportunity. The $7k is a sweetener to protect Sydneysiders from them. Once they're all in a rural town together, they'll have the time of their life, bonding over how much they all hate Sydney and people who actually want to live in the city can be free of their endless whining.
posted by Jubey at 9:45 PM on June 29, 2011 [11 favorites]


I wonder if they'll pay me $7000 to move to Melbourne.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:46 PM on June 29, 2011


I think we could match that, if pressed.
posted by pompomtom at 9:48 PM on June 29, 2011 [11 favorites]


I might pay you $7000 to move back to the US and stop giving Americans in Australia a bad name.

This policy seems consistent with the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme.
posted by gingerest at 9:50 PM on June 29, 2011 [7 favorites]


Why Sydneysiders are you hanging out with, tumid?

I'm not hanging out with any, I develop stereotypes from afar based on what I'd like to hate about people. Having said that I lived in Sydney for about six months and for the most part they were all intolerable.
posted by tumid dahlia at 9:50 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Guys be fair, at least LiB was hanging shit on Kiwis as well in this thread.
posted by awfurby at 9:52 PM on June 29, 2011


I'm not hanging out with any, I develop stereotypes from afar based on what I'd like to hate about people. Having said that I lived in Sydney for about six months and for the most part they were all intolerable.

I did a semi-scientific study where I saw the same band in Sydney and then two days later in Melbourne. The Sydney show had almost no atmosphere and was kinda depressing. The Melbourne show was packed and amazingly fun.

Everything I know about your state comes from The Grates and The Panda Band, so I assume you're typing this while jumping 3 feet in the air.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:54 PM on June 29, 2011


Could you ever see this happening in the States?

This just in! Los Angeles pays smarmy hipsters to move out of Silverlake and Atwater... demand for housing has reached a crisis point and must be abated! Hipsters to receive $7,000 grants to move to the Central Valley!

"Fresno and Turlock are great places to live, work and raise a family – these $7,000 grants will provide extra assistance."
posted by Old Man McKay at 9:56 PM on June 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


psssssst.... you know that Brisbane is not Melbourne, and neither of these are Perth, right?
posted by pompomtom at 9:58 PM on June 29, 2011


"Australian politicians and the media seem completely incapable of comprehending the possibility that one day oil and gas will go up in price, let alone run out completely." I thought I once saw a movie that directly addressed this exact scenario. I think it was Australian. It had Mel Gibson in it. Some New Wave types were guarding a refinery.
posted by smrtsch at 10:01 PM on June 29, 2011 [5 favorites]


Actually anarch, a thousand baited hooks, there was a Senate inquiry into peak oil in 2007 that was pretty interesting.
posted by wilful at 10:01 PM on June 29, 2011


My favourite Melbourne band is The Paradise Motel, and they're actually from Hobart.
posted by tumid dahlia at 10:01 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tumid's in Brisbane, but I did get the Panda Band thing wrong. D'oh.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:02 PM on June 29, 2011


As a rural Australian, who absolutely loathes rude tourists ("darling, let's just stop the pristinely clean 4WD here slapbang in the middle of the main street so you can hop out and take a photo of a church, don't worry about the yokels behind us, we'll just smile and wave and they'll forget that they had to be at work 5 minutes ago") and Sydney tree-changers ("what, we can't get a latte with extra mocha caramel yada fucking yada something after 5pm on a Sunday? Well, I guess I'll open up the 400th coffee shop to show them how to do it")... I'd pay 'em $7000 to stay home.

I would like to link to something I had published about the tree-changer/tourist horror which makes our hometown unbearable during weekends and holidays, but it has my real name attached.

And now our brilliant government is paying those horrid people to sully our small country town. Insert shuddering here.

(And now I've just realised that school holidays start this weekend. Fan. Fucking. Tastic.)
posted by malibustacey9999 at 10:03 PM on June 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


Forgive me if my information's not completely accurate, I've only visited your fine continent a couple of times, but isn't much of rural New South Wales drought-stricken, rife with deadly poisonous insects and snakes, and/or on fire?

What I'm trying to say is, has Sydney enacted the world's first hipster euthanasia program?

Hey, worked an Oxford comma in there too. You know who's definitely on fire on Mefi this Wednesday? This guy.
posted by gompa at 10:03 PM on June 29, 2011 [17 favorites]


The drought's mostly over. So there's that.

The poisonous things only really bother the Yanks, so there's also that.

Things are, basically, looking up.
posted by pompomtom at 10:06 PM on June 29, 2011


Why not increase supply by building more apartments and houses, getting rid of height restrictions, and filling in all those blank spaces on the map? I live off Parramatta Road and its a wasteland, and I'm right near the city.

Parramatta Road has been a dump for as long as I can remember - miles & miles of cruddy niche stores nobody cares about (other than angry loners, guitarists and bridezillas), forced there because it's the only place where rent is cheap enough for them to survive.

But don't worry: there's been a lot of talk & planning around turning the entire road all the way to Strathfield (say, 10 miles from the city) into a corridor of medium-high density apartments, with some kind of light rail & bike paths running down the centre.

The idea is to retain the heritage facades of all the old shopfronts, and build apartments behind. The development right next to the Annandale Hotel may be an early example of what's to come.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:07 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


villanelles at dawn: "$7000 and animal sex? Sold!"

Did you know? Spiders are animals!
posted by boo_radley at 10:09 PM on June 29, 2011


The development right next to the Annandale Hotel may be an early example of what's to come.

No trigger warning for LiB?
posted by vidur at 10:10 PM on June 29, 2011 [5 favorites]


"I'm from Sydney and we have lots of things on our house made of cast iron!"

What does this refer to?
posted by Brian B. at 10:12 PM on June 29, 2011


I just realized that there is also a Metropolitan Plan for Sydney 2036.
posted by vidur at 10:18 PM on June 29, 2011


The cast iron shit people put on their houses.
posted by tumid dahlia at 10:18 PM on June 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


I just realized that there is also a Metropolitan Plan for Sydney 2036.

I'm sure most of it will be protested by the same people who attack Bangaroo, oppose expanding the Marrickville Metro, and successfully kept a McDonalds out of Newtown.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:19 PM on June 29, 2011


I just realized that there is also a Metropolitan Plan for Sydney 2036.

Nice, they totally added like twelve more struts to the bridge. That's a strut every two years!
posted by tumid dahlia at 10:19 PM on June 29, 2011


Nice, they totally added like twelve more struts to the bridge. That's a strut every two years!

Nah, that's just the replacement bridge. It goes up all at once.

Oh shit, I've said too much. Erm.... CARN THE SWANS!!
posted by pompomtom at 10:22 PM on June 29, 2011


I'm sure most of it will be protested by the same people who attack Bangaroo, oppose expanding the Marrickville Metro, and successfully kept a McDonalds out of Newtown.

Well, the plan was created and released when Labor was leading the state. Now, it is the Liberals. The plan aimed to help meet Sydney’s future housing needs by "Locating at least 70 per cent of new housing within existing urban areas and up to 30 per cent in new release areas". But, Barry O'Farrell, the Liberal Premier, "wants to set the balance at 50:50". There is plenty of disagreement, I am sure, without even getting into the specifics of Barangaroo etc.
posted by vidur at 10:31 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


LiB's gripe about the lack of medium-high density housing reminds me:

The City Council was running ads on the radio, something like "New York, Tokyo, Berlin, London - what makes these cities so vibrant? The Council is seeking your submissions on how Sydney can become dazzling, amazing 24/7 hipster paradises like these great global cities!"

To me, the answer is obvious: they have (a) people crammed in on top of each other, paying exorbitant rents for shoeboxes so they feel compelled to get out & spend their time in local bars, restaurants & venues, and (b) decent metro systems so they can get around easily.

(note: (b) is dependent on (a) - you can't afford to build a decent metro unless you have a million people per square mile. A wealth of entertainment options is also dependent on a large local customer base & transportation)

So far, Lord Mayor Clover Moore's vision has been basically to ape NYC by relabelling every inner-city suburb as a "village", but it doesn't go much further than that. To have that busy urban lifestyle, population density is a must, but there's an equal & opposite pull in Australia for everybody to have a freestanding house, and not to have the slums-of-the-future built in their backyards.

I say bring on the high-density housing! It'll just make my freestanding place worth more in comparison, so I can leverage its value to buy more cast iron things to attach. It'll look like an iron lace version of the death star by the time I finish with it.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:40 PM on June 29, 2011 [22 favorites]



To me, the answer is obvious: they have (a) people crammed in on top of each other, paying exorbitant rents for shoeboxes so they feel compelled to get out & spend their time in local bars, restaurants & venues, and (b) decent metro systems so they can get around easily.


This is my ideal way of life, and that's why I keep harping on things. I'm seriously considering moving back to Newtown because its easier to get coffee, big breakfasts, and my laundry done.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:42 PM on June 29, 2011


All in the same place? Don't get them mixed up if you're still drunk from the night before!
posted by tumid dahlia at 10:44 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


See also: The Housing We'd Choose:
The report presents original research on the housing preferences of Australians. A representative sample of over 700 residents in Sydney and Melbourne was asked to make real-world housing choices, limited by their budgets. The housing they chose was a much more varied mix than either city currently provides. In particular, the research suggests significant shortfalls of semi-detached housing and apartments in the middle and outer areas of both cities.

The second part of the report examines recent construction trends and argues that there are barriers to delivering more of the housing people say they want. These disincentives include the cost of materials and labour for buildings over four storeys, land assembly and preparation, and the risk and uncertainty of our planning systems, especially in Victoria. A subsequent Grattan report will recommend changes to the design of the housing market in order to provide people with more of the homes they say they want.
This was in the news a few days ago.
posted by vidur at 10:45 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Where did this obsession with suburbia and backyards come from? And the idealization of rural life? Real questions, not snark.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:46 PM on June 29, 2011


"obsession " "not snark".

Sorry, framing fail.
posted by wilful at 10:48 PM on June 29, 2011


Parramatta Road has been a dump for as long as I can remember - miles & miles of cruddy niche stores nobody cares about (other than angry loners, guitarists and bridezillas), forced there because it's the only place where rent is cheap enough for them to survive.

But don't worry: there's been a lot of talk & planning around turning the entire road all the way to Strathfield (say, 10 miles from the city) into a corridor of medium-high density apartments, with some kind of light rail & bike paths running down the centre.


This would be an amazingly sensible decision. However, there is no way that NSW is in a position to pay for it. Plus, Parramatta Road is one of the busiest roads in the country. A lot of modelling is required to determine whether light rail can replace Parramatta Road as a transport conduit.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:48 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Where did this obsession with suburbia and backyards come from? And the idealization of rural life? Real questions, not snark.

You have to establish the the obsession exists first. That's how logical arguments work.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:49 PM on June 29, 2011


See also What type of housing do we prefer? by Alan Davies.
posted by wilful at 10:50 PM on June 29, 2011


The initial idea behind suburbia and the quarter-acre block (which was as much a US invention as an Australian one) was that it was the right amount of land for people to grow enough food to sustain themselves on. That is, if they ate nothing but squashes & chokoes.

Anyway, I think that was an interbellum idea, and nobody (other than Greek & Italian migrants after WW2) ever bothered turning their backyards into miniature market gardens for private consumption.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:51 PM on June 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


A wealth of entertainment options is also dependent on a large local customer base & transportation

Also on the nature of regulation. Dozens of small bars have sprung up since the licencing laws were amended in 2009 to make them cheaper and less onerous. If you reduce regulatory costs, you reduce the barriers to establishment, and operating costs. You (necessarily) don't need a super high population density if you don't have massive expenses to pay.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:52 PM on June 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Anyway, I think that was an interbellum idea, and nobody (other than Greek & Italian migrants after WW2) ever bothered turning their backyards into miniature market gardens for private consumption.

Sez you! My basil bushes are the stuff of legends!
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:54 PM on June 29, 2011


@Lovecraft in Brooklyn

My hunch: Humans have lived in cities for a tiny portion of our existence; even tinier if you extend "human" back to previous homo species. Physiology just doesn't change much on the time scale of our societies. Don't know about you, but I personally feel much better after a day in a forest than I do after a day in city streets. Seems pretty obvious that blue skies and green things are soothing to a human. The suburbs bring back an element of space and quiet that this brief period of city life has lacked.
posted by anarch at 10:54 PM on June 29, 2011


My hunch: Humans have lived in cities for a tiny portion of our existence

The ancient Greeks and Romans had cities.
What's SOOTHING is being able to get a fucking coffee and a bus pass after 7pm and some decent dinner.
Maybe my antipathy toward suburban living is because I grew up in the suburbs, and utterly hated it.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:01 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


My basil bushes are the stuff of legends!

Yeah, but legend = a nonhistorical or unverifiable story handed down by tradition from earlier times and popularly accepted as historical. So, what Ubu said.
posted by vidur at 11:01 PM on June 29, 2011


Also on the nature of regulation.

Melbourne is a good example, with softer licencing laws making it easier for cool bars & restaurants to spring up anywhere.

However, I feel that Melbourne also has public transport & a road network that makes it easier to get around, much closer to the model I'm talking about - especially because of the ease of the zonal ticketing system, allowing you to hop on & off buses & trams at will.

In contrast, Sydney is essentially radial, with all roads (and rail lines etc) converging on the city. Try moving across these radii (say, from Newtown to nearby Balmain) and it's a mammoth undertaking.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:03 PM on June 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


Try moving across these radii (say, from Newtown to nearby Balmain) and it's a mammoth undertaking.

True. Sydney public transport sometimes makes me wish I was back in Moscow.
posted by vidur at 11:07 PM on June 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


The ancient Greeks and Romans had cities.

Essentially yesterday. There is ancient, and there is ancient.

Maybe my antipathy toward suburban living is because I grew up in the suburbs, and utterly hated it.

Sounds plausible. We do tend to eschew what the previous generation strived for. Sign of an unhealthy/unstable/unsustainable culture, probably.
posted by anarch at 11:11 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


What's unhealthy is crippling the future by living in some distant past. When I bring up these complaints people somehow act as if the vast nothingness in the heart of the country is something great that justifies the bad cities.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:13 PM on June 29, 2011


It's unsurprising that the State Government want to reduce the pressure on Sydney: it's not really possible for Sydney to build enough new housing (due to over a decade of neglect and poor planning by the recently deposed Labour government) to properly keep up with anticipated growth.

Sydney is pretty much at capacity now. A recent report that that existing public transport (another neglected area) is already over capacity. Competition for housing is fierce, and driving up housing prices to obscene levels.

The new government knows that the best way to get reelected to be able to claim that they 'fixed' the housing problem. Plus, it's a sensible idea to encourage expansion in regional centres - a larger population could benefit those areas. Another victory they can claim.

The proposition that all regional areas are terrible places to live is just silly. Horses for courses. Some people like the quiet and the countryside, horse riding and farming and wine making. Suburbia is not the same as a regional town.

There's no denying that there has been a lot movement from the country to the city - for example, lots of people move here to go to university. But, anecdotes ahoy, I haven't met many city people who hated their parents for choosing to live in the country when they were kids, or were scarred from growing up in a country town. I do know a few who moved back after they decided to have kids.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:14 PM on June 29, 2011


Plus, it's a sensible idea to encourage expansion in regional centres - a larger population could benefit those areas.

But this plan also sends people away from regional centers like Newcastle. How does that make sense?

But, anecdotes ahoy, I haven't met many city people who hated their parents for choosing to live in the country when they were kids, or were scarred from growing up in a country town.

What kind of people were those who could tolerate such a dull, blinkered life?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:16 PM on June 29, 2011


What about Australia doesn't make you angry, Lovecraft?

As he has explained, the only reason he doesn't leave this loathsome hellhole and return to the States is the Australian healthcare system.
posted by moorooka at 11:16 PM on June 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


In contrast, Sydney is essentially radial, with all roads (and rail lines etc) converging on the city. Try moving across these radii (say, from Newtown to nearby Balmain) and it's a mammoth undertaking.

This tends to be a universal trend in evolved cities - everything springs up ad hoc around transport corridors, which spread out in a radial fashion because that's the most efficient configuration for maximum coverage.

Much of Melbourne's success as a city can be attributed to the fact that its CBD was planned. I would argue that a lot of Manhattan's success is for the same reason (including the game changing idea of establishing Central Park).
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:18 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


so when is that Epping to Parramatta line going to be ready?
posted by moorooka at 11:20 PM on June 29, 2011


Yeah, but legend = a nonhistorical or unverifiable story handed down by tradition from earlier times and popularly accepted as historical. So, what Ubu said.

Yes, of course. Needed a [not serious] tag. My basil bushes aren't really all that.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:24 PM on June 29, 2011


Burn bright, burn out, repeat. Oh, Lovecraft. You remind me of the jellyfish: But finally, jellyfish appeared!
posted by anarch at 11:24 PM on June 29, 2011


Having spent quite a lot of time in both New York City and Sydney, I have to say that Sydney is very dull compared with New York and even more expensive.

The weather is super-fantastic but they roll up the sidewalks at about 10PM. I couldn't believe it when we showed up at 9:15 to a restaurant that closed at 10:00 and was told that they had stopped serving.

Transportation is also a problem - everyone seems to have a car and often "you can't get there from here".

Going from Sydney to Melbourne is quite a shock - the energy level at night is so different!
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:25 PM on June 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


wilful: Actually anarch, a thousand baited hooks, there was a Senate inquiry into peak oil in 2007 that was pretty interesting.

True, I remember that. They seemed to get it. Sadly the inquiry didn't get a lot of press at the time and since then the issue seems to have vanished from public conversation. It doesn't help that the government is getting advice from places like ABARE - I remember an ABARE economist once telling me with a straight face that oil and gas depletion isn't a problem because they'll always be available on the open market.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 11:29 PM on June 29, 2011


But this plan also sends people away from regional centers like Newcastle. How does that make sense?

I don't support this policy. But there are a couple of other possibilities.

1. Country areas are suffering because all the people with the money are moving to urban areas. The people with the money are the people with good education and skills - for example, it can be hard to keep a good doctor in a country town. Encouraging those people to move back to the country could help the regional areas out a lot, both by encouraging financial and human investment.

2. [MASSIVE OVERSIMPLIFICATION] The regional electorates have traditional leaned towards the Liberal and National parties. Labour has traditionally dominated many urban seats. This could bolster the government's polling numbers by causing urbanites change their voting priorities by making a tree change.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:32 PM on June 29, 2011


I have lived in: St, Margarets, Kent; Hong Kong; Stanmore, Middlesex; Kowloon; Feltwell, Norfolk; Peterhead, Scotland; Penang; Singapore; London; Bury St. Edmunds, Norfolk; Adelaide, SA and Sydney. You'd have to pay me a damn sight more than $7,000 to move again.
posted by unliteral at 11:33 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


@malibustacey: My beloved Orange has become the Hamptons of the western suburbs of Sydney. Mudgee, the place where my grandparents grew old gracefully and passwed into the beyond, will be next. You will have an Essential Ingredient outlet, and your 'charming' fibro houses will suddenly be worth $400K, and you won't be able to get a counter meal that doesn't have coriander and some sort of jus.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 11:36 PM on June 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Much of Melbourne's success as a city can be attributed to the fact that its CBD was planned.

What most people don't get is that the plan in question was created and thoroughly tested by the Romans.
posted by pompomtom at 11:36 PM on June 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Much of Melbourne's success as a city can be attributed to the fact that its CBD was planned.

That can cut both ways, though. Much of Canberra's failure as a city can be attributed to the fact that the whole city was planned.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 11:39 PM on June 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


What kind of people were those who could tolerate such a dull, blinkered life?

You realise that not everyone is you, right? Some people find it neither dull, or blinkered. Some people don't like cheese. Go figure.

I have some close friends that run a gallery in a tiny country town, and live on a sprawling, ramshackle property on the side of a hill, surrounded by nothing but bush. They make art. They have a pet wombat. There's super tasty food and wine around. And, nearby a town full of their friends. It's not for me, but I can see why they love it.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:40 PM on June 29, 2011 [5 favorites]


That can cut both ways, though. Much of Canberra's failure as a city can be attributed to the fact that the whole city was planned.

OK, Melbourne was planned well. The same cannot be said of Canberra, which relies way too much on roads. Plus, it seems to me that a large Canberra demographic (politicians and public servants) generally move to Canberra on sufferance - i.e., because their work requires it. They often don't want to stay - so there's less motivation to work to create a community.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:44 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Needed a [not serious] tag.

Applies to many of my comments too.
posted by vidur at 11:45 PM on June 29, 2011


you won't be able to get a counter meal that doesn't have coriander and some sort of jus.

I had a fantastic counter meal in Mudgee recently...terrine of duck with beetroot jus & a fennel & coriander salad. It was surprisingly civilised; I'd been expecting a meat pie & a Country Womens' Association style lamington.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:47 PM on June 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Canberra is just a glorified office complex.
posted by vidur at 11:48 PM on June 29, 2011


Much of Canberra's failure as a city can be attributed to the fact that the whole city was planned.

I believe the expression is: "a good sheep paddock, ruined".
posted by pompomtom at 11:52 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


LiB, you would be just horrified at where I choose to live. "Literally" surrounded by nature, by trees and wallabies and snakes and all that crap. Nearest barista is many km away. I don't quite know how I survive.
posted by wilful at 11:54 PM on June 29, 2011 [10 favorites]


Canberra is just a glorified office complex.

Glorified?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:58 PM on June 29, 2011 [6 favorites]


"Literally" surrounded by nature, by trees and wallabies and snakes and all that crap. Nearest barista is many km away. I don't quite know how I survive.

Oh, wilful. I'm so sorry. Would you like send you care package of pollution, traffic, billboards, inconsiderate arseholes, and a cute coffee girl?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 12:02 AM on June 30, 2011


Gah. My kingdom for an edit window.

Would you like me to send you a care package of pollution, traffic, billboards, inconsiderate arseholes, and a cute coffee girl?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 12:03 AM on June 30, 2011


pollution, traffic, billboards, inconsiderate arseholes

Barbie at Wil's place? Count me in!
posted by pompomtom at 12:06 AM on June 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think we've paid enough lip service by now to serious discussion.

This thread is now about pizza toppings, beer, and whether or not beetroot belongs on a hamburger.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:07 AM on June 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can somebody explain the logic behind this? Sydney is shit. It's hard to get around, trains and buses are late, the CBD is a wasteland after 10pm and our best live music and arts venues are closing. But instead of spending money to improve it the state government is literally PAYING PEOPLE TO LEAVE, thus ensuring that it gets worse instead of better!

Getting all the poor people to leave.
Sydneysider here. Not defending it, but I don't this policy is about making Sydney more "livable" (as in making it a better place to live for existing residents). I think it is about reducing house prices by increasing supply.
Actually, it would be reducing demand. The problem, though, is work. What are these people going to do once they move out the bush? Is the government going to pay for economic development there? Just give them free food and land and nothing to do? Sounds like a great way to create perpetually impoverished rural slums.

Also how does this work? How long do you have to live in Sydney to take advantage of it? How long do you have to stay away? Couldn't you take the payment, then just move in with a friend for that period of time? Are you like banished from the city?

posted by delmoi at 12:08 AM on June 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


@malibustacey: My beloved Orange has become the Hamptons of the western suburbs of Sydney. Mudgee, the place where my grandparents grew old gracefully and passwed into the beyond, will be next. You will have an Essential Ingredient outlet, and your 'charming' fibro houses will suddenly be worth $400K, and you won't be able to get a counter meal that doesn't have coriander and some sort of jus.

posted by obiwanwasabi


I weep as I say, " too late, charming fibro houses are now selling for $400,000 (all the better to rent to 4 miners at $200 a head per week who trash the place)", but we don't yet have an Essential Ingredient outlet.

Are your grandparents buried here? Mefimail me with their names & I'll visit them, put some flowers on their graves/nameplates & say hello next time I'm at the cemetary.

And I hate coriander, the only jus I like is raspberry, but every imported chef (but, dahling, they trained in SYDNEY!) can't present a meal without either.

What's the country vs city equivalent of 'get off my lawn'? How about 'get outta my hometown'? Or - dare I say it - go back where you came from?

posted by malibustacey9999 at 12:11 AM on June 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Getting all the poor people to leave.

I don't believe that the poor people own a house in Sydney.
posted by pompomtom at 12:14 AM on June 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


This thread is now about pizza toppings, beer, and whether or not beetroot belongs on a hamburger.

Hey, I may be an ignorant seppo who continually insults your country and your culture but I would NEVER pretend my beer is better than your beer, wine, or cider.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 12:16 AM on June 30, 2011


I don't believe that the poor people own a house in Sydney.

It'll free up rental accommodation, then. Realistically, $7000 is a pissy amount of money, and the bribe would only appeal to people who think it's not.

I bet the bikie gangs are already working out how to tweak their heroin & meth distribution networks to cater for the shifting market.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:17 AM on June 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Getting all the poor people to leave.

I don't think so. See below

Also how does this work? How long do you have to live in Sydney to take advantage of it? How long do you have to stay away? Couldn't you take the payment, then just move in with a friend for that period of time? Are you like banished from the city?

Read the website link.

All applicants must be citizens or permanent residents - they need to own a home in a metro area, and to have owned that home for more than 12 months for applying. Not exactly poor, if we're talking Sydney.

They also need to have lived that home as their principal place of residence during the 12 months.

You need to contract buy a home in a regional area between 1 July 2011 and 30 June 2015, for less than $600,000. Again, not really aimed at the poor.

You then need to live in it for at least 12 continuous months, beginning within the first 12 months of ownership.

After that, live where you like, I guess.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 12:19 AM on June 30, 2011


$7000 would make a difference to me, and I wasn't joking with the 'Melbourne' crack. If someone offered me that much to do something I was even vaguely considering I'd take it. And since I'm the sort of person who rents places, this might actually help the rental market.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 12:20 AM on June 30, 2011


I like this idea. I've long felt that Australia has a problem with concentrating all our population in just a few huge, sprawling cities, clinging to the coast. Housing prices, for a start, are completely changing the culture of the country. On my academic salary, my family can't afford to live closer than about an hour's travel time from the kind of places I would work in any city...except for here in Hobart, where I guess I'm half an hours drive away on a good morning. If I caught a bus, it would still be an hour.

The best thing that could happen, to restore a reasonable culture where people who don't happen to own 3 investment properties and a yacht can get ahead, would be to encourage development and expansion of rural towns, in terms of population, investment, infrastructure, business. Why are there over a million people living in Adelaide, and 23,000 people living in our next largest town, Mt Gambier. Yeah, I know, it's Mt Gambier (though Dave Graney came from there), but if there was a reason to live there, if there were jobs, there'd be nothing wrong with it.

The national broadband network also offers opportunities here - I read something the other day that suggested that in theory, up to 30% of people could telecommute from home if they had serious internet access. It's my dream to get the hell out of crazy, jammed, expensive cities and live somewhere livable with housing prices that aren't 15x my annual salary.
posted by Jimbob at 12:25 AM on June 30, 2011


Canberra is just a glorified office complex.

Glorified?


Well, relative to my current office anyway. But, behold!
posted by vidur at 12:26 AM on June 30, 2011


(I'm in Brisbane at the moment, working at UQ. I took a walk around St Lucia and thought "Shit yeah, I could live here! These houses don't look to fancy - just average suburban Queensland homes." Then I strolled by the real estate agent and looked in the window. You couldn't get a three-bedroom house for under a million. Can't we take up arms against the baby boomers and squat in their homes yet?)
posted by Jimbob at 12:33 AM on June 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I know, it's Mt Gambier (though Dave Graney came from there), but if there was a reason to live there, if there were jobs, there'd be nothing wrong with it.

But did the dapper and talented Dave Graney STAY in Mt Gambier? And is there a statue of him? Or at least a haberdashery named in his honor?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 12:40 AM on June 30, 2011


But did the dapper and talented Dave Graney STAY in Mt Gambier?

He may well have if it wasn't just a boring dairy/logging town with a dead volcano as its only tourist attraction.
posted by Jimbob at 12:48 AM on June 30, 2011


And only one nightclub. Which I've been to. Fun times.
posted by Jimbob at 12:50 AM on June 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


The entire country's population can fit into New York State, so I consider all the cities rather small. I can't imagine what the non-Sydney, non-Melbourne ones must be like.

However, your mention of Dave Graney has distracted me from my negativity. He deserves an FPP, I would think.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 12:54 AM on June 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


These things never take long to get to Canberra bashing.

Canberra is not a city. Melbourne and Sydney, with millions of people, are cities. Canberra, with 300K people, is a large regional centre that happens to have Parliament House dropped in the middle of it. If people leveled their criticisms of Canberra at, say, Townsville, they'd be laughed at. Stop expecting it to have the same stuff you find someplace ten times the size, and then you're free to accept it, and appreciate it, for what it is - somewhere that has a lot of the stuff you find someplace ten times the size, but with one tenth the grief.

Actually, scratch that. Canberra is awful. Don't move here. Please.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:02 AM on June 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


Urban development might have once been planned in Melbourne, but more recently sensible planning efforts such as the Melbourne 2020 framework, which aimed at increasingly population density along established transport corridors, decentralising the city through developing suburban 'activity centres' at places like Footscray and Box Hill, and establishing an urban growth boundary to limit the city's already staggering physical size, have all largely crashed and burned through a combination of nimbyism, concessions to traditional detached home building lobby groups, and an overall unwillingness by government to HTFU and implement the strategy they developed.

The most ridiculous episode in my own neighbourhood was the attempt by the local residents group to have a building that once housed a bowling alley heritage listed as an example of 1950's bowling alley building architecture to prevent a developer from building a medium rise apartment complex.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 1:06 AM on June 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


It may have been said already, but it's hard to imagine many people who'd qualify being even remotely enticed by this. If you own a home in Sydney, sell it and buy a rural home for less than $600,000, then $7K isn't even a tip. That could very easily be less than 1% of what you'd realize on the deal. So if someone's not doing this already, it isn't because nobody's offered them seven grand.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:28 AM on June 30, 2011


How about everybody stops pooping out babies and suddenly we have enough resources to take care of everybody? kthx
posted by Mooseli at 1:30 AM on June 30, 2011


Does anyone have a picture of all this cast iron gimcrackery that was mentioned up thread? I'm curious, now.

Also, speaking as one who knows dick about urban life in Australia, creating/destroying density by fiat seems like a fool's errand. Much of Australian urban development is post-car, and I'm not aware of any post-car urban centers that aren't affected by sprawl, unless they're hemmed in by natural obstacles. Eg. San Francisco is denser than L.A., but San Francisco's on a peninsula. Most of the really dense, vibrant urban areas were around long before cars, and naturally evolved around walking distances. Or look at Atlanta --- sprawl city, terrible, vying-for-worst-in-the-nation traffic, but people kept on building out and out (at least until the '08 crash) because people like having a yard and will sit on the highway for an hour every morning to get it.
posted by Diablevert at 1:31 AM on June 30, 2011


I assume Tumid means iron lacework on older terraces
posted by bystander at 1:44 AM on June 30, 2011


$7K isn't even a tip

You might be lucky if it even covered the overheads of the relocation (removalists, maybe some self-storage, time off work or looking for a new job, whatever stamp duties & taxes might be applicable to house sales, your own transport to the new town, new school uniforms for any kids, all kinds of things).

Frankly, I'd be surprised if an average family could break even with $7K.

On preview: iron lace would be what people are referring to.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:44 AM on June 30, 2011


How about everybody stops pooping out babies and suddenly we have enough resources to take care of everybody? kthx

...until population ageing kicks in and the ratio of workers to retirees goes out the window and there isn't enough tax revenue to pay for skyrocketing social welfare and healthcare costs.

But thanks for playing! Be sure to come back next time you want to push out some...

PISSWEAK! PUBLIC! POLICYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!

obiwanwasabi dressed by target
Would you like to be a member of our studio audience?

posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:46 AM on June 30, 2011 [7 favorites]


From the Wheeler Centre today, What Future for Rural Australia?
In this video, Judith Brett – author of Quarterly Essay 42: Fair Share: Country and City in Australia – and Don Watson discuss the fate of rural Australia – its health, its economy and its longevity. Observing the shift from ‘rural’ to ‘regional’ and from ‘country’ to ‘bush’, they unpick the complex relationships between urbanites and their bucolic brethren, tracing the political lineage of the country through farms and towns, agriculture and retail, tribalism and independence. ¶ Throughout this hour-long discussion, including numerous questions from the audience (many of whom, to Watson’s delight, have come from South Gippsland), the pair consider how regional Australia has changed over past decades, and ponder the role of government in propping up ailing communities and industries.
(I haven't watched it yet, but thought I'd share the link anyway because it's right on point.)
posted by robcorr at 1:48 AM on June 30, 2011


Isn't water a defining constraint? I'm originally from one of these small country towns (Orange represent, obiwanwasabi!) and it routinely goes on water restrictions during dry periods (it's local folklore that it was turned down as a potential site for the capital because it didn't have a guaranteed water supply). And this is true of dozens of inland centres.

It's all very well saying we want to cut Sydney's population, but there's a reason why the population clings to the coast (inter alia) - that's where the rain falls.

LiB - in answer to your questions, see The Great Australian Dream and The Australian Bush (also Paterson, A. B. 'Banjo')
posted by bright cold day at 1:52 AM on June 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


We decided to move out of Sydney when my kids were little, with no $7000 grant (note it won't even cover the stamp duty on the sale of the house, so it isn't a huge incentive).
I telecommute to work, and commute a few days a week on a reasonably priced, air conditioned electric train. My kids walk to school, and there are a million coffee shops within walking distance of my house.
We live 5mins from a hospital where you can get seen quickly, have two libraries within a 10 min drive, never have a queue at the RTA, have soccer, cricket, tennis, rock climbing (indoor and real) and all non-aquatic outdoor pursuits on hand.
There is a heated olympic pool 10mins drive away, with a 25m indoor pool, basketball courts, gym attached (that's where the roller derby girls train).
We have a pretty limited night life, but, for example, this month we can go see Tim Rogers, next month there is Seeker Lover Keeper. And there are plenty of pubs and restaurants, and a cinema, but it isn't Kings Cross after midnight. We have a pretty good folk festival each year, and can be in the Sydney CBD in 2 hours if I want to see an international act.
I know my neighbours, and see friends to say g'day to as I walk down the street. I have a few chooks and grow a few vegetables.
Yeah, there is a shortage of high paying work. Yeah, it is a long way to attend university in person. Yeah, I miss the harbour and beaches, but I really only went to the ocean a few weekends a year.
And we go on summer holiday for a week or two by the sea.
So it's pretty civilised. I understand that 20-ish hipsters don't want it. I lived in Stanmore and Glebe in my 20s, and that was great, but this is pretty good for me right now, and a much better lifestyle than I could have in the city by any measure that is important to me.
posted by bystander at 2:03 AM on June 30, 2011 [5 favorites]


Stop expecting it to have the same stuff you find someplace ten times the size, and then you're free to accept it, and appreciate it, for what it is - somewhere that has a lot of the stuff you find someplace ten times the size, but with one tenth the grief.

Don't get me wrong - I don't really mind living in Canberra and there are some things about it that I really enjoy, like my bike commute around the lake or the kangaroos who used to hang out in my front garden when I lived next to Mount Majura. But it has its problems and almost all of them (apart from the climate) come from truly atrocious planning. I suppose the idea of having a small, awkward city centre cut in half by an artificial lake and choked by mountains on both sides, with the overflow spilling out to tastefully arranged satellite cities, must have looked good on paper but in practice it means unnecessary sprawl, unworkable public transport and a heap of urban and suburban centres where there are almost never enough people together at once for anything interesting to happen.

Sure traffic here is nowhere near as bad as in Sydney, the Wig and Pen makes some of the tastiest beer in the country and there are plenty of other nice things about this place, but it could have been so much better.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 2:07 AM on June 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


And a follow on to the Sydney CBD dead at night comments, wander down towards China town. There are thousands of residential units there now and plenty of night time action.
And I knew Sydney had made it as a global city when I started seeing the photocopied flyers on power poles offering a quarter share in a bedroom in a highrise apartment for $150 a week. 'Nobody sleep in lounge room!' was the selling point of the ritz-ier ones.
posted by bystander at 2:10 AM on June 30, 2011


bystander - yeah, but the problem with Katoomba is all the fucking tourists on the weekends invading the place.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:11 AM on June 30, 2011


all the fucking tourists on the weekends invading the place.
Smug bastards up from camperdown, je detest!
posted by bystander at 2:13 AM on June 30, 2011


(Hominy Bakery almost makes up for it)
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:14 AM on June 30, 2011


So I guess this is targeted towards people whose primary residence is a home they own and want to sell in Sydney proper, and who are planning to buy for less than 600K in one of these outlying regions, and who are cash-poor enough that 7K will make a difference in their relocation plan. That's ... an unusual group of people.

Also if we're counting iron lace bolted to your house as the mark of snootiness, Adelaide represent!
posted by gingerest at 2:17 AM on June 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


The entire country's population can fit into New York State, so I consider all the cities rather small. I can't imagine what the non-Sydney, non-Melbourne ones must be like.

Sydney and Melbourne are bigger than all the cities in the US bar New York. Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane would be in the top ten. Just for context.

This is a bizarre idea. Housing demand in Sydney is insane, but $7000? Wouldn't cover moving costs.
posted by kjs4 at 2:27 AM on June 30, 2011


That's ... an unusual group of people.

The elderly? I dunno, bystander's town sounds like paradise.
posted by Ritchie at 2:38 AM on June 30, 2011


Sydney and Melbourne are bigger than all the cities in the US bar New York. Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane would be in the top ten. Just for context.

Only in a technical sense, because US city boundaries were set in stone aeons ago, so as the cities expand, the newer areas are technically deemed to not be part of the city.

The situation changes if you look at "metropolitan statistical areas" instead of the arbitrarily & historically fixed "cities" - Brisbane, for example, gets bumped down from #4 to #30.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:14 AM on June 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


What an odd idea. At the very least they could have waited for the NBN to get rolled out to rural towns. 7K isn't much of an incentive for anyone, let alone anyone who can afford to own a home in Sydney.

For once, I agree with LiB. This is a crap idea, and the money would be better spent on high-density housing and improved public transport. But that's what we should be spending our money on in all our capital cities, not just Sydney.
posted by harriet vane at 3:15 AM on June 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


The elderly? I dunno, bystander's town sounds like paradise.

It is a nice spot, but I can see it isn't any good for:
- hipster teen/early 20s
- single people seeking night life to hook up
- people who don't like a 4 season climate (it get chilly here for Australian versions of chilly)
- people who like malls/fastfood and general consumerism
- people who have city careers (banking/finance/IT etc.)
posted by bystander at 3:36 AM on June 30, 2011


If they want people to move out of the city they should do what they do in the US: run giant highways through the middle of town, tear down whole neighborhoods to put up ill-considered "regional attractions" and then cut funding for schools, police, fire and public transit. Then have the local TV news run constant stories about urban crime convincing people that they'd be shot within minutes of setting foot in the middle of town. People will leave the city in droves.
posted by octothorpe at 4:12 AM on June 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


Sydney mefi meetup!
posted by Joe Chip at 5:27 AM on June 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Melbourne looks shockingly like Toronto, and both are planned cities but planned before cheap automobiles.* Toronto, for example, was all about the streetcar, and still is in many ways. That said, non-planned cities can still be liveable - think of all the European capitals. But you have to put people first, and cars a very distant second.

*Toronto was actually planned farmland turned into planned city -- perfectly square blocks set out for farms does end up with a mostly grid city.


I have lived in: St, Margarets, Kent; Hong Kong; Stanmore, Middlesex; Kowloon; Feltwell, Norfolk; Peterhead, Scotland; Penang; Singapore; London; Bury St. Edmunds, Norfolk; Adelaide, SA and Sydney. You'd have to pay me a damn sight more than $7,000 to move again.
posted by unliteral at 2:33 AM on 6/30


East Anglian-fan moment: wait, isn't Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk? Also, Feltwell is cool - fens represent! My dream place to move is Ely - hills and fens in the same place. Also the prettiest cathedral on the planet.

posted by jb at 5:31 AM on June 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


My guess is that an ongoing subsidy to raise rural incomes would go further than a one-off payment. Some people move into the city for the lifestyle, but a lot of people are just being economically rational. If they had a way to make money without dealing with the traffic, they would.

Also, this thread taught me a new term, "counter meal," which always makes me happy.
posted by Forktine at 6:10 AM on June 30, 2011


Goddamnnit, my whole life I've thought that using 'beetroot' for 'beet' was a fatuous affectation. Apparently it isn't. All beetroots are beets but not all beets are beetroots.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 6:14 AM on June 30, 2011


Where did this obsession with suburbia and backyards come from?

US WWII vets mostly. Start here.
posted by bonehead at 7:46 AM on June 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


UbuRoivas: "(note: (b) is dependent on (a) - you can't afford to build a decent metro unless you have a million people per square mile. A wealth of entertainment options is also dependent on a large local customer base & transportation)"

Washington DC, Paris, San Francisco, and large swaths of Boston disagree with you.

(And, hell. For what it's worth, Manhattan's density doesn't come close to approaching 1,000,000/mi2. It's 70,000/mi2. NYC as a whole is just 27,000/mi2.

When done correctly (ie. Vancouver), ultra-high density can be very liveable. The trick is to not cram people in like sardines, and to have them be able to live close to their jobs.
posted by schmod at 8:36 AM on June 30, 2011


Sydney and Melbourne are bigger than all the cities in the US bar New York. Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane would be in the top ten. Just for context.

UbuRovias already pointed this out, but for a bit more context, if you look at the this link then look at Sydney's population, Sydney would be the 10th largest city in the U.S. Adelaide and Perth wouldn't even crack the top 30.

You have to use MSAs for an apples-to-apples comparison for U.S. cities. I mean, look at the list of U.S. cities. San Antonio is more than double the size of Boston or Atlanta! U.S. city boundaries are entirely arbitrary.

(Don't mean to derail, but this is a pet peeve of mine. Yes, I'm a geek.)
posted by breakin' the law at 8:48 AM on June 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't think there is a city in the world that apprioaches 1mil/m^2. If you believe Wiki, Manilla is the highest density at 110k.
posted by JPD at 8:49 AM on June 30, 2011


When done correctly (ie. Vancouver), ultra-high density can be very liveable. The trick is to not cram people in like sardines, and to have them be able to live close to their jobs.

I don't think there is a city in the world that apprioaches 1mil/m^2. If you believe Wiki, Manilla is the highest density at 110k.

I'd think the 1mil/m^2 thing was an exaggeration?

You don't even have to have lots of high-rises to be dense, though. I'm a fan of density, but I find endless stretches of high-rises somewhat dehumanizing. Paris and DC are high-density and mostly mid-rise. So are most European cities, actually. And so is most of Brooklyn, and the the north side of Chicago, and nearly all of SF outside downtown.

Which is to say, high-density urban living does not necessarily mean giant apartment towers.
posted by breakin' the law at 8:55 AM on June 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Theres two different points though

)What's the relationship between building height and density (and the trade-off with green space)
)What's the relationship between density, population, and optimal public transport.
posted by JPD at 9:16 AM on June 30, 2011


Katoomba is lovely, but it isn't just the tourists, that place is fucking cold in the winter and seems to rain for days on end in the summer.

My aunt has a cottage very near there (Wentworth Falls) where we stayed for five days this summer and it rained almost continuously the whole time we were there!
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:26 AM on June 30, 2011


to make Sydney more liveable, the state government of New South Wales (NSW) will pay AU$7000 to Sydneysider families that relocate from metropolitan areas of Sydney to rural NSW.

Lord knows, it did wonders for Detroit...
posted by Afroblanco at 10:38 AM on June 30, 2011


breakin' the law: " Paris and DC are high-density and mostly mid-rise."

What do you mean by "mid-rise"? Outside of the downtown business district and southwest waterfront (which was an urban renewal attempt gone wrong), virtually everything in DC is 4 stories or less. This was even more true prior to the development of Metro. You could even say the same thing about Brooklyn, NY, which is super-dense, has virtually no buildings above 3 stories, and is absolutely covered in subway and elevated rail lines.

Paris is more dense, and this is reflected by the density of their Metro system. As DC densifies, more lines will presumably be added. The current Metro system has paid for itself several times over, by attracting new development near its stations, and eliminating the need to build new highways.

Our Metro system also functions as an effective commuter rail system, which has enabled tons of growth in the near-in suburbs, which is a prospect that Sydney would likely find attractive, given this current $7,000 proposition. There's no reason why Sydney couldn't (or shouldn't) follow this same model.
posted by schmod at 11:38 AM on June 30, 2011


If there is indeed an Australian housing bubble and it bursts, this policy is going to look like taking a piss in the general direction of an oncoming tsunami.
posted by Coventry at 12:10 PM on June 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


The more I think about it, the more it looks like it is aimed at the elderly. The stuff about stamp duty etc., well, IIRC seniors are exempted from stamp duty on new home purchases. When you sell a house, you can anyway pass many of the costs to the buyers, especially when there is plenty of demand for urban housing.
posted by vidur at 1:12 PM on June 30, 2011


Its aimed at people who have been in their homes for a long enough so that they sitting on large capital gains, but that are still poor enough where 7k might be enough to convince them to move.
posted by JPD at 1:52 PM on June 30, 2011


Katoomba is lovely, but it isn't just the tourists, that place is fucking cold in the winter and seems to rain for days on end in the summer.

The horse bolted years ago on property prices in the upper mountains (roughly, Linden to Blackheath), where all the cuter historical townships are (the lower mountains are basically just an extension of the 1960s+ suburban sprawl west of Parramatta) and you'd be hard pressed to find a place significantly cheaper than Sydney itself there. It'll only get worse when the last stretch of dual carriageway is completed at Hazelbrook, and that looks like it's only months away.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:57 PM on June 30, 2011


If people leveled their criticisms of Canberra at, say, Townsville, they'd be laughed at.

Say whatever you want about Townsville. I grew up there and went back recently after over 10 years away. It's the same massive shithole it ever was. God I hate that place. The "Japs" should have done a better job.
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:11 PM on June 30, 2011


Sydney and Melbourne are bigger than all the cities in the US bar New York. Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane would be in the top ten. Just for context.

That's nothing. Mount Isa is technically the 8th largest city on earth.
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:16 PM on June 30, 2011



And a follow on to the Sydney CBD dead at night comments, wander down towards China town. There are thousands of residential units there now and plenty of night time action.


Come to Newtown. Its vibrant all night. If you stop into the Townie, I'll yell this thread at you while beating you at Twilight Zone pinball.

The problem is that it seems like only Newtown and Kings Cross have that atmosphere.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:39 PM on June 30, 2011


Never been to Surry Hills or Darlinghurst at night?
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:58 PM on June 30, 2011


wait, isn't Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk?
Oops! Yes it is.
Also, Feltwell is cool
Yes, the bus used to come every Saturday and you could go to Thetford or Kings Lyn! You just had to make sure you were on time to get the bus back. The coolest part about living in Feltwell was getting to shop at the BXs at Lakenheath and Mildenhall and buy cool American stuff.
Also, just remembered Preston, Lancashire.
For bonus points, tell me what Hong Kong, Stanmore, Kowloon, Feltwell, Peterhead, Penang, Bury St. Edmunds and Preston all have in common.
posted by unliteral at 5:08 PM on June 30, 2011


Never been to Surry Hills or Darlinghurst at night?

I used to practically LIVE at Spectrum.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:43 PM on June 30, 2011


What do you mean by "mid-rise"? Outside of the downtown business district and southwest waterfront (which was an urban renewal attempt gone wrong), virtually everything in DC is 4 stories or less. This was even more true prior to the development of Metro. You could even say the same thing about Brooklyn, NY, which is super-dense, has virtually no buildings above 3 stories, and is absolutely covered in subway and elevated rail lines.

Yeah, you're right. It would probably be more accurate to describe DC and Brooklyn as "mostly, densely packed clusters of 3 and 4 story buildings" as opposed to "mid-rise."

That said, it's something of a stretch to say that Brooklyn - where I live - has virtually no buildings above 3 stories. There's significant numbers of, say 5-8 story apartment buildings in many neighborhoods, and even a small-but-not-puny number of high-rises. The borough does have more 3-story brownstones and row houses than anything else, but that development pattern is far from monolithic.
posted by breakin' the law at 5:54 PM on June 30, 2011


That's nothing. Mount Isa is technically the 8th largest city on earth.

Doesn't look that big...
posted by Jimbob at 7:05 PM on June 30, 2011


That's nothing. Mount Isa is technically the 8th largest city on earth.

Tell us more about this technicality...
posted by vidur at 7:29 PM on June 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mount Isa is a vibrant and progressive city of more than 23,500, and has become the administrative, commercial, and industrial centre of North West Queensland. It covers an area of over 43,310 sq km (including the township of Camooweal), making it the second largest city in Australia to Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

So, there you have it.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:48 PM on June 30, 2011


In terms of area, Kalgoorlie-Boulder is the largest city in Australia, and the third-largest city in the world, with a total area of 95,575km2

Take that, Americans, and your arbitrarily-defined city limits!
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:54 PM on June 30, 2011


Aah, I see. We're talking the council area. How would the size of the Mt Isa or Kalgoorlie local councils compare with US counties?
posted by Jimbob at 8:05 PM on June 30, 2011


List of cities by surface area

I'm surprised that there is no Russian city on that list.
posted by vidur at 8:45 PM on June 30, 2011


Heh - Leh, India at #7. I've been there; it's a tiny little town (pop <30K) in the middle of nowhere (seriously - two days drive to the next town). That's a whole lotta completely barren Himalaya.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:05 PM on June 30, 2011


For bonus points, tell me what Hong Kong, Stanmore, Kowloon, Feltwell, Peterhead, Penang, Bury St. Edmunds and Preston all have in common.

Are you or was someone in your family serving in the British military? Or maybe the American military, the dad of my friend who grew up in Sawtry (legally in Cambridgeshire but don't tell him that - he's a Huntingdonshire nationalist). When I saw Britain, Asia, Britain, Asia, Britain - I thought "military or diplomatic services."
posted by jb at 9:17 PM on June 30, 2011


also - I feel for you on the rural bus thing. I was spoiled, living right outside of Cambridge. That said, I was really excited to shop in Wisbech - they still had a Woolworths there!

/East Anglian derail
posted by jb at 9:18 PM on June 30, 2011


Say whatever you want about Townsville. I grew up there and went back recently after over 10 years away. It's the same massive shithole it ever was. God I hate that place. The "Japs" should have done a better job.

Hey, me too. Small world! Yes, it's a shithole. (A cunning shithole - it keeps making me think that maybe it wouldn't be all that bad going back, because the Willows has that pool thing, and the Strand is done up, but it only takes me five minutes from the airport driving past the 'lake' toward Railway Estate or walking through Nathan Plaza to remember what it's really like.)

But nobody walks around expecting to be able to catch a tram at 11pm on a Sunday from JCU to the Seaview, where they'll happen to be filming another episode of RocKwiz. If you said 'what we really need is a light rail corridor linking the Upper Ross to North Ward', you'd end up in Ward 10B. But people expect that in Canberra, complain when they can't get it, and are deadly serious that there should be trams running down Adelaide Ave. They don't get why Canberra can't be just like Sydney or Melbourne.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 11:07 PM on June 30, 2011


Well, trams would be a good solution to the problem that there's only one fucking taxi in the whole of Canberra.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:36 PM on June 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


was someone in your family serving in the British military?
You're good. The old man was a radar operator.
posted by unliteral at 11:40 PM on June 30, 2011


there's only one fucking taxi in the whole of Canberra

Are fucking taxis even legal? What number do I call? 133825?
posted by vidur at 11:40 PM on June 30, 2011


133739 (133-SEX)
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:54 PM on June 30, 2011


In terms of area, Kalgoorlie-Boulder is the largest city in Australia...

Wow. And it only took us 10 minutes to walk along the interesting bit. Then we drove out to the Super Pit, took a look and said "Yep, that's a big pit alright" and drove back to find a drink that wasn't Swan Gold. Once we'd done that, the tour was over.

Fuck I hate living in a mining state sometimes. But I hate rain...
posted by harriet vane at 3:07 AM on July 1, 2011


was someone in your family serving in the British military?
You're good. The old man was a radar operator.
posted by unliteral at 2:40 AM on July 1 [+] [!]


Well, I didn't know there was an RAF base at Feltwell until I checked wikipedia, but I knew there were bases nearby at both Lakenheath and Mildenhall in Suffolk. (Of course, I don't really know why there are three bases all so close together - maybe they are afraid that the fens will start rioting again). The rest was just guessing based on your movement.
posted by jb at 12:33 PM on July 1, 2011


But nobody walks around expecting to be able to catch a tram at 11pm on a Sunday from JCU to the Seaview, where they'll happen to be filming another episode of RocKwiz

Heh. I visited Melbourne when I was about 21 or so. Had a night on the town, wandered down to a tram stop on Spencer St at about 2am thinking "This is a real city, there'll be 24-hour public transport...". We waited a while, then it was a long walk back to the hotel. I remember bitching to acb about it at the time. Cosmopolitan Melbourne didn't live up to my expectations. But, hey, at least they have trams and trains. If I wanted to catch a bus to work, here in Hobart, I'd have to head to the bus stop outside my front gate at about 6:30 to get to work by 9 am, and would get an excellent education on the current market price in meth along the way.
posted by Jimbob at 9:47 PM on July 2, 2011


« Older Traveller is a series of related science fiction r...  |  Every Day Posters Every Day... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments