Satire Opinion

Great Australian Dream a housing nightmare for young Australians

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(Cartoon by Mark David | @MDavidCartoons)

With today's cost of living biting young people especially hard, the idea of owning one's home is but a tormented dream, writes John Longhurst.

A GENTLE SEA breeze overpowered the remnants of warmth from the weak autumn sun as Bazza buttoned up his cardigan and took up position on the headland.

With precision timing, the wrinkled sea released waves and each, in turn, captured more of the beach with the rising tide.

Bazza marvelled at the way the incoming tide consumed the beach's idiosyncrasies and transformed them into a single seascape.

He chuckled to himself as his mind sought clarity from the hyped budget analysis and commentary dominating recent weeks. A media frenzy of "surplus", "forward estimates", "net debt", "productivity", and "commodity prices" from the commentariat to the tabloids’ simple "winners" and "losers".

It was an annual circus, usually reduced to governments trying to outmanoeuvre the press, pacify loud interest groups and wedge the Opposition. The whole charade, delivered by an ever-smiling treasurer with promises of better times to come. Those better times... forever hidden in forward estimates.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers might see himself as an incoming tide, swirling amounts of money in proportion to influence various parts of the economy. From 1 July, any exposed beach received some white water in the form of a $300 energy bill rebate.

The $22.7 billion allocated to Future Made in Australia over the next decade compares to a series of king tides.

Decades of governments not picking winners in the economy were being upended and could well end in tears. Perhaps righting essentials such as health, education, homelessness, poverty and infrastructure would ensure there is a future made in Australia.

Bazza glanced back at the shoreline and wondered about the parts of the beach the full tide would not reach before his eyes rested on a group of young people well beyond the foreshore.

John Longhurst is a former industrial advocate and political adviser. He currently works as an English and History teacher on the South Coast of NSW.

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