THREE cheers for Katy Gallagher!
Hip hip, hooray!
Hip hip, hooray!
Hip hip, hooray!
Having made an exceptionally generous offer to the Mr Fluffy homeowners she ignored some opportunistic politics from Jeremy Hanson (it’s hard to see him offering as much “flexibility” at the expense of the budget bottom line if he actually had to deliver it), ignored the grumbling Fluffy malcontents holding out for an even bigger deal and stuck to her guns.
Let’s review what’s gone down.
Having bought houses that were almost certainly at a discount because of their past association with the awful brown asbestos roof insulation, the homeowners, who had thought their cheap buy was due to some innate real estate genius, are getting out with the taxpayers coughing up a valuation based on the fiction of there being no asbestos issue.
This is, apparently, not good enough. One suspects the malcontents, having already got such a great deal, think that with a rush and a push the land can be theirs.
Let us remember how life works for everyone except the precious petal real estate genii of the Fluffy claque: pretty much everyone who bought a record store 10 years ago? Gone.
Bookstore franchisees? Roadkill.
Dare I say it; founders of independent media sites? Years of work gone, thousands in entitlements lost and crippling credit-card debt that comes with sudden and unexpected unemployment.
In every other walk of life, if your business ends up on the wrong side of history you take the hit, dust yourself off, and start working hard to try and make up the damage.
Fluffy owners, with assistance for out-of-pocket expenses, and stamp duty exemptions, are horrified they’re going to have to endure the trauma of moving house.
They may be surprised to know there is a significant group in their society, called renters, who do not own assets worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, who normally have to move every few years with no government assistance at all!
Even more enraging; those renters will have to endure cuts to government services they rely on in order to fund the ever more entitled Fluffyites.
So on behalf of the wider community, who has not generally been paying attention, let us draw a line in the sand.
If you stop a non-Fluffy owner in the street and explain that the Government is going to bail out the losses of failed real estate investors at the expense of the rest of the community their response (and I’ve tried this) consists of four-letter words conveyed in a negative manner.
If you tell that person in the street this offer is not good enough for the Fluffy owners, the response gets considerably louder and more negative .
The outgoing Chief Minister grasped the nettle and chose to fix this problem once and for all. The houses will be demolished and the land scraped. This clarity of action has eluded government in the ACT for half a century.
She offered the home owners compensation equal to what their houses would be worth if all the inspections and reports (which the owners should have read) did not say there was an issue of deadly contamination.
It is handsomely fair. It fixes the issue. The moaning really needs to stop.
Either that or we need to bail out every other failed investor in the community.
I could do with the money but I really don’t see how that can work.