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Canberra Today 7°/10° | Sunday, August 14, 2022 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

More houses will lower prices, is Lee crackers? 

While the Labor and Greens government diligently strangles the flow of housing blocks on to the market, that troublemaker Elizabeth Lee is calling them horrible names. What is she thinking? You’ll be none the wiser reading this; it’s “Seven Days” with IAN MEIKLE.

THAT Elizabeth Lee, always moaning about something and now look what’s she trying to do – get the government to sell more building blocks.

Ian Meikle.

Does she realise what that’s going to do to the price of housing for householders in this town?

The opposition leader’s upset because a new report says that only 966 blocks of land were released for detached housing in Canberra during 2021.

According to the “ACT Land and Property Report” for December, 656 single-dwelling blocks were released in the first half of the year, while only 340 blocks made it to market between July and December.

It follows almost 20,000 applications made for just 152 blocks across two recent land ballots in the ACT.

“The numbers from the report tell a stark story of Canberrans being deprived of genuine choice when it comes to housing options,” Lee grumbled.

“This Labor-Greens government is denying Canberrans the opportunity of owning their own home because it is deliberately restricting the release of land.”

And the problem for those who have a free-standing house is? 

By strangling demand, our nation-leading, neoliberal, progressive, broke coalition government is effectively increasing the value of freestanding properties by, some say, about $50k annually. And up go the rates!

You’d be mad to ever vote them out, despite their dangerous promise of releasing 4171 blocks over the next five years. But, hey, that’s only 835 a year and way less than last year. 

Gotta love this “building a better normal”, so long as it’s not houses! Thank you, Andrew! Thank you, Shane!

WITH great fanfare, the ACT government hit the spin cycle this past week with a breathless announcement of a new high school for 800 students in Taylor, a suburb of Gungahlin, which will fortuitously open in 2024, the year of the next ACT election. 

The frothing press release extolled the virtues of the new school’s resources, declaring it part of the ACT government’s “infrastructure pipeline, creating more good jobs as we work towards our goal of 250,000 local jobs by 2025”, whatever that means. Maybe the CFMEU can explain it.

“The upcoming ACT Budget will provide additional funding,” they said, but no hint of telling the taxpayer what the funding total would be. We asked but, no surprises, no-one answered. 

REACHING the Wimbledon final has been good, very good, for Canberra tennis star Nick Kyrgios, beyond the $1.8 million he pocketed for losing to Novak Djokovic

Apparently, his Instagram following has jumped by almost half (46 per cent) adding 916,000 new followers between June 13 and July 13, taking his total to 2.9 million.

HypeAuditor, an artificial intelligence analytics platform, shows Kyrgios’ posts attract on average 2000 comments each, with 56 per cent classified as positive, 6 per cent negative, and 38 per cent neutral. “Though Kyrgios may have proved a divisive figure during the Wimbledon tournament, his popularity and the interest both the public and brands are taking in him cannot be denied,” says Alexander Frolov, CEO of HypeAuditor.

“Almost overnight, he turned himself into an even more lucrative brand-sponsorship influencer. With an estimated sponsored post price of between $US40,000 and $US100,000 according to our data, he won’t come cheaply to any brand that engages him for marketing purposes.”

However, he has some catching up to do with international tennis stars such as Rafael Nadal (15.7 million followers), Serena Williams (15 million) and Novak Djokovic (11.1 million). 

What is it? It’s got reader John Rogers stumped.

READER John Rogers, of Fisher, walks every morning. The former journalist with the “Canberra Chronicle”, the ABC and the federal press gallery, likes to take photos “of things that catch my interest – quirky, unusual things that tell a story”. 

He says he often sees cast-offs and unwanted objects and curiosities, “the no-longer wanted, no-longer useful goods and objects”.

Occasionally, a mystery roadside dumping intrigues him, like the one pictured here.

He’s had some suggestions as to what it is, including “weights rack for placing different bell-bars along the top, small weights equipment at the bottom”; “fold-up clothing rack”; “a communication device for ET to phone home”; “spaghetti drying rack”; “bike stand”; “exercise torture device”; and “a Victorian trousers press”.

“Anyhow, after three days looking at it, it disappeared,” says John. “So I don’t know. Does anyone?”

If you do, suggestions to

Ian Meikle is the editor of “CityNews” and can be heard on the “CityNews Sunday Roast” news and interview program, 2CC, 9am-noon.


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Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

Ian Meikle

Ian Meikle

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