[csaa-forum] [Sydney-Institute] Renovation Nation - redefining prosperity

Fiona Allon fiona.allon at usyd.edu.au
Wed May 6 11:42:59 CST 2009

Redefining Prosperity
Down Under¹s Obsession with Homes
In his recent address ³The Road to Recovery², Reserve Bank Governor Glenn
Stevens said, ³We cannot achieve effortless prosperity either on the back of
ever-escalating mineral prices or simply by bidding up the prices of our
houses.² It¹s an obvious and rather common sense point but one rarely
acknowledged or, it seems, even understood.
Old habits die hard: Australian politicians have long promoted the wealth
and security associated with home ownership, showering it with platitudes,
subsidies and tax breaks. Meanwhile in recent years, increasing numbers of
homeowners have begun to see their homes more as financial investments than
as places to live. But the Global Financial Crisis has demonstrated some of
the painful consequences of our obsession with home ownership. So where do
we go from here? Is it possible to redefine prosperity so that it¹s not just
about the stuff we dig out of the ground, nor about endlessly renovated,
ever more expensive homes and housing bubbles?

Department of Gender & Cultural Studies, University of Sydney; Author, most
Renovation Nation: Australia's Obsession with Home [UNSW Press, 2008]
Renovation Nation: our obsession with home
Wednesday 13 May 2009
5.30 for 6 pm
41 Phillip Street, Sydney
RSVP: (02) 9252 3366 or mail at thesydneyinstitute.com.au

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