Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Correction: CTTT and water arrears

DH apologises for the story below. She got her facts wrong. Water rates are capped only for tenants who have no separate water meter. For those with a separate water meter, the charge is based on actual water usage, and can add up to more substantial amounts. And she has heard that the 600+ termination notices included but were not limited to water arrears. The real story is far more nuanced than she at first believed.


As originally published 20 May 2009

Can you believe that in the quarter to Dec 2008, the Department of Housing hauled over 600 tenants before the CTTT (the rental tribunal), just for falling behind on water rates?

According to the Brown Couch, the Tenants Union's blog:

Housing NSW made ... 633 applications for orders terminating the tenancies of public housing tenants for failure to pay water usage charges. Private sector landlords made no such applications – not a single one
What sort of arrears are we talking about to invoke the fearsome penalty of eviction?

Water rates are capped at $5.75 per week, so over a quarter, that suggests that the total sum for which a tenant may go through the trauma of a court hearing is under $75!

You've got to wonder how much such court proceedings cost the state by comparison.

Especially when we hear that no-one actually gets evicted despite having the full weight of the law on their shoulders. Why terrorise people with the risk of homelessness for such piddling amounts? Must a cannon be employed to shoot a mosquito?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Why not just shoot the unemployed?

A modest proposal

The Federal Budget makes abundantly clear that despite all Australia's rich natural resources, wealth and creativity, 1 million Australians and their families are excess to requirements and can just bugger off.

Wayne Swan reckons we need to brace ourselves for a cool million unemployed. And they'll find themselves having to scratch by on $227 a week.

Let's face it, the nation can't afford to keep them on a living stipend, so why not show some kindness and put them out of their misery?

Most of the unemployed are a complete waste of space anyway, aren't they? Government figures show that 1/3 of 'em have a mental health problem. How unappealing!

Sure, we need to keep a few tame depressives on hand, a few Gary MacDonalds and Rebecca Gibneys to trot out at Logies and Black Dog fundraisers, but what's the point of the rest of 'em?

But wait! If all the non-singing, non-dancing mentally-ill are not just faking it, why aren't they on the Disability Pension? Possibly because they didn't even have the nous to show up to Centrelink's Work Capacity Assessment in a wheelchair, drooling.

Then there are those other wastrels, the over 50's. Thanks to the ever receding retirement horizon, unproductive boomers can now look forward to another couple of decades of fortnightly disciplining by surly Centrelink Gen-Y's.

Have these bludgers forgotten the lessons of Anzac Day already? Dulce et decorum est, pro patria mori
How sweet and right it is to die for your country. So why can't they do the right thing? Why not encourage them to jump off tall buildings in tidy batches? Think of all the jobs it would create for street sweepers,funeral directors, fertilizer manufacturers, ambulance-chasers, and more.

Oh, you think it's not their fault that they're unemployed? You think there are systemic reasons for unemployment?

What are you, some kind of Communist?

Friday, May 01, 2009

Swine-led recovery?

No, this is not a call for the return of John Howard. But maybe the swine flu will get Aussies to do what the bonus has failed to: spend our money on small business as we stockpile bags of rice and lentils. What are we gonna do for protein? How about chooks in the backyard?  For too long, the Chinese have dominated avian flu exports.  Let's show 'em some good old Aussie know-how.