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Major claim in investigation into deadly house fire that killed five children

<p>The grandmother of five children who died alongside their father in a tragic house fire has spoken out, claiming her daughter had "begged" their landlord to fix the smoke alarms in the house.</p> <p>In August last year, Wayne Godinet, 34, died along with his four-year-old twins Kyza and Koa, his three-year-old son Nicky, and his stepsons Zack, 11, and Harry, 10, in a <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/news/news/6-beautiful-souls-family-break-silence-after-tragic-house-fire" target="_blank" rel="noopener">horrific blaze</a> in Queensland's Russell Island. </p> <p>Mr Godinet and his sons became trapped upstairs of the two storey home after he raced back into the house to save them, while the children's mother, Samantha Stephenson, 28, and her sister were able to escape the fire.</p> <p>On Wednesday, the owner of the rental property, 61-year-old Donna Rose Beadel, was charged by police over her alleged involvement in the tragedy.</p> <p>The family has spoken out in anger, with the grandmother of the five boys, Rebecca Stephenson, claiming that her daughter had spoken to the landlord about updating the smoke alarms in the property just one week before the fire. </p> <p>Ms Stephenson told the Courier Mail, “The week before it happened, Sam texted the landlady and asked for the smoke alarms to be updated.”</p> <p>She claims she knew of at least three times her daughter had asked for the smoke alarms to be fixed.</p> <p>“It was the first thing you noticed when you walked into the house, a smoke alarm hanging from the ceiling and then a marking of one in the kitchen that had been painted over,” she added.</p> <p>Police allege that Ms Beadel's property did not have compliant smoke alarms when the fire broke out, with police further alleging that she wasn’t present when the fire occurred.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook</em></p>

Legal

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How baby boomers are benefiting from Australia's "worst financial mistake"

<p>A financial expert has explained how baby boomers have remained largely unscathed by the ongoing housing crisis in Australia. </p> <p>ABC finance guru Alan Kohler described the crisis as Australia's "worst financial mistake", as Adelaide has now become the country's second least affordable city. </p> <p>The South Australian capital, which has long been known as one of the more affordable places in the country to live, has skyrocketed in price, as the median price for houses and units in Adelaide was $721,376 in January, which is 7.9 times higher than the state's average full-time salary of $91,026.</p> <p>"There are a couple of things that might surprise you: Adelaide became the second, least affordable Australian city last year," Mr Kohler explained.</p> <p>"Adelaide has just taken over from Hobart in second place."</p> <p>"What's going on: put simply, incomes in Adelaide, Hobart and Brisbane are not keeping up with house prices, which are being pushed up by fast-rising population and by first-home buyers."</p> <p>Mr Kohler, a baby boomer, noted that when he and his wife bought their first home in Melbourne for $40,000 in 1980, he was earning $11,500 as a journalist, meaning his home cost just 3.5 times his income before a mortgage deposit.</p> <p>"When my wife and I bought our first house in 1980, the average house price was 3.5 times average income," he said. "Now, it's 7.5 times and rising."</p> <p>"That didn't have to happen: it's Australia's worst, economic mistake."</p> <p>Mr Kohler said parents were increasingly propping up the mortgage deposits of first-home buyers, as first-home buyer subsidies from the federal government only pushed up property prices.</p> <p>"Despite rising prices and crushing interest rates, first-home buyers were the fastest-growing type of borrower," he said.</p> <p>"The Bank of Mum and Dad coughing up early inheritances and politicians showering them with grants and concessions, desperate to appear to be doing something about affordability while actually making it worse."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock / ABC</em></p> <p class="mol-para-with-font" style="font-size: 16px; margin: 0px 0px 16px; padding: 0px; min-height: 0px; letter-spacing: -0.16px; font-family: graphik, Arial, sans-serif;"> </p>

Money & Banking

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Restaurant's kind act for struggling Aussies

<p>As Aussies continue to adapt to the rising cost-of-living, one restaurant owner took it upon herself to give back to the "struggling" community. </p> <p>Aleeya Hamidan the owner of Manoosh & Co in Eagle Vale, southwest of Sydney, realised that a lot of people in the community are struggling to afford food.</p> <p>"Prices are going up in rent, and there are a lot of large families that live here as well. They don't have much spare money to go out and eat with their kids after school,"  she told <em>Yahoo News Australia</em>.</p> <p>So, she decided to implement a system where customers in need can get a free meal that has been paid for by other customers. </p> <p>The text: "Please take one if [you're] in need!! Already paid for from our beautiful customers" is written on a whiteboard, with six receipts containing various orders valued at around $10-$12 attached to it. </p> <p>Hamidan was the first to put up an order on the board a few weeks ago to encourage other customers to do the same, and the system has grown in popularity since. </p> <p>"One man came in a few weeks ago and took one of the free meals, but the following week when he did have money, he purchased one for someone else," she said. </p> <p>"We just didn't want it to be intimidating for people who can't afford our products.</p> <p>"It was just something we started doing for a little but have now continued to do. We've had such amazing feedback on it."</p> <p>The restaurant owner's kind deed was praised after local woman Amanda Mauga posted a picture of the board on social media. </p> <p>"If you are having a hard time and need a meal or coffee, go down to Manoosh Eagle Vale," she shared in a community Facebook page. </p> <p>"People buy food for people who need it. So if you're in need head down there, I have left you a coffee. Enjoy."</p> <p>Mauga said that she "felt inspired to help" after seeing the thoughtful gesture, and wanted to help those who were homeless and struggling in their community "in some small way". </p> <p>The post racked up thousands of likes and comments from people impressed by the "great initiative". </p> <p>"What a great idea! We need more like this. So many people are struggling, bravo," one wrote. </p> <p>"Well done folks... nice there are caring people around," another commented</p> <p>"What an amazing shop for even doing this," a third commented.</p> <p><em>Images: Manoosh & Co</em></p> <p> </p>

Domestic Travel

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Real estate agency slammed for "greedy" rental increase

<p>Real estate agency Nelson Alexander has come under fire after increasing the weekly rent to one of their vacant properties on the day of the viewing. </p> <p>The property, located in the inner suburbs of Melbourne, had a scheduled viewing on Thursday and many hopeful tenants were keen to check it out. </p> <p>Unfortunately, their interest came at a cost, as the agency sent out a text just hours beforehand saying that they were increasing  the weekly rent from $600 to $650 due to "overwhelming" demand.</p> <p>Journalist Jacqueline Felgate shared the text on social media, and many branded the agency's move as  "greedy" and "disgraceful" and even accused them of perpetuating the rental crisis. </p> <p>The exact location of the property and the number of bedrooms it has <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">is unknown, and after receiving all the backlash, the ad has since been pulled. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">The real estate agency also apologised and said that </span>they "do not solicit or encourage any form of rental bidding".</p> <p>"Whilst the current issue at hand is not a breach of legislation, it fell short of our commitment to fair and transparent practices," the statement read.</p> <p>"We are deeply aware of the moral and social responsibility we have to our community during these challenging times."</p> <p>They also added that they are currently reviewing their processes to "ensure this doesn't ever happen again". </p> <p>It is unclear whether the property has been put back on the market and for what price. </p> <p><em style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #323338; font-family: Figtree, Roboto, 'Noto Sans Hebrew', 'Noto Kufi Arabic', 'Noto Sans JP', sans-serif; background-color: #ffffff; outline: none !important;">Images: Instagram</em></p>

Money & Banking

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"Proud to pay more": The billionaires who want to pay more tax

<p>Over 250 millionaires and billionaires have issued an <a href="https://proudtopaymore.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">open letter</a> to global leaders encouraging them to implement wealth taxes to combat the cost-of-living crisis. </p> <p>This comes just as a report by the <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/money-banking/shocking-amount-australia-s-richest-people-earn-per-hour" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Oxfam Charity</a> revealed that the global wealth of billionaires have only grown in the last three years despite inflation. </p> <p>The open letter, signed by super-rich individuals from 17 countries, includes signatories like Abigail Disney, the grand-niece of Walt Disney, <em>Succession </em>actor Brian Cox, and American philanthropist and Rockefeller family heir Valerie Rockefeller.</p> <p>They said that they would be "proud to pay more taxes" in order to address the  inequality.</p> <p>"Elected leaders must tax us, the super rich,"  the letter read. </p> <p>"This will not fundamentally alter our standard of living, nor deprive our children, nor harm our nations' economic growth.</p> <p>"But it will turn extreme and unproductive private wealth into an investment for our common democratic future."</p> <p>Austrian heir Marlene Engelhorn is also among the voices demanding that they pay more in taxes.</p> <p>"I've inherited a fortune and therefore power, without having done anything for it. And the state doesn't even want taxes on it,"  Engelhorn, who inherited millions from her family who founded chemical giant BASF, said.</p> <p>The letter was released just as global leaders gather in Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum.</p> <p>Abigail Disney, whose net-worth is measured at more than $100 million, said that lawmakers need to come together to make a meaningful economic and social change. </p> <p>"There's too much at stake for us all to wait for the ultra rich to grow a conscience and voluntarily change their ways," she said.</p> <p>"For that reason, lawmakers must step in and tax extreme wealth, along with the variety of environmentally destructive habits of the world's richest."</p> <p>A recent <a href="https://static1.squarespace.com/static/63fe48c7e864f3729e4f9287/t/6596bfb943707b56d11f1296/1704378297933/G20+Survey+of+those+with+More+than+%241+million+on+Attitudes+to+Extreme+Wealth+and+Taxing+the+Super+Rich.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">survey</a> of almost 2400 millionaires found that 74 per cent of them supported the introduction of a wealth tax to fund improved public services and deal with the cost-of-living crisis.</p> <p>The open letter also said that one-off donations and philanthropy "cannot redress the current colossal imbalance" of societal wealth.</p> <p>"We need our governments and our leaders to lead," the letter said. </p> <p>"The true measure of a society can be found, not just in how it treats its most vulnerable, but in what it asks of its wealthiest members."</p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Coles shopper admits to stealing to feed her family amid cost of living crisis

<p>A woman has made a desperate plea to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese after overhearing a teary Coles shopper admit to shoplifting to feed her family. </p> <p>The woman was shopping in her local Coles supermarket when she overheard another shopper confess the desperate act to her friend, as the cost of living crisis continues to impact struggling Aussies. </p> <p>Australia’s cost of living crisis is continuing to see millions struggle with soaring interest rates and rent prices, high energy bills and rising supermarket costs, with many being forced to take drastic measures to survive. </p> <p>Sharing on Facebook, the woman said she was feeling “let down” and “hoodwinked” by the Albanese government after listening to the Coles customer’s heartbreaking story.</p> <p>“Anthony Albanese, I am so deeply saddened to hear someone shopping at Coles admit to her friend in tears that sometimes she now steals food because she simply can’t put food on the table any other way,” she wrote.</p> <p>“Of course there is food relief et al (but those services are also at breaking point). It’s disheartening to witness firsthand the desperation that leads someone to resort to theft just to put food on the table."</p> <p>“While I have you, I am feeling let down and somewhat hoodwinked by you. Your sentiment around truly understanding hardship because of your upbringing seems to have been just talk."</p> <p>“What I heard today made me realise that not enough is being done that was promised to make a positive impact on the lives of those struggling with adversity.”</p> <p>Many commented on the post saying not enough was being done to help battling Aussies, and urging the government to do more. </p> <p>“The line at ReachOut (food pantry) was around the corner and down the street this afternoon,” one said.</p> <p>Another added, “Food costs are beyond ridiculous right now. I fear that the horse has bolted and once it’s out ... it’s not coming back for pats.</p> <p>“And sorry to say but Albo is just another politician. Hope he sees this and listens but I’m not holding my breath. Sad state of affairs.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Kochie's brutal message to Baby Boomers

<p>David Koch has shared his brutal thoughts on the housing crisis and rising interest rates, claiming millennials have been dealt the "short end of the stick", while boomers have been spared. </p> <p>The former <em>Sunrise</em> host, who is now the Economic Director at Compare the Market, said young borrowers are copping the brunt of rising interest rates and soaring inflations. </p> <p>“If you bought your home in early 2022 under the pretence that interest rates would stay low for longer, you’ve now been lumped with the short end of the stick,” Mr Koch said.</p> <p>He went on to say young people had difficulty generating any decent savings due to record rental prices and cost-of-living, and those that can scrape together a deposit on a home now face onerous interest charges.</p> <p>Recent data from Compare the Market found homeowners who bought their homes at the peak of the market in early 2022 were far worse off compared to those who bought three years earlier. </p> <p>Those who also bought property before the Covid lockdown have also benefited from a rise in their equity, as property prices have significantly increased over the past four years.</p> <p>Kochie said the repayment hike as a result of rising interest rates was a "tough pill" for young Aussies who had no time to accrue a strong savings buffer.  </p> <p>Given these factors, Kochie said many Aussie baby boomers have been spared the pain of rising interest rates.</p> <p>"Meanwhile, a lot of mature Australians have missed this pain altogether after selling their properties at the peak and having reaped the benefits over more equity for years," he said.</p> <p>"A lot of mature Australians have been shielded from the rate rises, and it's already widely believed that their spending drove inflation."</p> <p>A recent report from CommBank iQ found that baby boomers spending on luxuries appears to be further fuelling Australia's inflation crisis as millennials are forced to cut back on essentials.</p> <p>This goes a long way to explaining why the current cycle of interest rate rises are not dampening inflation as expected, as the new big spenders are older people who own properties outright and are therefore unaffected by rate rises.</p> <p>Boomers are are going on holidays and dining out more often, while millennials, battling higher rents and mortgage repayments, rare being forced to reduce their spending to cope with the worst cost of living crisis in a generation.</p> <p>Koch said, "It's time policy-makers should be asking: how could the pressure be more evenly spread?"</p> <p>Aussie baby boomers have long claimed that they had to make the same sacrifices when they were buying their first homes, given the home loan rate in 1989 to 1990 was at 17 per cent, compared to today's six per cent variable rates.</p> <p>However, Kochie debunked this claim, saying current house prices are far higher when measured against average salaries, and that level was only accelerating, far outpacing wages growth.</p> <p>"Back in the 80s, the average cost of an Aussie house was $70,000, now it's $700,000 - ten times more expensive," he said. </p> <p>The financial guru explained how in the 1980s the average salary was $19,000, compared with $94,000 in 2023.</p> <p>"So in the 80s, the price of a house was four times the average person's income," he said.</p> <p>"In 2023, it's eight times the average Aussie salary."</p> <p>Kochie urged mortgage holders hit with higher repayments to call their banks and explore whether refinancing to a lower-rate loan is possible. </p> <p>"We urge people in mortgage pain to reduce the interest on their repayments as much as possible by shopping around for a better deal," Koch said. </p> <p>"When every dollar counts, 2024 should be the year of the new lender."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Compare the Market </em></p>

Money & Banking

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The cost-of-living crisis is hitting hard. Here are 3 ways to soften the blow

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ama-samarasinghe-1386754">Ama Samarasinghe</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></p> <p>As our wallets feel the strain from the cost-of-living crisis, many of us are looking for ways to soften the blow.</p> <p>While everyone’s circumstances are different, and ideally you should seek help from an accredited financial adviser, there are some tried and true ways to work out where all your money is going and why.</p> <p>Here are three practical tips to reduce the impact of the cost-of-living increases, and stretch every hard-earned dollar.</p> <h2>1. Hunt for a better loan rate</h2> <p>For many households, the biggest hit comes from the mortgage, so start there.</p> <p>Even a modest 0.5% reduction can translate into substantial savings. Call your bank today and just ask for rate reduction. If the answer is no, consider shopping around for a different lender.</p> <p>Your loyalty to your current lender might be costing you more than you realise. Banks often reserve their most attractive rates for new customers, leaving long-time customers paying higher-than-necessary interest.</p> <p>Even if your bank does agree to a rate reduction, explore the market anyway. There is a range of free rate-comparison websites, or you can directly check individual bank websites.</p> <p>If you find a lender offering a better rate, you might consider calling the competing bank to ask about switching your mortgage to them.</p> <p>Or, you might seek assistance from a mortgage broker, who can guide you through the process of securing a better deal (just remember they often take <a href="https://www.canstar.com.au/home-loans/mortgage-brokers-fees/">commissions</a> from lenders).</p> <p>Tread carefully and factor in any exit fees or charges from your current lender. Refinancing isn’t without risk, so a thorough cost-benefit analysis is important before making the switch.</p> <p>Also consider the value of features such as <a href="https://moneysmart.gov.au/glossary/offset-account">offset accounts</a>. An offset account, linked to your home loan, allows you to deposit money such as your salary and savings. This money is then “<a href="https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/smp/2015/aug/box-e-offset-account-balances-and-housing-credit.html">offset</a>” against your home loan balance.</p> <p>That means you only pay interest on the outstanding amount (the loan minus whatever salary and savings you put in the offset). This can accelerate loan repayment and reduce interest costs.</p> <p>Keep in mind that offset accounts are typically only available with variable interest rates. Offset accounts work best if you have considerable savings to put into the offset account that outweigh the additional fees and charges attached to offset accounts.</p> <h2>2. Trim your expenses and uncover hidden savings</h2> <p>It’s time to become a budget detective, identifying and cutting down on non-essential costs that might be quietly draining your wallet.</p> <p>Take a close look at those recurring memberships and subscriptions. How often do you actually use that gym membership or streaming service?</p> <p>Many banking apps have handy spending tracking features to help you set realistic budget goals for each spending category.</p> <p>According to the <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/economy/price-indexes-and-inflation/selected-living-cost-indexes-australia/latest-release">Australian Bureau of Statistics</a>, insurance and financial services are among the top risers in living cost indexes (which measure the price change of goods and services and its effect on living expenses). So search comparison websites for better insurance premiums.</p> <p>Australia’s insurance market is competitive, and you can often get discounts by bundling your insurances together (for example, having your home and contents insurance with the same company that also provides your car insurance). However, don’t shy away from exploring different insurers for potentially better value.</p> <p>Don’t overlook energy costs, either. Use comparison websites like <a href="https://www.energymadeeasy.gov.au/">Energy Made Easy</a> (or, if you’re in Victoria, the <a href="https://compare.energy.vic.gov.au/">Victorian Energy Compare</a> site) to find more cost-effective energy plans. Stay updated on rebates and concessions via the federal government’s <a href="https://energy.gov.au">Energy.gov.au</a> site, to ensure you’re maximising your entitlements.</p> <p>Use less energy, if you can. Small adjustments can make a significant dent in your bills. And for fuel costs, find websites and applications that allow you to lock in the lowest prices in your area.</p> <p>If you’re renting, ask yourself whether moving to a cheaper suburb or a cheaper home is an option.</p> <p>Many people use cashback sites like Cashrewards and ShopBack to accrue cashback incentives.</p> <h2>3. Maximise returns and tackle high-interest debts</h2> <p>While rising interest rates might make your mortgage climb, it also means high interest on your savings.</p> <p>Consider exploring high-yield savings accounts; with current interest rates, you could potentially earn around 5.5% with a bank savings account. Many people set up recurring transfers to help them stick to savings goals, increase deposits and maximise interest earnings.</p> <p>For those wrestling with high-interest debts such as credit cards or personal loans, prioritise settling outstanding balances to minimise interest payments. It can be hard to escape the long-term repercussions (such as a <a href="https://theconversation.com/payday-lending-trap-requires-a-credit-supply-rethink-39311">poor credit score</a>) of defaulting on <a href="https://www.sydney.edu.au/news-opinion/news/2022/09/21/researchers-uncover--pecking-order-of-defaults--as-belts-tighten.html">high-interest loans</a>.</p> <p>And approach buy-now, pay-later services with extreme caution. They may seem tempting but the <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/acfi.13100">debts can quickly add up</a>.</p> <p>And if you need more help, contact the government’s free National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/218118/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ama-samarasinghe-1386754"><em>Ama Samarasinghe</em></a><em>, Lecturer, Financial Planning and Tax, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-cost-of-living-crisis-is-hitting-hard-here-are-3-ways-to-soften-the-blow-218118">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Women forced to do shocking act for $100 rent reduction

<p>Two women in Queensland have claimed that they were forced to use a makeshift  "temporary shower" outdoors, while renovations are being carried out in the property's only bathroom. </p> <p>The pair, who were expecting a porta-loo style shower to use during the four-to-six weeks renovation, were horrified when they found out the makeshift shower was just a blue tarpaulin attached to the side of the house.</p> <p>Electrical cords and plumbing pipes can be spotted hanging down in front of the open cubicle, and has no curtain for privacy or a lock, raising questions for their privacy and safety. </p> <p>To make matters worse, the women revealed on Facebook that they initially tried negotiating for a rental discount of $200 per week during the renovations, but their landlord said "no way" offering only a $50 discount, "then $100 as final offer".</p> <p>Dr Chris Martin, Senior Research Fellow in the University of NSW's City Futures Research Centre, slammed the landlord for "a bunch of possible breaches". </p> <p>"There is a big question about whether the temporary arrangement meets the minimum standards that apply to rented premises in Queensland under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act," he told <em>Yahoo News</em>. </p> <p>"Those minimum standards include that the bathroom and toilet facilities must provide privacy and that a premise must be weatherproof and structurally sound, and there's a standard about security," he added. </p> <p>He also claimed that "there's a bunch of possible breaches of the minimum standards of this temporary arrangement," as intruders could also potentially get in. </p> <p>The Senior Research Fellow also slammed the $100-a-week reduction in rent, calling it "grossly insufficient".</p> <p>"What a professional landlord who takes a bit of pride in themselves as a reputable housing provider would have done, is hire one of those portable bathrooms that come on a little trailer with a little heater and hook it up, and also do a rent reduction for the hassle of having to trot out to the trailer to shower," he said.</p> <p>"That would be the appropriate response."</p> <p>He encouraged the tenants to speak to Tenants Queensland or a local tenants advice service about what to do, adding that they could say that the current temporary arrangements could be deemed "unlivable or uninhabitable". </p> <p>"I suggest they should also be telling the landlord that this arrangement may place the landlord in a further breach of the agreement and for the liability for an even bigger rent reduction and the prospect of compensation if they don't do this better,"  Dr Martin told the publication. </p> <p><em>Images: Facebook</em></p>

Money & Banking

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"Is this legal?" Residents outraged over demanding aircon letter

<p>Residents in a Sydney unit complex were left outraged after they were asked to turn off their air conditioners overnight.</p> <p>A letter placed inside the elevator of the 18-floor apartment building states that the utility can only be used “during the following times."</p> <p>“Weekdays 7am to 10pm, weekends and public holidays 8am to 10pm,” the letter said.  </p> <p>“At other times than this, please turn off your air conditioners, especially after 10:00 PM every day.”</p> <p>The letter, which was posted on Facebook, received a lot of backlash from other residents and renters</p> <p>One resident who lived in the 1960s building for a decade said it was the first time she had heard of such a request.</p> <p>“Can anyone please let me know if this is legal? Can they actually force people to not run their own AC units?” the person asked. </p> <p>Many other renters expressed their annoyance, with one joking that they'd have to pry the aircon off their dead hands. </p> <p>“Anyone else feel like we are in a Nanny State?” one wrote. </p> <p>“To be honest with 30°c nights they can pry my aircon from my cold dead heads,” another quipped. </p> <p>One Facebook user also commented that building developers might be to blame. </p> <p>“I think the strata builders got a bit cheap and installed less expensive aircons and therefore they are too loud. Bet if they had decent ones, the tenants wouldn’t have to suffer hot nights because of the noise,” they said. </p> <p>A few others commented that it might not just be a request from strata, but local councils that are enforcing new noise pollution restrictions which affect aircons. </p> <p>City of Sydney, Inner West, and Penrith councils, are a few of the local governments which require the airconditioners to be turned off 10pm to 7am during the week and until 8am on the weekend, the same time requested on the laters. </p> <p>The local governments also recommend that residents and developers purchase high-quality airconditioners that won't cause noise pollution or disturb neighbours. </p> <p>“Even if you’ve been told that it complies with noise requirements, it doesn’t mean it’s going to suit every location all the time,” the Inner West Council website read. </p> <p>The letter comes as Sydney battles its second heatwave in the span of a week. </p> <p><em>Images: Facebook/ Getty</em></p>

Legal

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9 things you should never touch in someone else’s house

<p><strong>A hands-off approach</strong></p> <p>Nothing like a global pandemic to critically alter your lifelong and intrinsic sanitary practices, huh? And while we know coronavirus does not spread easily from surfaces, there are still plenty of other germs and bacteria that do. And it’s not always a matter of good hygiene – sometimes it’s just a matter of good manners!</p> <p><strong>The door </strong></p> <p>Of course, you can actually touch the door, but you should never do so to let yourself into someone else’s home without them, or without being invited. Always knock or ring the bell, even if it’s been left unlocked, unless someone has expressly told you that you don’t have to.</p> <p>And please, don’t show up knocking earlier than expected – it could be a huge inconvenience to your host.</p> <p><strong>Their bathroom </strong></p> <p>As with most of the things on this list, you should avoid this unless you’re specifically invited. Try not to stray after your trip to the bathroom for a look around – it’s definitely off-limits if you don’t have permission or are going in without your host knowing. Of course, there are exceptions, as it may not be so serious an offence if you know the person very well, or if one lives in a shared living space, a studio, or an apartment with limited space.</p> <p>And on that note, it’s best to wait until you’re invited to sit or relax on someone’s bed. Many people also find that a bedroom is a convenient place to store coats if there are guests coming over, but wait until they offer instead of assuming it’s OK.</p> <p><strong>The floor - with your shoes on</strong></p> <p>Depending on personal preferences or cultural norms, many households have a no-shoes-inside policy. Take the tip from your host – if they’re wearing shoes in their house, you can probably assume it’s OK for you. When in doubt, ask what they would prefer.</p> <p>Another place you shouldn’t be putting your feet? On the couch or coffee table. I can think of five good reasons you should ban shoes in the house, period.</p> <p><strong>The fridge and cupboards </strong></p> <p>This one might sound like it should go without saying, but some might not realize just how rude it is to help yourself to someone else’s food. If you’re hungry, let your host know, or suggest going out to eat. If you’re staying for a long time, your host will probably prepare and shop for food accordingly, but it’s a good idea to offer to bring or buy some groceries yourself. And if you came for dinner, eat what’s been prepared for you, and offer to bring a dish or wine to share.</p> <p>If you have a restricted diet, let your host know beforehand and prepare a dish to bring if it’s difficult to accommodate. Offer to help cook, and lend a hand with the dishes and cleanup. Countertops are absolutely one of those things you should be cleaning every day, regardless.</p> <p><strong>The windows or thermostat</strong></p> <p>Always let your hosts set the thermostat number – it’s their house, after all, and they’re the ones paying the bill for it. If you’re really too cold, a better option might be to ask to borrow a jumper, or extra blankets if you’ll be staying overnight.</p> <p>Too hot? Suggest an activity to help cool off, like going to a place with air conditioning. If you have a medical condition that makes you particularly sensitive to heat or cold, you should always inform your host ahead of time so you can make plans accordingly.</p> <p><strong>Drawers and cabinets</strong></p> <p>This one is definitely invasive of your host’s privacy. Don’t go rummaging for anything that’s not in plain sight or in the rooms your host is expecting you in. You might find it tempting to snoop, but the medicine cabinet is certainly off-limits.</p> <p><strong>Workspaces, mail, or bills</strong></p> <p>To go along with the last one, it’s always best to avoid snooping. In some homes, a guest bedroom might also double as a home office, so steer clear of using these spaces to store your things. You have no idea how they might have organised their things, so try to leave it as is. Not going through someone’s mail is basic manners!</p> <p><strong>Cigarettes or e-cigarettes </strong></p> <p>Unless your host is doing the same and gives you permission, you should never, ever start smoking a cigarette or e-cigarette in someone’s home. This rule is especially inflexible if there are children in the house. Not only can you expose them to the harmful ingredients and chemicals in cigarettes, but the effects – and the smell – can linger long after you’re gone.</p> <p>If you can’t wait, excuse yourself to go outside, and try to move away from doors and windows so it doesn’t waft into the house. Removing the cigarette and cigar smell is quite the cumbersome task. </p> <p><strong>The Wi-Fi</strong></p> <p>Try to refrain from asking for the Wi-Fi password unless you’re a long-term guest or a very frequent visitor. If you’re asking at the beginning of a dinner party, it’s sending the message that you’d rather be on your phone. Try to stay off of your phone as much as possible to really have quality time when you’re visiting.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/9-things-you-should-never-touch-in-someone-elses-house" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

Home & Garden

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Baby boomers fight back against "self-entitled whingeing generations"

<p>Angry baby boomers have hit back at young Australians for continuing to blame the ageing population for the current housing crisis. </p> <p>A group of disgruntled seniors have shared their thoughts with the <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/blaming-baby-boomers-for-your-money-woes-is-unfair-lazy-and-wrong-20231127-p5en21.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Sydney Morning Herald</em></a> about the "self-entitled" young Australians, who are facing never-before-seen financial and social barriers to break into the housing market. </p> <p>The open letters come in the wake of Census data showing empty-nesters are hanging on to their big homes in inner-city suburbs, while young families are struggling to find suitable housing while also battling mortgage stress and renters are getting relentlessly price-gouged. </p> <p>Despite the current system disproportionately affecting younger Australians, boomers have hit back at universal claims that they had it easier back in the day. </p> <p>"We bought and paid for these homes; it's not our job to house the next generations, it's the government's," explained Kathleen Kyle in a letter to the <em>Sydney Morning Herald</em>. </p> <p>"Nobody questions people who spend their money on lovely cars or antiques, or suggests that they don't need them any more."</p> <p>In another letter, Kathy Willis from Kew near Port Macquarie wrote, "Boomers have worked very hard to get what they have, having brought up their families in these homes."</p> <p>"I suggest the discourse be directed to people such as town planners, local councils and state governments for their lack of vision in the past, and what the present authorities are going to do about it – and of course, the taxpayers' expense."</p> <p>Suzanne Hopping from Redfern, Sydney, wrote that she could no longer stay silent on "boomer bashing" from "self-entitled whingeing generations".</p> <p>"I bought my first home when I was 39 in an undesirable suburb. Buying a home (at 17.5 per cent interest) was as difficult then as it is today."</p> <p>"When I left home I had no expectations of ever being able to afford to buy a place of my own."</p> <p>"Self-entitled whingeing generations, if you don't like what you see, do something positive about it. Each generation has its unique problems, stop the moralising."</p> <p>Wendy Cousins from Balgownie NSW wrote that "boomer bashing" is futile, adding, "Why encourage resentment of boomers because many choose to stay in their homes? This will not free up any housing."</p> <p>"Many have already downsized and those who haven't, have a variety of reasons why they don't. We have enough division in our society without the constant boomer bashing."</p> <p>Despite the views of many disgruntled boomers, University of Melbourne Professor Allan Fels, an economist and mental health advocate, said figures show beyond a doubt that life is much tougher for the younger generation, and basic economics prove it is much harder for them to buy a house.</p> <p>"We baby boomers have had it a lot easier than the new generation of young people," he told <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12793605/Boomers-hit-self-entitled-whingeing-young-Aussies-reveal-theyre-not-blame-housing-crisis.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Daily Mail Australia</em></a>.</p> <p>"They face a future of much less home ownership and associated mental health stability. The mere fact they are missing out is a cause of stress."</p> <p>"The trend of rising prices adds to the stress because many used to think that they could buy their own house but they keep missing out because prices are continually rising just beyond their grasp."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Why Dave Hughes didn't buy the final Block house

<p>David ‘Hughesy’ Hughes was the surprise guest at this year's <em>The Block</em> auctions, and the Aussie comedian was keen on buying the final home to go on auction <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">– </span><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;"> Leah and Ash’s house. </span></p> <p>Hughes was one move away from buying House 2 - which was passed in after it failed to hit reserve - but his wife blocked him from buying the home. </p> <p>“I was accosted as I left the auction, trying to get out of there, because one house didn’t sell and I said, ‘I’ll go talk to my wife’,” Hughes said on KIIS FM’s <em>Hughesy, Ed &amp; Erin </em>on Tuesday morning. </p> <p>The radio host then called his wife Holly live-on-air so she could explain the reason why they did not buy House 2. </p> <p>Holly revealed that she "was being asked by students and teachers,” about whether or not the couple bought the <em>Block</em> house. </p> <p>“You [Hughes] came home and as we were getting into bed, you said, ‘How would you have felt if I just bought that house?’ And I said, ‘Furious’," Holly revealed. </p> <p>She then called out her husband, claiming that he only wanted to buy the house to "show off". </p> <p>“If you bought a third house [in Melbourne] without consulting with me …” she said. </p> <p>“He never expressed any interesting in investing in that part of Melbourne, it’s so random, he would’ve just been buying a house to show off.</p> <p>“He had not looked at the houses or anything. He hadn’t watched an episode.”</p> <p>Although Hughes didn't get a property this season, his <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/money-banking/dave-hughes-sets-the-record-straight-over-famous-block-house-purchase" target="_blank" rel="noopener">previous <em>Block</em> buy</a> in 2017 was a huge success.</p> <p><em>Image: Nine</em></p>

Money & Banking

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What to wear for a climate crisis

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rachael-wallis-568028">Rachael Wallis</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-southern-queensland-1069">University of Southern Queensland</a></em></p> <p>When people move to the country from the city, they need to change their wardrobes, my <a href="https://rgs-ibg.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/area.12540">research on tree-changers</a> in Australia found. The new context of their lives means the clothes they wore for the city no longer work for their new lives. This is also true in the climate crisis.</p> <p>Our context has changed. When we decide what clothes to buy, we now need to bring into play a wider range of values than the appearance of a garment, its newness and novelty and whether we like it or not. As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) <a href="https://www.ipcc.ch/assessment-report/ar6/">states</a>, if we are to have any hope of avoiding a world that is too hot and unpredictable to live in, we need to do everything we possibly can, right now, to cut greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.</p> <p>The fashion industry contributes <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fenvs.2022.973102/full">up to 10% of global emissions</a> – more than international aviation and shipping combined. It also contributes to biodiversity loss, pollution, landfill issues, unsafe work practices and more.</p> <p>Australia’s carbon footprint from the consumption and use of fashion is the <a href="https://hotorcool.org/unfit-unfair-unfashionable/">world’s biggest</a>, a dubious distinction in a materialistic world.</p> <p>So this is an area where the choices we make can have big impacts. While individual action will not solve all of the above problems, it will help as we move towards the structural and systemic change needed to live sustainably.</p> <p>If we are concerned about these issues, responding thoughtfully means we will live our lives according to our values. And that’s an <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6326475/">important factor</a> in living well, flourishing and being happy.</p> <p><iframe id="datawrapper-chart-teOOs" style="border: none;" title="Carbon footprints from fashion consumption in G20 nations" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/teOOs/2/" width="100%" height="589" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" aria-label="Stacked Bars" data-external="1"></iframe></p> <h2>Lessons from wartime</h2> <p>It’s not the first time people have adapted their clothing in response to the demands of a crisis.</p> <p>During the second world war, <a href="https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/how-clothes-rationing-affected-fashion-in-the-second-world-war">clothing styles changed</a> in the United Kingdom and Australia. To conserve precious resources, shorter skirts, minimal detailing and a focus on utility became the norm.</p> <p>People adapted their personal aesthetics and appearance because the situation was grave and they wanted to “do their bit” to help with the war effort. This was a collective necessity in dire times.</p> <p>This wartime response reflected the priorities and values of society as a whole as well as most people in that society. In other words, buying less (rationing meant this was not just a choice), mending and making do with what was already there was part of a value system that contributed to the Allied victory.</p> <p>In novels and other writing from the era, it is clear that at times it was not easy and it could be frustrating. There was, however, a public consensus that it was necessary. This shared commitment to the war effort became a value that made personal sacrifices worthwhile and satisfying.</p> <h2>So what can we do today?</h2> <p>In our current context, the <a href="https://hotorcool.org/unfit-unfair-unfashionable/">most helpful thing we can do</a> is to buy fewer new clothes and wear them for longer.</p> <p>Australians buy a lot of clothes, about <a href="https://www.cleanup.org.au/fastfashion">56 items per year</a> on average. That makes Australians the <a href="https://hotorcool.org/unfit-unfair-unfashionable/">second highest textiles consumers in the world</a> after <a href="https://www.cleanup.org.au/fastfashion">the USA</a> , and is <a href="https://www.greenpeace.org/static/planet4-international-stateless/2017/09/76e05528-fashion-at-the-crossroads.pdf">60% more than we bought even 15 years ago</a>. The <a href="https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/textiles-in-europes-circular-economy">price of clothes has dropped significantly</a> over the past couple of decades, and the <a href="https://hotorcool.org/unfit-unfair-unfashionable/">number of clothes</a> people have in their closets has grown.</p> <p>If we begin to shift away from our slavish devotion to newness and novelty – following the dictates of fashion – to a mindset of value-led sufficiency, we can appreciate more fully the feel of lived-in, mended or altered clothes. There is a feeling of comfort in pulling on an old garment that is soft with age and repeated washing. There is <a href="https://www.google.com.au/books/edition/Loved_Clothes_Last/StfnDwAAQBAJ?hl=en&amp;gbpv=1&amp;dq=joy+of+creative+mending&amp;pg=PT7&amp;printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&amp;q=joy%20of%20creative%20mending&amp;f=false">joy in extending a garment’s life</a> through creative mending, especially when that aligns with our values.</p> <p>The Berlin-based <a href="https://hotorcool.org/unfit-unfair-unfashionable/">Hot or Cool Institute</a> suggests a wardrobe of 74 garments (including shoes but excluding undergarments) is typically sufficient for people who live in a two-season climate (in the tropics) and 85 pieces for those who live in a four-season climate, as most Australians do. If we buy ten to 12 new items a year, we can replace our entire wardrobe in about seven years.</p> <p>Buying second-hand instead of new is even better because it doesn’t add to current production emissions. If we buy second-hand, it still doesn’t mean we should buy more than we need.</p> <h2>Choosing clothes to fit our values</h2> <p>To live authentic lives that are fulfilling and satisfying in deep and meaningful ways, we need to be true to our selves. In the case of clothing, we should evaluate our choices in relation to the values we hold. And if we do care about living sustainably, that means changing those choices we feel are no longer suited to the climate crisis.</p> <p>Clothes need to reflect a person’s situation as well as their identity to <a href="https://research.usq.edu.au/item/q4x53/the-phenomenological-and-discursive-practice-of-place-in-lifestyle-migration-a-case-study-of-stanthorpe-queensland">“work” well</a>. This may mean that what we wear changes as we make different buying decisions, just as people did in the second world war and as tree-changers do. We may start to look different, but that change signifies our values in action.</p> <p>Best of all, clothing choices that align with keeping global warming to less than 1.5 degrees will have a long-term impact as significant as winning the war.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/214478/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rachael-wallis-568028">Rachael Wallis</a>, Research Assistant, Youth Community Futures, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-southern-queensland-1069">University of Southern Queensland</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-to-wear-for-a-climate-crisis-214478">original article</a>.</em></p>

Beauty & Style

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Tiny house, big dreams: How to take a trip and give back at the same time

<p dir="ltr">When it comes to getting away over the summer, there is no one size-fits-all option to accommodate everyone’s unique needs. </p> <p dir="ltr">Some of us may prefer an off-the-grid adventure to the bush to reconnect with nature, while others just can’t pass up an opportunity to lay on the beach and frolic in the ocean. </p> <p dir="ltr">But if there’s one thing every holiday goer can agree on, it's the absolute need to relax. </p> <p dir="ltr">Luckily, <a href="https://reflectionsholidayparks.com.au/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reflections Holiday & Caravan Parks</a> has something for everyone this summer. </p> <p dir="ltr">From blissful camping and caravanning sites to luxurious tiny homes and creature-comfort cabin accommodation, Reflections is proud to be New South Wales’ largest holiday park operator, showing 2 million visitors a year the magic of the outside.</p> <p dir="ltr">You can feel good about your stay with Reflections, as the company is the first and only holiday park group in Australia that is certified as a <a href="https://www.socialtraders.com.au/news/what-is-a-social-enterprise" target="_blank" rel="noopener">social enterprise</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">That means the profits from the parks go back into the Crown land nature reserves the company manages to protect and nurture the land, for their lasting preservation and the community’s enjoyment while also giving back to local areas.</p> <p dir="ltr">A holiday here is essentially giving back to the local environment and community.</p> <p dir="ltr">I was lucky enough to be invited for a trip away with Reflections, and stayed in a charming Tiny House at the Jimmy’s Beach park in Hawk’s Nest on the mid-coast of NSW. </p> <p dir="ltr">Despite bringing the dreary Sydney rain with me up the coast, my stay with Reflections was nothing short of a dream. </p> <p dir="ltr">The tiny house provided all the comforts we needed on an overcast weekend, with the cosy atmosphere providing the perfect place to fully unwind from busy city life. </p> <p dir="ltr">Despite being, by name, a tiny house, the one bedroom home provided everything we needed, including a comfy bed, spacious shower, a large lounge and TV, as well as everything you could need to cook your own meals. </p> <p dir="ltr">A spacious deck was also most welcome, giving you the chance to sit in the sun and take in the picturesque nature around you, while spotting the best of Australia's wildlife. </p> <p dir="ltr">As the sun came out, we were able to indulge in all that Reflections had to offer, including bush walks, trips to the beach and even a dip in the pool. </p> <p dir="ltr">The sense of community in Reflections holiday parks is palpable, as making friends and meeting new people is encouraged and fostered, with a welcoming environment making it easy to hear the life stories of others as you cross paths in communal areas. </p> <p dir="ltr">The holiday parks are also perfect for families, with playgrounds available for the little ones, and even an ice cream truck making the rounds while playing Waltzing Matilda to signal the arrival of delicious treats. </p> <p dir="ltr">So, when booking your summer trips away, whether you’re after a quiet beach stay, a family-friendly destination, or an exploration off the beaten track, a stay at a Reflections Holiday Park is sure to leave you refreshed, reconnected, and ready for whatever comes your way.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Supplied</em></p>

Domestic Travel

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Dave Hughes sets the record straight over famous Block house purchase

<p>Dave Hughes has hit back at long-standing rumours that he grossly overpaid for his house in Melbourne at <em>The Block</em> auctions. </p> <p>The radio host addressed the speculation on <em>2DAY FM’s Hughesy, Ed & Erin</em> breakfast show, as his co-host Erin Molan queried him about how the investment property was performing. </p> <p>In 2017, Hughesy bought the five-bedroom home in Elsternwick, built by contestants Josh and Elyse on Nine’s long-running reno show, for $3.067 million: a whopping $447,000 over the reserve. </p> <p>Given the steep increase of the price, the purchase of the house led to a lot of talk that Dave Hughes had overspent. </p> <p>Molan told her co-host on-air that a recent value estimate of the property that she’d found online put the home at $3.4 million.</p> <p>Six years on from his purchase and with inflation, stamp duty and other factors weighted, Hughes noted that that $300,000-odd increase in value would actually put him at a loss.</p> <p>However, Hughes said he had recently had the house valued himself, and the news was much better: He was told it is currently worth around $5 million.</p> <p>After the purchase of the house, even Hughes himself conceded that he may have spent much more than what the house was worth. </p> <p>In an interview with <em>Stellar</em> magazine in February 2018, he said that the bank had valued the property at “much less” than he paid.</p> <p>“I went to get a bank loan the other day and they haven’t valued it the same as I paid for it, which is fine, but annoying because there were five bidders,” he said.</p> <p>He said it was “enough less that it made me annoyed”.</p> <p>“For f**k’s sake … I just think it’s good value and in a few years’ time people are going to be going, ‘Well, f**k, didn’t he do well with it!’ I am playing the long game, all right? That is what I say to my wife, anyway.”</p> <p>In September of 2018, he told his then-co-host Kate Langbroek that he’d “copped so much flak” over the purchase.</p> <p>He said, “It was ridiculous and it’s gone on and on and on. A lot of experts weighed into my purchase … There are articles that have been written all year having a go at me. One article from one mob called Property One or something, they had a dinner party discussion about how I paid too much.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Nine</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Sydney Opera House at 50: a public appeal, a controversial build, a lavish opening – and a venue for all

<p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/michelle-arrow-45">Michelle Arrow</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/macquarie-university-1174">Macquarie University</a></em></p> <p>It is one of the most famous buildings in the world. It has an instantly recognisable silhouette that adorns tea towels, bottle openers and souvenir sweatshirts.</p> <p>Miniature versions huddle in snow domes. You can build your own from <a href="https://www.lego.com/en-us/product/sydney-opera-house-10234">Lego</a>. Bidjigal artist and elder Esme Timbery constructed a replica in her trademark <a href="https://recollections.nma.gov.au/issues/volume_7_number_2/papers/displaying_the_decorative">shell art</a>. Ken Done put it on doona covers and bikinis. If you search the hashtag on Instagram, you will see over a million posts.</p> <p>Fifty years ago today, after a prolonged and controversial period of construction, the Sydney Opera House was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II in a lavish ceremony.</p> <p>Spectators carrying flasks of coffee and cushions watched from the sidelines. More than 2,000 small boats viewed the ceremony from the water.</p> <p>After the national anthem was played and nine F111 aircraft roared overhead, the crowd heard a didgeridoo and Aboriginal actor Ben Blakeney delivered a prologue “representing the <a href="http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article110753207">spirit of Bennelong</a>”.</p> <p>In her speech, the Queen remarked the Opera House had “captured the imagination of the world”.</p> <p>The opening festivities gestured both to Australia’s deep Indigenous roots and white imperial origins. The building itself symbolised a new era of state investment in cultural infrastructure. This was a hallmark of the “new nationalism” in the 1970s: the arts were regarded as essential to Australia’s newly confident sense of national identity.</p> <p>Today, the Sydney Opera House reminds us Australia can value culture for its own sake. But what did the Opera House mean to Australians when it opened 50 years ago?</p> <h2>Building the Opera House</h2> <p>The campaign for an Opera House in Sydney was initiated by Sir Eugene Goosens, who came to Australia as conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 1947. He found a sympathetic ear in Joe Cahill, the Labor premier who committed Bennelong Point to the project and launched an international competition to design the building in 1955.</p> <p>This part of the story is well-known (indeed, there was even an <a href="https://www.theeighthwondertheopera.com">opera</a>). Danish architect Jørn Utzon’s bold, avant garde design won the competition and construction began in 1961, funded – in a democratic touch – by the NSW government’s Opera House lottery.</p> <p>Construction was plagued by difficulties and expanding costs. Utzon famously resigned from the project in 1966; Australian architect Peter Hall oversaw the construction of the interior.</p> <p>In spite of the jokes and doubts, by the time the building was finished, Australians had embraced the Opera House as their own.</p> <p>The Queen tactfully acknowledged the building’s construction delays in her speech at the opening ceremony, <a href="http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article110753207">suggesting</a> “every great imaginative venture has had to be tempered by the fire of controversy”.</p> <h2>Cringe and strut</h2> <p>As historians Richard White and Sylvia Lawson <a href="https://trove.nla.gov.au/work/35026797/version/50553486?keyword=symbols%20of%20Australia">note</a>, while the Opera House was intended for all performing arts, the centrality of opera – with its expense and small audiences – made a symbolic statement a “new, more sophisticated Australia” had arrived.</p> <p>As Australia sought to find an identity independent of Britain, the Opera House became a symbol of this new nationalist turn.</p> <p>Some fitted the Opera House into older narratives of Britishness: in his book Sydney Builds an Opera House, Oswald Zeigler remarked we needed to thank Captain Arthur Phillip “for finding the site for this symbol of the Australian cultural revolution”.</p> <p><a href="http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article110752757">Gough Whitlam declared</a> it was "a magnificent building, Our civilisations are known by their buildings and future generations will honour the people of this generation […] by this building."</p> <p>In spite of this, there was still cultural cringe. The <a href="http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article110753207">Canberra Times</a> reported the British media believed the Opera House was a sign that “the country had turned a corner artistically”. It was a telling sign of cultural cringe that their opinions were sought at all.</p> <p>The Opera House was part of an Australian cultural renaissance in 1973. The ABC broadcast an adaptation of Ethel Turner’s beloved Seven Little Australians. The bawdy Alvin Purple was a box-office smash. Patrick White became the first (and so far, only) Australian to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. The new wave of Australian drama was in full swing, and the Opera House’s opening season included a play by new wave star David Williamson alongside Shakespeare’s Richard II.</p> <p>Historians have nominated many emblems for the new nationalist mood (from the new national anthem to The Adventures of Barry McKenzie) but I would suggest the Opera House embodies it best: the soaring sails, the bold, rich colours of the interiors, and John Coburn’s glorious, confident curtains for the performance venues.</p> <h2>For the elite or for the people?</h2> <p>There were always objections on the grounds that government investment would be better focused elsewhere, rather than on a performance venue for “elites”. These arguments are wearyingly familiar today.</p> <p>Premier Joe Cahill rejected this charge from the outset: in <a href="https://mhnsw.au/stories/general/sydney-opera-house-the-gold-book/">1959 he declared "</a>the average working family will be able to afford to go there […] the Opera House will, in fact, be a monument to democratic nationhood in its fullest sense."</p> <p>Cahill’s insistence this was a building for everyone to enjoy and be proud of has been fulfilled by its creative use ever since. School children regularly perform; new audiences have been drawn by musicians of all genres, from punk to Prince. But the Opera House has also been a place for creative experimentation and innovative performance – as it should be.</p> <p>Today, 50 years from its opening, the Sydney Opera House reminds us the state still has a role to play in supporting the performing and creative arts in Australia. This radiant, soaring building belongs to all of us: a great reason to celebrate its birthday.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/213252/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/michelle-arrow-45"><em>Michelle Arrow</em></a><em>, Professor of History, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/macquarie-university-1174">Macquarie University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/sydney-opera-house-at-50-a-public-appeal-a-controversial-build-a-lavish-opening-and-a-venue-for-all-213252">original article</a>.</em></p>

Domestic Travel

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9 tricky ways to clean your house while you sleep

<p><strong>1. Soak a showerhead</strong></p> <p>Mineral deposits can clog a showerhead and affect its pressure over time. To clean, fill a plastic bag with vinegar. Place the bag around the showerhead, submerging it in the liquid.</p> <p>Secure the bag to the neck of the showerhead with a twist tie and leave overnight. The vinegar will break down the buildup by morning.</p> <p><strong>2. Remove stains on pots and pans </strong></p> <p>If a batch of cookies left your baking sheet gunky, let a dryer sheet clean it overnight. Place the sheet on the pan and fill with warm water.</p> <p>Cleaning agents in the dryer sheet will help loosen stuck-on grime and stains. In the morning, easily wipe off with a sponge.</p> <p><strong>3. Polish stove grates </strong></p> <p>Cleaning greasy, food-splattered stove burners can be a tiresome chore. Before you go to bed, seal each burner in a large plastic bag with ¼ cup of ammonia.</p> <p>The overnight soak will make it easy to wipe off the surface with a sponge the following day.</p> <p><strong>4. Banish rust on tools </strong></p> <p>If your rusty tools have seen better days, fill a tray with Coca-Cola. Submerge the tools, allow to soak overnight, and scrub clean with a stiff brush in the morning.</p> <p>The soda’s phosphoric acid will help loosen the gunk.</p> <p><strong>5. Eliminate wet messes </strong></p> <p>If your sofa or carpet became the victim of an icky, wet mess (say, vomit or urine), mix a paste of baking soda and water to soak it up.</p> <p>Use a spoon to spread the paste over the soiled area. Allow to dry overnight, then vacuum in the morning.</p> <p><strong>6. Descale a kettle </strong></p> <p>Limescale can build up from calcium carbonate deposits in water, leading to an off-white, chalky deposit in your kettle.</p> <p>To clean, cut a lemon into large slices, place in the kettle, and add water. Bring to a boil, then take the kettle off the heat and leave overnight.</p> <p>The lemon’s citric acid will loosen the limescale. Toss the fruit and water mixture in the morning and rinse before using your newly cleaned kettle.</p> <p><strong>7. Clean bath toys</strong></p> <p>To make grubby rubber duckies, boats, and other bath toys new again, mix one gallon warm water with ¾ cup vinegar. Soak the toys overnight. Rinse thoroughly and allow to air dry.</p> <p><strong>8. Make diamonds sparkle</strong> </p> <p>Quickly polish a diamond ring by filling a bottle cap with Windex. Soak the ring overnight and dry with a soft cloth in the morning to remove grime and add shine.</p> <p><strong>9. Remove red wine stains</strong></p> <p>If red wine marked up your favorite garment, sprinkle the stain with salt and cover with club soda. The salt absorbs the stain while the club soda’s carbonation and sodium helps lift it. Leave overnight before laundering.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/diy-tips/9-ways-clean-house-your-sleep" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

Home & Garden

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Why is a messy house such an anxiety trigger for me and what can I do about it?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/erika-penney-1416241">Erika Penney</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-technology-sydney-936">University of Technology Sydney</a></em></p> <p>Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the sight of clutter and mess in your home? Have you walked in the door only to feel overloaded by scattered papers, unwashed dishes and clothes in disarray? Maybe you’ve even had arguments because it bothers you more than it bothers you partner or housemates.</p> <p>You’re not alone. Many people report a messy house can trigger feelings of <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0146167209352864">stress</a> and <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0272494421000062?via%3Dihub">anxiety</a>.</p> <p>So why do clutter and chaos make some of us feel so overwhelmed? Here’s what the research says – and what you can do about it.</p> <h2>Cognitive overload</h2> <p>When we’re surrounded by distractions, our brains essentially become <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21228167/">battlegrounds</a> for attention. Everything competes for our focus.</p> <p>But the brain, as it turns out, <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1994-43838-001">prefers</a> order and “<a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnhum.2015.00086/full%22%22">singletasking</a>” over multitasking.</p> <p>Order helps reduce the competition for our attention and reduces mental load. While some people might be better than others at <a href="https://www.pnas.org/doi/full/10.1073/pnas.1523471113">ignoring distractions</a>, distractable environments can overload our cognitive capabilities and memory.</p> <p>Clutter, disorder and mess can affect more than just our cognitive resources. They’re also linked to our <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23907542/">eating</a>, <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0360132318307157?via=ihub">productivity</a>, mental health, <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1207/s15374424jccp3401_9">parenting</a> decisions and even our willingness to donate <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23907542/">money</a>.</p> <h2>Are women more affected than men?</h2> <p>Research suggests the detrimental effects of mess and clutter may be more pronounced in women than in men.</p> <p>One <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0146167209352864">study</a> of 60 dual-income couples found women living in cluttered and stressful homes had higher levels of cortisol (a <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19596045/#:%7E:text=After%2520controlling%2520for%2520the%2520individual,and%2520poor%2520self-rated%2520health.">hormone</a> associated with stress) and heightened depression symptoms.</p> <p>These effects remained consistent even when factors like marital satisfaction and personality traits were taken into account. In contrast, the men in this study seemed largely unaffected by the state of their home environments.</p> <p>The researchers theorised that women may feel a greater responsibility for maintaining the home. They also suggested the social aspect of the study (which involved giving home tours) may have induced more fear of judgement among women than men.</p> <p>We will all live with clutter and disorganisation to some degree in our lives. Sometimes, however, significant clutter problems can be linked to underlying mental health conditions such as <a href="https://beyondocd.org/information-for-individuals/symptoms/ocd-related-hoarding#:%7E:text=Examples%20of%20hoarding%20in%20the,are%20not%20needed%20any%20more">obsessive-compulsive disorder</a>, <a href="https://beyondocd.org/information-for-individuals/symptoms/ocd-related-hoarding#:%7E:text=Examples%20of%20hoarding%20in%20the,are%20not%20needed%20any%20more">hoarding disorder</a>, <a href="https://psychcentral.com/depression/messy-room-depression#does-it-exacerbate-symptoms">major depressive disorder</a>, <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0005796704000531">attention deficit hyperactivity disorder</a>, and <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0887618510001647">anxiety disorders</a>.</p> <p>This raises a crucial question: which came first? For some, clutter is the source of anxiety and distress; for others, poor mental health is the source of disorganisation and clutter.</p> <h2>Not all mess is a problem</h2> <p>It’s important to remember clutter isn’t all bad, and we shouldn’t aim for perfection. Real homes don’t look like the ones in magazines.</p> <p>In fact, disorganised spaces can result in increased <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23907542/">creativity</a> and elicit fresh insights.</p> <p>Living in constant disorder isn’t productive, but striving for perfectionism in cleanliness can also be counterproductive. Perfectionism itself is associated with feeling overwhelmed, anxiety and <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28026869/">poor mental health</a>.</p> <h2>Mess makes me anxious so what can I do about it?</h2> <p>It’s important to remember you have some agency over what matters to you and how you want to prioritise your time.</p> <p>One approach is to try to reduce the clutter. You might, for example, have a dedicated de-cluttering session every week. This may involve hiring a cleaner (if you can afford it) or playing some music or a podcast while tidying up for an hour with your other household members.</p> <p>Establishing this routine can reduce clutter distractions, ease your overall mental load and alleviate worry that clutter will spiral out of control.</p> <p>You can also try micro-tidying. If don’t have time for a complete cleanup, commit just five minutes to clearing one small space.</p> <p>If the clutter is primarily caused by other household members, try to calmly discuss with them how this mess is affecting your mental health. See if your kids, your partner or housemates can negotiate some boundaries as a household over what level of mess is acceptable and how it will be handled if that threshold is exceeded.</p> <p>It can also help to develop a self-compassionate mindset.</p> <p>Mess doesn’t define whether you are a “good” or “bad” person and, at times, it may even stimulate your <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23907542/">creativity</a>. Remind yourself that you deserve success, meaningful relationships and happiness, whether or not your office, home or car is a mess.</p> <p>Take comfort in <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0013916516628178">research</a> suggesting that while disorganised environments can make us susceptible to stress and poor decision-making, your mindset can buffer you against these vulnerabilities.</p> <p>If clutter, perfectionism or anxiety has begun to seem unmanageable, talk with your GP about a referral to a <a href="https://psychology.org.au/psychology/about-psychology/what-is-psychology">psychologist</a>. The right psychologist (and you may need to try a few before you find the right one) can help you cultivate a life driven by values that are important to you.</p> <p>Clutter and mess are more than just visual nuisances. They can have a profound impact on mental wellbeing, productivity and our choices.</p> <p>Understanding why clutter affects you can empower you to take control of your mindset, your living spaces and, in turn, your life.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/211684/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/erika-penney-1416241">Erika Penney</a>, Lecturer in Clinical Psychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-technology-sydney-936">University of Technology Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-is-a-messy-house-such-an-anxiety-trigger-for-me-and-what-can-i-do-about-it-211684">original article</a>.</em></p>

Mind

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Even in a housing crisis, Australians can’t get enough of renovation stories on TV. Why?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ella-jeffery-1459839">Ella Jeffery</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a></em></p> <p>The Block has begun its 19th season this month, <a href="https://9now.nine.com.au/the-block/2023-season-block-confirmed-location-details-scott-cam-season-19-explainer/b4d5fa4e-690f-4755-90da-caba77925836">billed as</a> “a Block that’s entirely relatable to people right around Australia”. This year, contestants renovate five “authentic ’50s dream homes” in “the perfectly named Charming Street, in Melbourne’s Hampton East”.</p> <p>But if the median price for a four-bedroom house in Hampton East is <a href="https://www.domain.com.au/suburb-profile/hampton-east-vic-3188">around A$1.6 million</a> and the nation’s <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/aug/03/more-than-1600-australians-pushed-into-homelessness-each-month-as-housing-crisis-deepens-report-finds">housing crisis</a> shows no signs of easing, who is The Block relatable to? And why do audiences keep coming back to renovation stories?</p> <p>Home ownership is becoming <a href="https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/BriefingBook46p/HomeOwnership">less accessible</a> and more people than ever are renting, but stories about renovation on TV, in film and in literature continue to have a powerful effect on us. Why?</p> <p>One reason they can be so captivating is that they invoke the idea of the dream home.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/KadU7z8GHoE?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><span class="caption">Season 19 of The Block promises to ‘transform these little time capsules into two-storey mansions’.</span></figcaption></figure> <h2>Home makeovers are ultimately about us too</h2> <p>Ask anyone you know about their dream home – something I did regularly when I was <a href="https://eprints.qut.edu.au/122955/">writing my PhD</a> on renovation stories – and you’ll get an incredible array of different styles, sizes, locations. Maybe it overlooks the ocean, maybe it has the newest appliances, maybe it has a pool, maybe it’s just a house without a <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/apr/29/this-isnt-safe-nsw-renters-fight-twin-battles-against-mould-and-landlords">mould problem</a>.</p> <p>The idea of the dream home is deeply rooted in our shared imagination. The philosopher Gaston Bachelard wrote in <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13269.The_Poetics_of_Space">The Poetics of Space</a> (1958) that our houses – both the ones we live in and the ones we dream of – “move in both directions: they are in us as much as we are in them”. Bachelard suggests that in even “the humblest dwelling” our memories, desires and dreams are gathered, and this is why houses are so central to who we are.</p> <p>If houses can be expressions of self, our dream houses say a lot about our desires. While it might no longer look like a <a href="https://www.domain.com.au/news/is-the-aussie-dream-of-a-quarter-acre-block-dead-1221913/">house on a quarter-acre block</a>, the dream still exists. Renovation stories are so compelling because in them, as <a href="https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/ordinary-television/book205099#contents">researchers</a> have noted, home improvement often represents self-improvement – a dream life, not just a dream house.</p> <p>This is especially important in programs like <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0388595/">Extreme Makeover: Home Edition</a> (2003–20) and <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0243688/">Backyard Blitz</a> (2000–), which often focus on people presented as hard-done-by whose lives are changed by renovations that solve their day-to-day problems.</p> <h2>Better house, better life</h2> <p>Reality TV isn’t the only place we find this type of story about transformation and self-improvement. In Frances Mayes’ bestselling memoir Under the Tuscan Sun (1996), Mayes travels to Italy and buys an abandoned villa, Bramasole, which she renovates. In the process, she gains a new outlook on life.</p> <p>There’s a similar story in Peter Mayle’s A Year in Provence (1989). Mayle, a UK advertising executive, buys a 200-year-old farmhouse in France and renovates it.</p> <p>Both books were exceptionally successful, inspiring an entire genre of renovation memoirs about wealthy middle-class people able to travel abroad, buy charmingly rundown properties in beautiful locations, and renovate them while enjoying the local lifestyle. In them, renovation is a clear symbol of self-transformation, if only for people rich enough to afford it: renovating houses leads to a greater appreciation of life’s pleasures and a new way of seeing the world.</p> <p>This idea of the renovated life can be especially compelling in a world that increasingly feels <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-doomsday-clock-is-now-at-90-seconds-to-midnight-the-closest-we-have-ever-been-to-global-catastrophe-198457">frightening and overwhelming</a>. Researchers like <a href="https://catalogue.nla.gov.au/catalog/4273551">Fiona Allon</a> argue that renovation stories allow us to turn away from the alarming outside world – with its violence, looming recessions, pandemics, climate crises – and focus on the smaller, more controllable world of the home.</p> <p>Maggie Smith’s viral poem <a href="https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/89897/good-bones">Good Bones</a> (2016) plays with this idea. The poem is about a mother trying to convince her children (and herself) that despite being a scary place, the world can be improved. To do this, she uses the analogy of a real estate agent selling a fixer-upper. The poem ends with lines that present renovation as an opportunity for change: "This place could be beautiful, Right? You could make this place beautiful."</p> <p>This optimism is what makes renovation excellent fodder for love stories. In the Nancy Meyers rom-com It’s Complicated (2009), Meryl Streep plays a divorcee looking for a fresh start, who renovates her home and falls in love with her architect, Adam. In The Notebook (2004), Ryan Gosling’s Noah transforms an old plantation estate into his lover Allie’s dream home, a gesture that reveals his enduring love.</p> <p>Renovation stories are always about change (although in <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5109784/">some</a> the change doesn’t last). Even if, as may be the case for the increasing number of people who are renting, having a house of our own is itself a fantasy.</p> <h2>Renovate? In this economy?</h2> <p>Many renovation stories can be seen as escapist media that trade on the image of the dream home to sell ideas about wealth, taste and style to audiences unable to afford such things. The Block may involve contestants from a range of backgrounds, but few people can afford the multimillion-dollar houses they build.</p> <p>The Block’s viewership has had ups and downs in its two-decade history, but the show (and many others) continues because, despite being about <a href="https://thenewdaily.com.au/entertainment/2023/03/29/the-block-controversy-grand-designs/">profiting from the housing market</a>, it sells the idea of transformation and change, not just in our houses but in our lives.</p> <p>Renovation stories invite audiences to indulge in a fantasy where we become our best selves living in dream homes that protect us from a volatile and threatening world. The dream home might remain a dream, but in renovation stories we escape reality and envision life in a Tuscan villa, or having a butler’s pantry or plunge pool, or simply owning a house of our own.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/211334/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ella-jeffery-1459839">Ella Jeffery</a>, Lecturer in Creative Writing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram - The Block</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/even-in-a-housing-crisis-australians-cant-get-enough-of-renovation-stories-on-tv-why-211334">original article</a>.</em></p>

TV

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