Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


A Christmas Carol

*Pic: Kim Peart addresses the gathering at the Invermay railway yard, attending the declaration of the polls for Bass and Lyons. IMAGE from here: http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5288945/declaration-of-the-polls-welcomes-new-faces-in-bass-and-lyons/?cs=95

First published March 18

Charles Dickens once wrote a story about a mean old man, and how he had a wake-up call from a couple of ghosts on Christmas Eve.

Ebenezer Scrooge knew the value of money and time, and was very mean, but he found his heart.

Are we any better than old miser Scrooge, when we allow fellow citizens to go homeless?

We are forcing good people into homelessness, and wrecking their lives.


To read of an older woman, who thought she had secure housing, being forced into homelessness by our scroogeness, is quite disturbing. ~

Children shouldn’t be forced onto the streets, and neither should anyone else.

Finland solved the homelessness problem, by providing homes, and we can do that. ~

So, what is our problem?

Do we need to exorcise our collective inner scrooge?

At the declaration of the polls for Bass and Lyons held in Launceston on Friday 16 March, I was allowed to address those present, including newly elected members of parliament, as a candidate in the Lyons election, as anyone who ran was invited to say a few words.

So after a humorous story about homeless letterboxes, which sparked some laughter from the audience, I declared my intention to run in Prosser, and that fixing homelessness by Christmas would be on the agenda.

My statement can be seen at the end of the film in this story ~

And part of that statement went ~

After the election something else came up about homelessness and the housing crisis.
For me the campaign continues,
because I am entering the contest for Prosser,
and it’s going to be very fierce.
And I will be asking a question:
How can we fix the homelessness problem?
I will be looking for answers.
I will be holding many community meetings across the electorate,
and I will be listening.
And elected politicians will be hearing from me
Elected politicians know they hear from me,
because I write to them,
and I will be asking this question:
Can we end homelessness by Christmas?

Ending homelessness by Christmas can happen, because it is possible, and we can draft a plan to make it so.

That is our collective choice.

Ending homelessness will hinge on citizens calling on politicians to show leadership.

Any citizen who wants homelessness and the housing crisis to continue and grow, can choose to do nothing and be silent, and politicians will apply a few bandaids and move on to more pressing matters.

If citizens decide that it would be rather good to deliver a permanent end to homelessness by Christmas, then write to politicians and tell them what you think, and bring the concern to community meetings that search for working solutions.

I am prepared to attend a meeting anywhere on the island to fight for this, and send the mood of the meeting to Tasmanian politicians.

Every politician has a can of oil for squeaky wheels.

Let’s cause every elected member to order that oil by the drum.

Our team will be investigating how Finland solved homelessness, and therefore, how Finland does not have a housing crisis.

Who will be organising a community meeting and inviting a few politicians along?

We can make this year an absolutely amazing Christmas, a present to all homeless people, of a home.

If we do this in Tasmania, we will be looking to the rest of Australia to meet their Christmas ghost, and find their heart.

What if the reading of Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ was held in every political office in the nation?

Would that help drive out our inner scrooge across this land?

• Tasmanian Times article by Kim Peart exploring ways to solve homelessness and fix the housing crisis ~
Fixing the Housing Crisis
15 March 2018

ABOUT Kim Peart ~ In 2007 Kim was listed among Tasmania’s top 200 movers and shakers for “An urban bushland conservationist who has worked tirelessly over the years to maintain walking tracks and protect wildlife from the encroachment of bush-front housing developments.” Kim is campaigning for an Australian Convict Trail, with the Tasmanian leg running from the ferry in Devonport to Port Arthur, along with foot and cycle paths by Tasmania’s highways and roads. After being at the launch of an Australian Space Agency last September, Kim is seeking ways to create employment, careers and new enterprise in Tasmania with the global space industry.

Authorised by: J Bolton, 39A Bridge Street, Ross

I am at a loss. How has lack of housing been swept under the carpet?

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. Kim Peart

    March 23, 2018 at 7:20 am

    I have launched a national petition to end homelessness in Australia ASAP with ChangeDotOrg ~

    This petition is directed to the Australian Government.

    If you would like to help send homelessness into history, please sign this petition.

    When sending Twitters, the hash tag #endhomlessness can be used.

    We can do much in Tasmania, even end homelessness by providing homes for all citizens, which would fix the housing crisis, but while the tragedy persists on the mainland, the problem will continue to haunt Tasmania.

    Homeless people will be attracted to the island, when we are providing homes for all citizens.

  2. Treeger

    March 22, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    There are 19 Churches in the 7000 postcode, 2 of these are Cathedral churches. Potentially 1000s of empty pews. How much are these buildings utilised and at what point in time did they start locking their doors? When did Christianity in the West lose it’s Humanity?


    Come on religions, what are you there for?

  3. Kim Peart

    March 19, 2018 at 6:56 am

    Re: 10 ~ John Hawkins ~ The Pontville Detention Centre was sold, and was purchased by the farmer from whom the land was originally bought from.

  4. John Hawkins

    March 19, 2018 at 12:23 am

    What happened to the Pontville Detention Centre?

  5. Kim Peart

    March 18, 2018 at 7:23 pm

    Re: 8 ~ Tom Nilsson ~ If you want homelessness to continue, and even grow, simply wait for elected representatives to take action.

    The Housing Summit will seek to minimise the harm, and may seek to disappear the spectre of homeless people at the Elwick Showgrounds, but solving homelessness will not be on their agenda.

    Because they were not elected on the basis of ending homelessness, they will move on to other matters, as soon as they can.

    That brings the whole matter back to each individual citizen, to decide what they will call for, even demand of politicians now.

    Only when a critical number of people call for an end to homelessness, will that happen, along with the social and economic changes involved in such a dramatic political redirection.

    So if you want homelessness to continue, then be silent and wait for politicians to act, and when they hear no noise on the homeless front, they will declare the problem solved, even as homelessness increases.

    To fix the housing crisis, we need to address homelessness as an island community, and as a continental nation.

    Should I be elected to beat the drum on homelessness, I would deafen the members of both houses, until success dawns.

    I could only do that effectively, if I had the support of enough people to beat that drum.

    When a rather large drum circle meets on the lawns of Parliament House to drive homelessness out of Tasmania, we will know we are beating a trail in the right direction.

    Do you have a drum?

  6. Tom Nilsson

    March 18, 2018 at 6:37 pm

    Re #7 … Worthwhile sentiments, Kim.

    However, this is the government’s problem to fix, that’s why we have a government and why we pay taxes. I might not have voted Liberal but I still pay taxes, and all our MP’s are being paid substantial salaries by we taxpayers – so they should get off their butts and fix housing right now.

  7. Kim Peart

    March 18, 2018 at 3:39 pm

    Should we call a Homing Summit?

    Media Release ~

    Housing builds an economy, but homing creates a life.

  8. Tom Nilsson

    March 18, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    There are possible short-term solutions, eg using empty public buildings such as schools that have closed, or the 10 Murray St building which is about to be demolished for no good reason. Also modular housing or demountables.

    However this Hodgman government believes in letting the market rip, so don’t expect much action from it.

  9. George Smiley

    March 18, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    “Life wasn’t meant to be easy .. and it’s the only promise he kept.”

    -from a satirical song about Malcolm Fraser

    And maybe it also satirises the illusion that such people have the ability to seriously change the laws of life. They encourage the myth and that’s why we vote for them isn’t it? It’s notable that the Mexican left, in their bid for the presidency, is offering free homes for the homeless. The Libs in S.A. offered cheaper power, here it would be jobs in the bush irrespective of the fact that there is stuff-all left and every dolt who drives a jumbo drill or feller-buncher can do the work of a hundred men in the fully-employed golden past.

    My wife once decided I needed a job and we bought an old weatherboard for me to do up. This done to a standard I have often accepted on my way up, I rented it out for 50 bucks a week to someone who wanted to change their life. But alas, there was always money for ciggies, beer, and dog food. Dead cars and police raids mounted while rental instalments became increasingly rare. Meanwhile I gained a reputation as some kind of Scrooge.

    And so it is that species survival demands diversity and there are all kinds pushing the boundaries; mating and increasing under God’s own injunctions, and accordingly owed an ever-better living by an ever-harder pressed society.

    Perhaps it might be better if we allowed people to build their own for nothing in favellas up the side of Mt. Wellington unlike now where you have to come up with $100 k for a lot, another $20k for drawings and council permitting, $250k to pay an accredited builder, new materials only and on it goes thanks only to a speculative frenzy begotten of artificially low interest rates which are coincidentally smashing pensioners and making it harder than ever to relinquish precious jobs to the younger generation if you don’t want to end up on the street …

  10. Kim Peart

    March 18, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    Premier Will Hodgman called a Housing Summit to address the housing crisis in Tasmania.

    Tumbling out of that we hear about building houses on land, which will build real estate.

    Real estate is the foundation of the economy.

    Actually, the environment is the foundation of the economy, because without ecology there would be no economy, and no life.

    I wonder if citizens need to call a Homing Summit, to address homelessness in Tasmania.

    The aim of a Homing Summit would be to deliver homes for all citizens.

    If we dared do that, we would fix the housing crisis, permanently.

    And send homelessness into history.

    Homes are the foundation of a society.

    Citizens with homes can also care about our ecology, and help build an economy.

    Who would travel to Ross for a Homing Summit?

    Follow my Prosser run on Twitter ~ https://twitter.com/PeartForProsser

  11. Kim Peart

    March 17, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    News from the Elwick Showground is starting to get rather stark …

    “He says one woman with a broken arm and broken neck arrived with her son on Friday night. ‘We had to lend them a tent,’ he said. ‘She tells me they’d been living in a cave over in Howrah. They turned up with food for their dog and nothing for themselves.’ Scott Gadd said he didn’t have enough staff to deal with the situation, and police have been called in to help evict residents who haven’t followed the showground rules. He’s frustrated and wants urgent help from the Government.”

    We had a Housing Summit, with a focus on land and property.

    Do we need to have a Homing Summit, with a focus on ensuring that each citizen has a home?

    A house is the building block of real estate profits.

    A home is the building block of a society.

  12. Kim Peart

    March 17, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    Re: 1, Christopher Nagle … If we cannot make a commitment to allow each citizen to have a home, then our political system is merely heads on an economy, nodding away.

    When we accept such mindless politics, nodding is all we will get, and to the rhythm of an economy that suits people who reap the benefits.

    The current noddy economy has been the theme for quite a while now, driving people into unpaid overtime, under-employment, unemployment, poverty and homelessness.

    The first step in fighting back is to make the moral decision to allow each citizen to have a home.

    Once that happens, practical steps can follow to deliver on the commitment, with a focus on homes rather than property.

    It will be messy in some parts, and that needs to be planned for.

    The next step is to allow all able citizens access to employment which can be delivered with a government employment guarantee (a long explanation of how that would be made to work is not given here).

    With automation rolling into the robot revolution, witnessed with the Centrelink robot as a way to save and grab money, and no plan prepared for how all citizens will be part of society, we are heading into a hell hole of a future.

    We can choose to fight for a Fair Go, or go to hell on the back of a noddy economy.

    What are we choosing?

  13. Christopher Nagle

    March 17, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    If one looks up the comparative tables of taxation as a proportion of GDP, Australia is 26.1% and Finland is 44.1%.

    The Finnish model isn’t a goer here this Christmas or any other in the foreseeable future.

    There are however a number of carrot and stick levers open to state governments to encourage new housing investment, slow down the Airbnb market and accelerate purpose built tourist accommodation.

    Airbnb is not as stable an income flow as regular tenancy, but in the present market circumstances it delivers a much higher rate of return overall, even allowing for commercial cleaning contractors at the end of each rental term.

    That will not change until a combination of market and government action make the income stream less reliable/attractive by bringing in new accommodation competition and perhaps a private rental tourist surcharge.

    There is also a chronically under-reported issue with tenants who aren’t house trained, that goes way beyond just parts of the welfare sector.

    With Airbnb, if users make an undue mess of the place, they immediately get hit with extra charges to repair/clean it up, just as they would with a hotel room or rental car. The immediacy of the financial penalty focuses the minds of even the most obtuse hirers.

    Normal housing rental bonds are often nowhere near enough to cover tenant neglect/damage bills accumulated over months rather than days; or not even that so much as just heavily accelerated depreciation caused by squalor.

    Bottom end housing rental (like many bottom end markets) is not for the faint hearted landlord, or one who doesn’t know the industry governing legislation and regulations backwards, because they are often dealing with people who are much bigger on their rights than their responsibilities, because their parent(s) never taught them the basics on how to behave and meet reasonable obligations.

    That is why bottom end housing is hard and attracts some pretty hard and second rate characters on both sides of the equation. It just isn’t a popular way to make a buck.

    Fixing that means going back to the drawing board about how we socialize people in the first place. And it isn’t exclusively the bottom end. As we are seeing in the Royal Commission into the banking system, bank boards suffer the same disease; i.e., the trashy social and economic ideology that emerged out of the 1970s…They might not trash their domestic environment, but they sure know how to cheat their customers and the financial system.

    And as to the bottom feeders, ‘disadvantage’ has become a ghastly ideological euphemism for lousy and dysfunctional attitude that is particularly popular with socially and institutionally insulated petty bourgeois who never have to actually deal with it in ways that are going to personally cost them any money.
    Homelessness is not just an inability to compete in a tough real estate market that is dropping all sorts of people through ever larger cracks in the system. Homelessness is also the state of mind of people who do not know how to make a home, or make themselves into functional community members in one.
    During the depression in Australia, about a third of the workforce was out of work and getting almost nothing by way of welfare payments. Thousands of them built encampments, which despite the very Spartan conditions, many turned into homes and functioning communities; just very humble ones, which they lived in for years until the war came…

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