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


Fixing the Housing Crisis …

*IMAGE: Tumbleweed Houses ~ https://about.homely.com.au/blog/2018/1/12/how-to-prepare-for-tiny-living …

First published March 14

Will Premier Will Hodgman be inviting Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to his emergency Housing Summit in Tasmania? [1]

Why should he do that?

Homelessness and housing affordability is a national crisis, and a solution that works in Tasmania, will attract people from other parts of Australia.

We need a national solution to a national problem, as homelessness and housing affordability is a crisis that affects all of Australia.

The only way a Tasmanian solution to homelessness and housing affordability could be sustainable, is if the island declared itself independent, and closed Bass Strait.

That is not about to happen, is it?


Like all European nations, Finland had homeless people, until introducing a Housing First program to solve the problem. [2]

Housing First is a national answer to homelessness, with the central government working with local authorities to provide homes, where and when homes are needed.

Once a person or family is housed, then working with any problems that led to homelessness is more easily and effectively managed.

We could do that in Australia.

Could we start the ball rolling in Tasmania, and invite the rest of the nation to catch up?

Why not?


A survey needs to be made of country towns across Tasmania, to see if affordable rental accommodation exists to supply the needs of the community.

I am aware of at least one instance of a rental property in a country town about to be converted to holiday accommodation, with the current occupant considering moving to the mainland.

If they move to Hobart, they may end up camping at the Elwick Showground.

Where there are no homes available to rent, people will move to larger centres, where services are provided, or even interstate, and may or may not find a permanent home.

Many homeless people are drawn to the cities, because that is where they can access government services, and where charities provide assistance.

To avoid a country drift to the cities, homes also need to be available in country towns.

This can help a town’s economy, by providing homes for workers.

A country solution may be more affordable, where land costs less.

This approach could work, if a person or family has their own reliable transport, as country locations mostly have no public transport.

An alternative approach to tourism in Tasmania, included below, could also solve the public transport problem for country towns.


A tiny house, which can be moved, would be by far less expensive than traditional housing, and more like a normal house than a caravan. [3]

A tiny house would take up less land.

A tiny house design could be developed where two or three units could be connected, creating a family sized home.

The mobility of a tiny house would allow needs to be met where the need exists.

If a country location needs a unit for a single person, or units for a family, the need could be met immediately, if there is a supply of tiny houses available.

If a person needs to move for work, their tiny house may be able to be relocated to a location near the new place of work.

Tiny houses can come in a thousand different designs, and a range of colours.

A tiny house can also include solar panels on the roof for power, and a battery. [4]

Estates for tiny houses can be well designed, with central community facilities, such as a community centre, park and playground.

Many people are now selecting the option of tiny houses, to escape the tyranny of housing debt.

If there is social conflict in the estate, a resident could simply apply to have their unit moved.


In 2016 I proposed a tourist trail that followed convict sites along the east coast of Australia. [5]

In Tasmania, if this trail were created, a path would run along beside the highway or road from the ferry in Devonport to Port Arthur.

Visitors would be able to walk, cycle, ride a mobility scooter, or catch a coach between locations.

A visitor could walk part of the way, hire a bicycle, or catch a coach to pick up the trail at another stretch down the road. [6]

A tour could be planned ahead for bicycle hire, coach trips and accommodation.

Baggage could be sent ahead on a coach to the night’s lodging, allowing a visitor or family to step lightly along the trail.

Any souvenirs purchased could be posted home at post offices along the way.

If this trail is created for tourists to travel through Tasmania, residents of country towns could also use the trail to walk between towns, cycle, or catch a coach.

Coach trips could be ordered ahead, to shop at the next town, or ride to the airport, north or south, to catch a flight out of Tasmania.

Any town along the trail would no longer be isolated.

A person could then live in a country town and work in one of the major centres, snoozing on the coach, or enjoying the scenery.

If the trail works well, branches could be established to other towns, and in time connecting all country towns in Tasmania for walking, cycling, or catching a coach.

This approach to travel and home would allow the population of Tasmania to decentralise, rather than filling up cities to overflowing, traffic jams, and driving a rental housing crisis.

The denizen of a country town would be able to go to a movie, play, opera, or sporting event in the city, and then have a safe trip home on a coach that night.


One simple solution to the housing crisis in Tasmania, is to have a government employment guarantee, with real work that pays the minimum wage.

In an age when the robot revolution is set to eliminate paid work like there is no tomorrow, a government employment guarantee would ensure people who are able to work, can work, and receive a proper income for their time at work. [7]

As workers need homes, there would be a direct need to ensure that all workers have homes.

Under the present economic and political system, a person with work can actually find themselves without a home, and join the working homeless.

A government employment guarantee would create full time employment for all able citizens, as well as ring in an end to the age of homelessness.

Real competition would be created, because free enterprise would have to pay more than the minimum wage to attract and keep workers.

This would end the tyranny of unpaid work hours, or free overtime, which many workers believe they must put in to ensure they are employed.

Unemployment, under-employment, poverty and homelessness would be sent into history, as a society is built that serves all citizens, where robots can be used to help create greater wealth, but are servants rather than served.

Personal income tax would be less, because more people would be paying taxes.

Centrelink would shrink to meet a smaller need.

The government would have a strong incentive to ensure that all companies that should be paying taxes, do so, rather than skimming wealth from the nation and making no contribution, as has been the case with QANTAS.

Corporate welfare, with companies bludging on the rest of the nation, would have to be terminated, with corporate Australia meeting their debt to the nation.

Miners would be expected to pay a proper return on the resources that they take.

At the end of the day, the government employment system may be small, as a competitive and creative work environment is created in Australia.


The current government-promoted future of 650,000 Tasmanians by 2050 is way short of the reality that may arrive much sooner.

As Australia gets hotter, and in places more humid, along with fiercer ocean storms hitting heavily populated northern coastal regions, and crippling inland droughts, many people will seek to move south, which will include to Tasmania.

We need a climate change plan to prepare for a rapid population increase, which could go beyond 2 million people, and at present there is nothing that we could do to stop this increase in numbers.

Whoever is in government in Canberra may direct northern refugees to Tasmania, as a safe location.

If we do not begin to prepare for that all too predictable future now, we will struggle to deal with it later.

The worst case scenario will be if there is a sudden heat rise, people start flowing into Tasmania, and we are not prepared.

Climate events, like the melting of ice, can happen in rapid burst, where one moment there is ice, and then there is water, because the temperature had been rising.

I explored these matters in a recent article suggesting the need for a climate change plan for Tasmania. [8]

See the message from the Ice Age that follows, to see the present rise of CO2 in the air, and how this holds the potential for a sudden rise in heat.


To understand the implications of the current and rising level of CO2 in the air, we can consider the last ice age when atmospheric CO2 was around 180 ppm, the temperature a few degrees lower, and the sea level 120 metres down.

The difference between the Ice Age and the past few millennia was quite a huge change over what appears to be quite a small rise in atmospheric CO2 going to around 270 ppm.

This was an increase of 90 ppm CO2 in the air.

Add another 90 ppm CO2 and that is the level passed in the 1990s, of 360 ppm.

We can now wonder if a rise of 90 ppm CO2 in the air, reached in the 1990s, is quite enough to drive temperature rise that would melt all remaining ice, sending the sea level up by a further 70 metres.

We can also wonder if all additional CO2 rise in the air above 360 ppm will simply mean future heat rise, especially when there is no ice left to absorb the rising heat.

When we accept that what appears to be quite a small rise in CO2 in the air actually makes a huge difference to the Earth’s temperature rise, then we can begin to grasp Lovelock’s warning of a rapid rise in Earth’s temperature to a permanently hotter environment.

Is the World sleepwalking into a carbon apocalypse?


If the trail that connects towns can be made to work in Tasmania, a similar approach could be created on the mainland, which could begin with the Australian Convict Trail running from Port Arthur to Moreton Bay in Queensland.

Though a government employment guarantee would need to be a national scheme to work properly, this approach could begin with communities in Tasmania creating work, and spearheading the way to design a society that works with robots, rather than fails to work and creates poverty and homelessness, as greater wealth is generated with robots by those with the capital to do so.

The Finnish solution to homelessness is simple, and could be launched in Tasmania, especially with a program of tiny house construction.

Tiny houses would be more interesting and diverse places to live in, than converting shipping containers into accommodation boxes.

By ending homelessness in Tasmania, homeless people will be attracted from the mainland, so it will be essential to seek a national approach.

The plan suggested above to solve homelessness, defuse the rental housing crisis, and plan for a sustainable future in Tasmania, would also lay the foundation to maintain a quality lifestyle, should there be a sudden influx of climate change refugees from mainland Australia, as the heat rises.

We could blaze a new trail to building a better nation, where solutions to living and survival problems developed in Tasmania could be applied to mainland locations, which would then help to avoid the potential of a sudden population influx into Tasmania.

Driving growth is not near good enough, when that growth kills the goose that lays the golden eggs.

We need a healthy and happy goose, or there will be no golden eggs in Tasmania’s future.


[1] Tasmanian Government announces emergency housing summit as shortage worsens
Georgie Burgess, 8 March 2018, ABC News Online

[2] What can the UK learn from how Finland solved homelessness?
Dawn Foster, 22 March 2017, The Guardian

[3] How to prepare for tiny living
Elsa Smith, 15 January 2018, homely.com.au

[4] Tesla Tiny House

[5] Moreton Bay to Port Arthur

[6] Campaigning along the Australian Convict Trail in 2018

[7] Creating a Future that Works
Kim Peart, 17 August 2015, Tasmanian Times

[8] Does Tasmania need a Climate Change Plan?
Kim Peart, 26 February 2018, Tasmanian Times

Expanded version with new information ~

[9] An extract from a recent document by Kim Peart ~ Rising to the Challenge ~

*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.

Labor: Housing Summit must result in urgent solutions to address crisis

Will Hodgman: Housing Summit

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


  1. TGC

    March 28, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    Now that an offer has been made of motel, and other accommodation types, even more are now coming forward declaring themselves ‘homeless’.

  2. TGC

    March 24, 2018 at 11:32 am

    But #29 … a Legislative Councillor can’t build a single house – it can stop governments building them, and Labor is intent on dominating the Upper House so that it can use the Chamber to ‘govern’ from above.
    Sloppy, lazy, vindictive.- and although not yet having a majority in the Leg C there enough other “sloppy, lazy, vindictives” up there to support the White brigade.

  3. Kim Peart

    March 18, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    Re: #27, TGC … All elected representatives can show leadership and use their office to lead.

    Would you like to participate in a Homing Summit, aimed at delivering an end to homelessness, by delivering homes for all citizens?

    Media Release ~ https://australianspaceparty.discussion.community/post/media-release-should-we-call-a-homing-summit-19-mar-2018-9686363?pid=1303602527#post1303602527

    The solution to homelessness, and therefore to the housing crisis, will be made by individual citizens demanding action in numbers that all elected representatives will have to listen to.

    To see homelessness continue and kids sleeping rough on the street, just be silent and do nothing.

  4. TGC

    March 18, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    #24″… because I am entering the contest for Prosser” … another who believes things can be fixed from the Leg Council – which has no money powers other than to deny money.

  5. Russell

    March 18, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    Re #26
    “A farmer may simply call the police, if a homeless survivalist is found trespassing on their land.”

    When did I say they should just move onto a farm unannounced?

    (edited) … Perfectly suited to be elected into a do-nothing conformist government position. But you weren’t.

    If people want a cheap decent roof over their family’s head and maybe a job, go knock on a few farmers doors and ask about the empty houses on their properties.


  6. Kim Peart

    March 17, 2018 at 11:36 am

    Re: Russell Langfield ~ The article includes a tourist trail through country towns, which if supported, would also see a coach service evolve, which would connect country towns with the cities.

    With an effective transport system in place, empty country houses may find an occupant, and new towns may be built.

    This would also help Tasmania prepare for an all too predictable population influx as the mainland gets hotter with global warming, and more dangerous.

    I am wondering if the best immediate option to fix the housing crisis is to develop a design of mobile unit, whether on wheels or carried on a truck and positioned, to provide accommodation for all citizens who need a home.

    Country towns have a housing problem now, with a shrinking pool of available accommodation.

    Mobile housing units, aiming for quality designs, could be built in factories in Tasmania, or on the mainland and shipped to the island.

    All that is needed for a mobile unit bis a plot of land, city or country, and connection to basic services.

    Managing the community dynamic is another level of challenge, but the basic principle can be, to provide a home for all citizens on this island.

    Then comes the challenge of providing real work with a minimum wage, so that all citizens can access opportunity, rather than be flicked off the roulette wheel of our casino economy.

    Part of the problem that we have at present is being trapped in real estate options on fixed land, which cannot be moved to locations where there is a need.

    I would like to be able to quickly bring a mobile unit to Ross when there is a citizen in need of accommodation, or a young person needing a pad of their own.

    At present people may simply move to the city, when they can’t find a home in the country, and if they end up homeless, it is in the city where there are services and charities.

    Employment options are shrinking in the country, as automation and robotics replace the need for workers.

    The country is not a friendly place for homeless people, who could go survivalist in the bush and hunt deer, and risk being shot by deer hunters.

    A farmer may simply call the police, if a homeless survivalist is found trespassing on their land.

  7. Russell

    March 16, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    Re #23 … Get real Kim.

    If you are “homeless” you don’t have a fixed address and you can move to wherever you like.

    Under the Australian Constitution your freedom of movement is enshrined.

    As I also said, you are quite likely to pick up some work from or via the farmer you rent the house from if you are genuine and demonstrate good character.

    In this discussion “The core need is to provide” options for housing for the homeless.

  8. Kim Peart

    March 16, 2018 at 8:11 am

    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 elected representatives, 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 that happen.

    That is our choice.

    Achieving this will hinge on citizens calling for politicians to act.

    If citizens want homelessness and a housing crisis to continue and grow, 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 to fix a 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 helping to organise a community meeting and inviting a few politicians along?

  9. Kim Peart

    March 15, 2018 at 9:11 pm

    Re: 21, Russell Langfield … If a Centrelink recipient is registered in a city like Hobart, they are unable to move to a location with less employment options as to do so is to be cut off income for a number of months.

    To be on Centrelink is like being a prisoner on parole in a reverse convict system.

    My proposal stemming from the Australian Convict Trail is in part aimed at breaking the Centrelink tyranny by using tourism to open country towns and connect them with main centres by walking, cycling, and a coach network used by visitors and residents of country towns.

    If this approach worked then that farm house could be occupied because the resident would then be in commuting access to comparable employment.

    The core need is to provide employment with real work and with a minimum wage level. This could happen with a government employment guarantee.

    If we can dispatch the homeless problem by Christmas we could then have a crack at the employment challenge.

  10. Bert Wells

    March 15, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    Well said Emmanuel Goldstein!

    No doubtt the summit will come up with the following action plan (involving to varying degrees and emphasis)
    1. A review of existing Housing and Homelessness services.
    2. A review and new upgrade of various software/ databases and interfaces used to connect services and government agencies.
    4. paying international guest speakers / consultants to come in at huge expense, to state the obvious.
    5. And agreement to kick the funding can down the road so that existing, inept church and charity service providers can continue making a profit from the homelessness “industry”.
    6. A round of applause followed by some mutual back slapping, giving each other certificates and awards, and a commitment to do the same next year.

    Homelessness and Housing is big business and a nice little earner for the “not for profit” sector and the local economy. Nice little earner that one.

    “The needle returns to the start of the song and we all sing along like before!”.

  11. Russell

    March 15, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    Re #16 … If you are unemployed and homeless, as most of the campers seem to be, your dole money would be better spent on putting a proper roof over your family’s head, and in many cases you will be doing the farmer a favour by stopping these houses falling into ruin.

    And you may possibly get some employment from, or via, the farmer if you are helpful enough and serious about working.

  12. Kim Peart

    March 15, 2018 at 10:50 am

    “Treasurer Peter Gutwein said “we simply need more houses”.”

    Do those houses have to be fixed?

    It is said that there is a shortage of building workers in Tasmania, and that will be part of the problem, with providing housing and ending homelessness.

    High quality mobile units, by whatever chosen design in a thousand variations and a rainbow of colours, could be mass-produced on the mainland and shipped to Tasmania.

    Problem solved.

    To make the whole island work, we need to be able to move mobile units swiftly to places that need them, such as a country town, or to a farm for seasonal workers.

    In time robot systems will come available to build fixed houses, and mobile units in Tasmania, which will shrink the need for human workers.

    Planning for that future is our biggest challenge, beginning now.

  13. Kim Peart

    March 15, 2018 at 10:06 am

    In the poll of May 5th I will be running in the newly created upper house seat of Prosser.

    Over the next couple of months I will be holding community meetings in many towns, and will be listening to country concerns with housing and employment, issues which also impact on health.

    As Tony Stone points out at #16, without work rural houses often sit idle, until they rot, or burn.

    I will be looking to practical solutions to the housing crisis and ending homelessness as the two are entwined like vines, both driven by a casino economy powered by greed.

    I will be calling on all elected representatives to unleash their heart, and end homelessness in Tasmania by Christmas.

    The more people who join this call, the sooner there will be no more homelessness in Tasmania.

    We can do this.

    We will then need to build a political culture on this island that ensures all citizens have a home.

    It will be all the citizens of this island who will make this happen, if it is to happen.

    A home should not be a dream in a tent on a freezing winter’s night, or in the shrubbery, shivering through the hours in hope of finding a feed some place in the morning, or by begging.

    One day someone may see their mother begging on the street, as older women fall into the hell-hole of homelessness.

    We need to build a social foundation where homelessness is morally unacceptable and is immediately fixed.

    When we get our heads, hearts and hands around this principle of life, then we can have a look at allowing all able workers to be employed with a minimum wage.

    Homelessness is a national problem requiring a national solution, but Tasmanians can show the nation what we are made of, and what we can achieve.

  14. Simon Warriner

    March 14, 2018 at 10:47 pm

    re #13 …You are spot on, Pete. The burning question is this:

    How do we get rid of the ever present urge in our bureaucrats to impose ever more byzantine rules upon us, everywhere – rules that always serve their own interests and rarely ours.

    The way we achieve that goal is by electing people to direct the bureaucrats to our advantage, not theirs.

    How to go about that is the burning question, because until we answer that correctly the stupidity the exudes from our so called democratic governments of almost every stripe will not only continue, it will get worse at an increasing rate, as it has been for quite some time.

  15. Chris

    March 14, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    There are two philosophical approaches to housing the homeless.

    The first involves correcting all of the flaws that have led to homelessness (get off drugs, get sober, get a job, get away from that abusive relationship). The second, as Kim points out, involves providing decent, dignified housing as the first step. It makes the other problems much easier to fix.

    Malcolm Gladwell provides a very readable example of the ‘housing first’ approach:

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2006/02/13/million-dollar-murray (HTML original from the New Yorker)
    http://dpbh.nv.gov/uploadedFiles/A MillionDollarMurray.pdf (PDF)

  16. Tony Stone

    March 14, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    #15, Russel, your right there are many empty homes around rural Tas. The reason they are not occupied is because there is no work in rural Tas, or urban areas.

    Governments of every persuasions, concentrate on big business and failing past stupidities, like forestry, fish farming and centuries old farming techniques and crops.

    It’s all well and good to have ideas about solving the housing crisis, but like every thing we face for the future, it requires a combination of solutions that aid each other.

    Ad hoc approaches which we currently get, don’t work. Only a plan that covers every aspect of life in Tas, will allow us to create affordable housing and that should be the first priority of any government.

    If we want to get people to move to rural Tas, we need to have employment for them and it’s the same in the urban areas, no real work is available.

    The big end of town relies upon cheap part time labour, so many people are unable to plan, build or buy a home. We all know rental is getting very expensive as more and more morons flock here from Aus and overseas, in their desperation to escape the destruction they have contributed to and supported by their life styles. They won’t change either, like most everyone else, they are expecting someone else to change for them, so they can continue being destructive in life.

    It matters not how many new homes we provide, more and more will come here and it will become a never ending cycle of more people, more housing and no plans for jobs or any thing else. It will be just the same as now, only worse.

    To solve our housing problem, we have to stop people coming here to settle permanently. Otherwise we will end up just like every other place on the planet. Overcrowded, heavily polluted, growing crime rates and homelessness.

    Sadly approaching the future as we have done in the past, is social suicide, we are already suffering from it because of the huge influx of tourists for Aus and overseas.

    Many people are coming here with their mobile homes and deciding to settle, yet they have nothing to contribute to Tas, other than extra stress on roads, housing, infrastructure and services.

  17. Russell

    March 14, 2018 at 10:30 am

    There are empty houses everywhere in Tasmania, but as Emmanuel in #3 says “The organisations claiming to work toward housing the poor would cease to exist if they achieved that goal. There is no interest in solving the problem, just another racket/business.”

    Driving around Tasmania’s countryside you can see empty farmhouses everywhere. That’s how I found accomodation when I first came to Tasmania, and I still see empty houses on farmland everywhere.

  18. Kim Peart

    March 13, 2018 at 10:13 pm

    Re: #11, Simon Warriner … A great crowd rode the train from Hobart to see Delfosse Badgery fly the first powered plane in Tasmania out at the Elwick Showgrounds in 1914.

    I was at the centenary of that event, and have a couple of articles in TT on that.

    Some in 1914 may have referred to flying as only for crazies, or war, as became the case.

    Now we fly in and out of Tasmania as often as we need to.

    And I drive a car to the airport from Ross where I park it in the car pool to then catch a plane.

    The robot flying car will simply be another step in the march of technology, and one will fly in Tasmania in the very near future.

    This is inevitable.

    Seeing the predictable inevitable, I can see the opportunity of booking a robot car taxi to go to the airport which will take a lot less time than driving my car there, and I can plan to book that flight at night as I won’t be driving.

    The future is upon us, but we are slow to make sure that all citizens can participate.

    This is a really crazy level of political and public laziness.

    We can demand a Fair Go, because we can.

    Will we choose to?

  19. Pete Godfrey

    March 13, 2018 at 8:19 pm

    I used to design and sell small transportable homes for a company in Meander.
    We made houses that were cheap and easily transported on the back of a truck.
    The company still makes them, now they can be made in one or more sections and put together onsite.
    Tiny houses have been in Tasmania for years now.
    It is possible to buy a small house for as little as $50 thousand dollars.
    The big problem is with government regulations.
    This is where the house on a trailer comes in.
    They circumvent building regulations as long as the trailer is registerable.
    The reality is that we need a lot less onerous building regulations.
    In the 1980s a council in Northern NSW where I lived only required a single A4 page as a plan of the house you wanted to build. A sketch was fine as long as they could see the basic plan.
    The building inspectors job was to make sure that your work was safe and strong enough.
    Now you need a draughtsperson to draw incredibly detailed plans ( $3500 +), an engineer to design footings, a plumbing plan, a site plan, a bushfire plan and a building surveyor to oversee the project. By the time you have done all that you are lucky to see any change from about $7000.
    That is before you can even dig a hole.
    Sorry but the world has gone mad.
    Millions of people live in mud huts, grass huts and other home made structures but in the west we have to build houses that are expected to last forever, in reality they don’t last very long at all.
    The way to fix the housing problem is the deregulate and allow people to build cheap houses themselves.

  20. Dave Parsell

    March 13, 2018 at 7:19 pm

    Perhaps we could go down the same route as the USA, we could live in trailer parks. Parliament House lawns would be an ideal spot.

  21. Simon Warriner

    March 13, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    There is another perspective.

    The government is not incentivised to fix the problem, especially by going down the route Kim proposes, primarily because doing so will impact negatively on one of its largest campaign funders, the banks.

    Banks in OZ make LOTS and LOTS of money lending on housing. Every home loan nets them an almost infinite return on their investment due to their lending money into existence at the click of a keyboard.

    Allowing people to have small, cost effective homes will divert them away from the banks, devalue existing homes and slow the rate at which the banks can gouge the lifeblood out of our social well-being. Can’t have that, now can we?

    That said, I like most of what Kim proposes here except for the flying cars malarchy, but suggest anyone thinking about using shipping containers does their homework first. Long story short .. it is too bloody hard under the Australian Building Standard. There are easier and cheaper paths to a similar result. I have just done the exercise while attempting to find a solution to my son’s accommodation needs in rural Smithton.

  22. Kim Peart

    March 13, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    An aspect of this article is alternative approaches to transport so that city populations can spread out and maintain a quality lifestyle and access to work.

    Robot cars and coaches will be the means, with numbers seeking to travel determining the size.

    The arrival of robot flying cars will open a new way to decentralise, with commuters being able to travel swiftly to work, and home again ~

    Workers with a wage to meet the flying taxi fare could live in a country location and fly to work in the city.

    Ultimately, work is the key to ensure there is housing.

    When all able citizens are allowed to work with a minimum wage the housing needs of all citizens will be met, as workers need homes.

    President John F Kennedy once said in Wheeling, West Virginia in 1962 ~ “We believe if some have the talent to invent machines to put people out of work, then they have the talent to put people back into work.”

    The housing crisis in Tasmania is the ugly face of greed, liberated of responsibility.

  23. Tom Nilsson

    March 13, 2018 at 4:23 pm

    Here’s an idea. The government could build more public housing. Preferably including medium-density inner city housing.

    Unfortunately the major parties are ideological opposed to the concept of governments doing anything. They believe the private sector is better at doing things. But the fact is that when it comes to housing the private sector has failed to provide enough housing for everyone. It’s called market failure.

  24. lola moth

    March 13, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    #7 Kim, perhaps ex-industrial land that can’t otherwise be rehabilitated for normal housing could be used because the ground itself doesn’t have to be disturbed. If it is not intended to be long term accommodation, so the same people are not there permanently, it might be allowed.

    I don’t think dormitory villages in smaller towns would be any different to caravan parks except they would be prettier. The social problems in caravan parks with long term residents are well known.

    I can’t imagine many people offering their backyards to the homeless to put their tiny houses on either.

    I think that a stand alone tiny house village away from existing housing could be trialled without many objections but to try to shoehorn it into an existing residential area would cause problems.

  25. Kim Peart

    March 13, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    Re: #6, Lola Moth … With all options on the table, many possibilities can be considered.

    Land in Ross, for instance, costs less than in Hobart, and if one of the large blocks were purchased for a low-cost quality housing option this could be a trial.

    Some tiny houses could be included as well as converted and fitted containers and other possibilities, and with a community centre.

    Young people may find their first pad there.

    Someone coming to the country town to work may then find accommodation, or a tiny house could be trailered in if an extra unit is needed in a hurry.

    In the city a mobile unit could be hosted on someone’s land, like a granny flat, or in a designed estate that meets human needs.

    The tiny house is a mobile unit, and as I suggest, could be designed to be expanded with connection to a second or third unit.

    The success of allowing all citizens to have a home will rest on how the community decides to make this work.

    If communities are driving the solution they will make it work.

    Housing has to date been limited to brick, timber and roofing iron on fixed land which often gets caught up in real estate values, and that has led to a housing crisis.

    By making the decision to provide homes for all citizens, be they mobile tiny houses, the housing problem will be separated from the real estate bonanza.

  26. lola moth

    March 13, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    I am all in favour of tiny homes that can be moved to where they are needed but one huge problem remains – on what land are they going to be put? They can’t be just parked on the street in front of other properties. They can’t be grouped together in a park because that is what caravan parks are for. If they are going to be parked together on public land like showgrounds, aren’t they just going to be mobile ghettos?

    Many people already live in their motorhomes and find it hard to find a safe place to park for the night. Unless the issue of finding appropriate land to put these homes on is addressed, I can’t see it solving anything.

  27. Kim Peart

    March 13, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    Re: #3,Emmanuel Goldstein … Tiny houses are one option which many people are choosing as a long-term home at present.

    The real challenge is to decide, as a society, that we will allow all fellow citizens to have a home.

    That’s what Finland did.

    Will we?

    If the tiny house approach worked, that would be a first step for many people to an apartment or house.

    The point is, define the minimum standard of a home for each individual and family, and then deliver on that.

    If everyone demands that happens, how will it not?

  28. Treeger

    March 13, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    #2 … Fact: It was found that many Sydney street kids were dyslexic – one of the root causes of homelessness but easily nipped in the bud by early intervention – which thankfully happens these days in our schools in time to save them from prison where 48% are dyslexic (U.S figures 2000). There may be a few less prison officers needed in future.

  29. Emmanuel Goldstein

    March 13, 2018 at 11:26 am

    Another publicly funded, and most importantly, fully catered talk fest. Participants count their allowances whilst on full salaries. Public housing is required, it is that simple, there’s no “summit” required.

    Came across a Tasmania Public Housing departmental Christmas cruise a couple of years ago. Seemed to consist entirely of ugly, plump, squat women quaffing champagne, stuffing their fat faces, gorging at public expense. That money could have gone toward real solutions. The organisations claiming to work toward housing the poor would cease to exist if they achieved that goal. There is no interest in solving the problem, just another racket/business. Salvation Army, Catholic and Anglican churches have the largest real estate portfolios in Australia, surely that could be put to good use. Silly little stylish caravans are no solution.

    Jarvis Cocker put it succinctly years ago:

  30. Luigi Brown

    March 13, 2018 at 10:56 am

    The best thing about this expansive article is that it understands the inter-relatedness of all things like economic activity, employment, welfare, costs to government, and our collective future and prosperity.

    Sadly, it’s hard to find any comparable coherent plan on anything within our state or federal governments’ purview.

    And that’s why we are all becoming disenchanted with politics and politicians. No brains: no plans: no future.

  31. Kim Peart

    March 13, 2018 at 9:08 am

    This document has been shared with some of the participants in the Tasmanian housing summit, including the Premier, and though I have not been successful in seeking a seat at the table, I have been informed by the Premier’s office that this document, the article above, will be included in briefing notes for all participants.

    I will write back and suggest that it would be rather good if there could be follow-up meetings held around Tasmania, allowing our whole island community to engage in the debate, and figure out what the working solutions could be.

    Such meetings can include rural communities, which as I point out in the article, are also impacted by the big city housing crisis, with rental accommodation being turned into holiday retreats.


    Don’t wait to be invited. Any community around Tasmania can organise their own community meeting on the matter now, and invite elected representatives to attend, and listen to the people.

    Could this article serve as a statewide forum? If yes, lob a comment, say where on the island you are, and offer your ideas to fix the housing crisis, which will create work and end the homelessness blight.

    One burning question that can be asked sits at the very heart of the housing crisis.

    As I have pointed out in this article, Finland has solved the homeless problem, by providing homes, which turned out to be less expensive and more effective than providing shelters and other services.

    If Finland can solve homelessness, what is our problem?

    Solving the homelessness blight, will also solve the housing crisis in Tasmania.

    Would that be OK?

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