Have we reached an impasse? l Week 5

Herman Toh

This weekend I rented a motorbike and rode on Old Pacific Highway through what was the scenic route to the Mount Kuring-gai National Park. I rode through a road carved through the mountains and over the Hawkesbury river.

On the way back, I rode on the Hawkesbury River Railway Bridge and marveled at its construction. I ended up at the West Head lookout where I could just make out the Barrenjoey Lighthouse. It felt really great that people from all over the globe came to enjoy the view. The overall ride experience was phenomenal.

Back in the office, there has been an expansion in the research parameters that I have been working on for Michael Potter, the Research Fellow for the Economics Program.

As he will be examining the effects of rental stress on both the private and public market in Australia, I have been familiarising myself with the effects and compiling the data that is available through Excel. I am excited to have contributed to research showing how housing affordability affects society.

I attended Q and A at the ABC studios and it was interesting to see how the various speakers interacted with each other and the audience. The panelists were Luca Belgiorno-Nettis, the Founder of The new Democracy Foundation, James Paterson, Victorian Liberal Senator, Yassmin Abdel-Magied, mechanical engineer and founder of Youth Without Borders, Tony Jones, the Host of Q and A, Jacqui Lambie, Tasmanian Independent Senator and Kate Ellis, Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education.

Max Hawke-Weaver, Event Manager at the Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) and his partner, Gabriella also attended Q and A with me and we were put through the paces by the various program staff. We were then prepped for question time and had the process explained to us but were made aware that it may not have been possible to answer all the questions submitted.

The first two questions were topical as they touched on the recent blackouts in South Australia. We then moved on to other topics. The tension was palpable, and like matches to powder kegs, the reactions to questions were explosive as positions were defended.

Max and I reflected that it was hard to reach an agreement between any panelists and if this was played out worldwide in the political arenas of the world that we would be in for a bumpy ride if no one agreed. Society only works if enough of a consensus reached. Otherwise, we could descend into chaos.

Onward to the last week that I will be with the CIS. Time flies by when you are having fun.