Sydney and the CIS l Week 2

Herman Toh

Every workday, the team here at the Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) has a news update at ten am. The team gathers for a short meeting where we lightly touch on any major news headlines and the staff will often offer interesting feedback and updates for any planned events.

With a change of leadership in the NSW state government just this Monday, Gladys Berejiklian, the new Premier has singled out housing affordability as her top priority. She was quoted in the Australian Financial Review as saying that she would improve housing affordability by boosting housing supply. In my personal view, this would be one of the pertinent choices available to her instead of restricting demand by say, for example, increasing stamp duty on housing transactions.

With the hot issue of housing affordability being debated in the various news media outlets, I feel that it would be interesting to see what the free market response would be. I would often consult Michael Potter, the Research Fellow for the Economics Program, and we would look at the various drivers of housing affordability. We would also discuss various possible solutions. Most of my time is spent on compiling data in Excel and seeing what conclusions may be drawn.

I respect the researchers at the CIS for having open minds and their willingness to pursue a research lead. The additional information may lead to a different outcome than what was originally expected.

I wrote a response to a news article for IDEAS@THECENTRE, an online CIS publication. Karla Pincott, the Communications Director, has been kind enough to help me polish the article and to point out any inconsistencies.

During the previous weekend, I rode a bus down to Bondi beach and did the Bondi to Coogee walk. I enjoyed having a walk around the Icebergs Club for a couple of pictures. It was so cool to see a swimming pool set next to the pounding surf and to see so many people enjoying themselves. The weather was great and conducive for wandering around on foot.  I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to get access to Bondi beach by public transport. The Bus services operate fairly regularly even on the weekends.

I was also able to visit the Sydney Opera House and take in the fantastic views from the Opera House as well as from the surrounding area. The highlight of the evening was to relax in the Opera bar and people watch.

I have been given time off this Friday after Australia Day and will be looking forward to exploring more of the state has to offer. Till next time.