From the archives – 6 March 2014
New Discovery 31 March 2015 – “The Heritage BANANA”
A particular introduced tropical fruit is one of the most important reasons house prices in Australia have gone mad….
Australia is very fertile ground for a range of different BANANA (build absolutely nothing anywhere near anyone) varieties and over the last few years they have been running wild.
Here are a few of the most active strains.
The Green BANANA doesn’t want anything to be built because they don’t really like humans much – so anything that stops the expansion of the human foot print is tops. They or their parents are usually well off, have good jobs and are well bred so the impact on low income earners of land use restrictions that drive up prices doesn’t bother them much. What is important is that all new houses compost regularly.
The Red BANANA doesn’t think much of private property and thus the idea of private property owners spreading across the plains doesn’t do much for them. Instead they think all private property is theft (even if it is taxed) and the state should be the landlord of the ‘poor people’. Red Bananas are often found in bunches with Green Bananas in low numbered post codes and spend their time calling for more public housing and making snide comments about low income earners who are not interested in ‘culture’ or ‘cafes’ and wish to live in a detached house out in the ‘burbs’.
Straight bananas love a planned existence, like to hang in well ordered bunches and think everyone else should as well. They believe that if life is well planned and structured using a vast array of zones and restrictions the world would be a much better place. A Straight Bananas idea of the perfect death is to be hit by a light bulb falling from the sky. Straight Bananas often disguise their straight inclinations by adopting the arguments of Red and Green Bananas (composting and other green needs and social housing make work for the Straight Bananas). Straight Bananas simply love Canberra – but strangely rarely live there. In fact Straight Bananas seem to like living in places built organically by very non-straight people a long time ago before Straight Bananas infestations got out of control.
Heritage Bananas simply adore old things. This addition to the Banana family has become very prominent in recent decades. The Heritage Banana loves words like ‘fabric, character, quaint, authentic and the best of all ‘village feel’ (even if that village is a couple of km from the centre of a city of 4 million people). Had the Heritage Banana arisen earlier in time, our city centres would be full of wattle and daub huts and sheep runs manned by shepherds. The Heritage Banana cherishes anything that looks Ye Olde. With the rise of post modernism the Heritage Banana embraced the relativity of taste and thus every old thing (slab huts, corrugated iron sheds, Victorian chintz, Edwardian frills, Georgian blockhouses, Californian Bunga Bungalows, Federation tract homes, Red-Brick tech drawing, mock 70s colonial sandstock, Fibro – though Mr Fluffy seems to be a bridge too far, even farmland on the outskirts of the city feels the gentle caress of the Heritage Banana’s good intentions) has a place in eternity – with sufficient capital investment, ‘re-purposing’ and imaginative ways of squeezing modern appliances and creature comforts into mouldy nooks and crannies. If there is no practical use for a bit of preserved built environment ‘fabric’ you can be sure the recommendation will be that it be turned, at considerable expense, into a ‘Arts Hub’ as everyone knows artists thrive in uncomfortable impractical spaces. The Heritage Banana is not one for giving up the good life as it knows its investment will be rewarded if it succeeds in proving the truth of the very old real estate saying “They are not making any more of it”.
Golden Bananas know that a shortage makes what they have more valuable. The Golden Banana will claim there are plenty of houses and there is no need for more. Golden Bananas are a friendly mob and they will cuddle up to Red, Green, Heritage and especially Straight Bananas at the drop of a hat. Golden Bananas will announce the end of times is nigh (using arguments of Green, Red, Straight and Heritage Bananas) if there is any real prospect of improving supply.
The Gouger Banana is the worst of the lot. It has managed to take root in government Treasury departments over the last 30 years and its fruit is soooooo sweet that neither of the large parties can bear to rip it out and burn its root system. The Gouger Banana tastes sweet because it feeds on Household Debt and the more that housing supply restrictions drive up prices, and the more that Australian Banks rely on hot money from off shore Central Bank manipulations, the larger and sweeter is the crop of Gouger Banana fruit as they drain home buyer loan accounts with a range of charges, levies, gold plated services and approval requirements and drip fed rezonings. Pollies from across the spectrum can be found asleep in the sun, with bursting belts and shirt buttons as a result of too much enjoyment of the rich Gouger Banana flesh. They may spend their time complaining about the other Bananas or ignoring the Banana industry completely but you will never hear them talk about the seductive charms of the Gouger Banana and the damage that it causes to low income earners across the land.
Woody Bananas are a bit thick and generally listen with a slack jaw to all the other Bananas prattling on and simply nod their approval to everything they say or write up their statements as news.
The cure for infestations of exotic bananas is quite simple
1. Significantly reduce the restrictions on permitted uses of land for both developed and new land
2. Remove the demented First User Pays All approach to financing the servicing and development of new land and allow the cost of servicing new land to be paid by the users of the land over 20-30 years via higher rates.
Those two simple steps will keep Australia clear of exotic bananas.
But if BANANA control measures prove too difficult – sticky sap gets on everything when you try to prune them and wasp nests love BANANA groves – there is another approach. Limit the growth of the population, as without a rapidly growing population it is quite feasible to Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone.