6月10日，Herald-Sun报社的Susie O’Brien女士撰文 “It’s not racist to point out these home truths”（说出房地产真实情况不是种族主义）。
读到Susie O’Brien’s最近期的一篇（指出这些房屋的事实并不是种族歧视，6月11日) 专栏使人非常失望。
It was disappointing to read Susie O’Brien’s most recent column (“It’s not racist to point out these home truths”, 11 June).
We should, by all means, have open discussion about social issues. But such discussion should be based on facts not anecdotal evidence. And it shouldn’t be based on outdated assumptions about who is an Australian.
For example, Ms O’Brien asserts that “at some Melbourne and Sydney schools, Australian-born children are outnumbered 10 to one by newly arrived Chinese students”. Is there hard evidence to support this?
And who exactly is being counted as Australian-born? Does this include Australian-born children who have Chinese parents? Is the suggestion that foreign-born citizens and their children don’t really count as Australians?
Our public debate doesn’t benefit from hysteria and the perpetuation of stereotypes. It is concerning to see the fanning of fears about foreigners “taking control” of our suburbs.
We are a multicultural society, where almost half the population is either first- or second-generation Australian. Inflammatory commentary does nothing to serve our national interest in cohesion and harmony.
Dr Tim Soutphommasane
Race Discrimination Commissioner
11 June 2015
Susie O’Brien女士撰文 “It’s not racist to point out these home truths”（说出房地产真实情况不是种族歧视）
(唐人街特别翻译) 宣称那些钱包满满得中国人把澳洲房产市场价格搞得难以接受。O’Brien 声称那些声称澳洲房产市场价格飙升和中国购买者一点关系都没有的人从来都没注意那些最受影响的郊区。
在悉尼和墨尔本的学校里，每十个澳洲出生的孩子里就有一个来自中国留学生。有的课堂里甚至只有屈指可数的不讲中国的学生。 玲琅满目的商店标牌上写着英文和中文， 在传达着许多新移民不会讲我们的英语。
一个新的外国投资回顾报导显示，中国购买者在澳洲房产市场共花费了124亿澳元在2013至2014季度，是前一年的两倍。这使得中国轻而易举得成为我们澳洲最大的海外投资方。只有70亿花费到了居民住房，比前年增长了20亿。但有一个事实不得不承认的是，海外投资刺激了澳洲房地产市场，并不是取代它。最大的需求来自学区房，在墨尔本比如 Balwyn, Balwyn North, Glen Waverley, Mt Waverley 和 Glen Iris, 但是也有后来居上者，比如 Doncaster, Box Hill 和 Lower Plenty。 在悉尼，最受欢迎的则是城内海港区，比如 Rose Bay, Vaucluse和Bellevue Hill。但Castlecrag, Turramurra, Cammeray和Wahroonga也同样很受中国消费者青睐。
It’s not racist to point out these home truths
- SUSIE O’BRIEN
- HERALD SUN
- JUNE 10, 2015 9:00PM
Cashed-up Chinese nationals are making local housing unaffordable, says Susie O’Brien.
ANYONE who says there’s no problem with cashed-up Chinese nationals buying up our houses has never spent any time in the most affected suburbs.
At some Melbourne and Sydney schools, Australian-born children are outnumbered 10 to one by newly arrived Chinese students. Sometimes there are only a handful of other non-Chinese-speaking kids in each class.
Signs in local shops are in both Chinese and English, suggesting that many new residents can’t speak our language.
BLOG WITH SUSIE O’BRIEN
In some areas, house after house is being torn down and replaced by Chinese-style French Provincial mansions. Often 350sq m of no-expense-spared luxury house is squeezed on to a 650sq m block as an edifice to overseas wealth and power.
To point that out is not racist scaremongering. It’s a reality that is making housing unaffordable and unattainable to a growing number of local families.
These days most real estate agents have Chinese agents and offices in China. Often the action happens off-market — foreign agents work directly with foreign buyers and some of the best properties aren’t even advertised.
Auctions, if they happen at all, are packed with foreign buyers with cheque books, blasting locals out of the water.
A new Foreign Investment Review Board report shows Chinese buyers spent $12.4 billion on Australian property in 2013-14 — twice as high as the previous year. That makes China easily the biggest source of overseas investment in our country.
Just over $7 billion was spent on established homes — up $2 billion on the previous year. That is despite the fact that foreign investment is supposed to boost housing stock, not replace it.
The biggest demand is for land near good schools. In Melbourne that includes Balwyn, Balwyn North, Glen Waverley, Mt Waverley and Glen Iris, but there’s a flow-on to surrounding areas such as Doncaster, Box Hill and Lower Plenty. In Sydney the biggest demand is for inner-city harbour suburbs such as Rose Bay, Vaucluse and Bellevue Hill. But there’s also a lot of interest in Castlecrag, Turramurra, Cammeray and Wahroonga.
It’s no wonder the two cities account for half of Australia’s foreign-owned housing. The market is so hot that it’s not unheard of for blocks to increase in price by $1 million in only a few months. A period home on a 750sq m block that used to go for about $1 million is now selling for about $2.5 million. It’s knocked down and a new house is built, which may sell off-market for about $8 million.
Attracted by the sky-high prices, locals are selling up, only to find they can’t afford to buy anything comparable nearby. They give up any hope of their own kids living in the same area. Prices spiral in surrounding suburbs, as the bubble spreads outwards.
It’s time for the Government to get serious in its crackdown on foreigners buying Australian domestic real estate. At this stage it seems even proposed changes to foreign ownership laws will do little to improve the chances of Australian-born people buying houses in our own suburbs on a level playing field with foreigners.
The facts speak for themselves. In more than a decade the FIRB issued only 17 orders for foreign investors to divest properties that were illegally acquired since 2003. During that time offshore investors bought almost 30,000 existing homes worth $23 billion.
The Government has since beefed things up and has nearly 200 potentially illegal buyers in its sights. The Government’s new plan is to make foreign investors pay fees and stamp duty, and pay fines for transgressing.
Third parties who assist foreign investors to make illegal purchases — like real estate agents, lawyers and accountants — will, for the first time, face hefty fines.
THAT is a good start, but won’t help much. We know the rules are being broken: buyers are using their children who are studying here to buy houses, they’re using complex trusts constructed by lawyers and they’re simply failing to declare their foreigner status.
In any case, the problem is not the enforcement, it’s the rules themselves. One of the biggest loopholes is allowing non-residents to buy existing houses for development purposes. They’re supposed to demolish houses only if they’re going to increase the number of dwellings, or if the house is uninhabitable. But no one is paying any attention after the deal goes through and in many cases modest existing homes are razed and replaced with mansions that are beyond ordinary Aussies.
This is not about a multicultural nation making room for migrants. This is about the wealthy citizens of one country using the suburbs of our country to park their profits and change the face of our cities forever.
Ask yourself this: why are we as a country allowing foreigners to take control of our suburbs like this? Why are we allowing them to price us out of the cities that we love?
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