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Byron Shire
March 2, 2021

Resilience and diversity needed, not perpetual growth

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Mandy Nolan will speak at the upcoming Resilience and Regeneration Roadshow. Photo supplied.

The Byron Shire Resilience and Regeneration Roadshow hosted by Renew Fest and Resilient Byron, is kicking off on February 13 with a series of neighbourhood events. 

The question asked is: How do we create more resilient communities in 2021? 

Mandy Nolan is one of the special guest speakers and this is her response to this question:

‘We have to stop our area turning into a wealth ghetto… where real estate becomes the primary generator of income and affluence. A local economy with a booming real estate market is at risk of losing its sense of community and connectedness’. 

‘In our local game of Monopoly, we buy a few houses on Mayfair, aka Pacific Vista, and we whack them on Airbnb. 

‘We speculate, we ruminate, we elevate. Capitalism is killing our sense of home. 

We have to reclaim housing without this idea of perpetual growth. 

‘We need fixed rents. Fixed values. That statement will terrify many, but remember, the word that generally comes after ‘boom’ is ‘bust’. 

‘We need to stop profiteering from our housing market.Houses should be homes. 

‘Homes are for people who live here. These are the people whose kids attend schools, who work in cafes, who clean hotels, who are nurses or teachers or artists or musicians or gardeners or writers. 

‘These are the people who build the fabric of a diverse and rich community culture. 

‘A community that only services the wealthy is as troublesome a ghetto as those created entirely in poverty. 

‘We need diverse communities. Why not whack in some community housing at Wategos? Disrupt the privilege. 

‘Access to housing is a basic human right. 

‘It is not a privilege. 

‘A community should provide housing for all sectors of the community regardless of their economic status.  

‘Just because you can buy a house for $20 million or pay your rent 6 months in advance, it doesn’t make you a more integral community member than someone in shared accommodation who struggles to find $300 pw for the garage they’re now living in. 

‘The ludicrously profitable and unsustainable real estate market is the one thing that stands in the way of us creating truly resilient communities. 

‘We need to innovate different modes of living together, we need to share our ‘wealth’, and create community hubs able to house every person in the village. 

‘In a truly resilient community no one sleeps in their car, on your couch or on the street. And where people sleep at night, (not who they sleep with) is everyone’s responsibility’.

For more info and to RSVP your free ticket, go to www.renewfest.org.au/roadshow.

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  1. Great intro, Mandy – you have just about said it all. Yes, there’s a big difference to ‘a home’ as opposed to
    ‘a real estate venture’. I like “cabins” & barns; affordable stuff plus a community that cares for others.
    Let’s swing it all around.

  2. Thanks Mandy,could not agree more…there would be a fairly simple solution to the housing problem…create plenty of little villages on rural land,allowing let’s say upto a dozen residences in close proximity,not spread out,with just a single driveway,this would drive down the prices dramatically and greatly improve the social aspects and usually make the farming much more productive! This is just one suggestion,which of course would have violent opposition from the Real Estate,but we need to do something,otherwise we become a sad ,completely by money thinking dominated shire and society! In the long run I believe this isn’t even in the interest of the wealthy people!
    I believe we should completely ban investment property,no one should be allowed more than one house to live in or tax them highly and use the money for social housing! Oh I must be dreaming,everyone else seems to be obsessed with Real Estate money,despite all…have a fabulous day!


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