Download Australian Heartlands: Making space for hope in the suburbs by Brendan Gleeson PDF

By Brendan Gleeson

ISBN-10: 1741147212

ISBN-13: 9781741147216

The inaugural winner of The Iremonger Award for Writing on Public concerns, this can be a provocative exploration of urbanised Australia and a passionate plea for the suburbs to accept their rightful position in Australia's public recognition.

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Additional info for Australian Heartlands: Making space for hope in the suburbs

Sample text

We seem less sure—reform, recently remembered, too often means painful dislocation and more uncertainty, a far and agonised cry from the happier image of ‘flexible adjustment’ conjured by the prophets. Other warning signs resonate in the social atmosphere. Where once Australians were attracted to new suburbia by the allure of space, amenity and peace—propelled only by the need to find Australian Heartlands-PAGES 6/3/06 2:03 PM Page 49 THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN UNSETTLEMENT 49 somewhere new to make a life—now something else seems to impel them through the gates of new suburban estates: the hooded figure of fear.

The election of a new Labor federal government in 1972 at the end of the Long Boom saw the first serious attempts by the Commonwealth to develop explicit urban policies. ) in the major cities. From Federation until the end of the Long Boom, Australian governments used a range of powers and initiatives to ensure the creation of cities that embodied the ideals of the Australian Settlement. The goals were simple: the expansion of collective welfare through orderly and inclusive suburbanisation and the protection of the most vulnerable through a modest public housing sector.

The problem is not simply one of policy neglect; though this is certainly a factor shaping social and economic outcomes in many of Australia’s ageing suburbs. Many policy interventions and funding shifts in recent years have exacerbated the inequalities that ordinarily arise from market interactions. This is hardly malign neglect. An invisible but purposeful hand has been pushing our cities along the path of segregation. The handiwork of this agent of division is evident in the Commonwealth’s reduced support for key dimensions of the public realm, including education, health services, childcare and labour market support.

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