December 25, 2016

The Essence Of The Christmas Story

A report from SBS Comedy in Australia. “The New South Wales Government has announced that it is supporting Australians celebrating Christmas by turning the entire city into an enormous nativity scene by making it virtually impossible for any young couple to secure housing or accommodation. ‘This is the most audacious cultural program the city of Sydney has ever embarked upon,’ said Premier Mike Baird. ‘Australians love Christmas, and we’re recreating the conditions of Jesus Christ’s birth by making sure young couples are forced to stay in barns and stables. This, to me, is the essence of the Christmas story.’”

“‘It’s a fully interactive nativity experience for a modern city, and all we had to do to achieve it was make the meagre housing that does exist unfathomably expensive. Merry Christmas, Sydney,’ said Baird.”

The Daily Telegraph. “Residents of rural NSW are offering their spare homes for rent at $1 per week in a desperate bid to attract more families with school-going children into their communities. The reduced rent is almost 500 times cheaper than Sydney’s median rent of $520 per week and works out to about 15 cents a day. The catch is that most of the properties require some work and are often in isolated locations.”

“Properties currently available include a five-bedroom house on the outskirts of Cumnock, a town 60km west of Orange with roughly 275 people. The house needs a lick of paint and the main door requires mending. The home gets water from a large tank. A two-bedroom farmhouse located between Cumnock and Parkes, a bigger regional centre in the area, is also available for $1 a week rent. The house is located up 8km of dirt road and requires painting. The laundry, bathroom and garage require repair and the listing specifies that the tenant ‘needs to be a handy person with reno experience.’”

“Cumnock resident Christine Weston of, where many of the listings appear, said the cheap rents were part of an initiative to save the local schools. Many rural schools were in danger of closing or losing teaching staff on account of falling student numbers, she said. ‘We’re looking for big families with children to move in and fill up the schools. The bigger the family, the better,’ Ms Weston said.”

“The current stock of $1 rentals has attracted interest from as far as Scotland, she added. ‘The big cities simply don’t have affordable housing available,’ Ms Weston said. ‘Large families, especially those in Sydney, are struggling to pay rents each week, so moving out here is an appealing option. It’s not just cheaper, there’s more space and it’s a change of lifestyle.’”