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Published 01.03.2016 | Author : admin | Category : How Can I Make Money

Shooting the vast Australian outback had been my goal ever since I first arrived in Sydney. After a more than 6 hour flight from Sydney, from one corner of Australia to the other, I touched down into a landscape exactly as I had imagined. But the high wages mean sky-high rents in outback towns in the Pilbara region – something we quickly discovered when we drove into the Aboriginal “dry town” of Roebourne, where alcohol has been banned due to high rates of domestic violence. In outback towns which before the mining boom struggled to exist, we met workers from around the world — French, South Africans, Germans, Koreans, New Zealanders, and of course lots of Australians. Wages may be very good, gardeners earn AUD$30 an hour, cleaners $25 to $30 an hour and semi-skilled workers around $100,000 a year, but it’s not easy money and the living is definitely not easy. With little accommodation, groups of 10 to 15 people live in 3 bedroom houses for $2,000 a week rent.
High rents and a lack of accommodation means lots of mine workers operate on a fly-in, fly-out scheme with companies paying for monthly flights between the mines and Perth, the closest city at more than 1,500 kilometers south (932 miles).
Life in the mine camps can be “soul-destroying” said a woman who works on a gas plant and asked not to be identified.
We met her as she and a friend enjoyed “the staircase to the moon”, a spectacular natural phenomenon when the full moon reflects on the low tide in the Burrup Peninsula – just one of the natural rewards for enduring the harsh outback life.
After spending five days driving in the long, empty outback and talking to mine workers like Monish, I realized that the dream of a better life is an integral part of Australia’s mining boom – but it’s a dream that takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice. We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data.
It is sad to see this once lively and socially active town, being reduced to a place were people mainly work and sleep and social life is going down the drain.
Photographer based in Sydney, covering the very busy Australian news environment, plenty of sports and business. Much of Australia’s planning policies are based on the presumption that the bulk of the population commutes to the central core for employment. In February, Ross Elliott, author of The Pulse, wrote a a great primer questioning this notion. In March, Elliott published the second installment of his research, which looked at where these conglomerations of jobs are and the implications for urban policy.
Then in April, Elliott published the third installment of his research, which looked at the different income profiles of city centre and suburban workers in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. Yesterday, Elliott published the fourth installment of his research, which he has kindly allowed me to cross-post on MacroBusiness. Parts one to three of this series looked at the spatial distribution of work in our major metropolitan centres, and the income profiles of employment based on geography. The top 10 locations Australia-wide for public transport commutes to work are all CBD and inner city locations. The irony is that governments are under almost relentless pressure to spend more taxpayer dollars on improvements to public transport for the benefit of a higher income minority, and also to keep fares low (and hence maintain or even increase the level of subsidies). But given the way employment is distributed through our metropolitan areas, is it sensible to suggest that spending even more taxpayer money on public transport is capable of making much difference, without also dealing with the realities of where the jobs are? For example, proposals to increase public transport patronage by imposing congestion charging regimes to punish suburban car commuters are, based on the evidence, entirely doomed to fail. The reality of where jobs are located throughout our metropolitan economies, and the nature of those jobs, should be a starting point for discussions about how to more efficiently manage our transport networks.
This series began with the suggestion that public policy and urban planning has become preoccupied with where we live, and with types of housing choice and form.
The results showed some marked disparities based on geography, with the average CBD worker earning a quarter to a third more their average suburban counterpart. Don’t congestion charge regimes generally limit themselves to the CBD and immediate inner-city suburbs ? Every time I take the train from far distant suburbs, there are always a bunch of free riders, but they wisely disappear before coming closer to the CBD.
CBD-centric urban planning and transport planning is one of the biggest rent-seeking rackets in economic history.
The share of the $100,000 per worker that CBD property owners are NOT paying, is mostly dead weight loss to the economy, and some small portion is wealth transfer.
What I gain from this as a telecommunications network planner is that we need to better identify the key pockets of workers and allocate more resources there to encourage decentralisation. Given this data and government support, network planners of all kinds, be they rail, road, electrical, or communications would be able to proactively allocation of resources to these areas rather than reactively scrambling to augment existing networks. I’m sure some of this data shows up clearly in our customer databases, but there is no clear direction or leadership. Can we realistically develop a rail network that can deliver a worker from their home 25km out from the GPO, to a workplace 15km out but say 90* offset in a reasonable 30 minute timeframe? Or are we stuck with a defacto ‘they built it so we augmented the hell out our existing networks to make it work’ model of growth? One of the most horrendously ignored points in this whole analysis, is that the smallest most efficient cars are already more efficient than all mass public transport systems per rider kilometer, with the rare exceptions of the world’s most intensively patronised systems.
I can see your point on the land-rents, but I suspect it is more nuanced than black and white. Melbourne for example has grown the way it has, like most cities due to its proximity to fresh water a sea-port.
Whether current CBD occupants are being subsidised, I have to wonder how much of the subsidy is simply historical and therefore of no cost today. I have to wonder how much of it is due to its proximity to the ports, how much of the overall business, land, and other taxes are made or originated within the city and ports compared to elsewhere, and the cost differences. There’s always more to consider even if I do advocate a more distributed arrangement. It will be interesting to see what happens in Fisherman’s bend over the next decade or two.
What it would probably require is a very expensive subway loop connecting it roughly via the westgate freeway, under St Kilda road, the park and the river, emerging roughly to Batman avenue. Given the expense, it would probably be ideal to hook up much of St Kilda and South Melbourne (again) too.


Freedom to convert rural land to urban use, and investing in transport systems that maximise the coverage of land area achievable by the participants in the urban economy, disperses economic land rent and dilutes the amount of it present at any one location. And you can bet that the entire finance sector will be opposing any reforms that will hurt the loan security that depends on the price of land per square foot. Another interesting piece of evidence that powerful vested interests fingerprints are all over this, is that in California in the early 1970?s, as “land conservation” activism got going, certain Rockefellers were in it up to their eyeballs.
Hugh Pavletich claims to be the only property developer in the world who has quit the business and gone lobbying in disgust at what is going on, and I believe him. Some of the costs outlined above are either not incurred directly by the state or are debatable (i.e road trauma). I think some might be forgetting that every litre of fuel put into a car’s tank generates 40c in tax. MOTORISTS are being milked to help the Government get its Budget to surplus, according to an analysis of petrol excise revenue. Drivers taxed almost 40 cents on a litre of fuel will get less than nine cents back in the form of spending on roads next financial year, according to calculations by the national motorists’ umbrella group. The Australian Automobile Association has told the Government it is concerned that funding for road building and improvements will be cut by 38 per cent, or more than $2.6 billion in the coming Budget year. This was based on calculations using the Government’s own forward spending projections. I am drawing my conclusions re the actual under-performance of public transport on energy and emissions, from a number of sources.
I am also bearing in mind the rule of thumb that comparative dollar costs in complex systems are a prima facie measurement of resource use. Comparing the dollar cost per passenger mile on a commuter rail system with the dollar cost per mile over the life of a car is a fair prima facie approach in the absence of thorough life-cycle, whole-system studies. The average for the former is dragged down by the many grossly under-utilised commuter rail systems, and the latter is dragged down by all the large SUV’s, luxury cars and high performance cars. The land was littered with red iron ore rocks, clear blue skies stretched with an immensity you only feel at sea, and trains, huge trains, hauled iron ore from the mines to be loaded onto ships bound for China. But with more than AUD$400 billion in new resource projects on the drawing board, miners are struggling to find people who want to live and work in this harsh environment, despite offering wages in the six figures for truck drivers and construction workers – more than Australian doctors and lawyers earn.
After hours of driving, we found a bed in Roebourne in a dirty hotel room for $230 a night, with a can of insecticide in case of a midnight attack by some weird Aussie pest.
All of them came to the outback with different dreams, but the same objective: earn the money to make those dreams come true.
Thousands live in mine camps where shipping containers have been converted into rooms with tiny bathrooms.
With an international airport located within 2 hours drive at Port Hedland, some workers fly to the Indonesian resort island of Bali for the weekend.
Waking up in a mine camp means your workplace is at your doorstep — handy for the 10 to 12 hours shifts. He arrived in Karratha two years ago, with a diploma in building and mechanical drafting, and now gets paid $35 an hour in an aluminum welding factory, for a 40 to 45 hour week. His words echo that of Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan who said in his May 10 budget speech: “We believe in the Australian promise that if you work hard you won’t be left behind”. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. As such there is the desire by planners to limit urban sprawl, which is believed to reduce overall commuting times, resource use and pollution, and the need for costly infrastructure improvements, such as new rail lines.
In association with Urban Economics, Elliott undertook a detailed examination of ABS Census data to determine where jobs in Australia are located. Elliott uncovered that there are big agglomerations of employment, spread over larger areas than the density found in the inner city. The findings, simply put, are that between 8 and 9 out of ten of all metropolitan region jobs are in suburban locations (not CBDs). I am again indebted to Urban Economics for their research assistance in pulling these figures together.
Topping the list is the Sydney CBD, Haymarket and the Rocks, with 67.7% of workers there using public transport. While the proportions making use of public transport to work in these areas is high, the same areas represent only a minority of 10% to 15% of metropolitan wide jobs.
Suburban employment centres, where the vast majority of jobs are located, are reliant on private vehicle. The illustration below (taken from a site called ‘Charting Transport’ which is full of useful analysis – this particular illustration is from this article) shows clearly that public transport is typically a mode of choice for CBD and inner city workers and almost of no use to workers in middle or outer suburbs. The parts in red or orange are where the majority of workers are, the parts in green where a minority of higher paid workers are. The level of policy support for taxpayer funded improvements to metropolitan road networks hasn’t been as generous, with extensions and improvements to metropolitan road systems largely approved on the basis of PPPs where investors believe they can mount a business case (with mixed results).  This is despite the reality that the majority of employment is in suburban locations and that arguably private transport users already pay more in taxes than the road network receives in spending. This is simply the reality of how people across our metropolitan areas commute to work, and the costs – taxpayer and private funded – involved in making this happen. This will tell us more about the realities of how much of the work related commute can be provided for by public versus private transport. Only a minority of the metropolitan workforce can realistically make use of public transport (mainly those with jobs in CBDs or inner city areas). Unleashing further economic potential in our cities won’t be achieved if the policy discussion is removed from the realities of workplace geography. I’m fully onboard with encouraging decentralised employment centres, or, even better, normalising remote workers.
Here the train transport revenue comes mostly from middle class professionals, who pay their tickets. I have nothing against ring-roads or public transport corridors that traverse the city rather than go into the core. I agree with the policy wholeheartedly, but some people are expecting an huge renaissance in working from home due to the high speed of the connection.
Are there plans for secondary and tertiary business zones of signifcant density within our metropolitan areas?


Can we develop communications, transport and power networks that actually cause secondary CBDs to coalesce? Paul Mees has long been advocating a grid network of bus routes with transfers at the 90* points, that hopefully would come not too far short of car trip times. I can say from a networking point of view, the CBDs are the cheapest to supply (due to patronage) and therefore their cost-parity is subsidising the less dense areas.
I suspect it has the potential to become a new CBD, but that without a new cohesive train service (to replace the two that were decommissioned and turned into trams), the area will struggle with transport issues and end up a struggling backwater like the Docklands. This is why sections in those non-growth-constrained cities in the USA, do literally sell for the value of rural land, plus cost of development, plus an honest profit. Look at the states budgets who do the most of the road spending particuarily NSW and Victoria. This is unfair both to the most efficient commuter rail systems (such as NYC’s subway system) AND the most efficient cars. Some even fly to Ireland to spend a fortnight with their loved ones after 12 weeks of non-stop work.
Monish will soon fly home to meet his wife, after his parents helped select some candidates, and will bring his new wife to Karratha where they will start a family. Similarly, there has been a growing desire by planners to increase the proportion of housing located along transit nodes, such as train stations, again based on the assumption that most citizens commute to the central core for work. And contrary to popular belief, they uncovered that the lion’s share of jobs in Australia’s capital cities – at least four out of every five (if not more) – were located in the suburbs. The results suggested that further housing growth is needed on the outskirts of our cities to provide additional housing choice for people working in these areas, and in order to reduce average commuting times.
Given that suburban workers outnumber inner workers by 7 or 8 to one, Elliott questioned whether calls to dramatically increase funding to the heavily subsidised public transport networks that are mainly designed to get inner city workers to and from their higher paying jobs were equitable to the overwhelming majority of lower paid workers that work and live in the suburbs. This tends to be widely dispersed at densities up to around 500 jobs per square kilometre, rising to over 2,000 and 3,000 per square kilometre and more in some areas. There aren’t too many questions this company can’t answer, so if these articles raise any particular questions in your mind, please contact Kerriane Bonwick on [email protected] or phone them on (07) 3839 1400. No one, me included, is seriously proposing a divestment in public transport systems in favour of private. We need to understand the economic and geographic realities better, and hope that the media, the community at large and transport policy groups base their arguments closer to the existing and future patterns of employment distribution.
For the majority of commuters with suburban employment, public transport isn’t an option (and making it one would be even more prohibitive that the costs of the present system).
But where we work, and the nature of those jobs and the demands they make of our urban infrastructure arguably have a larger bearing on urban economic efficiency than housing.
While urban planners are aware of the problem, the pace of change is very slow, and we should get there in about 100 years. Perhaps this is good for many human endeavours, but it’s terrible for natural monopoly infrastructure networks. Car taxes and motor fines (which mostly are revenue raising anyway) generate a good contribution to state revenue to the point where the revenue is now relied upon. While the suburbs represent the overwhelming majority of jobs, they also tend to be lower paid than the jobs found in CBDs and inner city areas which can earn on average between 50% and 100% more than suburban jobs. In short, the highest rates of public transport use are found amongst the minority of workers who earn the most money.
These are typically locations where public transport options are limited: it’s simply too expensive to contemplate servicing lower density suburban employment this way.
Private transport receives no such subsidy and, as motoring bodies point out, it raises more money through registration fees and fuel taxes than is spent on it.
Penalising suburban car commuters thus imposes tax penalties on those least able to afford it for no policy gain.
I hope these articles have made a few observations about the demography of employment that will promote further thought and discussion – based on realities rather than myth or presumption.
How do you have a workable suburban public transit system with just a few hundred jobs per sqKm or less? If I was a cynical bastard I might suggest that Ross’s consulting clients would all greatly benefits from suburban road improvements in those outer suburbs where they own a lot of developable land. How much of this subsidy is due to the age and endurance of what has been there for a very long time?
They definitely do more than just roads; in fact state governments still shoulder most of the responsibilities in delivering services.
Service clubs such as Rotary, Lions etc can’t get new members because of the 12 hour shifts people have to work.
So while the CBDs and inner cities are minority employers, they are employment locations of relative financial privilege, concentrated in small geographic areas.
Workers with jobs in these locations are not choosing the private car, they are relying on it. Private transport –namely the car – is the only practical mode of choice for the majority of workers in suburban economies, where they tend to earn less. Public transport users with high paying jobs in inner cities are often the first to complain about incremental increases in fare costs. Then there are the proponents of ‘free’ public transport, who might need to explain how providing this service to the highest paid workers in our economy, at the expense of the lowest, stands the test of social equity. The reality is that suburban workers on lower incomes with limited access to public transport as an option are subsidising the public transport systems used by inner city workers on higher incomes. Private car users with lower paying jobs in suburban locations where public transport is simply not an option, are asked to shoulder rising fuel prices, fuel taxes, registration fees – and even, lately, parking costs in some suburban shopping centres – without much public policy sympathy. Plus, public transport has an important social function by providing low cost transport for work and non-work trips for financially disadvantaged members of society who don’t have access to a private care, elements of our aged population, and for students.
They will typically be a branch-office of a smaller head office with daily-weekly management level teleconferences, and monthly face-to-face meetings.



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