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    A Big Dialogue: Housing - What Do We Want To Achieve?

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    Event description

    The Brisbane Dialogues continues its mission to facilitate productive, across-the-aisle discussions,Β in pursuit of common ground and possible solutions - or at the very least, better understanding of conflicting views.

    Let usΒ demonstrate once again that big, contentious issues can be discussed frankly, fearlessly and civilly, in a non-partisan way, inΒ public, by people of goodwill, in good faith, in pursuit of truth, progress and better policy.

    There is widespreadΒ concern across society andΒ the political spectrumΒ in Australia that the postwar system, which produced a comparatively highΒ level of home ownership and overall housing amenity, with positive social and politicalΒ impacts,Β is in need of major revision orΒ overhaul.

    Negative supply factors have been building for a long time and push is coming to shove with the mounting demands of a diverse,Β growing population after an abnormally low interest rate period. Affordability has declined and shortages have increased,Β inΒ both home purchase and rental markets, particularly but not only for young people.

    There is also a growing imbalance between those with substantial equity in housing and those without. High valuesΒ suit homeowners (aroundΒ two-thirds of households), but not aspiring ones. High rents suit residential investors (say 20% of taxpayers) but not renters (leaving aside an increasing number who are renting where they want to live and investing where they can). Behind these stats there is clearlyΒ a crisis for many people under mortage or rental stress, most obviously for the homeless.

    So there is clearly a large and growing problem, but what is the solution?Β 

    Often disagreements are about means, not ends. Where there are disagreements about particular objectives, there can be agreement about underlying values and broadΒ goals. If we start by exploring these, it might lead to more agreement on means. This seems worth a shot when it comes to discussions on housing policy, Hence the topic: Housing - What Do We Want To Achieve?:

    Some questionsΒ that might arise in the discussion:
    β€’ Can we agree on any meaningful overarching goals for housing policy?
    β€’ What targets, if any, should we set for home ownership?
    β€’ Ditto for affordability? (ratio ofΒ income to house prices and rents)
    β€’ Should a zeroΒ rate ofΒ homelessness be an absolute objective?


    As before, we will have a good mix of panellists with differing perspectives and expertise, moderated inΒ an in-depth, long-form, enlighteningΒ discussion in a congenialΒ setting with light food and drinks available, conducive to an extended event.

    The Brisbane DialoguesΒ is for curious, concernedΒ citizens who are willing to listen respectfully to views they don't agree withΒ in order toΒ understand complexities better and are open toΒ refining or even changing their own position. It isΒ not for thoseΒ who have made their minds up, who want to promote a fixed position, or just want to cheer on speakers they agree with. It is definitely not for anyone wanting to denigrate speakers or fellow citizens they don't agree with.

    Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress. Joseph Joubert

    As always, the dialogue will be conducted under The Brisbane Rule, which includes the audience as well as the speakers on stage!
    All participants agree to listen carefully, speak civilly and concentrate on the content of discussions, not on characters - before, during and afterwards, online and offline.


    Peter Shergold AC FRSN - Former Secretary, Dept of Prime Minister Cabinet and Chancellor of University of Western Sydney


    Cameron Murray - Chief Economist, Fresh Economic Thinking; author of new book "The Great Housing Hijack"

    Claire O'Rourke headshot

    Claire O'Rourke - Owner/Director, Cohere Projects; active industry body representative

    Jackson Hills -Β Manager Policy & Strategic Engagement, Q Shelter;Β social and affordable housing advocate, director and adviser

    Natalie Rayment - Co-Chair & Executive Director, Wolter Consulting Group; Co-Founder, YIMBY QLD


    Kathy Mac DermottΒ - Independent consultant on communication, strategy, diversity and inclusion, working with property, infrastructure, mining, and transport organisations.


    Escape the small screen for a proper, real, live, physical, in-person, civil multi-speaker event on the big stage. Buy a ticket, bring a friend or get a table together and join in the discussion, before, during and after!

    • Links to reading materials will be distributed in the lead-up
    • Guests will be able to submit questions for the speakers by email before the event and by SMS during the dialogueΒ 
    • The Princess in cabaret table/relaxed theatre modeΒ with side bars,Β is congenial for social discussion before and afterwardsΒ 
    • Come early, on your own or with friends, family and colleagues; stay late and carry on the discussion
    • Some will have the opportunity to ask questions from the floorΒ 
    • Speakers will be invited to join Premium ticket holders in a private barΒ after the stage discussion
    • ReviewΒ the discussion from theΒ high quality video recording included in the ticket (no live stream)
    • Really want toΒ get involved?Β Volunteers always needed!

    Tickets are priced from $10-150 to make the event widely accessible, with discounts for tables and groups,Β made possible by:

    • the generous provision of The Princess Theatre
    • financial sponsors,Β Andrew N. Liveris Academy for Innovation and Leadership (others welcome - see below)
    • the donation ofΒ time and expertise of all the speakers and volunteers
    • premiumΒ ticket sales and donations

    Hard costs of over $40 per person need to be covered and we rely on a small surplus to cover our modest overheads between events and new initiatives,Β so please consider buying a Premium ticket or making a donation to keep events accessible andΒ The Brisbane Dialogues independent, expanding and sustainable.

    Donations will be applied to Dialogues @ School, our schools program andΒ our new initiative, Australian Dialogues, which is a diverse, growingΒ network of organisations which support our "across-the-aisle"Β mission and are interested in collaborating in public dialogues around the country.

    Complimentary tickets are available for those whoΒ post a short (20-60 seconds) selfie video to social mediaΒ on why they are interested in this topic, event or The Brisbane Dialogues generally, and email the link/s to info@brisbanedialogues.org.

    See the ticketing pageΒ next for details of table and group discounts.Β If you want to make a group booking in other than multiples of 4 tickets, just email us with your requirements.


    Date: Mon 20 May 2024
    Venue: The Princess Theatre, 8 Annerley Rd, Woolloongabba 4102
    Doors open: 6:00pm til late
    Dialogue: 7:00pm til approx 8.45pm

    The dialogue will start at 7pm sharp, so please arrive no later than 6.45pm and preferably earlier to have a bite and a drink and mix with otherΒ guests.

    The bar will be open from 6:00pm. Light meals and drinks may be ordered at the bar.

    After the dialogue on stage, the speakers will be invited to join Premium ticket holders in a private barΒ for relaxed follow-on discussion.

    All guests will be able to socialise at other bars or tables and carry on the discussion for a time after the dialogue, at the discretion of venue management.

    This is a family-friendly event and teenage attendance isΒ encouraged.

    Photo ID may beΒ required - tickets are not transferrable unless arranged prior.

    Transport, $8 parking and other venue-related information here.

    With special thanks to our generous venue sponsors, The Tivoli andΒ Princess Theatres. Please consider booking your next event at one ofΒ these Brisbane treasures. We are also very grateful for the repeat support from the Andrew N. Liveris Academy for Innovation and Leadership. Other sponsors are welcome - see options in the Ticketing section, or email us.

    Updated TBD - Sponsors Logo - 2024

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    Refund policy

    If you cannot make the event, contact us so we can make your seat available for others on a best efforts basis. Most buyers are happy to donate the cost of their ticket to the cause.