Senator Derryn Hinch at Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday 1 December 2016 Photo: Andrew Meares Photo: Andrew MearesThere are two four-letter words you will never hear escaping from the lips of politicians.
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One is “rich” and the other is “poor”.

Tune into question time on any given day and all manner of euphemisms are used instead – “hard-working families”, “battlers”, “lifters and leaners” and “millionaires”.

Even the Prime Minister – a rich man by anyone’s standard – can’t describe himself as such.

“We’ve worked hard, we’ve paid our taxes, we’ve given back,” Mr Turnbull said shortly after becoming Prime Minister in 2015, in an attempt to deflect Labor’s accusation that a man of his means could not understand the lives of ordinary folk.

The budget is now four weeks away and the framing of who deserves help from the government and who should work harder for that help is well under way.

The big issue – housing affordability – is emerging as the new class divide.

No longer are people working class, middle class or upper class – they can either afford to be home owners or they cannot.

Judith Brett, emeritus professor of politics at Melbourne’s La Trobe University, says the housing debate is “bizarre”.

“If you talk about inequality, housing is now an enormous issue. It’s not just about having a job, it’s also about having parents who can afford to help [with a deposit]. That’s going back to a Jane Austen kind of time when access to capital was a major determinant of life choices. That wasn’t the case for me and my parents’ generations.”

Income is still important but so is a source of capital separate to someone’s salary.

Brett, whose book Menzies’ Forgotten People examined the post World War 2 Liberal Party’s cultivation of the middle class, scratches her head when she considers the modern day Liberal Party’s approach to housing.

Under Sir Robert Menzies it “was the party that did everything it could to promote home ownership,” Brett says.

“The Liberal Party now seems to be very confused. It seems to be protecting home ownership as a form of investment.”

Immediately after World War 2, levels of home ownership hovered at about 50 per cent in the cities; the working classes were life-long renters.

“Menzies worked very hard to turn that around through war service loans and banks having to put aside money for housing loans. That was central to what the Liberal Party stood for,” Brett explains.

As result, home ownership levels began to rise.

Contrast this to today, where budget speculation has been dominated by what measures – if any – the Turnbull government will introduce to make home ownership feel more like a realistic aspiration.

“Housing affordability is very damaging to the credibility of the Liberal Party in terms of its political position. Menzies was very keen not to be seen as a party of the wealthy and the current Liberal Party has a problem with that at the moment,” Brett says.

Owning a home in Sydney or Melbourne is quickly becoming the new class divide.

Debates in Parliament about whether or not an income of $180,000 makes someone rich seem nonsensical to someone trying to buy their first home at a time when median property values were a record $1.123 million in Sydney at the end of 2016 and $795,447 in Melbourne.

A politician’s advice that home buyers should get good jobs or get their parents to help them out seems particularly tone-deaf when the median prices of apartments and units has reached $711,256 in Sydney and $459,181 in Melbourne.

Earlier this week Justice Party senator Derryn Hinch said home ownership was no longer something young people should feel was their right.

“The problem here is that people – I get it’s unpopular to say this – but owning your own home is not an n right. It’s a dream and everybody wants to do it,” Senator Hinch said on Tuesday.

“I think [my parents] were in their 40s before they could afford to buy their first home. It’s not something you’re meant to get – the two-car garage [house] when you’re 22. I think… that this generation and the one before think that’s the way it has to be. Well, I’m afraid it’s not that way.”

Add to this stagnating wage growth and a widening gap between the top 10 per cent of income earners and the bottom 10 per cent and it is not difficult to see why the n National University’s 2016 election survey found ns’ satisfaction with democracy has collapsed to its lowest level since the Whitlam dismissal with more than half the people surveyed saying politicians were out of touch and only governing for a few big interests.

Earlier this week the n Bureau of Statistics revealed the typical n was a 38-year-old woman living with her husband and two children in a three-bedroom house with a mortgage.

But the typical politician, according to Buzzfeed, was a married 51-year-old father of two, who owned two homes and was called Andrew.

“Obviously this budget will be about housing affordability. Housing and class defines your position more than it ever did before,” Nicholas Biddle, deputy director of the n Centre for Applied Social Research Methods at the n National University, says.

Home ownership is now a “signal of middle classness” and something that seems further and further out of reach for people with incomes at the lower end of the scale.

Dr Biddle says it might feel as if people are able to climb up society’s rungs but their ability to do so has decreased in recent years.

“In there’s less mobility than there was in the 1950s and 1960s,” he says, pointing to post-war migration and the opening up of the higher education system as mechanisms that allowed people to rise through the ranks.

What academics call “associative mating” became more common.

“Previously you would have had a relatively low educated mother with a more highly educated father and everyone goes up,” Dr Biddle explains.

Now “people tend to marry people from within their group”.

Neighbourhoods are becoming more homogenous and education has become about “getting your children into the top school and the top university”.

All of this is “bad news for people at the bottom”, Dr Biddle says.

Someone with direct experience of this is Olga Srbovski.

???Srbovski has worked for The Smith Family for nearly 15 years in Canberra, Wollongong and regional NSW.

She sees first-hand the struggle faced by the people at the bottom and believes must confront the emergence of a new class – the working poor.

“There’s so much hidden poverty. People are working but they’re just scraping by,” Srbovski says.

Housing is a bigger and bigger issue each year. The waiting times for public housing are increasingly forcing people to seek affordable private housing.

The services she oversees – such as programs to help families with education costs – are becoming increasingly stretched.

“We’re beginning to see more and more families coming in and saying ‘we’re really struggling’. What we’re finding is that more and more classes are asking their kids to bring in their own tablet. If you have three kids and the class is asking you to come in with a tablet it’s incredibly expensive. It’s all of the added costs.”

Families are facing multiple types of disadvantage in addition to financial stress – housing pressures, family violence, disability, mental and other types of health issues.

Srbovski worries about the children in families struggling to overcome these issues.

“It stresses the kids watching their parents struggle,” she says.

“They don’t go to swimming lessons or play sport. It’s a real issue for our young kids. We’re seeing a lot of anxious kids. They become isolated, disengaged. That affects how they go through later life. If you’re not building relationships when you’re young then how hard is it to do it later in life?”

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IMPACT: Holding midfielder Jane McDonald, right, controls the tempo of the game for United.UnbeatenHeraldWomen’s Premier League leadersMerewether will face a stern test in Port Macquarie on Sunday when they take on Mid North Coast withoutexperienced trio Alison Logue, Jane McDonald and Rhali Dobson.
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Logue, United’s goalkeeper, misses the game through suspension after she was red-carded in Merewether’s come-from-behind 2-1 win over defending champions Warners Bay in round five.

McDonald holds the midfield for United and has the ability to control the tempo of the match. She misses the game as she is overseas with the Emerging Jets girls’ teams playing in the Dallas International Cup.

Strike weapon Dobson is also overseas.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve played without Jane and I think it will be a good test for our team,” Merewether coach Cass Koppen said.

“She is a solid midfielder and controls things for us, so if will be interesting to see if we can maintain our composure and discipline without Jane. I still think we have a quality enough side.”

Koppen remained wary of what she described as a tough road trip to Port Macquarie and acknowledged Mid North Coast had been a bit of a bogey side for United in recent seasons.

“Mid North Coast have always been a very athletic and very coachable side and they’ve always been one of our harder rivals,” she said.

“Then add in the experience of Sophie Jones, Shannon Day and Imogene Tomasone this year and we are definitely expecting a tough game.”

South Wallsend coach Gary Wilson expected former W-League player Stacey Day to have more impact when they travel to The Gardens for a local derby with Wallsend.

Day returned to the field in the Wolves’ 5-0 win over Thornton last weekend. She played the final 20 minutes of the match and the appearance was herfirst since having a second knee reconstruction last year.

Wilson said she would continue to be eased back into playing with the focus on having her firing by the end of the season rather than rushing her back too soon.

The match will be the first in four days for South Wallsend, who back up against Warners Bay on Wednesday night.

Adamstown travel to Thornton to take on The Redbacks in the other round-six match.

Adamstown coach Ben Herron said patience would be key to their success and was wary of the winless Redbacks, who defend well then can catch teams out with their pace in transition on the counter attack.

“I’m not entirely sure what to expect; they’ve had a big loss in round one then it sounds like they pushed Warners Bay fairly well, so they seem inconsistent,” Herron said.

“We travelled up there last year and they showed a fair bit of energy and were leading at half-time.

“Our focus will on being patient in what we do. We can’t go gung-ho and rush into everything, so I will be making sure they are all aware and understand that patience is probably going to win it on the weekend, and that we need to be making wise decisions rather than forcing it.”

Warners Bay have the bye.

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IT has taken fourweeks, but the Newcastle Knights have finally copped it on the chin –just as fullback Brendan Elliot did in their round-three loss to South Sydney.
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Elliot was crunched in a grade-two reckless high tackle on March 18, which earnedSouths centre Hymel Hunt a four-game suspension.

The incident was also costly for the Knights, who incurred a $100,000 breach notice for not removing Elliot from the field for a head-injury assessment. Newcastle lodged a submission, arguing they should not be fined, and the NRL reduced the sanction last week to a $50,000 penalty, with $50,000 suspended for 12 months.

The Knights indicated they would appeal against the fine but the club announced on Thursday it had abandoned any further legal action.

“As a club, we absolutely support the NRL in strengthening the rules and improving the management of head injuries suffered by players,” Knights chief executiveMatt Gidley said.

In a statement, the Knights said they “thoroughly investigated the matter and sought independent evaluation by a leading concussion specialist” and were “extremely disappointed in the process that the NRL has undertaken”.

“We adamantly support our medical staff and the integrity they demonstrate in the management of our players … we will write to the NRL and express our disappointment,” Gidley said.

Meanwhile, Knights forward Daniel Saifiti is confident his teammates can provide more resistance against the Roosters at McDonald Jones Stadium on Friday night than they did last season.

The Roosters overpowered Newcastle 38-0 in round nine last year –their third successive defeat in what would ultimately become a club-record 19-game losing streak.

“All I remember is that they were big,’’ Saifiti said.

“They were probably the first big team that I played last year, and probably the first game that I thought this is what the big league is like.

“Just big forwards andmobile. That’s the main thing I remember.’’

Saifiti said Newcastle have “come such a long way” in the past year and he was confident they could notch their second win of the season.

Knights skipper Trent Hodkinson said it was important for Newcastle to end a run of narrow losses.

“I don’t think we’re too far away,’’ he said. “The confidence is growing each week.”

* A man-of-the-match performance on his Super League debut by former Knight JakeMamowas not enough to prevent Huddersfield crashing to a 29-22 home defeat by Catalans Dragons. The 22-year-old, who arrived in England with a broken ankle, scored a try and produced a series of dashing runs.

FLASHBACK: Knights fullback Brendan Elliot stays down for treatment during the loss to South Sydney on March 18. Picture: Getty Images

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Luke Lazarus has had advantages in his life. And he likely had a sense of overdue entitlement at Soho, the Kings Cross nightclub that his father owned and where he worked as a promoter.
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But, continued defence barrister Phillip Boulten, SC, Mr Lazarus “is a young, decent fellow, never been in trouble before, studying, going about his life the way you expect a young fellow might”.

Mr Lazarus is accused of raping an 18-year-old woman, who was on her hands and knees, in a laneway behind his father’s club in the early hours of May 12, 2013.

In his closing address, Mr Boulten told the court that although Mr Lazarus may have been less inhibited after drinking alcohol throughout the evening, he did not force himself on the woman.

“This charge is an act of violence. It’s a despicable act of violence if it is what it is said to be and you would need to be very, very drunk to be so disinhibited as to go from someone who is not normally violent or sexually oppressive to be so in this instant,” Mr Boulten said.

“He was someone who was popular, he got on well with young women, better than most it seems, and their evidence about him suggest that he is not really the sort of person who would force himself upon someone even when he was sexually excited.”

The court has heard that Mr Lazarus, now 25, approached the woman on the nightclub dance floor and told her he was linked to the club before taking her to the VIP area and introducing her to the DJ.

He then asked her if she wanted to go somewhere more private before they left the club together and had sex in a dark gravel laneway. Soon after, Mr Lazarus asked the woman to write her name in the notes section of his phone, where he also kept a list of his “conquests”.

In her closing address, Crown prosecutor Cate Dodds told the court that Lazarus took advantage of the woman’s intoxicated state.

“She was an 18-year-old virgin, who had known this accused for a matter of minutes and who had engaged in consensual kissing and possibly body rubbing, but did not give consent to the anal intercourse that followed,” Ms Dodds said.

But Mr Boulten told the NSW District Court on Thursday that the woman may have been drinking but not so much that she did not know what she was doing.

“She was though, we say, intoxicated enough to be uncharacteristically acting out on sexual urges. She was an active participant in what might be described as intimate acts,” Mr Boulten said.

“She probably wouldn’t have done if she had not had alcohol and was not in a club at Kings Cross at 4’o clock in the morning but that does not mean that the alcohol was such as to overbear her will.”

Mr Lazarus was found guilty by a jury of raping the woman and was sentenced to a maximum of five years’ jail in 2015 but his conviction was quashed and a retrial ordered last year.

Judge Robyn Tupman?????? has now retired to consider her verdict.

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The n Grand Prix Corporation is confident that it’s mix of sport, business, innovation and industry is exactly the recipe that Formula One’s new owners are keen to promote as they look to maximise their multi-billion dollar investment.
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AGPC chief executive Andrew Westacott said this week that Liberty ceo Chase Carey and commercial operations manager Sean Bratches had been impressed by what Melbourne had to offer both on and off track.

Westacott said the Melbourne race at Albert Park would continue to provide a unique fan experience that brought together motorsport enthusiasts from around n and the world – which is Liberty’s core plan to grow the sport.

“In Sean Bratches’ case, he has been 27 years in ESPN and enviously he has been to 28 Super Bowls, but that was his first ever Formula One event that he’d been to in the world,” Westacott said. “And what he saw was something that absolutely fits with where they want to take Formula One.

“I’m not saying therefore that we get everything right, but what they saw they liked and they saw that we do what they want to do for Formula One, and therefore we can both grow together and there was a really good feeling of continued optimism of expanding our great event.

Westacott said Liberty was focused on making the sport more accessible for fans through face-to-face and digital engagement.

“It’s brought a new focus of ‘can do’ on the fan experience, elevating the Formula One brand and separately to that digital and partnerships,” he said. “So everything that Chase [Carey] and and [Sean] Bratches particularly talk about is partnerships and maximising the benefit for Formula One and maximising the benefit for the promoter.

“We loved having them out here, they had a great time, they saw a great event and we have really got 12 months of optimism and continued new ideas. If Melburnians and the world thought this year’s event was great, wait until we conjure up next year’s event.

And while the n race organisers continue to attract criticism for not providing detailed crowd figures, Westacott says there’s little doubt that interest from fans and corporate backers is increasing as Daniel Ricciardo continues to impress on the world stage.

“I felt that with what the team has done over the years we have had continued growth since about 2010-2011in terms of revenues, and the reason I see Melburnians embracing it is that it has now been here for 22 years and the expansion of the footprint of Formula One, it is not just a car race.

“It’s not just motor sport, it is industry and innovating. It is a way to do business in that unique way because corporate and the corporate world has to entertain and it has to do business and it needs to do business in ways that are creative and fun and interesting and Formula One and our event provides that in terms of networking opportunities, inbound trade missions and just business and technology coming together with sport.”

Westacott conceded Ricciardo’s poor weekend had been a dampener on the event, but said the wider story was that he was still scrapping.

“I didn’t have too many disappointments across the weekend, but unfortunately sport is sport and that is why we love it and you know if Daniel couldn’t get up and win, at least the Red Ferrari was there. We just have to be patient. People say Daniel expended too much time and effort into the PR activity. We are always very mindful of that, only Daniel knows that and his team. I think it was just unfortunate, just not a good racing weekend.

“I think what he continues to show that he is a very mature, level-headed, likeable sportsman and fantastic young n and he can drive.

For his part Ricciardo conceded ahead of this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix that he was not particularly happy with his fourth in China, but it was at least better than his woes at Albert Park.

“That was kind of what I felt was my first real race of the year. In Melbourne I didn’t really race. Didn’t get the real experience,” he said on his website DanielRicciardo苏州夜总会招聘.

“Obviously when you are close to the podium you always feel like … I wasn’t stoked with the result but definitely take something from it and it wasn’t a disaster by any means. Hopefully the races continue to be more exciting like they were in China.”

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