WEBINAR: The Great Divide – Australia’s housing mess and how to fix it, with Alan Kohler

December 5, 2023 1:00 pm

Alan Kohler

ABC Finance Presenter, and author of The Great Divide: Australia's housing mess and how to fix it

12pm AEST (QLD)
12:30 ACDT (SA)
11:30am ACST (NT)
10am AWST (WA)

What caused Australia’s housing crisis – and how we might fix it. Free webinar, registration required.

One of the great mysteries of Australian life is that a land of sweeping plains, with one of the lowest population densities on the planet, has a shortage of land for houses. As a result, Sydney is the second-most expensive place to buy a house on Earth, after Hong Kong.

The escalation in house prices is a pain that has altered Australian society; it has increased inequality and profoundly changed the relationship between generations – between those who have a house and those who don’t. It has caused a rental crisis, a dearth of public housing and a mortgage crunch.

Things went seriously wrong at the start of the twenty-first century, when there was a huge and permanent rise in the price of housing. In this crisp, clarifying and forward-looking essay, Alan Kohler tells the story of how we got into this mess – and how we might get out of it.

“The growth in the value of Australian land has fundamentally changed society, in two ways. First, generations of young Australians are being held back financially by the cost of shelter, especially if they live somewhere near a CBD and especially in Sydney or Melbourne; and second, the way wealth is generated has changed. Education and hard work are no longer the main determinants of how wealthy you are; now it comes down to where you live and what sort of house you inherit from your parents. It means Australia is less of an egalitarian meritocracy.” 


Want to buy this issue of Quarterly Essay? Per Capita viewers can purchase The Great Divide for the discounted price of $24.99 (normally $27.99) and receive free shipping within Australia. PLUS $2 from every purchase will be donated to Per Capita. Purchase the essay here using these codes at checkout:

  • PC3 for $3 discount (discount price of $24.99, usually $27.99)
  • FREESHIP for free shipping within Australia


Alan Kohler is the finance presenter on ABC News and writes for The New Daily and Intelligent Investor. A former editor of The Age and The Australian Financial Review, he founded Eureka Report and Business Spectator and has written for The AustralianAFRThe Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. His books include It’s Your Money.