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‘Future fears’: Post pandemic pain puts spotlight on nation’s growing divide

Mainstreet Insights Media Release

90 per cent of Australians believe they’ve seen an increase in economic disparity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

89 per cent of Australians believe there is an evident, growing social divide, including increased privileges between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

93 per cent of Australians believe that where a person lives affects their ability to live a happy life.

With the health impact of COVID-19 dissipating, the majority of Australians are now more concerned with the growing social crisis that the pandemic has either caused or exposed, rather than COVID.

The research team at Mainstreet Insights has investigated how Australians feel about their purpose and place in society, with the majority revealing that COVID has changed how they see themselves in the nation.

Most significantly, the notion we are “one and free” is seemingly dead, with 90 per cent of Australians now feeling the pandemic has exposed the true extent of financial disparity between Australians.

Mainstreet Co-Founder, Dr Lindsay McMillian OAM, says the booming property market and historic lows in home ownership amongst young people, is causing particular anxiety in our cities.

“In the lead up to, and exacerbated by, the pandemic, the property market got away from a generation of young people.

“Double-digit percentage house price rises coupled with rising rents, stagnant wage growth and insecure work are acting to push people out of home ownership and out of inner ring suburbs.

“While the flight from the city is a boon for the regions and the outer suburbs, it is pushing people away from work centres and into long commutes.”

Some 93 per cent of people believe where they live will impact their happiness, with Mainstreet Co-Founder Mark McCrindle concluding we’ve unknowingly created a postcode class system.

“Our suburbs have long been a vibrant mix of social class. The size of the house or the brand of car in the driveway might vary, but be they tradies or temps or professionals or CEOs – all had a place in the neighbourhood,” McCrindle said.

“That’s much less the case today, with emergency service workers, teachers and retail staff largely unable to afford to live in the communities they serve.

“With so many Australians travelling hours each day to serve communities they cannot afford to live in or having to rent rather than being able to buy into their local community, it’s not surprising that many people are starting to acutely notice economic privilege and feel resentful and unvalued.”

Additional research found that the older Australians are, the more we realise we’re living in a class society and are aware of postcode inequality.

The number climbed from Gen Z (50%), Gen Y (53%), Gen X (63%), Baby Boomers (72%)

“It’s interesting that young people in their twenties are more likely to feel there’s a level playing field, however that number diverges as we get older and accumulate more assets,” Mr McCrindle said.

Dr McMillan also noted that following the basis of postcode privilege, 63 per cent of Australians also believed in economic and 58 per cent believe in social privileges being prevalent across certain sections of the community.

“Australians are much more optimistic than pessimistic about the future, however this data highlights the early signs of a fraying of our social fabric,” Dr McMillian warns.

“If our geography is increasingly defined by haves and have-nots, we’re setting ourselves up for generations of institutional failure, class divides and social disadvantage.”

For full details you can see the social fabric report here.


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  1. Phil Pryor

    Retreat, Australia, unfair.., for who can be happy with a government of slags, sluts, slimes, slugs and spitballs, led by liars, political perverts, bumboys and joygirls for donors and patrons, manipulators, hack actors on the career make. What a sewer of sin and sludge.

  2. Kathryn

    Considering that we are under the self-serving, stratospherically arrogant and undemocratic jackboot of one of the worst, most corrupt and elitist regimes in our history, it should come as no surprise that the huge yawning chasm between the “haves” and the “have nots” is growing exponentially every day the Lying Nefarious Party are in power! The bone-idle Sloth Morrison may attempt to pretend to be “one of the working class boys” displaying his disingenuous, smirking two-thumbs-up “salute” at every photo opportunity he and his permanent entourage of photographers and right-wing “journos” can muster – but “SlowMo” (Mother and Father of ALL liars and King of Phoney Slogans) – and the rest of the condescending, born-to-rule and insufferably smug sociopaths in the LNP – have ONE focus only and that is to use their autocratic power to enrich and empower THEMSELVES and their already obscenely rich and powerful “mates” in the Top 1%.

    When you have a look at the terrifying, privatise-and-sell-off-everything-taxpayers-own Agenda of the LNP’s managing body of neoliberal capitalists in the IPA, the TOP items on their Agenda is to sell off and “dump” treasured taxpayer assets in order to garnish a quick profit at the expense of everything else – some of these assets have already been partly sold off and privatised, eg Medicare and now the power-obsessed fascists in the LNP/Murdoch/IPA Alliance have the ABC firmly in their sights. It is no secret that the LNP are now parachuting right-wing sycophants into influential seats on the Board and into popular panel shows on OUR taxpayer-funded ABC which will enable the LNP/Murdoch/IPA Alliance to now control just about EVERY form of media in the country which, of course, will assist them in controlling and manipulating EVERYTHING Australians hear and see!

    Whilst Morrison is playing his smirking, phoney “role” as the two thumbs up BOGAN, in the background, the LNP – at State and Federal levels – are rapidly defunding EVERYTHING taxpayers cherish into oblivion INCLUDING our children’s State schools. Whilst the LNP are tearing countless millions of dollars from State schools, hospitals, Medicare and other social services, they are handing over countless MILLIONS to expensive, elitist private schools who are using the money to build tennis courts, swimming pools and luxury items at the expense of desperately needed educational resources required in State schools in working- and middle-class areas of our cities or in rural areas of our nation. What is worse, is that Morrison – a signed-up lunatic member of the notorious paedophile-protecting CULT of Hillsong – has handed over more than $42 MILLION in taxpayer funds to this prosperity-driven CULT without ANY prior consultation! Handing over MILLIONS to his best mate, Brian Houston, the (quote from expose below) “Hillsong supremo who recently used earnings from the big tent operation of his to purchase some lavish and expensive New York real estate” – clearly, the profit-obsessed, corrupt CULT of Hillsong pays no heed to the part in the Bible that states: “It is easier for a camel to stroll through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go to heaven!” …. Hmmm, not the answer, one presumes to Morrison’s sanctimonious question “What would Jesus do?”.(refer link below)

    The sad reality is that the LNP don’t give a toss about working- and middle-class Australia – and history has proven that THEY NEVER DID! The LNP have ALWAYS been a sick, twisted and elitist version of the Australian Tories; a lying, conniving, smirking pack of political psychopaths who haven’t got a drop of compassion or empathy, not one iota of credibility and zero integrity! The REAL mystery is that a small majority of totally gormless and manipulated working- and middle-class Australians believe all the lies and character-assassinating slander they inhale from the Murdoch press and keep on voting for a despicable, totally inept, corrupt and pretentious regime that despises them! Wake up Australia!

  3. New England Cocky

    @Phil Pryor: I cannot match your alliteration skills so accurately describing the feral misgovernment, so I will just say that the perks of residential proprietorship require revision, like the LABOR proposed grandfathering process, inducements of government assistance to achieve Australian citizenship and caps on the number of investment properties that qualify for negative gearing.

    The Air B&B problem needs a legislated solution limiting operation, and any necessary government compensation could be made by re-directing funding from petroleum exploration funding and taxation rebates.

  4. Andrino Apolloni

    the system is screwed. We have past the event horizon. With no plans to get out of this gravitational pull , we are destined to oblivion. Soon as china stops iron ore buying from us, we are dead men walking.

  5. wam

    Scummo said tonight: ‘we are on the right track’ ‘bullshit bullshit bullshit’ but who in labor, will disagree?
    IMF- 3 Oct 2021 — The IMF has cut its forecast for Australia’s economic growth this year, but is forecasting a rebound in 2022 as restrictions ease and the …
    Can a marketing man and a sneaky lawyer pick the right time to go for it????
    This is a message from a josean politician: politicians must not be in an equal position with the people. They must hold on to the power and lead the people from above.
    Wonder if the rabbott and scummo are reincarnations??
    pps Wow, katherine, still don’t want to clear the air as to the source of all that cash?

    Andrino if china slows us down:
    China fulfils its demand for coal by purchasing it from regional neighbours. In 2019, about 96.3 percent of China’s coal imports came from Australia (77 million metric tons), Indonesia (47.8 million metric tons), Mongolia (36.1 million tons), and Russia (29.2 million metric tons).

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