Public housing is as scarce as hen’s teeth. Australia needs affordable rental homes | Peter Lewis

The housing crisis is not really about getting into the market or staying off the streets - the problem is more systemic

Housing policy in Australia has a split personality: we are either shaking our heads at how hard it is for wealthy millennials to buy their first home or we are wringing our hands at the plight of the homeless.

Policy makers have responded in a piecemeal and often counter-productive fashion to these individual and seemingly isolated issues, providing financial incentives to first homebuyers and crisis support for those on the streets.

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As Australia’s population hits 25m, regions cry out for skilled migrants

Eighty-seven per cent of skilled migrants who arrived last year settled in Sydney and Melbourne

With the Australian population set to tick past 25 million people at about 11pm on Tuesday, the government is seeking to encourage new migrants to live and work outside Sydney and Melbourne.

Of the 111,000 new skilled migrants who arrived in Australia last year – the largest cohort of permanent arrivals – 87% settled in the two biggest cities. The minister for citizenship and multicultural affairs, Alan Tudge, was due to argue in a speech on Tuesday for a greater geographic spread of migration, to relieve pressure on housing and infrastructure.

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Landlords to fight Victorian rental plan that allows tenants to have pets

Proposed reforms crack down on rental bidding, restrict rent increases and require homes to have a functioning stove, heating and deadlocks

Laws that would allow tenants in Victoria to keep pets regardless of their landlord’s wishes and restrict rent increases to once a year will be introduced to state parliament this week.

Daniel Andrews’ government is seeking to push the laws through both houses before the November state election but faces opposition from the real estate industry, which claims landlords will flee the market in response.

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‘I felt I was not a good mom’: Serena Williams details post-partum struggles

  • Grand slam champion says motherhood has affected recent form
  • American suffered heavy defeat to Johanna Konta last week

Serena Williams has said concerns over motherhood have affected her recent form.

Williams suffered the heaviest defeat of her career last week when she lost 6-1, 6-0 in just 52 minutes to Britain’s Johanna Konta at the the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic.

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Saudi state airline suspends flights to Canada in escalating row over activists

Move comes as US asks Riyadh for more details on detention of human rights activists that sparked diplomatic row

Saudi Arabia’s state airline has suspended flights to and from Toronto, escalating the diplomatic row between the two countries following Canada’s call for the release of detained human rights activists in the kingdom.

The United States on Monday asked the Saudi government for more details on the detention of activists and urged it to respect due process in the first comments by Washington since the dispute between Riyadh and Ottawa erupted.

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‘No madam can scare me’: maid turned comedian mocks India’s elite

Deepika Mhatre has turned her experiences as a cook for rich families into a standup routine

It is considered insolent in India for a maid to talk back. But one housekeeper in Mumbai is challenging the expectation to be submissive and obedient by lampooning the world of domestic employment in a standup routine several nights a week.

“Although my employers were mostly nice to me, I used to hear horror stories from other maids,” Deepika Mhatre, 43, told the Guardian. “I used my experiences for my routine, like other comedians,” she said.

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Unreliable public transport ‘stops poor families finding work’

Families in north of England struggle to find jobs because of poor and expensive public transport, research finds

Unaffordable and unreliable public transport is cutting off the poorest families in the north of England from crucial job opportunities, a study has found.

Researchers from Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield, commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), interviewed residents in neighbourhoods across Greater Manchester and Leeds city regions.

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Asic to embed staff in big banks to enforce compliance

Supervisors from corporate watchdog will be stationed inside Australia’s biggest financial institutions as part of crackdown

Asic officials will be “embedded” inside Australia’s five biggest financial institutions – Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, NAB, ANZ and AMP Capital – under a $70m plan to improve monitoring of their governance and compliance.

The corporate regulator will also establish a taskforce to identify failings inside large listed companies, and conduct on-site surveillance and investigations of those companies.

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‘Big call’: minister refuses to link drought to climate change on Q&A

Agriculture minister David Littleproud tells ABC audience he doesn’t ‘give a rats’ whether climate change is man-made

The agriculture minister says linking the drought affecting much of Australia to man-made climate change is a “big call” and he does not “give a rats if it’s man-made or not”.

David Littleproud made the comment on the ABC’s Q&A program on Monday, which was filmed in Lismore in the northern rivers region of New South Wales. His comment was booed by the audience.

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