News and Events

"Promoting academic, professional and public debate on critical issues through public lectures, and seminars."
(Trust Deed 2012)

An affordable and Liveable Sydney - What More Do We Need To Do?

Wednesday, 5th December

Shelter NSW

Shelter NSW has commissioned Professor Peter Phibbs and Lisa Anne King to model the likely additional affordable rental housing that would be created over the next 10 years from the mechanism proposed by the Greater Sydney Commission to deliver an affordable rental housing target. The research also provides projections of the likely impact if SEPP 70 was expanded to Councils across the Greater Sydney region.

The launch will be followed by a panel discussion led by Professor Nicole Gurran on the implications of the findings for attempts to respond to Sydney’s intractable rental affordability crisis.

Date: Wednesday, 5th December
Time: 4pm - 5:30pm

Refreshments served from 5pm
Venue: Sydney University LT250, level 2, 148 City Road, Darlington

Registration is now closed

The 2018 Henry Halloran Trust Annual Lecture - Why can’t you afford a home?

Wednesday 17th October

2018 Annual Lecture

The lecture, based around Dr Josh Ryan-Collins' new book, argues that the housing affordability crises facing Anglo-Saxon economies has its roots in long-term shifts in fiscal policy and financial regulation. In particular, policy needs to focus on dampening and eventually breaking the powerful feedback-cycle between the banking sector and housing, whereby a relatively unlimited supply of credit flows in to inherently finite property. Policy reforms focussed solely on localised housing markets, housing supply and urban planning, whilst necessary in many cases, will not be sufficient if they are not supported by broader macroeconomic reforms.

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Dr Josh Ryan-Collins is Head of Research at the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP), University College London. Before joining IIPP, Josh was Senior Economist at the New Economics Foundation, one of the UK’s leading think tanks. Josh is the author of two co-authored books: Where Does Money Come From? (NEF 2011) and Rethinking the Economics of Land and Housing (Zed books, 2017) which was featured in the Financial Times’s economics editor Martin Wolf’s top summer reads of 2017. His new book Why can’t you afford a home (Polity Press, 2018) will be released in Australia in November this year.

Watch the lecture here.

Date: Wednesday, 17th October
Time: 6:30pm

Refreshments will be served from 6pm and at the conclusion of the presentation
Venue: Veterinary Science Conference Centre, University of Sydney

Registration is now closed

The 5th Festival of Urbanism

4th to 13th September, 2018

FoU Banner

For the first time, the Festival of Urbanism erupts across both Sydney and Melbourne on 4 September, with over 18 events challenging
Sydneysiders and Melbournians to explore and engage with their built environment in a new way.

Held over two weeks the Henry Halloran Trust in partnership with the University of Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning and Monash University will stage a series of events with the industry’s movers and shakers. The on-site events, including walking tours that explore our concrete utopias, a string of engaging talks, and exclusive book launches, aim to re-introduced residents with their cities.

With both Sydney and Melbourne experiencing the problems of rapid growth it’s a good time to reflect on how are cities are growing and how we can allow citizens a voice in deciding what’s happening to them. Learn from leading researchers, industry professionals and community members who will spear-head these diverse events.

Director of The Henry Halloran Trust, Professor Peter Phibbs said,

“This year’s Festival the focus on engagement, with the government, the wider industry and the public, but for the first time it’s happening in tandem across our two largest cities. This gives the Festival a chance to compare the story in our two biggest cities and explore what the two cities can learn from each other in tackling the problems of record population growth and rapid development”

Date: Tuesday 4th to Monday 13th of September
Time and Venue: Find event times and venues here

Registration is now closed

The Myth of Livability

Tuesday 26th June, 2018

Harris Park

“Liveability” is the central theme of the Greater Sydney Region Plan, the District Plans and it has now been made the election theme of the New South Wales Premier. At its highest, it implies that somehow the environment can be controlled to provide a resident with a particular form of subjective experience. It is an idealistic, unworkable idea that is symbolic but not real. It is a “feel good” aspiration and it is not possible for it to be delivered by any land use control. It is a myth and at most a communicative framework that is not able to be achieved. Fake news?

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Leslie Stein is an Adjunct Professor of Urban Planning at the Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning. His last book was “Comparative Urban Land Use Planning: Best Practice” (Sydney UP). He is also a certified Psychoanalyst in private practice. His next book is “The Subjective Experience of the Built Form.”

Presentation slides

Date: Tuesday the 26th June
Time: 6:30pm to 8pm AEST

Complimentary refreshments from 7.50pm to 8:30pm
Venue: Wilkinson Building, 148 City Road, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006
Registration: at Eventbrite

Registration is now closed

Two Controversial Mining Projects in Australia: Some Questions on their Socio-Economic Viability

Friday 1st June, 2018

Coal Mine

Abstract: This paper deals with economic analyses of two controversial mining projects in Australia – one on the Liverpool Plains in New South Wales and the other on the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland. The adverse environmental and social externalities of these projects are well known – especially the impacts on the Gunnedah and the Great Artesian Basins. Notwithstanding these impacts, private financial analyses demonstrate significant revenue gains to the mining firms and render expenditures on mining to be sound investments. Nevertheless, economic analyses illustrate that the net benefits to Australia are possibly absent even without accounting for environmental social externalities. The paper argues that the assessment of mining decisions, must account for the depreciation of the mineral asset.

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Professor Dodo Thampapillai teaches economics at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. He also holds an Adjunct Professorship at Macquarie University, where he was awarded a Personal Chair in Environmental Economics in 2001. Dodo was awarded the DFG Professorship (University of Kiel, Germany 1999/2000) and SLU visiting Professorship (Sweden, 1999/2000).

Download the paper here

Date: Friday 1st June
Time: 12:30 - 1:30pm
Venue: Wilkinson Building, 148 City Road, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006
Registration: at Eventbrite

Registration now closed

House Prices, Rents, Home Ownership and Affordability: The Facts and a Mainstream Economics Explanation

Thursday 31st May, 2018

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This paper starts by describing core facts for house prices in Australian capital cities from 1970 to 2017 and rents for Sydney from 2001 to 2017. It also outlines the core facts for the key drivers of house prices and rents: population, incomes, interest rates and housing supply. The central part of the presentation will provide general and empirical explanations of the changes in house prices, rents, and home ownership that have occurred. The presentation will also discuss housing affordability for first home owners and renters in Sydney. The two main conclusions are that interest rates are a far more important determinant of house prices than housing supply and that the major affordability problems relate primarily to low income households and some first home buyers rather than to the wider population.

Peter Abelson has a B.A. from Oxford University, M.Sc. (Economics) from the London School of Economics, and a Ph.D from London University. Peter has over 40 years of consulting experience in Australia and overseas, specializing in public economics and cost-benefit analysis. He also runs regular executive training courses for public servants.

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His recent work in Australia includes government pricing policy, major transport projects, evaluation of public health programs and hospitals, planning for infrastructure, and analyses of housing prices. He has worked for international agencies in many countries including China, India, Thailand, Kenya, Nigeria, Egypt, Zambia, Bolivia and Papua New Guinea. From 2001 to 2005, Peter held a Personal Chair at Macquarie University. From 2006 to 2012, Peter was a Visiting Scholar and taught public finance at the University of Sydney. Peter is the author of Public Economics 3E (2012, published by McGraw-Hill), the leading Australian text in public finance and the role of government in the economy. From 2006, he has been a part-time economic advisor to the NSW Treasury. From 2012 to 2017, he was the first popularly elected Mayor of Mosman Council (Sydney).

Presentation slides and additional information

Date: Thursday the 31st May
Time: 6:15pm for a 6:30pm start
Venue: Wilkinson Building, 148 City Road, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006
Registration: at Eventbrite

Registration now closed

Can the cost of Zoning in Sydney really be 489k per house?

Thursday 3rd May, 2018

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The Reserve Bank of Australia in March 2018 released a discussion paper The Effect of Zoning on Housing Prices by Ross Kendall and Peter Tulip. The paper includes the bold and eye-catching claim that the zoning effect for a typical Sydney house equates to $489k and for an apartment is $399k. The paper is controversial. Some have questioned whether the measured ‘cost of zoning’ represents a share of residential property value attributable to this aspect of landuse planning. Others have queried whether the Discussion paper is fully across the nature of modern Australian planning systems. The authors remain confident of their findings.

To shed more light on this debate, the Halloran Trust in conjunction with the City Futures Research Centre at the University of NSW has invited Peter Tulip, and some supporters and critics of the paper to a public event at the University of Sydney to be held on the evening of May 3rd. Dr Tulip will provide a summary of the paper. Panellists will then comment on the paper’s approach and findings. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions. It will be an exciting evening.

RBA Presentation: Peter Tulip
Brendan Coates – Grattan Institute
Dr Cameron Murray – economics consultant
Professor Nicole Gurran, University of Sydney
Professor Rachel Ong, Curtin University

Professor Bill Randolph, Director of City Futures will provide some concluding comments.

Watch the Video Recording.

Date: Thursday the 3rd May
Time: 6:00pm, Refreshments served after the event
Venue: Veterinary Science Conference Centre, University of Sydney.
Registration: at Eventbrite

Registration now closed

Housing Sydney’s key workers: Research evidence and policy solutions

Tuesday 27th March, 2018

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Key workers, including teachers, nurses, police, fire and emergency workers, perform essential public services, but are increasingly squeezed out of global city housing markets. This seminar and panel discussion will examine recent research on where Sydney’s key workers live and work, and canvas potential policy or market solutions to help key workers afford homes in the communities they serve. The research was supported by the Teachers Mutual Bank, Firefighters Mutual Bank, Police Bank and My Credit Union.

The presentation of the research findings by Professor Nicole Gurran (University of Sydney) will be followed by a panel discussion with industry representatives.

Date: Tuesday 27th March
Time: 6.15pm - 7.45pm

Join us for complimentary post-lecture refreshments from 7.45pm
Venue: Webster Lecture Theatre 208, Veterinary Sciences Conference Centre: Regimental Dr, Camperdown (Enter via Ross St Gates)
Registration: at Eventbrite

Registration now closed