EDITORIAL: It used to be the case that many Australian families yearned for life in the suburbs on a decent sized block of land, usually around a quarter-acre in size – approximately a thousand square metres.
If the road ended in a bit of scrub where the kids could play all day without worrying about traffic, no-one complained, even if the block was owned by someone else.
After all, the empty land provided a bit of a view and maybe a creek and grazing livestock, lending a country feel to the place.
Member for Logan Linus Power put it well recently when he spoke to the media at the opening of the Flagstone Bridge.
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“We know that our parents came into the suburbs of Brisbane to get an affordable home to build their families and their Queensland dream,” he said.
Somewhere along the way, however, while we weren’t looking, that dream started turning into a nightmare.
Does anyone know where and when block sizes started shrinking? At some stage 1000 sq m blocks were replaced with about 500 sq m.
Many remarked how ridiculous it was having us living so close we could shake hands with the neighbours through the window.
Surely, it couldn’t get any worse, some of us said.
But it did. Five hundred square metres dropped to an average of four hundred. That meant fewer trees to prune and a smaller lawn to mow. Few complained, since gardening is a bit of a hassle anyway, right?
Then, a new benchmark. Suddenly, home sites approved for developers dropped to three hundred square metres, leaving many homes as small as units with gardens the size of drains.
Suddenly there are fewer green spaces over the road; and where the kids once played in the creek, there’s now a swanky designer water feature.
How long until enough is enough? Exactly how small can our lifestyle dream become?