Home Australia The Australian dream is changing, but some won’t give it up without a fight

The Australian dream is changing, but some won’t give it up without a fight


John Roberts has reached his 60s and has decided it’s time to trade in the family home for the apartment lifestyle.

“I have quite a bit of what I call memorabilia, my wife calls it something else I won’t mention,” he joked.

“You do have to get rid of a lot of stuff that you accumulate over the time.”

As Australia’s population grows, Mr Roberts is one of a many Australians moving into higher density-style living spaces — flats, apartments, semi-detached houses, row housing or town housing, which now makes up more than a quarter of Australian housing.

His home town of Perth has had the highest rate of population growth of any state or territory in the past 10 years, and is grappling with massive urban sprawl.

The problem affects almost all Australia’s capital cities and governments are trying to force the population closer to vital amenities like public transport and reduce commuter headaches.

In Perth, the government has set infill targets across the metropolitan area, in a bid to force local councils to approve more development.

Mr Roberts is downsizing to an off-the-plan apartment in Claremont, in a development overlooking the local football oval of his favourite club, the Claremont Tigers.

“We thought the apartment style of living would better suit us because grandkids do take up a fair bit of time so we didn’t really want a garden, we didn’t want a pool,” he said.

“I don’t see that it’s going to be really much different to the house we live in, it’s going to be a touch smaller.”

And he prefers to look on the bright side of being close enough to hear his neighbours.

“That sort of living in close quarters is not something that’s going to worry me at all — in fact I think the opposite, I think you’ll develop a community feel,” he said. /abc

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