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Letter of the Month – Priced Out of the Market

By A. Local on October 25, 2011 in News

Like the vast majority of Eastern Suburbs residents, I enjoy spending time at my local cafe and I am grateful for the fact that we are blessed with some of the finest coffee in the world, but honestly, do we really need so many bloody coffee shops in the Eastern Suburbs?

It seems like every time a business closes and a vacant shopfront appears, another bloody coffee shop opens. There are so many of them now. Between them and wine bars (which I’ll come back to in a minute) I reckon they nearly make up the majority of shopfront businesses operating in the local area.

And it’s not just Bondi I’m talking about either. Bronte has more cafes than there are parking spaces and although Clovelly has been spared somewhat by the huge profitability of chidren’s and babies’ clothing shops (not that they’re any better), it too has more than its fair share.

I read in The Beast a number of years ago (I can’t remember the exact edition) that Waverley Council had passed some kind of law where there couldn’t be any more cafes or restaurants because of the continual erosion of important services that people actually need, but obviously this has been amended at some stage or omitted altogether.

Now back to wine bars. I like the idea of these smaller boutique licensed venues but I’ve noticed that they are horrendously expensive and me and my mates can’t really afford to frequent these kinds of places. I’m well and truly over the massive drinking factories that most of us have grown up with but I’m left with little choice when the new ‘Melbourne-style’ places are so pricey.

Which brings me to my point (yes, there actually is one): the locals who have been here for a long time – and I’m not talking about people who moved in with money and have been here for a few years – are being priced out of our own suburbs. Real estate prices are one thing but luckily a lot of us have family homes and we’re able to avoid this problem, but now the services that we rely on are disappearing and being replaced by cafes and wine bars and other establishments totally geared towards these new rich blow-ins and cashed-up tourists.

We are being priced out of our own area where we have lived our whole lives and no one really seems to give a stuff. It’s not fair.