Economy sparks war of words

Economist John Adams, Citizens Electoral Council of Australia director Robby Barwick and Digital Finance Analytics principal Martin North.
Economist John Adams, Citizens Electoral Council of Australia director Robby Barwick and Digital Finance Analytics principal Martin North.

MANDURAH politicians have been criticised for dismissing dire warnings of local economic peril.

Independent MP Charles Smith lashed out at Mandurah MLA David Templeman and Canning MHR Andrew Hastie, saying they needed to find solutions for the huge economic and social problems in Mandurah.

In a YouTube video the Establishment Attacks Adams and North, Digital Finance Analytics principal Martin North said unless politicians were proactive, there was “more of the same ahead”.

A YouTube video The Economic Massacre of Mandurah describes the city as an economic “traffic accident” plagued by mortgage and rental stress, crime and social unrest.

SEE: Mandurah’s economic ‘traffic accident’ a warning to nation

Mr Templeman questioned the analysis and statistics in the video.

“Across Australia there are various centres, like Mandurah, which have experienced unemployment downturns, decline in housing values and mortgage stress,” he said.

“But recent statistics don’t support the findings that this is unique to Mandurah.

Mr Hastie said it was exaggerated and “overblown rhetoric” designed to grab headlines.

“The producers of the video don’t live here,” he said.

“They aren’t local and they are talking down our community from an academic distance.”

SEE: Leaders defend Mandurah after dire economic warning

But economist Phillip Soos said the content in the video was “bang on target”.

He said data from Core-Logic showed Mandurah property prices had fallen 29 per cent in nominal terms from their peak and 40 per cent in real terms (adjusted for inflation).

Mr Smith, an Eastern Metropolitan MLC, said Mandurah had experienced a high population growth but also massive unemployment coupled with a decrease in property prices.

“Unemployment, a large population and mortgage stress can be correlated with the anti-social issues that Mandurah is facing,” he said.

“Mr Hastie and Mr Templeman can only critique the rhetoric used in the video, yet completely dismiss the broader messages inherent in the discussion.

“People in Mandurah and more broadly in WA want solutions to huge social problems that arise that can be partly attributed to mortgage stress.”

Economist John Adams said he and colleagues in the video highlighted problems and were attacked for it.

“When you have politicians going against independent observers and the people who live in the town, there is a massive problem,” he said.

“They are not telling the public what’s going on.”

Citizens Electoral Council of Australia director Robby Barwick said Mandurah was at the leading edge of the decline.