Sydney, like the great big cities of the world, is becoming unaffordable for many lower socioeconomic groups and individuals. To live somewhere nice in Sydney, by the harbour or in the affluent eastern suburbs, you need to be worth, or earning, a packet or two. The poorer are being pushed out to the fringes of the city and must make do with second or third class amenities. There are more struggle streets in Sydney due to rental rises, as landlords maximise their profits; extracting every last penny from the pockets of the poor.

Property price spirals are a vicious circle, as vendors and agents hold out for record prices in the market, investors are then forced to pass on these increased costs to renters. The cost of living and doing business, generally, rises and everything in Sydney becomes more expensive. I lived in Sydney for much of my adult life and returning for a working holiday visit recently, I was shocked at the basic costs of living. Rents are ridiculously high for what space they afford and the price of doing business in the Harbour City is prohibitively expensive.

The average weekly rental in Sydney is now five hundred and thirty dollars; people are running to stand still. How much of the average weekly earnings are going on rent, I wonder? Half for some and may be more for those struggling to get enough casual employment. Many people need debt help to cope with this situation, as they depend on credit cards and personal loans to get them through the month. Why do they remain in Sydney and why do they not head for greener pastures? Lack of mobility is another curse of poverty; the poor cannot just pick up sticks and move out. Many of them are stuck in unenviable positions.

The young enjoy the stimulation offered by big cities and put up with dire living standards to party. When those same people begin to marry and start families, the trend is to move out to areas that are cheaper and offer more space. Eventually the lure of success in the big city may wear off and these people may relocate to smaller capital cities in other states or regional areas within NSW. There are reports of the gentrification process currently happening in New York, where the creative inhabitants of that city can no longer afford to live and work there, and are being replaced by wealthy denizens from other parts of America. Will Sydney suffer the same fate in years to come?