Energy saving tips from our favourite TV shows

The media has been full of speculation lately about the future of the energy market in Australia. Gas and electricity prices are soaring, while usage continues to grow. ‘Clean’ coal, solar, wind, natural gas, and now a re-vamped Snowy Mountains hydro-electric scheme have all been touted as potential solutions to the growing energy needs of our population.

All of this makes the Perspective team want to hide under the doona and watch Netflix. This is a perfectly normal response to stress, in our opinion, but maybe we could learn something from our favourite TV shows.

This week we raise the question: how would characters from our favourite TV shows save energy? And what everyday energy-saving tips can we learn from them?

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Long-term leases could soon hit Canberra – but who benefits?

Long-term leases, extending over years or even decades, are a mythical beast in Australia—either non-existent or as rare as unicorns. Unlike in Europe, where tenants can live in the same rented apartment or house for decades, Australian renters are often faced with short-term leases and seemingly constant moves.

Changes to rental laws in Victoria have recently passed, and are set to be implemented from 2018. In the analysis of a recent article in Melbourne’s The Age newspaper, the benefits seem to be in favour of renters, allowing them to ‘put down roots’. The jury is still out on these changes in Victoria, but it would be interesting to see what would happen if similar laws were implemented in the ACT.

We at Perspective are a mixed bunch of renters, home owners and former share-house sub-letters who have moved our collective possessions around quite often. So we have a few thoughts on the topic of long-term leases.

Long-term leases could potentially be a great way to offer stability to renters, especially families and people on low incomes who perhaps can’t afford to be paying movers every year. Continue reading


Autumn agenda for house and garden

The weather is cooling off, leaves on the trees are turning from fresh summery green to warm tones of orange and brown, and throw rugs are reappearing from random cupboards. It must be autumn!

Actually, autumn is a favourite season of the Perspective team, since we can enjoy the Aussie outdoors without either getting sunstroke or being completely soaked through in a sudden thunderstorm.

We here at Perspective are especially excited (ahem, sure we are) about cleaning out our homes and getting organised for the cooler weather, when more time is spent indoors. Whether it’s clearing space in wardrobes, tidying the garden or home repairs, this can be a good time of year to tackle those annoying but essential household organisational tasks.

In house and property terms, it’s a great time to get onto those essential home maintenance jobs you’ve been putting off over the summer months. It’s also a fantastic time to sell. Whether your goal is simply improving your home or getting ready to for the market, there are a few tasks that will make your property sparkle, potentially add value and stand out from other homes in your suburb. Continue reading


Is Canberra still the bush capital, and should we be?

Of late, it has been impossible to miss the new additions to Canberra’s skylines—towering cranes and the buildings they’re creating. With all this growth, much of it skyward, it begs the questions: is Canberra still the bush capital, and should it be?

Here at Perspective, Canberra’s distant horizons, expanses of open space and abundant trees are near and dear to our hearts. They’re one of the many things we love about this city and we don’t think that should be changing.

Even major roads and thoroughfares are bordered by groves of natives trees and exotic ones, changing colours from autumn reds to spring wattle yellows and leafy summer greens. This abundance of foliage, the numerous winding lakes and the occasional sight of kangaroos by the road are striking to those who’ve lived for years in a big city, like Perspective colleague, Samara.

“Some of the wealthier suburbs of Melbourne have gorgeous, tree-lined streets, but just as often it’s concrete and pavement with little nature to combat it. I’ve been in Canberra for a year now, and every afternoon when I drive home, I’m still struck by its beauty.”

Canberra is unique in Australia, planned around belts of native bushland providing welcome respite from urban sprawl. Those spaces share their identity as elements of Canberra Nature Park, a many splendoured, many tendrilled thing that crops up in the most unexpected places. For it’s not one park but many … consider that Black Mountain and pretty well all the other hills that dot Canberra, along with open urban forest and bushland areas, wildlife reserves, wetlands – all 30 plus of them – are part of the same park.

There aren’t many places in the ‘burbs more than a quick walk away from the park in any of its guises. With that come opportunities for social interaction, proximity to nature, to rare and endangered species, to a quality of life all too often abandoned in the big smokes.

But the current state of Northbourne Avenue, with its trees cut down and jail-like fencing in preparation for the light rail network, makes one wonder how long this natural beauty will last as the city expands. Continue reading