ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

As the world returns to normal, students from around the world are coming to Betoota to study at one of our town’s world-leading tertiary education centers.

South Betoota Polytechnic released a statement this week to cheerfully announce that their on-campus accommodation has reached capacity for the first time since 2019. Their off-campus places and third-party accommodation providers such as UrbanBox and MoldZone backed up the claims by also stating that they too were near capacity.

However, that has not stopped South Betoota Polytechnic from continuing to enroll students from overseas.

The demand for student accommodation has now spilled out into the private sector, and local workers are now having to compete with the cash-up middle-class of some faraway country.

One of those local workers impacted, Jayden Clam, said that his lease has not been renewed, and his landlord is asking him to vacate to facilitate renovations to the 4-year-old property in the French Quarter.

“I understand that these types of dogbox flats in the city only have a lifespan of ten, twenty years max, but I don’t think you need to put a new kitchen in after four years of us living here,” he said.

“So anyway, we’re on the move.”

Jayden, his wife Sojourner, and baby Galadriel are now going through the dehumanizing process of applying to rental properties in the area.

“Soj is off work at the moment to be at home with Galadriel, so it’s hard to be honest on an application. If I was honest, we’d be camping in the Mazda, I reckon. Anyway, I don’t expect anyone to give a fuck. This country is a real ‘fuck you, got mine’ type of place now. We should be fine, hopefully, but fuck me, it’s not easy.”

Jayden’s leasing agent told The Advocate that he was only doing his job in finding the maximum return for his client.

Prefacing his argument with a condescending nod, agent Peter Pooley explained that interest rates were to blame for the pain.

“This landlord, in particular, was having to cover the difference between the rent and the mortgage repayments with his own money. He’s actually had to go back to work to be able to afford to pay off his investments. Now that’s dehumanizing,” said Pooley.

“It’s my job to find the best for my clients, and I’ve actually been able to get my client on that property some new tenants that will provide him with a profit again. Some dignity,”

“I’ve got 16 international students moving in there next month. We’re putting in bunks. The next step is to hotbed those bunks but baby steps. We don’t want the Shire Council on us for violating some sort of leftie fire code,”

“We aren’t taking advantage of anyone here; nobody is forcing them to come here.”

More to come.


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