Australia new playground of the Chinese noveau riche?

Amazing to revisit Melbourne after 30 years or so of trying to be a geology student at RMIT, which is now a university.

Swanston Street now has a huge proportion of Asian food restaurants, including Indonesia’s own Es Teler 77 (disclosure: a family connection here)  just diagonally opposite  the Melbourne Library.

The makeup of the student population has also changed. Three decades ago most of theforeign students seemed to be from SE Asia. These days you see and hear a lot of mainland Chinese and Indians on the streets.

Talk to residents and they will say that the mainland Chinese are the new wave of immigrants and investors. The Communists seem to have a lot of property and thanks to a change in the law that allows students to buy established property, the mainland Chinese are snapping up real estate in Melbourne, helping to drive up property prices.

Go to the Crown Casino and guess who’s there? The Mainland Chinese as well. They seem to be everywhere and have lots of money or entreprenurial spirit to spare for this city. An accountant and long time resident in Melbourne tells Unspun that many of the Chinese cometo melbourne and start by setting up tobacco shops. One mainlander he knows did so well that he’s now the opwner of several properties in melbourne.

The accountaqnt also says that many mainlanders have been buying properties in the inner city, usually in the choicest suburbs. “They have a lot of money”, he said. The Indians, however, generally snap up property on the suburbs.

The Indians are also out in force udent and form a huge portion of the student population in Merlbourne.

Just about the only thing constant about this city is the weather – it’s still unpr4edictable. We had lovely spring weather with the sun up until Monday then it was downhill for the rest of this week.

Still, its great to be back here, to be able to walk on the streets and p0arks, to smell fresh air, to generally enjoy the outdoors without sweating like a pig and worrying about the pollution.

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