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Why Sydneysiders Are Being Judged By The Invisible Latte Line

Sydney has recently been ranked fourth on a global liveability index. However, beneath the surface of this thriving city lies a significant division between its Eastern and Western suburbs. 

On today’s This Arvo In Sydney, host Sacha Barbour Gatt and LiSTNR journalist Micaela Savage took a closer look at the demographics, affordability and livability between Eastern and Western suburbs.

One of the key factors contributing to the divide is the “latte line,” an invisible boundary that impacts access to vital services, employment opportunities, housing, and even social activities.

It’s a line that researchers use to illustrate the division between advantage and disadvantage areas, the suggestion being the latte sippers live to the East of the latte line, while those West of the line are more disadvantaged,”

Savage said.

Savage said the line ran from the airport at Mascot at 45 degrees through Parramatta and out to Greater West.

She said the house prices on both sides were significantly divided as well. 

According to data collected by Domain, a three-bedroom home in Blacktown or Liverpool can be acquired for around $785,000 and $839,000, while the median price for a similar property in the eastern suburb of Matraville soars to a staggering $2.05 million. 

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Savage said that in Blacktown, 20 per cent of people own their homes outright, 43 per cent have a mortgage, and 45 per cent are renters.

This division is not solely about wealth and access; it also extends to social and community resources. 

Researchers at Sydney University conducted a study in 2017, and they found that some food outlets would set up shops in more affluent suburbs.

Others preferred to build more shops in working-class areas like chicken shops, Chargrill Charlie’s and El Jannah. El Jannah is almost exclusively in the West and Chargrill Charlie’s in the East.”

Hosted by Sacha Barbour, This Arvo in Sydney is a 10 to 12 minute daily news podcast made just for Sydney! Listen now on the Listnr app.