EDITORIAL: Gearing up for debate
It's a divisive and contentious issue and one which could shape the direction of the next Federal election.
In the Mackay region, it hits home in a way which costs real people real money.
On both sides of the argument there are people hurting. When we have a property market which is bearing the brunt of high vacancy rates and lower and lower rental prices, it's hard for anyone with an investment property to get their head around yet another measure which could mean even less money in their pocket.
Only now are we starting to see this sector of our economy clawing back; attracting some investor interest and the long- adhered-to message that Mackay is the best place to invest at the moment is starting to sink in.
Negative gearing, especially in a market such as this, could be the one thing that stands between staying afloat or otherwise.
But, then we need to explore the question of whether this might make getting into a first home more affordable, therefore meaning we could see more people breaking the rental cycle and therefore transitioning our market from one which is rather investor-heavy, to one which is more appealing for owner-occupiers.
Is there an easy answer? No. But then, is there ever?
Whatever the policy direction on this, one thing is certain - there needs to be the acknowledgement that we are already holding on for dear life and we don't need another hit.
Change might be prudent, but the manner by which that change is instituted needs to be prudent.