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What makes a good neighbour?

By Monica Boyd
As the Australian population ticks over the 24 million mark and we (symbolically) have some new shoulders to rub past on the way to the shops, the question remains – what do we look for in a neighbour?

And more importantly, what hacks us off?

Not that we’re after revenge on the lady down the street who parked across our driveway or anything – we just want, you know, social harmony. Preventing harsh words and hurt feelings at the Christmas street party and all that.

To help keep the peace, a recent survey from lets us in on what our neighbours do and don’t like.

The crankiest state is NSW with 39 per cent – over a third – having had a disagreement with someone else on the street, with Queensland not far behind. The ACT, Northern Territory and Tasmania are the worst for noisy parties and pesky pets, while Victorians and West Australians are apparently the friendliest, with 95 per cent responding that they’d be likely to attend a neighbourhood event. No word if it’s a noisy party or not.

It seems that, despite the comforting anonymity of living in a city, the majority of us don’t like to be ignored – 73 per cent of respondents dislike antisocial neighbours who don’t acknowledge them.

The biggest sin, though, was being a hoon – over 75 per cent of responders think reckless drivers fail the community test, no matter how good a movieMad Max: Fury Road was.

And the most desirable traits for the people next door? They were:

1. Waving hello.

2. Offering to help a neighbour who needs it (see, we should be there for another. The telly was right!).

3. Keeping an eye on your home while you’re away.

4. Looking after their property.

The good news is, though, that 70 per cent of respondents said that they had good neighbours so odds are, you’re probably one of the good eggs. And a simple wave on the way past might be all it takes.

By Nicole Frost as seen on

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