“You get four blocks per family,” said the government land agent. “You have to clear them yourself and we can’t guarantee what is or isn’t under the ground but all the old utilities have been turned off. Anything you can salvage in the way of building materials or valuables is yours but it is possible you might find you have squatters on your parcel. If that’s the case, come to us to deal with them and don’t try to be a hero yourself.”
A hand went up in the back of the room. “I heard an old-rights group was trying to get an injunction to stop this distribution going ahead. Is there any truth in that?”
“There are a number of cases of that nature ongoing at the moment, but none which impact upon this land release,” averred the land agent. “Additionally all parcels in this distribution come with certification that the soil does not breach Schedule 3 standards for food production or human residence.”
Another hand went up, this one from the middle of the front row. “Has the release area been surveyed for survivalist bunkers?” The questioner was a lean, sun browned man in his thirties. “We’ve all read about the problems they had in Armidale when those crazies came out of the ground.”
“Noting that some of the most determined of these groups built their bunkers so that they were hard to detect,” hedged the land agent, “the release area and its surrounds have been surveyed extensively for such things and no bunkers have been detected. Again, if you have problems of this type, withdraw and allow the authorities to deal with the people involved. Don’t get into a push and shove with them, in the main bunkered survivalists have an overwhelming sense of entitlement and don’t seem to be able to believe that the rule of law could have survived the events that drove their groups underground. Assume they will shoot to kill and get out.” He looked around the room. “If there are no more questions, we’ll get on with the distribution ballot.”
And so, after the collapse of civilization as we know it, suburbia was recolonised.