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7.30 Report bias and omission on Australia's population and housing crisis

On the nights of February 11, 12 and 13, 2020, the ABC has shown three related 15 minute pieces in its 7.30 Reports, on the subject of housing. These segments have stressed the cost of housing and the gulf that exists between those who are able to afford or who own their house, comparing the situation of people who cannot afford a house, and who are thus obliged to rent. These programs have, however, completely failed to talk about Australia's extremely rapid population growth, which now requires the construction of the equivalent of a Canberra every year, [corrected 15.2.20] just to preserve the ratio of housing supply to housing demand. Most flagrant omission of all, the ABC says nothing at all about the fact that this is intentional government policy. We publish a letter of complaint which was sent to the ABC on this matter.

Stop work call: Plant pathogen associated with Walker developments at Kew Cottages

Brian Walsh, President, Kew Cottages Coalition, today called on Heritage Victoria to halt work at the State Government site overlooking Yarra Bend Park in order to test for the deadly plant pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi, which appears to be the likely cause of the death a large rare tree, and which has been previously linked to construction works at Kew Cottages. "Stopping the current works is necessary to prevent more damage to heritage listed trees", Mr. Walsh said. Public Meeting 26 February. Details inside.

Bulldozers for tanks: list of companies operating in illegal settlements in the West Bank

The U.N.'s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva has compiled and released a list of companies which operate in the illegal settlements in the West Bank, which is a chunk of land east of Israel, formerly Palestine, of which Israel took military control in 1967. Israel has encouraged property development in the region and for Jewish settlers to move in, but Palestinians (and most of the international community) consider it illegally occupied Palestinian land. The tragic political impasse between Israel and Palestine has recently been highlighted by property developer and US President Donald Trump's so-called "Deal of the century," involving his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who is also a real-estate developer. The 'deal' advocates for Israel further fragmenting what land remains to Palestinians and further reducing their exiguous political rights. Palestinians were not included in the consultation surrounding this 'deal', although they are its object.

"About 600,000 Jews live in about 140 settlements built since Israel's occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967. The settlements are widely considered illegal under international law, though Israel has always disputed this. The Palestinians have long called for the removal of the settlements, arguing that their presence on land they claim for a future independent Palestinian state makes it almost impossible to make such a state a reality." (BBC https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-51477231"

The role that property development plays in this and other land-grab conflicts is striking.[1] The materials used in construction are also excellent vehicles for money laundering. Property developers take over many of the roles of government, driving massive immigration, and birth rates where they can, in order to keep up demand and maintain land-price inflation. Property development is often mistaken for a constructive activity, but the reality is that bulldozers trash both nature and democracy, just like tanks. Planning requires strict control by citizens. Putting it in the hands of vested interests destroys self-determination. Australia is the victim of similar land-grabs and erosion of democracy, although at this point, Australians are still free to move within their continent. Australian state governments, Australian property developers, and Israel have and seek mutual investments in property development and population growth engineering. [2]

Submissions sought: House committee to examine homelessness in Australia

More than 116,000 people were estimated to be homeless in Australia on Census night in 2016. Among them were people living in severely crowded dwellings, people living in temporary accommodation, and rough sleepers.

To examine this issue, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs has launched an inquiry into homelessness in Australia.

Paul Kelly Song: Sleep,Australia, Sleep - Ecological catastrophe

How can Australians unite against the corporate and government forces that are failing to avert ecological catastrophe on Australia? We are an increasingly dispersed and disorganised colonial people, without a talking stick of our own.

Protest Melbourne Friday 6:30pm to stop extradition of Julian Assange by outlaw Trump regime

Title was: "Australian action to help Assange as extradition hearing approaches". Donations can be made to: gofundme.com/f/melbourne4wikileaks-bringassangehome.

Julian Assange’s extradition hearing starts on Monday 24th of this month. To mark the occasion and to help increase awareness in his hometown of Melbourne, Melbourne4WikiLeaks is holding a rally at the State Library of Victoria at 6:30pm on the evening of Friday 21st February.

We feel that it is important to keep pressure on the Australian Government to intervene with both the UK and US in order to stop the extradition and bring Julian home.

Absurdistan Melbourne: Vested interests prevent Melbourne City Council quorum on minimum sunlight

In our article, "Melbourne Planning: Minimum sunlight for parks in city of growing shadows," we noted that Melbourne City Council intended to form a special committee to evaluate submissions already received on this matter. We have a new absurd and revealing update (and include a relevant email from MCC below, filled with unintended or inescapable ironies). Tragically and hilariously, the majority of Melbourne City Councilors have a vested interest in the matter of minimum sunlight (i.e. in property development) and so are unable to form a quorum (!!!). They have needed to excuse themselves on a basis of conflict of interest. What Melbourne City Council intends to do now is to get the council staff to write a report for the consideration of a small 'independent' committee made up of planners (and not including people who want to protect parks). Although planners will doubtless have vested interests as well (if only in keeping their jobs - but most the city goes to are developers) they are considered 'independent' because they are not employed or officiating on the council! Of course, the point about being independent is not whether or not one is associated with the council, but whether one has a commercial interest in a matter under consideration. We are living in such dumbed-down and dishonest times, however, that this meaning has been lost, especially to government. Maybe professional developers and planners and their associates, who always have professional and vested interests in development, should be excluded from councils. Mayor Sally Capp comes to mind.[1] [Illustrations added by https://candobetter.net.]

Mornington Peninsula Shire Koala Forum March 26 - Registrations now open!

The new year is promising to be a big one for koala and wildlife conservation on the Mornington Peninsula. Cr David Gill has invited the public to attend a koala/ wildlife forum on 26 March 2020 at 6 pm in Mornington. The event is free but you need to register and obtain your tickets. This event is a great opportunity to collaborate and provide feedback to the Shire and other agencies as well as hearing from local koala experts. Details of how to register inside article.

Frankston Green Wedges wins against Cr Hampton's motion for development

At Frankston Council meeting on 29 January 2020, Cr Hampton sought by means of a Notice of Motion (NoM) to overturn council's decision of 14 Oct 2019 to adopt a revised Draft Green Wedge Management Plan. The NoM sought to investigate an excision of part of Frankston's Green Wedge for an expansion of the Carrum Downs Industrial Precinct. The NoM was voted down by Crs McCormack, Aitken, O'Connor, Toms and Mayor Mayer, (five of the nine). Cr Bolam abstained. [Ed. Note: A correction to this article on who voted it down was made on 30 January 2020.]

Melbourne Planning: Minimum sunlight for parks in city of growing shadows

Planning Policy, City of Melbourne, has recently solicited submissions and submissions about submissions ostensibly to establish guidelines for minimum sunlight for parks. Whilst it claims to be protecting the parks, it is obvious that it is really seeking to establish minimal sunlight rules so that it can continue to add to the bristling thicket of skyscrapers that is presently engulfing the city in shadow at the behest of the property development and immigration lobby/state government and town hall. We attach a submission from the Secretary of Protectors of Public Lands Victoria on sunlight and public parks. It's a fairly simple matter, but can be made complicated. There has been one round of submissions. Now there is a call for verbal submissions on those submissions [1] and for an 'independent' committee to evaluate those submissions, presumably until the opposition to sunlight-theft falls away from exhaustion in the face of the well-paid forces of darkness. [Ed. See update here: https://candobetter.net/node/5934"]

Zoos Vic have set up a Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund

The impact of the bushfires on Australia's communities, precious wildlife and their habitat is difficult to fathom. Across the country, it is estimated that more than 500 million animals, including critically endangered species, have already perished in the fires. The full impact is impossible to determine at this early stage. Zoos Victoria has been directed by the Victorian Government's Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) to provide frontline veterinary support and long-term care to the wildlife affected by the bushfires. [Candobetter dot net Editor: Readers please also note that DELWP have declared open-season all year round on Victoria's kangaroos, and that their planning section is driving the population growth that is destroying wildlife habitat.]

ABC podcast: Controlled burns destroy ecosystems and may not reduce fire risk

Some of you may have noticed how 'debate' about the terrible bushfires has, as usual, turned into a 'backburning and fuel reduction' vs 'greenies'. The mass media is in general promoting a firebug economy. Other voices are not heard, even in Victoria, this most cleared state. We have already published Joel Wright, aboriginal historian's argument that there is no record of big controlled burns by aboriginals in Australia, Jill Redwood, "Firebug economy," and Bob MacDonald on the contribution of wildlife to fireproofing the forests. This ABC recording from Professor Kingsley Dixon is a real voice of sanity in an otherwise truly incendiary debate.

IPAN: Bushfires a National Security Threat

Bushfires in Australia a real national security issue in contrast to talked up threats of hostile nations in our region. Climate change a significant cause of the fires. [Illustrations by Sheila Newman.]

Bushfires in Australia are a real national security issue in contrast to talked up threats of an alleged hostile nations in our region, according to the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN).

Australians are heading into a Christmas day of smoke, fires, death and devastation, with no significant rain projected for weeks, anxiety is rising about when this catastrophe will end.

Emergency chiefs claim to step into leadership vacuum on bushfire emergency but mainly call for 'fuel reduction'

People in charge of emergency services in New South Wales have scheduled a call for a national bushfire summit, claiming that Australia's political leaders are failing to deal with the NSW bushfire crisis, which their press release ascribes entirely to climate change. Unfortunately, it does not note the services to climate that forests provide. Nor does it note the many other impacts on forests that are drying them out - but could be mitigated - aside from overall climate change. These causes of drying are land-clearing for population expansion, thinning of old-growth forest, and the predations of pyromaniacs or electrical equipment, which are the chief causes of bushfires. And, in the appendix to their press release, they prioritise 'fuel reduction', rather than protection of forests and ways of keeping them wet. Their press release does mention the danger to wildlife as well as to property.

IPAN Statement on interference in the internal affairs of Australia

The escalating tensions between US and China are directly impacting on Australia militarily, economically and politically and threaten to drag Australia into another imperialist war, according to the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network. IPAN calls for an independent foreign policy from all big powers, and that includes independence from both China and US; an independent foreign policy that promotes friendship with people from all countries.

Committee to examine efficacy of vegetation and land management policy on bushfires

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on the Environment has commenced an inquiry into the efficacy of past and current vegetation and land management policy, practice and legislation and their effect on the intensity and frequency of bushfires and subsequent risk to property, life and the environment. Submission deadline 28 February 2020

Stop the Drop - Ban Aerial Baiting with 1080 Poison - Protest Treasury Gardens Nov 24, 2019

‘Stop the Drop’: Ban Aerial Baiting with 1080 Poison, Treasury Gardens Melbourne (Lawn 4), November 24, 5 -8 pm. Since 2014, Victorian governments have been routinely dropping tonnes of cruel 1080 poison over vast areas of the Victorian natural environment from helicopters. Supposedly to protect farm stock from ‘wild dogs’, it is of virtually no benefit to farmers and nothing to do with ‘wild dogs’. The ‘wild dogs’ being killed are really Dingoes, the native Australian apex predator, a threatened species in Victoria and essential to the stability and health of Victorian ecosystems.

Assange event State Library Vic. 4 December, 6.30pm, "What is happening to Journalism & Julian Assange?"

Kristinn Hrafnsson - Editor in Chief of WikiLeaks
Suelette Dreyfus - technology researcher, journalist, and writer
Julian Burnside QC - part of Assange's legal team
Lizzie O'Shea - lawyer, writer, broadcaster

Recent raids on broadcasters, journalists and whistleblowers in Australia for precisely the kind of journalism that has cost Julian Assange a decade of his life, has prompted debate about the role of a free press in democracies such as Australia and of investigative journalists doing national security reporting. (Reservations required but event is free.)

IPAN invitation to 164 Eureka Anniversary Celebration - speaker on independent foreign policy

Key note speaker Clinton Fernandes, author of Island off the Coast of Asia, will discuss in depth the US economic, political and military agendas in Australia, and US-Australia alliance. He argues for Australia's economic independence and an independent foreign policy. Clinton Fernandes is a former Australian Army officer who served in the Australian Intelligence Corps. Today he is Professor of International and Political Studies at the University of New South Wales.

Queensland: 19 Nov 2019 - First public hearing for 5G inquiry

The Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts is holding a public hearing at Southport, Queensland on Tuesday, 19 November 2019 for its inquiry into the deployment, adoption and application of 5G in Australia. This will be the first public hearing for the inquiry, and will begin a series of public hearings and site visits to gather evidence about the challenges and benefits of 5G in Australia. Information about the inquiry, including the public hearing program, may be found on the Committee’s webpage. See inside for details. There is also a facebook page of the Australian activist group: "We say no to 5G in Australia, which has a lot of information.

Council meet re Ricketts Point tea-house overdevelopment liquor to 11pm 7days week

COUNCIL MEETING 19 NOVEMBER 2019: Many people enjoy Ricketts Tea House as a relatively modest place to have tea and cakes along a long piece of otherwise aesthetically deserted beach on this Pacific Island that we call Australia. Now Brighton Council is pushing a monstrous 'redevelopment' which will see liquor served seven nights a week until 11.30pm. One can predict the noise, violence, and rubbish, with frightened, disturbed birds. If this goes ahead, Melbourne will lose such a pleasant quiet area for the financial profit of a few. This will also be a prong used to usher in more 'development' in an area which has conserved vegetation and housing well back from the beach. It's another sign of the developer take-over of democracy in this state and in this country. You can go to the council meeting and try to push back against this overdevelopment push.

Clifford Hayes interviewed re Bill for Greater power for local Councils for new developments

Michael McLaren speaks with Clifford Hayes, Member of the Legislative Assembly – Sustainable Australia Party’s Southern Metropolitan region Victoria, about his private members bill which proposes significant changes to the Planning and Environment Act 1987 which will give local councils more control of local planning policy and maximum building heights in their municipal districts. Remember Clifford's important bill will be put to Parliament this Wednesday morning (13 November 2019) about 10 or so. Consider coming to show your support by sitting in the gallery for the vote.

Geelong region and Otway Environment group’s welcome Victorian state wide logging ban

The recent announcement by the Victorian State government to ban native forest logging on public land in Eastern Victoria has been strongly welcomed by local environment groups including the Otway Ranges Environment Network(OREN) and Geelong Environment Council(GEC). Although the local communities of Eastern Victorian will need to go through a transition, claims of economic doom and gloom are unfounded. The logging phase out process to be completed by 2030 for Eastern Victoria is very similar to the process used to phase out native forest logging the Otway Ranges that successfully transitioned the local community and economy between 2002 and 2008.

Good horse welfare initiative in Campaspe Council Echuca & District Livestock Exchange

Campaspe Shire has introduced a great new horse welfare change to its Echuca and District Livestock Exchange. It will no longer accept horses that do not have clear origins and destinations. Let us hope that other shires will follow this example. As you may read in Horses need an identity urgently, Victorian laws are extremely irresponsible towards horses, and many horses suffer greatly in this state.

The Kurds and Syria - What now? (Interdit d'Interdire) [French language])

"Interdit d'interdire - Les Kurdes et la Syrie : et maintenant ?" provides here a stimulating and intellectually nuanced debate about the situation in Syria. Two of the participants are journalists from the Figaro and Le Monde, which tend to be seen respectively as right-wing and left-wing, but this does not prevent commonality on Syria, and criticism of mainstream reporting and policy. Note, this is a French language video.

John Pilger: Julian Assange’s extradition case is a SHOW TRIAL

In this episode, Afshin Rattansi of Going Underground speaks to legendary journalist and filmmaker John Pilger about Julian Assange’s latest extradition hearing on Monday, which Pilger attended. Pilger discusses how Assange appeared at the trial, the bias of the judge against the journalist, the lack of mainstream media coverage of his persecution, his health and conditions in Belmarsh Prison, CIA spying on the WikiLeaks founder, and more. Next, Afshin Rattansi speaks to Chris Williamson MP about Assange’s extradition hearing, Williamson's motion in the House of Commons to condemn Assange's treatment, why his persecution is of international importance, the silence of mainstream media on Julian Assange, the lack of vocal outrage from Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour front bench over Assange’s treatment, and more!

US Election 2020 - Tulsi Gabbard challenges Clinton to fight openly

Tulsi Gabbard is the only anti-war candidate for the upcoming US presidential elections. For this reason, she has been slandered by most mass media and largely ignored by her own party. Yet, she is an impressive candidate in a distinctly lackluster field, and the only one with real experience in war. She is the first female combat veteran to run for president. She is also the first Samoan American, and a Hindu. She is a member of the Democratic Party and represents Hawaii in Congress. She has just responded to a veiled attack by Hillary Clinton on Twitter, in a tweet as sensational as any that Trump has come up with.

Tulsi Gabbard wrote:

Clifford Hayes MP: Question without notice on Selling off Public Land & Overpopulation

Clifford Hayes, MP., of Sustainable Australia Party, asked Mr Jennings MP (Leader of the Government) to investigate selling public spaces to local governments at a nominal amount, given that population growth is driving ongoing decline in open space per capita in Melbourne. Mr Jennings' 'nothing to see here' response smacks disingenuously of avoiding the obvious context of the government's massive population growth-engineering and overdevelopment, which is driving an accelerated reduction in space and all kinds of ammenities, as well as democracy.

Yellow vests Paris Act 48 - 4.5 hours of Paris footage - citizens in the streets!

Great to see that the French are not backing down. Enjoy Ruptly footage of four and a half hours of Gilets jaunes marching in the street. A few translations: On est là! On est là! (We are here! We are here!) The writing on the cross that the man is carrying says, "Hope", with the O as a peace sign. The man with the loud speaker addressing the crowd at the crossroads repeats, "We are citizens above all!" The message on the banner carried by four men reads, "Grève Générale" - General Strike. (Australians lost the right to a general strike years ago - although that should not stop us.) To wit, one of the signs early in the march reads, "La force de l'injustice vient de l'obéissance." "The strength of injustice comes from obedience." Another sign, with Macron's face, "Qu'ils viennent me chercher!" "Come and get me!" Australians should be marching like this against the overpopulation that is now being forced at the pace of a full invasion by our so-called leaders. But we have been infilled, dispersed and thus disorganised. Time to unite as Australians, as citizens.

Syria: Turkish aggression is an invasion of Syrian territories - Syrian Army ready

Republished from: Mikdad: Turkish aggression is an invasion of Syrian territories… Syrian Army ready to confront all challenges,"10 October، 2019

Damascus, SANA-Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister, Fayssal Mikdad, described the hostile war launched by the Turkish regime on Syrian territories as “invasion,” saying that attacking a sovereign, independent country is considered as an outrageous act against the UN charter and international law which flagrantly contradicts Security Council relevant resolutions. “The Syrian Arab Army, which confronts the terrorist organizations, will confront the foreign invading forces which are present illegitimately on the Syrian territories and it is ready to face all challenges to which Syria is exposed,” Mikdad said in a press statement at the HQ of Foreign Ministry.

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