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Property Council conference placarded by Peak Oil and Sustainable Population advocates in South Australia

Today outside the Property Council's "Sustainable Urban Growth Conference", there was some unexpected - but long awaited - activity. For one hour during the registration at the beginning of the conference 9 people from Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) and Beyond Oil in South Australia (BOSA) greeted conference attenders with a big SPA banner and handouts for all the delegates.

Placard: Sustainable Growth is a scam!

Their placards were much in evidence, bearing slogans, including, " "Sustainable Growth is a SCAM", "Sustainable Growth oxyMORONIC", "TODs mean too many BODs". etc.

Most conference attenders received a handout from the demonstrators. SPA Member and ex-Democrat, Dr John Coulter, was interviewed by Channel 10, although noise from traffic made this hard to hear.

Property Council Australia (PCA) conference organisers looked stunned as demonstrators posed for photographs with international invited speakers, but many in the throng appeared to have a good time.

Protest outside more cost effective than ticket to conference

The cost of attending the "Sustainable Urban Growth Conference" is beyond the means of most ordinary people. Protests outside such events seem like the only way that Australians can show what they think of the policies that the PCA boasts of influencing the government to adopt.

From a Property Council powerpoint presentation slide

Policies to grow Australia's population, reduce the taxes that property developers, investors, financiers and realtors pay, and policies for endlessly renovating and extending big infrastructure and housing, despite constant resistance from people whose lives are adversely affected by these policies, which increase the cost of living and decrease quality of life.

BOSA hits the right target


Beyond Oil South Australia is a group which supports radical action by government and individuals to cope with a future constrained oil supply and high petroleum prices. It seeks to bring about a clear understanding of where economic growth is leading and that growth requires an increasing oil supply. It supports population stabilisation and eventual reduction.

Population sociologist compares situation in 2002 at the Bracks Melbourne Population Summit

Population sociologist, Sheila Newman, who wrote The Growth Lobby and its Absence (2002) about how Australia is dominated by the growth lobby and France is not, commented, "I handed out a press release on behalf of SPA Victoria naming the members of the growth lobby's peak body (which was APop then and is now the PCA) on the steps of the Steve Bracks Melbourne Population Summit in 2002. The Financial Review ran the press release in its entirety, but SPA failed to take the matter up more widely, which always struck me as a tragic lost opportunity, because, since then the growth lobby has become frighteningly powerful and population growthism has been quasi-normalised by governments with the help of the mainstream press. Recently, however, Mark O'Connor came out with a book called Overloading Australia, which was distributed by SPA and which talked about the Growth Lobby."

Growth lobby undermining democracy

"It is great that they are now linking the push for population to the development lobby. Children should be taught of this menace to democracy and sustainability at school."

Newman said that, "Unfortunately democracy has gone out the window as government simply takes its directions from the PCA and similar growth lobby groups, which are internationally powerful and very wealthy. With the public almost excluded from decisions about their towns and cities, there is nothing left to do but picket the lobby groups."

"Let's hope that this is the beginning of a whole new trend in grass-roots democracy." Newman is also the editor of The Final Energy Crisis, (Pluto Press, UK, 2008), which is about Peak Oil, alternative energies and population scenarios.

Michael Lardelli of BOSA can be contacted on E-mail: michael.lardelli[at]adelaide.edu.au or phone: (08) 8303-3212

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Comments

Great to see our side finally using that crucial weapon, the demonstration. It is one of the best ways to express indignation and to shame the bad guys.
-- MOC

This looks to have been quite successful, well done all involved. The protest is indeed a fantastic tool.