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Tonight 7.15PM: Melbourne's skyrocketing population: Kelvin Thomson speaks out in Melbourne November 11


Here is a date for you diaries. The Royal Park Protection Group Inc gives notice of the 2009 Annual General Meeting which will be of interest given the special guest speaker. Here are the details:

Time: 7:15 pm for 7:30 pm.

Date: Wednesday 11 November 2009.

Venue: Meeting Room 1 North Melbourne Library 66 Errol Street, North Melbourne next to the Town Hall and Post Office near the corner of Errol and Queensberry St. (Parking usually available in surrounding streets.) Tram No 57 from Elizabeth St. travels along Errol St.

Guest Speaker: Mr. Kelvin Thomson MHR Federal Member for Wills. He will speak on the following topic: "Melbourne's skyrocketing population and its implications for our environment and our way of life". Kelvin would like a show of support as he is the sole voice in Government speaking up for sustainable population; opposing the expansion of the Urban Growth Boundary with the prospect of urban sprawl and destruction of Green Wedges plus imposition of the Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC) - a grossly unfair land tax - plus fast tracking of freeways and road tunnels. Royal Park is still under threat from the extension of the Eastern Freeway in a road tunnel or open cut freeway.

Election of Executive Committee: Proceedings will include election of the executive committee for 2010 and reconfirm the focus of the Group for 2010.

Supper: Stay to supper and meet our celebrity guest, catch up with other members and representatives of other community groups.

Contact: Anne Phefley Secretary Royal Park Protection Group Inc. Phone mobile 0412 279 156


Paul Braddick, head of property and financial systems analysis at ANZ, said the housing industry and policy authorities have a lot of work ahead to ensure supply issues don't further skew house prices. Housing prices have become impossibly high for many Australians by an artificial high demand. That means that more houses must be build to keep up to demand.

Migration added 439,000 people to Australia's population in the year to March 2009, the strongest increase on record. But dwelling completions are forecast to fall below 130,000 in the year ahead, he said. Instead of dealing with the root source of the problem, explosive and unnatural population growth, the pro-growth investors want to take advantage of it and line their own pockets.
It is ironic that Kevin Rudd is blasting the climate change deniers while he himself orchestrated our historically high immigration numbers, supports economic growth at all costs and unsustainable coal industries.

I just heard Brisbane local ABC radio's Madonna King interview Doug McTaggart the Chief Executive of the Government owned Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC).

He talked of 20,000 (I think) people moving up to Queensland each quarter.

I am not sure how this topic came into it, but Madonna King asked if that would cause property prices to go up and he unsurprisingly confirmed that it would. Then Madonna King suggested that property would be a good investment.

In other words, Madonna King apparently sees profiting from others' needs for such a basic necessity as shelter being a good thing and, presumably, allowing (or deliberately causing) population growth to drive up property values is also a good thing, although se didn't state that explicitly.

A regular feature of her program is a discussion of property values with a real estate investment adviser. In those sessions she talks as if its inherently good if property prices go up and bad if they remain the same or go down

Then, on other occasions, Madonna King rails with seeming passion against housing unaffordability and the plight of the homeless. At least one of her Saturday Courier-Mail columns in the previous month was devoted to this issue, However, she seems inexplicably incapable of understanding the obvious irecconciliable conflict of interest between property speculators on the one hand and ordinary Australians needing secure adn affordable shelter on the other. As I put in a media release as Lord Mayoral candidate on 4 March 2008 in response to one of Prime Minister Rudd's similar expressed concerns about housing unaffordability:

Mr Rudd needs to decide whether he will continue to serve the interests of the property sector or whether he will provide ordinary Australians with affordable housing, but he cannot do both.

Naturally my media release was not published.

Doug McTaggart also went on to explain how population growth necessitated the Queensland Government's fire sale. The argument he put was, the Queensland faced 3 choices:

1. Not build the infrastructure necessary to provide jobs for and meet the needs of the new arrivals;
2. Raise taxes; or
3. Sell off assets ("Rearrange the balance sheet" as he put it at one point.

Interestingly, both Kevin Rudd and Rupert Murdoch's Australian newspaper neglected to tell the Australian public that selling off public assets was part of the price they would have to pay for the population growth that they insist is so much in our interests. (See, for example "Population is destiny" in the Australian of 19 September.)

Somehow, it apparently occurred to neither King nor McTaggart that another choice should be offered to the Australian public:

4. Reduce immigration and stablise our population.

McTaggart's 'argument' in favour of privitasation was reported almost immediately afterwards on the ABC's 10AM news bulletin.

For those who may be interested, I have written more of Madonna King's method of journalism, which many of her listeners mistake for properly holding to account our political and business leaders here on John Quiggin's web site as well as in the article "Brisbane ABC suppresses alternative candidates in state elections despite listener dismay with major parties” of 30 Apr 09 on this web site.

The Traveston Dam project to provide water for the growing population does not align with the objectives of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act that Mr Garrett administers. Thousands of people wait for Peter Garret to invoke a decision that may in fact save their homes, their communities, their lifestyles. They don’t want a song or a live performance, they simply want one word. NO. The decision rests firmly in the hands of Garrett and according to some, so does the future of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC) which the federal minister must consider when assessing the proposed dam.

The state government said that if approved the dam would be completed by 2016-17 and create 770 jobs. Anna Bligh said she had always said south-east Queensland needed the project to deliver reliable water supply for the future. Queensland lungfish, the Mary River turtle, Mary River cod and the giant barred frog and further koala habitat will be all possibly gone! What is the chance that Peter Garrett will make a decision FOR the environment on this one? What is the future of the power of the Environmental Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act if the dam goes ahead?

It's a sure sign Brisbane's population has reached saturation when new dams are proposed.
If a city cannot sustain its population on the existing resources it has, then it has reached population saturation.
Brisbane's metropolis now sprawls from NSW to Noosa Heads and west of Ipswich. It's population demand for water has exceeded its water supply.

Queensland Premier Bligh says "the Queensland Government will have to come up with alternative sources of drinking water if the Traveston Crossing dam in the state's south-east is not approved." [ABC 10-Nov-09]

Water is just one public utility, then there is electricity, gas, public transport, education, housing, aged care, etc. All Queensland public services are overstretched from Rudds flood gate policy on immigration with spill over effects from interstate as many thousands flee saturated Sydney and Melbourne to a bulemic Brisbane. Australia's urban population problem is snowballing, yet Rudd blindly cannot see the elephant in the room or has a hidden agenda. It has nothing to do with race and nothing to do with the refugee issue - which are being mischieviously played as political red herrings.

Traveston dam on the Mary River near Gympie will be another travesty of justice on the existing rural community way of life and ecology to feed an insatiable sprawl policy.

Garrett stands to be remembered for his watering down of Australia's environmental legislation and for species extinctions on his watch.

I heard on the news this evening that Federal Environment Minister Garrett has rejected QLD Premier Bligh’s Traveston Dam proposal.


I support Mr Garrett on his decision, on his timing and moreso on this public delivery and explanation.

This is strong and frankly the best communicated decision Peter Garrett has delivered since entering politics. Conviction is what Australians respect, listen to and right now crave while political indecision wafts in the tropical heat to our north. When a Federal minister conveys a steadfast decision supported with a ratio decidendi at a prompt media conference, the public listens.

Good stuff! Leadership requires decisions that are not always popular. But popularism is a trait of submissiveness or manipulativeness, but not of leadership and more one of diplomacy or administrative convenience. No leader is remembered for a record of compromises, but for standing fast to one's conviction. No one can be fairly criticised for standing by one's conviction.

The Traveston issue is one well beyond Brisbane’s grey water thinking. It is one of overpopulation pressure – like an elephant in the room. Bligh landed Beattie's job from his timely departure, yet brought to Queenslanders no Bligh plan or hope. So what does Anna want to be remembered for in her time at the Queensland helm?

Thanks for the news, tigerquoll. Thanks for the reprieve, Garrett. Didn't think you had it in you.

Sheila Newman, population sociologist
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With the shame of the massive 10 week oil leak off the Kimberleys, and other pressures no doubt, a decision actually FOR the environment will well and truly due! With the exposure of the threat to koala populations, and the endangered species threatened by the dam, there was really no "science" that could be twisted and distorted enough to endorse this project. A decision FOR the environment had to be made - eventually.