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Transport for Sustainable Cities forum - Report

Today at the Sustainable Living Festival there was a debate on the problem of Sustainable Transport. Fortunately Mary Drost was there to keep the speakers to the point.

The first speaker was Ross Garnaut, professor of Economics and author of a climate change review. He seemed very keen on a denser population, using more public transport and talked about cities with good public transport, giving Hong Kong and Tokyo as examples.

The second speaker was Greg Hunt MP, the Liberal Shadow Minister for Climate Action. In talking about transport, he pointed out that, in relation to measuring greenhouse emissions, it is consumption per head multiplied by population numbers. He said that the time is coming for a population debate.

He then took questions. Mary Drost of Planning Backlash said that she did not want to live in Hong Kong or Tokyo, but in Melbourne. She said she did not want to see Melbourne ruined and added that she agreed with Kelvin Thomson's ideas on population numbers for Australia. She asked Greg Hunt if he would work with Kelvin Thomson to get this population debate out into the public arena.

There was much clapping from the public for her comments.

Greg Hunt, who sounded a little surprised, replied that he would 'in a bipartisan way'.

Mary Drost asked Greg Hunt to "Tell Abbott" and she then said to Kelvin Thomson (the next speaker), "And you tell Rudd."

The third speaker was Kelvin Thomson.

Thomson said that ageing should not be seen as a burden because older people contribute, and as they retire young people get jobs. He said that we need more railways, the outer areas are being neglected. He commented that we have 2 million cars now, but by 2036 there will be 3 million cars. "We have to stop cramming people in," he stated. "Our biggest problem is rapid population growth." He advised people to say "No" to new suburbs and "no" to new high rise and infill."

Good to see some relevance at the Sustainable Living Festival, which sometimes looks as if it too is being taken over by the Housing Industry and the Recycling Industry along with the Spin Industry.


The Premier of Victoria has a 'Share your ideas page' where people can go online and vote for or against ideas the public post there. You have to register but there is no check on your real name, if you are worried about government spying. Vivienne has put the following 'idea' up. Currently it is running at MINUS 17 or something bizarre. So try and give it a boost.

Stop Urban Sprawl
Date of original idea: 21st February 2010
About 70% of Victoria is already cleared and damaged. Victoria is suffering from unsustainable expansion and environmental damage. We have urban sprawl threatening fertile areas and food producing farms. Outer areas means cheaper housing, but less public transport and more cars! We are being pressed into higher density living in regions closer to Melbourne, but this is not family-friendly. Urban sprawl must stop destroying Victoria's grasslands, native vegetation and squeezing out our struggling native wildlife.
: Environment