Video inside: The Big Population Debate at the Deakin Edge in Federation Square, Melbourne, on October 13, 2014, between Kelvin Thomson and Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, was a fantastic success in terms of numbers and outcome. Given the utter inertia of political process in responding to this democratic emergency, Mary Drost's call for a Referendum on Australia's Population Growth was a great idea to go forward. With both Kelvin Thomson and Mayor Doyle agreeing that a referendum on population is a good idea, Victorians and other Australians have something concrete to go forward with. The film here is of the debate. The referendum is on the open mike section, which is the next film that will be published. The debate embedded here showed that Mayor Doyle really doesn't have a handle on the issue at all, except as a loyal servant to the business end of growth. Kelvin Thomson's ability to debate the subject would make him a world leader in this area. This is a very important and historic record. Congratulations to Mary Drost of Planning Backlash for making it happen. Sheila Newman produced the video.
The great disappointment for many of us was the Mayor's premise that, in his opinion, population growth was inevitable and that his job was to respond to that inevitability in his role as Mayor. So he would not provide a frank opinion on whether he agreed that endless extreme population growth was unreasonable. He avoided the issue and would not concede his responsibility to the people of Melbourne who are being subjected to this ongoing process of dispossession.
The Mayor highlighted that we live in a free society where public policy debate allows this issue to be fully aired. He also explained the difference between his versions of dumb growth and smart growth. He didn't mention that a key issue is the RATE of growth - which is what concerns most people.
He praised the virtues of modern Melbourne compared to the Melbourne of the 70s and effectively claimed that we could not live in the halcyon days of the past.
He made no mention of:
- We would not be able to "live in the future" either if Australia continued its autocratically imposed self-colonisation policy indefinitely
- At 2.5% per annum, Melbourne's population growth is comparable to those of the most underdeveloped parts of Africa
- Unlike such underdeveloped countries where growth is "natural", Australia's extreme rate of growth is due to an autocratic policy of extreme self-colonisation without the consent of the Australian people
- The ABC does not support open public policy debate of this issue
- Australian homelessness is escalating at a compound rate of 3.2% per annum (doubling time 22 years)
- Australian unemployment is escalating at a compound rate of 2.3% per annum (doubling time 30 years)
- The above rates, if directly influenced by population growth, are likely to be far higher in Melbourne than the Australian averages
- There is significant evidence that population growth is directly implicated in the deterioration of the Australian economy, and that this is directly related to Australia's reduction in philanthropic aid both at home and abroad
The Mayor's (and the ABC's) approach to the issue is analogous to a public figure regarding homicide using semi-automatic weapons as "inevitable" and then proposing that nothing should be done to investigate ways to reduce this rate of homicide.
The Mayor's claim that population growth is inevitable is contrary to his policy of reducing the speed limit in the CBD to 40 kph. He claimed that this was done because nobody dies when hit by a car travelling at 40 kph or less.
The Mayor is the epitomy of what is wrong with the Australian ruling class. He appears genuinely motivated by the desire to do good, yet excludes rational, analytical, "limits to growth" thinking from his zone of responsibility. It was as if he was saying: "I was only obeying orders. The Feds told me it is inevitable. I am innocent. It's not my responsibility." I disagree. I think it is all our responsibilities.
The question is, what right have politicians and public figures to deny reality in this way? Well you might ask.
The Moderator chipped in to say there was no lack of food (in the world) because millions of tonnes of excess food was being distributed to the needy by SecondBite. SecondBite is a good cause that both the Mayor and the Moderator personally support.
So there you have it. By doing good do these two somehow justify denial of a reality that "inevitably" will do far more harm than any limited good they can otherwise do?
Infinite food in an infinite world with infinite population. Such is the nature of the illogical ruling (and moderating) class. Innumeracy does a lot to cripple analytical thinking. Australia's population will continue to double every 40 years or less, and the Mayor effectively advocates this.
On this basis, in 200 years Australia's population will be 736 million if it compounds at 1.8% per year. In 200 years Melbourne's population would be 628 million if it compounds at 2.5% per year. These are the numbers that will dictate Australia's future.
However, after infuriating many in the audience with avoidance of the real issue, the Mayor fully supported a referendum on population growth at the end of question time after the debate. For that glimmer of reasonableness we extend our thanks.
UPDATE: For the film of debate click here. The debate was attended by a 200 plus audience. The Lord Mayor showed courage under fire as he went down in the debate with only a pea-shooter of light-weight fashion statements like how many coffee shops Melbourne has vs a steady stream of deadly facts from Mr Thomson. The editors of candobetter.net are working to bring you a film of the debate, plus commentary and interviews with people who attended, ASAP. Mary Drost is to be resounding congratulated for achieving this important democratic event and also for calling for a referendum on population increase, which both Kelvin Thomson and Lord Mayor Doyle agreed would be desirable.
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle and Kelvin Thomson MP will debate the topic of Victoria's rapid and increasing population growth at Deakin Edge in Federation Square from 5.30-7pm on 13 October 2014. A few months ago Planning Backlash leader, Mary Drost, challenged Melbourne Mayor, Robert Doyle, to debate much loved Federal Member of Parliament, Kelvin Thomson, who retained his federal seat by a huge margin in an election where most other members of his party lost their seats. In 2014 Mr Thomson established Victoria First, a not-for-profit NGO to safeguard and enhance Victoria’s way of life against overpopulation. He is the only politician in Victoria to represent the people against the big business drive for rapid population growth.
The rate of population growth affects people's lives by stressing services, infrastructure, and putting ever-increasing pressure on Victoria's (and Australia's) fragile environment. Residents' action groups, environment groups, flora and fauna protection groups all demonstrate and otherwise engage frequently to try and stop the brutal impacts of state-planned overpopulation on democracy, property rights, and the built and natural environment of this state. Our environmental and biodiversity protection laws are inadequate in the face of the growth onslaught.
The major portion of Australia's population growth is due to the very high rate of planned invited economic immigration in Australia. This is a situation promoted by the states, which like Victoria, all have government websites that seek to attract high numbers of immigrants to this country. Victoria's website is http://www.liveinvictoria.vic.gov.au/
Successive Victorian governments from the time of Jeff Kennett's have all deliberately brought on the population squeeze that has driven them to expend resources on successive planning blueprints for the state.
The major driver behind population growth is a number of focused beneficiaries which have formed organisations in order to keep those benefits coming. Property developers, mortgage financiers and their mass media representatives predominate in the growth lobby. The mass media has interests in population growth in stimulating business for property dot coms like www.realestate.com.au and www.domain.com.au and is the growth lobby's corporate mouthpiece. Therefore Melbourne's The Age, the Financial Review and the Herald Sun constantly talk about population growth but report it in a biased way, pretending, as the government does, that it is inevitable.
Melbourne’s Mayor Robert Doyle will represent the growth lobby position by saying that growth is inevitable in urban centres and must be 'planned for'. The Mayor’s opponent, Kelvin Thomson, is advocating for a reduction in the rate of population growth, which is currently 1.82% compared with the world average of 1.1%, Russian Federation 0.2%, Korea 0.4%, China 0.5%, France 0.5%, UK 0.6%, US 0.7%, Sweden 0.8%, New Zealand 0.8%, Samoa 0.8%, French Polynesia 1.1%, India 1.2%, Indonesia 1.2%, Canada 1.2%, Haiti 1.4%, Malaysia 1.6%, Singapore 1.6%, West Bank and Gaza 3.0%. Australia's population, at its current rate of growth of 1.8% per annum, would double in 38 years. At 0.5 % per annum, France's would take 138 years to double, but France's rate is more likely to decline, so that its population will never double, whereas Australia's rate has been higher and the government intends to increase it.
The forum will address the pros and cons of population growth. There will be an opportunity to ask questions.
Presented by Planning Backlash and a coalition of resident groups.
Where: Deakin Edge
When: Monday 13 October, 5.30pm - 7pm
The violent removal of Occupy Melbourne protestors by Victoria Police on Friday 21st October 2011 from Melbourne’s City Square after being given the green light by the Melbourne Mayor, Robert Doyle, and the Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu highlights how important it is to reclaim open public space for political activity in the City of Melbourne, a city that only gives lip service to the right to protest.
The 11th November has played an important role in radical Australian history. On the 11th November 2011 the Melbourne based Anarchist Media Institute encourages the people of Melbourne to reclaim Melbourne’s City Square to commemorate:
The 11th November 1854, the day 157 years ago when the Ballarat Reform League, the organisation behind the Eureka Rebellion, was formed on the Ballarat goldfields.
The 11th November 1880, the day 131 years ago when Ned Kelly one of Australia's most well known rebels was executed in the Old Melbourne Gaol.
The 11th November 1918, the day 93 years ago that marked the end of World War One, a war fought by workers at either end of a bayonet fo the glory of God, King and Country that resulted in the death of ove
60,000 young Australian men from a population of only five million people.
The 11th November 1975, the day 36 years ago when the Governor General dismissed the Whitlam Labor government, a government that introduced more reforms in four years than every post war Australian government put together has been able to achieve.
Join us - Midday Friday 11th November Melbourne City Square Reclaim the Past to Understand the Present and Change the Future.
Australian Radical History the Eureka Series 2011 No. 10 - Think about it!!
The media reports about the violent dispersal by the Victoria Police of peaceful Occupy Melbourne protestors on the 21st October 2011 is full of justifications for the outrageous actions of the Lord Mayo Robert Doyle and the Premier Ted Baillieu. One hundred and fifty-seven years ago, despite the authorities best effort, the people of Victoria rallied behind the Eureka rebels, not Governor Hotham and Queen Victoria.
Within four months of the rebellion the 13 men charged with High Treason for their participation in the rebellion had been acquitted in the Victorian Supreme Court by a jury of their peers. Within six months a General Amnesty was declared for all those miners and esidents connected with the Eureka Stockade. Within six months a new Electoral Act gave miners the right to vote. Within seven months the notorious gold license was replaced with an export duty on gold and the hated Gold Commission was abolished.
Within eight months Raffaello Carboni, one of the leaders of the Eureka Rebellion, was elected to the Local Court at Ballarat to adjudicate mining disputes. Within eleven months both Peter Lalor, the elected leader of the Eureka rebels and John Humffray, the leade of the passive resistance group within the Ballarat Reform League, were elected to the Legislative Council of Victoria.
The difference between 1854 and 2011 is a free diverse vibrant media that reflects the will of the people not the will of the corporate sector and the government. The Eureka Rebellion did not end on the 3rd December 1854, the Occupy Melbourne protests will not end on the 21st October 2011, they will continue while that small section of society that owns the means of production, distribution and exchange dominates every aspect of our lives.
You can hear Joe Toscano's wonderful weekly radio show on 3CR by podcast. Catch the latest here
Mayor Robert Doyle has recommended that powerful owls be encouraged back to Melbourne's parks in order to reduce the possum population. He may be desperate for publicity, but he is giving a poor example. It sounds mean to possums, which he misrepresents as 'vermin' and might encourage still more cruelty to them by ignorant people. An anonymous contributor writes, "Mayor Robert Doyle is focusing on the wrong pest. ..." (This article first appeared as a comment by Nimby, "Melbourne Mayor Robert Doyle's war on possums," to candobetter.org.)
Article by "Nimby."
Melbourne Mayor Robert Doyle's war on possums
Melbourne's Lord Mayor Robert Doyle is threatening to unleash a brigade of predators - powerful owls - to fix our problem possums. Cr Doyle yesterday declared war on the "exploding" population of "vermin".
He says, "I know they are protected, but I come out of my house in South Melbourne and I'm virtually waist deep in possum poo."
Next year, nesting boxes designed to attract powerful owls will be placed in Royal Park in Parkville, and the Fitzroy and Flagstaff gardens in the city.
The Powerful Owl is symbolic as being one of the supreme nocturnal predators in the forests of south-eastern Australia, They are forest dwellers which rely on areas of old growth forests that contain mature, live hollow bearing eucalypt trees that can be hundreds of years old. The main component of the Powerful Owl diet across its range is Ringtail Possum, this may be supplemented by other arboreal possums and gliders depending on the geographic location and prey present, eg Greater Glider, Brushtail Possum, Sugar Glider, Yellow-bellied Glider.
Ironically, the powerful owl is Vulnerable in Victoria. They are adversely affected by the clearfelling of forests and the consequent conversion of those forests into open landscapes, but the species may persist in forests that have been lightly or selectively logged. Thanks to VicForests! Here we have contradictory policies from State and Local government.
More trees needed for native animals
Rheya Linden from Animal Active branded the Mayor "ignorant". The human population explosion has meant that native trees are being chopped, and the number of exotics have increased. What we need is an ecological balance, with MORE native trees!
Too many humans too ignorant to recognise our natural wealth
Mayor Robert Doyle is focusing on the wrong pest. Why not clean up all the alcohol venues and the drugs and violence in Melbourne's streets, and make it safe like it used to be? The violence and crime is not coming from possums, but feral humans! We can't fight against Nature and pretend we are a European city. Australia is a country called "mega-diverse", which means we are rich in flora and fauna. This is part of our natural wealth, and it needs to be embraced, not trashed.