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Miranda Returns - Anne Lambert speaks up for Hanging Rock 2014

Video inside story.Anne Lambert, who played Miranda, the girl who disappeared at Hanging Rock (1975 film called Picnic at Hanging Rock) returned on 23 February 2014 to speak to concerned environmentalists, regional residents and visitors at a Respect the Rock activism day. People who live near the rock are worried about development plans announced by the local Shire which would change the natural beauty of this place and alienate it from ordinary people and encourage over-use which would threaten the many native animals and plants that enjoy this beautiful and mysterious place. Update: Changes to comments as to who is proposing the new developments. See notes at end of article.

Respect the Rock! Join Miranda for Live music and political action all day at Hanging Rock Sunday!

Be there! Sunday 23 February, 11.00 am Petanque Pavilion, Hanging Rock Reserve. Live music all day from 11 am - 12pm, Anne Louise Lambert and other speakers plus Live Action Zoo. Join the original Picnicker, Miranda (Anne Louise Lambert, star of the film) for a very special picnic at Hanging Rock. Voice your concern at the lack of community consultation on Macedon Ranges shire Council's proposed large-scale development at Hanging Rock, which includes a conference centre and accommodation facility.

Kelvin Thomson: Too few trees make high-density Coburg and Glenroy risky during heat waves

Federal Member for Wills, Kelvin Thomson, today said Monash University research which showed people in Coburg and Glenroy as vulnerable during heatwaves, highlights the need for more trees to be planted, and the risk from constantly adding more buildings.

Plan Melbourne and the New Residential Zones by Jack Roach of BRAG

Jack Roach of Boroondara Residents Action Group (BRAG) writes that neither our federal nor our state governments can fund the infrastructure required to supply a doubled Melbourne population. The growth lobby, which includes the Labor opposition, is placing pressure on Mathew Guy to reduce residents' rights. The real problem is, of course, the unwise decision to grow Melbourne's population.

East West Link Tunnel threat to Melbourne Zoo

"If Oregon can shut down highway construction adjacent to its zoo for four months over concern with the health of one pregnant elephant, what are the ongoing risks to the animals at Melbourne Zoo? These are amongst the questions that need answers before any contract is awarded." Michael Petit

Deep Sea Mining is not the answer to poverty alleviation for the Pacific

Civil society groups across the Pacific criticise SOPAC and its development of a regional regulatory framework on deep sea mining (DSM). They argue that it facilitates and pre-empts DSM before Pacific Island communities have had the opportunity to debate whether this is a form of development they want.

Snap No Tunnels East-West Link protest held Melbourne Parliament House steps today 12 Dec 2013

Chair of the Plan Melbourne Committee, Professor Roz Hansen, has been quoted saying that the government is spending $6 billion to $8 billion on a road solution that belongs in the 1960s or 1970s and that ‘it is not smart, innovative or progressive thinking’. She is thus now in step with majority opinion among Melbourne's community groups. Attendance at the protest today was representitive of the broader community, comprising many members of important community groups, plus the Greens, Opposition politicians, and local government figures. Julianne Bell of Protectors of Public Lands Vic, has been battling to protect one of Melbourne's most important public parks, Royal Park, since 1996, in particuar from the regularly recurring attempts of successive Victorian governments to build the East West Link which would destroy what remains of Royal Park. This is an affront to democracy and would be the theft of one of Mebourne's greatest assets.

Shockwave! News of Resignation of "Plan Melbourne" Committee over East West Link

See update and details at http://candobetter.net/?q=node/3591Community groups have received the news of an apparent backflip on East West link. Is there some democracy left in Melbourne after all? REMINDER - NO TUNNEL Snap Protest at 12 noon for a 12:15 pm start TODAY Thursday 12 December 2013 on the steps of Parliament!

NSW Government licences Lend Lease to remove all Emus from former ADI Site at Penrith

The people of Western Sydney have been betrayed by the NSW Government after it was revealed (see bottom of page) they issued Lend Lease a licence that will allow the removal of all the Emus from the controversial former ADI Site. Despite years of protests by locals and their supporters further afield (see ADI site history on candobetter.net ), the 1535 hectare former Australian Defence Industries Site is now owned by Lend Lease which is developing 5400 houses. 900 hectares of the site, the future home of the Emus and Kangaroos, is meant to become a Regional Park.

Childish about children: Parents need to engage more politically to save their children's world from destruction

This article is about how parents should not use their status as an escape route from political participation, but should step up that participation. Katie observes that there is a tendency to opt out with the arrival of children amongst the middle classes, which have important capacity for political effectiveness. The author wonders how parents can fail to be motivated as the world they came into is disappearing before their children's eyes.

Brimbank council administrators seeking comment re proposed land-sale

Brimbank Council do not have elected councillors. They have 3 appointed administrators. Two years ago they attempted to sell 13 parcels of land "open spaces" but residents fought hard and saved them as vital to the community. Now they are proposing selling one big parcel of land. Community activists believe it is important to retain this land and ask the public to make appropriate submissions.

Full text: Kelvin Thomson speech to Victoria First Inaugural General Meeting

Welcome. I always worried about population but I believed the demographers who said it would take care of itself. They were wrong, so I stopped listening to them. I kicked off a national debate about this issue in 2009. The points I made were about endangered species, climate change, traffic, housing, and the cost of living and the problems of Australia at 36 million. In 2010 there was movement - from the Greens, the Liberals, Kevin Rudd at Easter establishing a Population Minister, and Julia Gillard renouncing Big Australia. The election came and went, but there was no action. I don't know why Julia never delivered on this - I personally think she might still be PM today if she had.

Ronald Coase and economic bullying today

All over the world right wing 'think tanks' will be commemorating the work of economist Ronald Coase, who died on the second of September this year (2013) at the age of 102. Unfortunately his work has been used as an excuse to marginalise civil and human rights by making it legally acceptable for the interests of big business and the wealthy to over-rule everyone else’s financial, social and environmental interests. Coase's work is largely responsible for many of the problems of democracy, overpopulation and overdevelopment that are ruining more and more peoples' lives and freedom today. Many of its lesser supporters are naive followers of fashion and don't really understand what they are losing through their innocent embrace of 'efficiency' any more, perhaps, than did the followers of Chairman Mao's 'Great Leap Forward'. (This article is based on an extract from Sheila Newman's forthcoming book, Demography, Territory, Law 2: Land-tenure and the Origins of Capitalism in Britain, Countershock Press, probably early 2014.)

Help with East West Link submission templates here

Update, 10:56PM, 2 Dec 2013: Australian Senate demands Victoria end secrecy on East West toll road, republished from original article by Greens Senators Adam Bandt and Richard Di Natale. (This article originally published 25 Nov 2013.)
This article is sourced from Protectors of Public Land Victoria. It is about the need to make submissions on East West Link at this point in process. Whilst she acknowledges the public lack of confidence in the process, Julianne Bell of the grass-roots but heavy hitting Protectors of Public Land Vic Inc. argues that making submissions is still important. She has supplied templates here to help submitters avoid the absurdity of reading hundreds of pages before submitting. Find at the end of the article: PPL VIC: East West Link (1) Template Statement to Assist Making Submissions on the Comprehensive Impact Statement on the East West Link (2) Cover Sheet to Accompany Submission 4.

Kelvin Thomson: Melbourne Planning Debacle

A report released by the Federal Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics underlines just how inadequate and incompetent Melbourne’s recent planning has been.

The report analysed population growth, jobs growth and commuter flows in Australia’s four largest cities. It found:

1) Melbourne was the only city in which jobs growth in the outer suburbs had failed to keep pace with the population boom. Parts of outer Melbourne now have less than one job for every three working people, forcing residents to commute further for employment.

2) Eighty-four per cent of outer Melbournians drive to work, the highest level among Australia’s biggest cities, and just 9% use public transport.

NSW: "Disgraceful, corrupt planning bills" need your action now: NSW Better Planning Network

Geoff at Aussiebushtreks writes, "This is very urgent. Please watch Corine Fisher's video. [Inside article]" Then Email upper house pollies without delay. There is still a chance to stop O`Farrells dreadful destructive Planning Law. If you go to http://betterplanningnetwork.good.do/nsw/email-upper-house-mps/ your email will automatically go to Upper House Parliamentarians. Don't dilly dally!

Report on Min. Mathew Guy's community briefing on Plan Melbourne


On 25 October, Mathew Guy delivered his talk[1] to community representatives from a top floor in a high building overlooking Melbourne's vast expanse, which exceeds that of Paris. Community representatives heard Guy, speaking of the need to accommodate an ever rising population, say that 85% of Melbourne's population growth is from natural increase. In fact only 40% is from natural increase. The other 60 per cent of Victoria's population growth is due to immigration.

Kelvin Thomson's reply to Malcolm King’s Fortress Australia Article

Kelvin Thomson writes, "Malcolm King’s article, "Fortress Australia: green wasting the future", in the Sydney Morning Herald [1]makes numerous claims which are ... so far divorced from reality that one wonders why he makes them. He describes himself as director of a PR Business. It is time he disclosed his clients, which may help us understand the answer to that intriguing question."

Comments on Plan Melbourne: An Economist’s Perspective

Plan Melbourne is the latest by the latest Victorian government to attempt to accommodate forced population growth. This article examines the economic propositions entailed in the plan. The fundamental failure of Plan Melbourne is that it is driven by a political imperative to maintain rapid population growth. Developers and some industry sectors will benefit, but to the detriment of the general public. ...Planning solutions, whether they be decentralisation, intra-urban dispersion, environmental pricing or other strategies face too many political and implementation difficulties to be successful. Reducing the rate of population growth, on the other hand, would make the planning tasks so much easier. Excessive growth requires massive infrastructure costs and borrowing requirements that will jeopardize Victoria’s AAA credit rating. Most AAA-rated countries have little population growth and modest infrastructure needs.

Update Port of Hastings Development - Report on PoHDA CEO Mike Lean's talk

Jenny Warfe went to the Westernport Catchment Committee meeting yesterday 18th October 2013 to hear the PoHDA CEO Mike Lean’s presentation about the proposed Hastings Port expansion. It was all about business as usual, ignoring resource depletion, seeing growing the economy as the only way to provide jobs, unwilling to contemplate the ceasing of engineering population growth upwards. Here is a report.

No Coal port for Hastings Rally Nov 9th

The Mornington Peninsula has been under continuous assault from forced population growth in the face of lax environmental protection now since the time of Jeff Kennett, who made it part of 'Greater Melbourne', thus taking Victorian environmentalists 'beyond blue'. A few years ago plans to intensively industrialise Hastings on a scale previously unknown in Australia came to light. (See Candobetter has a whole site topic devoted to these.. Now the use of Hastings to export coal is being mooted.

Submission to City of Melbourne at the East West Link Public Meeting on Tuesday 8 October 2013

The East-West Link (EW Link) Preliminary Assessment by Geoff Lawler, Director of City Planning and Infrastructure, spells out in graphic terms to Council the wide scale damage to Royal Park likely from the EW Link. It is, therefore, difficult to understand why the City of Melbourne Mayor and Councillors have not apprehended the significance of this report and voted to publically oppose the destruction of the City by the East West Link. Submission from Protectors of Public Lands Victoria Inc. (PPL VIC)

Sunday Oct 13: 11AM - Rally against East-West Link

Community Rally! Say 'No' to the East-West Tunnel! Say 'Yes' to Public Transport! 11am Sunday October 13, Corner Brunswick St & Westgarth St, Fitzroy.
- Say no to the $8b government handout to private road companies and yes to real investment in the expansion and improvement
- Save hundreds of local residents homes from demolition or damage
- Save Royal Park for future generations & protect the Moonie Valley Creek
- Protect the Royal Melbourne Zoo

Why Jellyfish are taking over the world - Lisa-ann Gershwin’s “Stung! On jellyfish blooms and the future of the ocean”

Move aside Steven King, jellyfish are worse than any of your demons, worse than any Grade-B monster that’s graced the silver screen. Unlike The Blob, which can be stopped by freezing, you can’t kill them. Not with chemical repellents or biocides or nets or electric shocks or introducing species that eat jellyfish like the striped sea slug. If you shoot, stab, slash, or chop off part of a jellyfish, it can regenerate lost body parts within two days. Not even the past 5 major extinction events which killed up to 90% of all life on earth, killed off the jellyfish.

Labor Leadership Contenders' Views on East West Link - Albo opposes it!

Julianne Bell of Protectors of Public Land Victoria Inc, has approached both ALP leadership contenders on the issue of the East West Link. Albanese OPPOSES the EAST WEST LINK, questions the 'business case' and points to public transport. Despite several attempts no view has been forthcoming from Shorten.

East-West Link and the Moonee Ponds Creek - come and see what the fuss is about

Residents and businesses should be concerned about the wide impacts of the proposed East-West Link along the lower sections of Moonee Ponds Creek corridor in Flemington, Kensington, Parkville West and North Melbourne. See Video inside and check out the 'Port Connection' pdf from Linking Melbourne Authority.

Jonathan Moylan: Anti-coal protester with public support faces huge costs at Supreme Court

Update, 24 Sep 2013 : The Sydney Morning Herald reports, "Mr Moylan was committed to the Supreme Court and will be appearing there on November 1."
See also: Hunter Valley food bowl plan faces urban development pressures of 1 Oct 2013, stopcsgsydney.org.au (last updated, 25 Aug); Stop CSG! Illawarra (last updated, 15 Sep). Paul Craig Roberts mentions the threat to underground water supplies as a result of fracking in the US in The Real Crisis Is Not The Government Shutdown of 2 Oct 2013.

In January this year, Jonathan Moylan sent a press release on ANZ letterhead to the ASX stating that the bank will withdraw financial support from Whitehaven’s Maules Creek open cut coal mine on ethical grounds. The case has now gone to the Supreme Court and Jonathan is facing up to 10 years jail and more than $700,000 in fines under s1041E of the Corporations Act. Jonathan's supporters feel that this is the exercise of might against right and point to ASIC's failure to prosecute big offenders in corporate crime. Anglophone law and industrial policy have a long history of persecuting democratic activism and have made it much harder for local people to organise against power than under the Roman Law (Napoleonic) system in continental Europe. This needs to change.

Help save Hanging Rock from overdevelopment decision by undemocratic few

Help needed, and it won’t take but a moment of your time. Here in Macedon Ranges Shire we have a terrible council. It thinks it can operate and make decisions in isolation of and without consulting its community, while making the community pay for its decisions. Recently Macedon Ranges council took this culture a step too far. It deliberately resolved (not once, but twice) to apply for funding for a conference centre (and other large-scale development) at Hanging Rock and to not consult the community on the development or funding.

Good bye Eltham, hello Utilitarianism

High-rise apartment blocks

During a recent conversation with a rather misguided friend, he remarked on the pleasure he claimed to experience at a glimpse via the window of a magpie feeding its young in his backyard. I have never actually seen his house but he described it as a wide bungalow running east-west along his outer suburban property, designed to catch the north sun. He also admitted to owning vacant bush land with wildlife on either side of his house.

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