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Community against EastWest Tunnel head to ALP conference this weekend

The Moreland Community Against the East West Tunnel will be setting up tables to lobby those attending the ALP State Conference this weekend at the Moonee Valley Racecourse to reject any contract(s) signed before the State election to build the East West Link. MCAT members will distribute and discuss the attached flyer that argues: The absence of a mandate for the project, the lack of transparency surrounding it and the serious flaws being identified at the hearings before the Assessment Panel lend support to the view that the responsible course of action is to publicly state that any contracts entered into will not be upheld by Labor.

10 May 2014 - Kenneth Davidson "Kleptomania and the Contract State" - Protectors of Public Lands AGM


Protectors of Public Lands Victoria Inc Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2.15PM Saturday 10 May 2014, Flemington Community Centre: This is an important AGM as the election looms plus the climax of the great East West Link Toll Road battle in which the future of Melbourne is at stake. A question now on everyone's lips is, 'Will the ALP - the State Opposition - listen to the public and renege on the East West Link contracts should they win the election?' (Inside: download speech: "Can Governments break contracts" by Nick Seddon.)

Sunday May 4: Children’s March for the Animals to Melbourne Zoo - massive dress-up opportunity!

Moreland Community Against the Tunnel (MCAT) is organising a Children's March for the Animals to Melbourne Zoo. The march is this Sunday 4 May, 1PM! The proposed East West Link runs within 40m of the zoo, and will involve cut and cover construction right through Royal Park, including removal of 1000s of trees. The March for the Animals is designed to draw attention to the risks to the zoo as a result - risks which have still not been assessed. Adults and children are encouraged to join the march, ideally dressed as their favourite zoo animal. Australian entertainer with a social conscience Rod Quantock will lead the Children's March for the Animals from Princes Park 500 metres to the Melbourne Zoo.

DEPI and Parks Victoria declare a secret war on the Southern Brown Bandicoot

The recent strategy of these organisations for the management of the Southern Brown Bandicoot is based on 99% of bias and negativity. It is a declaration of war against this species. Their barbaric program is full of hypocrisy as well as hiding the real evidence in order to bolster their arguments. Their proposals are too opaque and misleading and often quite ridiculous, simply all in order to save money!

Help needed to expose bogus government kangaroo "science"

Alphadog AnimalArmy Inc (http://animalarmy.org/) need to meet a target goal of up to $9000 right now for urgent ACT licenced Ecological studies to expose ACT Government manufactured science and provide a new habitat to release translocated kangaroos.

After many months of dedicated and tireless research and project development, the Alphadog AnimalArmy Inc ACT Kangaroo Translocation project trial proposal is under consideration by the ACT Government. For the past 5 months, Charity Director, Marcus Fillinger has poured his time, money, blood, sweat and tears into the 81 page document submission that will challenge and expose every aspect of the ACT Government’s current questionable, flawed and unsubstantiated approach to kangaroo management.

TONIGHT: Westernport: a bay on the brink - Environmental Presentation on Port of Hastings expansion

Speakers: Jenny Warfe (Blue Wedges); Jenny Lowe (BirdLife); Dave Minton, Port of Hastings Development Authorities; Simon Brannigan, VNPA Marine spokesperson; Hugh Kirkman, Marine Environmental Consultant. Starts 5.45, Tuesday 15 April, Hastings Community Hub, 1973 Frankston-Flinders Rd, Hastings (booking essential) Westernport Bay is a site of international significance for aquatic birds and right on the doorstep of Melbourne. Its extensive intertidal mudflats, seagrass meadows, saltmarshes and mangroves support more than 10,000 migratory
shorebirds and 10,000 waterfowl. Yet despite its incredible importance as a bird sanctuary the Napthine Government plans to drastically expand Port of Hastings within the bay into an international container port - oil spills, dredging, land clearing, and thousands of more ships a year could put Westernport’s birdlife and habitats at risk.

The Minister for Future Planning, Australia - video

The Australian Minister for Future Planning, Mrs Jaqueline Crapaud is interviewed here by Prudence Reilly on the Sustainable Victoria Show. The Minister explains Australia's immigration policy of attracting billionaires, the privatisation policy and how this will apply to Tasmania, ports and the Sydney Opera House, and she elaborates a new Tax-Player plan which will pay sporadic bonuses and where client-citizens will register with the ACCC as private companies. She also explores the fate of Generation X. The production is 25 minutes long and highly educational.

Melbourne's Rapid Population Growth has "Developing World" Status

Melbourne lord mayor Robert Doyle has called for an end to “dumb growth”, saying the Victorian capital needs to “stop spreading at the edges like some sort of stain”. The former Victorian opposition leader told a seminar on future visions for Melbourne that he was alarmed by new communities springing up in the outer suburbs, marooned from jobs and public transport.

Cr Doyle said the only “smart” way to achieve a “big Melbourne” was to inject new homes into established suburbs and the city's extensive urban renewal areas, such as E-Gate and Fisherman's Bend. He said the City of Melbourne believed an extra 3 million people could comfortably be housed within the current boundaries of the city.

Kew Cottages pre-State election Meet the Candidates Annual Public Meeting

You are Cordially Invited to Kew Cottages Coalition Inc. Annual Public Meeting at the Kew Civic Centre, 8pm Tuesday 18th March 2014 (Details and Melways Reference at end of this article). Kew Cottages Coalition Inc. presents "Kew Cottages and the Victorian State Election: A Midsummer Night's Public Meeting" with MC Rod Quantock

Former Shire President, Richard Hughes, speaks at Hanging Rock defense day

Video inside story.Richard Hughes gives a short, eloquent history of what residents achieved to safeguard the Rock with a buffer zone and to encourage native flora and fauna. He points to the 1993 report by the Loder & Bayly Consulting Group [which we make available below], who were commissioned by the Hanging Rock Recreation Reserve Committee of Management to prepare a Landscape Management Plan for the Hanging Rock Recreation Reserve. (We cite from this document and link to the original.) Also in here a description of soils and geology of Hanging Rock.

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.

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