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PPL VIC: Official Opening of "Doyle's Dunny" Royal Park, Melbourne, 15 Feb 2013

You are invited to the official opening, the inauguration, of "Doyle's Dunny", a new toilet block at the entrance of the Australian Native Garden in Royal Park, Parkville. Iconic vegetation and indigenous and Melbourne Gardens traditions have been set aside for the siting of this enormous new stainless steel super toilet. The inauguration will be officiated by Rod Quantock Acting President of PPL VIC, as MC. Venue is Gatehouse Street Parkville entrance to Australian Native Garden, Royal Park, at 12:30 pm Friday 15 February 2013.

MEG Submission re VCAT Fee Increases

As a residents’ group which deals with planning procedures, Malvern East Group (MEG) finds that VCAT fails its own mission statements of being a low cost, accessible, efficient and independent tribunal delivering high quality dispute resolution. The institution of draconian fees now dramatically highlights this disconnect.

Kelvin Thomson to Vic Attorney Gen against VCAT proposed fee increases

"I am writing to express my serious concerns regarding the proposed VCAT fee increases. I believe these fee increases will unfairly hurt everyday Victorian residents, by undermining access to, in the words of VCAT’s motto, ‘Fair, Efficient Justice for all Victorians’" (Kelvin Thomson MP to the Victorian Attorney General.)

Proposed VCAT objection fees would paralyse democracy

VCAT is proposing draconian fees on citizens who wish to protect their property and environment from undemocratic corporate backed development and overpopulation. Fees for a citizen lodging an objection to any development in 2012 were $38.80. For 2013 fees are proposed to rise to $731.80 (for developments costed at less than $1.0m) and to $1,462.30 for developments estimated at $1.0m or more. These fees would increase even more in 2014 respectively to: $869.60 and $1,737.90, and, in 2015, respectively, to $1,007.40 and $2,014.80. Add to this the cost of hiring barristers and this will make a complete mockery of democracy, which is already a laughing stock in Victoria anyway. Submission deadline is 5pm Friday 15 February 2013.

Melbourne Future Planning - PPLVic submission

The consideration of the Planning Zones Review should have been referred to the Parliamentary Committee for Environment and Planning which has considerable resources to put the 2,000 submissions on the Parliamentary website and then record on Hansard the hearings of some of the submitters before the Parliamentary Committee.

Letter to Premier Barry O'Farrell from Western Sydney Conservation Alliance

The Western Sydney Conservation Alliance is dismayed to hear that the government is talking about withdrawing funding from the Environment Defenders Office (EDO). They say that members of the public struggle to understand the legalities of complex planning proposals and rely on legal advice from the EDO. Members of the NSW Environment Group have been fighting undemocratic development and overpopulation for years in the presence of more and more extreme growthist right-wing governments in NSW. They were recently outraged to hear that the Government Energy Minister had reportedly accused them of consorting with radical socialists and having an agenda to destroy the economy. Their leader, Geoff Brown, has written a letter to Premier Barry O'Farrell and has issued a press release.

‘Diversity’ is coming to Northeastern British Columbia!

Two thousand “Temporary” Foreign Workers ---Chinese miners---are coming to extract coal from northeastern British Columbia, Canada, close to three First Nations reserves who suffer unemployment rates over 70% !

Costs of population growth going up all the time in Australia

Here is yet another example of why big business and governments want more population growth - they can always milk it for money while you and I pay for it. With the right press, this can even appear helpful, although it's really just the opposite. "To reduce congestion, imagine the government charged by the kilometre," says David Hensher of the University of Sydney. "The hip pocket must be where road pricing reform commences. The call for a congestion charge is getting louder and more frequent in many countries, as major metropolitan areas experience increasing levels…" Growth doesn't pay for itself - you do.

Jill Quirk: SPAVic Submission to Matthew Guy on Planning Zone Reforms

Sustainable Population Australia takes the State of the Environment report 2008 as a warning of the unsustainable path that Victoria is on as the government recklessly engineers its population at a rate about twice the level it would naturally be at present. This state government and its predecessors have actively encouraged population growth through the artificial means of seeking increasing numbers of migrants from overseas to settle in Victoria, using the website "Liveinvictoria.com.au".

Julianne Bell: Protectors of Public Lands act to save Victoria's environment and heritage

In her submission to the Victorian State Department of Planning and Community Services, Julianne Bell, Secretary of Protectors of Public Lands, quoting Professor Michael Buxton of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) shows how the proposed changes to Victoria's urban planning laws will destroy the quality of life and sustainability of Melbourne.

Victoria: Flinders and Peninsula under attack

MEETING IN FLINDERS COMMUNITY HALL 4 PM SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 15th 2012 The Government and opposition's population engineering continues to wreck havoc on democracy and land-tenure, affecting both private property and public lands, and impacting on established low-key local commerce. New proposed uses for the Green Wedge actually include saw-mills and display homes. The Flinders Community Association have begun issuing an information-packed alert for distribution to the local community detailing the damage that State Government changes to our Green Wedges can do to peoples' local natural, social and commercial environment, whilst removing their ability to defend what is theirs. Other communities may wish to take a similar democratic initiative before all our rights to self-government are swept away by unjust legislation to benefit developers. Note that these moves were begun by the previous Labor Government - which is hardly fighting them now. The incumbent government should be rolling back what Bracks and Brumby did, but instead, they are making things worse.

Kelvin Thomson: Melbourne's traffic mess and why the East-West Tunnel is no solution

This is a copy of Kelvin Thomson's speech to the Annual General Meeting, Royal Park Protection Group Inc. Flemington Community Centre, 8 September 2012. Kelvin Thomson is a Federal Labor politician in the seat of Wills who stands out for his independent views on democracy and population in a government and opposition that seems depressingly unaware of the importance of these conceptsand their effect on each other.

Jon Faine and the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI)

Jon Faine surprised many Victorians yesterday morning (4 September 2012) when he lambasted the abuse of 457 Visas in Victoria at a time of high local unemployment. He drew listeners' attention robustly to the folly of importing thousands of workers to industries where Australians could not even afford to train. Today, 5 September 2012, on ABC Radio 774, his guest was the Executive Director of the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI), but we heard not a word about how mass immigration is driving Australia's housing shortage nor how the property development growth lobby is driving mass immigration and the destruction of Victoria's green wedges and other greens spaces. Should we expect more of Jon Faine and the ABC or are ABC announcers constrained to toe the government line that supports the property development lobby?

Lady Hamer: Green Wedges destruction would be irreversible: Labor and the Libs' retort

"Any encroachment into our green spaces is irreversible. On the other hand, remaining faithful to the original intention of the green wedges, would give us all a more disciplined, sustainable, and welcoming city for the future." (Lady Hamer on 29 August 2012 as the Libs prepare to give bulldozers open slather on our green wedges, destroying wildlife and natural amenity.) Labor and the Liberals response is less than edifying and does not solve the problem. Basically both parties are in cahoots with the developers against the people of Melbourne.

Candobetter exposes debate on VicSmart Planning Assessment Bill 2012

This article commentates the parliamentary 'debate' on 14 August 2012 on this bill, including how these politicians avoid confronting the driver of overpopulation. We also cite speakers on the associated ills: "[T]he government is setting us up for privatisation of the permit system. That is the holy grail. [...] What we have here in Victoria is the product of a mad scientist experiment, turning a simple matter — something that is simple in cities around the world, planning and building codes — into a privatised, almost anything goes objective-based system that is fundamentally broken. We think this approach is fundamentally wrong. There is a simple and easy process for the minister to achieve the same objective within the existing provisions of the Planning and Environment Act 1987." (Greg Barber, Greens)

The Numbers That Scare Me----And The Nightmare That Keeps Me Awake

Bill McKibben has recently unveiled some new "terrifying math" about global warming. But there are other numbers that terrify me more. My mother used to tell me to stop worrying, because it is not the things we worry about that usually get us, but the things we don't see coming. I think she was right.

Stonnington to Challenge VCAT Decision at Supreme Court

“It is considered that VCAT failed to give due regard to significant community input and has made a decision that is not supported by the local community or Council." (Councillor Chandler).

Friendly fascism, Corruption and the property lobby in Spain and Australia

Richard Laverack writes about the connections between the Spanish property development lobby and the shocking systemic corruption issues in Spain. There are many similarities between the Spanish and the Australian banking and property development lobbies and their relationships with government. The Ballieu Government's push for Westernport and a new "bubble" in Webb dock is based on the same philosophy of friendly fascism. So was the preceding Labor Government's. This article gives a short history of fascism and corruption in Spain before describing the current financial problems and their relationship with property and finance.

"Time for a referendum on population growth" - SPA Victoria, Jill Quirk

The government needs to listen to the electorate. Consecutive public community polls have shown that Australians are very concerned about the ongoing rapid rate of population growth and density of development, food security, and social disorganisation in poorly serviced new suburbs.

How much further can developer-debts drag us down?

Australian private debt is proportionately higher than US debt. Financial sector debt is significant and Govt debt is relatively small. Why then is so-called excessive Goverment debt ALL we ever hear about from the media and the growls emanating from the political bear-pit? Article by Greg Wood.

Julianne Bell, PPLVic: Citizens rights to preserve public land and wildlife habitat from private greed in Melbourne Planning

This superb document establishes a history of concerted public demand for protection of the green wedges and a host of reasons for that public opposition to Matthew Guy's six new suburbs. It represents more than 80 groups of Victorians - (Ed. Candobetter.) "The whole rationale for extending the Urban Growth Boundary is to accommodate the unprecedented flood of population to Victoria. PPL VIC considers that the extension of the Urban Growth Boundary is really the thin end of the wedge. As there are no plans to stop the present high rate of population growth (mostly from immigration) the process of loss of Green Wedges and agricultural land is endless. There will be another extension when the proposed boundaries are seen to be filling up. The Government must abandon the Green Wedge land grab as destructive of the environment, a threat to wildlife, including endangered species, and as a major contributor to Green House Gas Emissions." Julianne Bell, Protectors of Public Land, Victoria.

Six new suburbs to be inflicted on Melbourne by Matthew Guy, Baillieu Government

Growth, the ultimate dictator: "There seems to be no language that get’s through to our governments in Australia who, it seems are addicted to growth. It’s as though growth is all we can do. We may know of nothing else."

Harassed Kangaroo rescuer Leisa Moore narrowly escapes as tree crushes car

"The car was so fantastic as a rescue vehicle and I am feeling saddened that because of someone hating me so much for helping wildlife that they damaged my car, forcing me to park it elsewhere, this has happened. I recently broke my ankle whilst out checking on animals and relied on my car so much. I cannot continue in the short time doing what I love most, helping the Kangaroos." If you would like to help Leisa to buy another car, or maybe in some other way, we include an address for contact and contributions at the end of this article.

Rule by Developers means War on Democracy

The signs continue to gather of a Bulldozer apocalypse for Melbourne and her citizens' democracy and our formerly quiet peaceful lives. Our leaders are not on our side. Not in Melbourne and not in any other Australian city.

No justice for citizens from VCAT: Surrey Hills residents and Council ignored

Another case showing just how out of touch VCAT is. Information from the West of Elgar Group (WERA) shows what could happen in your street. So keep alert just in case. The developer is an overseas company and the development is being advertised overseas. The size of some of the units indicates they may only be of interest to the overseas student market. In Surrey Hills, close to Wattle Park tram terminus, and far from shops, developers are buying cheaper land in our local streets. VCAT has just approved an application by an overseas consortium for 32 apartments in such a street. Three development applications for this site have been knocked back. This one breaks rules set for the others. Where is the sense or the justice in this?

The Future of Planning for Melbourne?

Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy is setting up a website http://www.planmelbourne.vic.gov.au asking for residents' feedback on the sort of Melbourne we want in the future. These kinds of websites, however, make it hard to say what you really think. It is probably better to send the Minister a submission re Plan Melbourne saying what you really think, in your own words, rather than responding to the website questionnaire. Email it to Matthew.Guy[AT]parliament.vic.gov.au . As a guide, we suggest that any plan must first have a policy to limit the population growth. To ignore this issue and try to plan for greater growth, would be self defeating.

A Symbiosis Of Corruption And Ecological Destruction: Deforestation in Sarawak And Empire-Building In Ontario

Too often we fail to see the connection between the ecological destruction and cultural genocide of so-called "developing" nations and the lax immigration policies of those nations like Canada which play host to both the victims and the perpetrators of the tragedy. A look at the relationship between Sarawak's plight and the inflation of real estate values in Ontario, Canada and elsewhere should give us a better understanding of how plunder abroad promotes in-migration here. Canada, by offering an outlet to dirty money and the people who profit from it, must be seen as a willing accomplice and silent partner to a vast money-laundering operation.

More needed to save koalas - NSW Wildlife Council speaks up

The current system of protection is failing Australian wildlife. Too little too late. Does legislation claiming to protect really cause habitat destruction? Current legislation let wildlife numbers fall too low, creating genetic bottlenecks that reduce long term chance of species survival. Even the largest national park is just a gene puddle, rather than a gene pool, if it is not connected to other habitat. Article by James Fitzgerald, NSW Wildlife Council

Tony Burke shows courage in giving NSW and QLD koalas threatened status

Environment Minister Burke has shown more courage than previous environmental ministers, surprising environmentalists.
Koalas in NSW, Queensland and the ACT will be classified as vulnerable under a protected listing by Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke. Mr Burke says koala numbers have dropped by 40 per cent in Queensland and by a third in NSW over the past two decades. The koala will be listed as vulnerable on the threatened species list following advice by the Threatened Species Scientific Committee. Mr Burke has said developers will have to account for the koala listing when making building applications. Environmentalists say that this also means that issues arising will comes under Federal environmental law now. More needs to be done, however. Teaser by Admin, candobetter.net. Article by Alex Harris of www.koalatracker.com.au

Overdevelopment pushes koala closer to extinction - What is Environment Minister Tony Burke doing about this?

"Minister Burke has ruled out protection for all koalas and we are concerned these northwest NSW koala populations may be left off the threatened species list, even while their populations are falling dangerously low." Zoologist David Paull: 75 per cent decline in the relative abundance of koalas in the Pilliga from 1993 to 2011. Estimates only 500 to 2000 koalas left in the area. “The spread of mines and gas wells, tree kills from coal seam gas spills and increased vehicles through the Pilliga Forest will likely put extra strain on these already declining koala populations." Wilderness Society, 29 April 2012. (This article elevates to an article a comment "Media Release - The Wilderness Society on Koalas," posted by Bandicoot on April 29-2012.)

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