New "Teal" politician and economic growthist, Allegra Spender, promotes immigration rates of 220,000 p.a. over the next 2 years, (ABC RN 9 June 22) in the context of also promoting reduction in carbon emissions, rising energy prices, and economic growth.
“This is where we have got to with government-engineered breakneck population growth that also puts property developers and associated professions in charge of planning. 110 golf-courses, which occupy green, treed spaces, in all kinds of areas in Melbourne and its suburbs and another 374 in Victorian regions, now carry hugely increased potential resale value if speculators can get them rezoned for more intensive use. Predictably, golf-course owners and probably management committees are now complaining that they aren’t making enough money. Some of their complaints will be well-founded, because state-imposed population pressure has caused demand for land, water and power, hence their costs, to rise rapidly. If nothing is done, either to reduce population growth, or exempt golf-courses from paying these charges, they will skyrocket.” (Sheila Newman, Population, environment and land-tenure systems sociologist.)
After a 2017 discussion paper that not many of us heard about, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, has again discreetly invited people to provide feedback to draft guidelines for their Golf Course Redevelopment Standing Advisory Committee, which is composed of property development industry professionals
SUBMISSION IN RESPONSE TO PROPOSAL FOR GOLF-COURSE REDEVELOPMENT
by Sheila Newman, Population, environment and land-tenure systems sociologist.
Redeveloping golf courses and land-speculation:
This is where we have got to with government-engineered breakneck population growth that also puts property developers and associated professions in charge of planning. 110 golf-courses, which occupy green, treed spaces, in all kinds of areas in Melbourne and its suburbs and another 374 in Victorian regions, now carry hugely increased potential resale value if speculators can get them rezoned for more intensive use. Predictably, golf-course owners and probably management committees are now complaining that they aren’t making enough money. Some of their complaints will be well-founded, because state-imposed population pressure has caused demand for land, water and power, hence their costs, to rise rapidly. If nothing is done, either to reduce population growth, or exempt golf-courses from paying these charges, they will skyrocket.
The proposal is outrageous, of course. It is outrageous in scale, in potential irreversibility, in lack of statistics, and in lack of adequate notification of all Australians that something so huge is in train. If a government can provide wide, ongoing promotion of the dangers of bowel cancer, it could have reached more people on this.
It is also outrageous in the impossibility of most Victorians to find the time to contextualise, assess, and reply to the proposal, even if they knew about it.
It is notably shocking in its potential costs to environmental quality and diversity for all Australians.
It is especially outrageous in its potential strategic profit-grabbing by the property development and construction industry, which has positioned itself with government to generate focused benefits in demand from the massive population-growth engineering it has lobbied for so successfully and undemocratically. In the game of mates, the property developers and the state government (which has become dependent on stamp-duty in lieu of a real economy) are organised to receive the focused benefits, but the public will pay – and not just in dollars - the diffuse costs of this massive expansion and intensification.
This proposal, which flags a copious series of case-by-case fights over rezoning golf-courses for development, is a fine example of the kinds of diffuse and hard to identify costs that the public will bear if this goes ahead. The proposal would require Melbourne’s increasingly socially precarious population, already severely stressed by constant change, to endlessly monitor what is happening to golf courses along with all the other continuous development.
We should have the ability to reject out of hand such proposals all at once, in a job lot.
We should not be expected to devote our lives to fighting to keep what we have, against people who are supposed to be protecting it on our behalf.
Who, except developers, who are networked, resourced and organised at national, state and local level, could find out where all the golf-courses are and then attend, in person or by proxy, all the hearings and reviews, and engage in all the processes, that a Golf Course Redevelopment Standing Advisory Committee would apply to each of them? Who else could afford to do this? Who else controls the process?
On the technical side, these ‘planning guidelines’ lack adequate recognition or an overview of the huge natural benefits of relatively undeveloped land. Golf courses have important uses other than golf – as habitat for birds and other fauna, for climate stability, and for the green relief they provide from densely populated spaces. I personally prefer natural landscapes with native plants and animals to golf-courses, and I prefer landscape painting and bird-watching to golfing. Nonetheless, I can see that golf courses are much better for ecology and environment than buildings, roads, and other intensified land-uses. Melbourne, which was planned with large avenues and many green spaces, now lacks green spaces and is choked with traffic. Unfinancial golf-courses, if they cannot be made financial (see further on) should be returned to nature, to provide scarce habitat to our native animals and contact with nature for humans. These golf-courses often got by on the pretext that they would preserve open land and some habitat in the form of golf courses, as a trade-off for more development. “Since 2000 around over 10 new golf courses have been established as the centrepiece of high-end residential developments in Victoria.” No surprise if they want to develop it now.
Golf courses per capita and Victoria’s population juggernaut:
Given that the Victorian Government intends to keep inviting people to come and live and work in Victoria, anticipating doubling and redoubling of the population, if Victoria has more golf-courses per capita than other states, it will need them, for golf or for return to nature.
The situation is particularly dire for birds – they really need golf-courses. Australia is a land of birds; we have the most extraordinary range. Doesn’t anyone in planning know of our amazing evolutionary history? It is world famous! The majority of the world’s bird species started here, notably perching birds and song-birds. Humans who are able to hear and see birds deeply enjoy this experience, which seems to become more important as they get older. Bird-watching is an extremely popular activity in Australia. Birds Australia has multiple branches and a busy membership. Does the property development lobby/government really want to be responsible for wiping birds out in more and more places, and removing our age-old relation with them? Although birds are equipped to survive in many circumstances, able to move in search of water and food, massive population growth-fuelled development is transforming the sparse green fringes of this land into a hard-surface desert.
The situation for birds in the South East Region of Australia – Melbourne and Victoria – is increasingly difficult. Birds that require nesting hollows are devastated by the destruction of trees. ‘Common’ much-loved species like kookaburras, magpies and willy wagtails are now struggling, and shorebirds are in steep decline. Golf-course land, because it is not intensively used and retains trees, is a vital resource for birds. There are golf-courses in just about every kind of habitat, including near sea-shores.
Reward golf courses for their environmental services:
With regard to strengthening the viability and continuity of golf clubs, governments should reduce or remove the rates paid for land, water, and power, for golf courses (and any other undeveloped land). The government could pay golf-course owners for mitigating climate change and urban island heat effects through their green spaces. Developers should be levied for this purpose in order to compensate the damage that they do.
Development, with its land-clearing and massive use of materials and energy, as well as creating huge carbon emissions, creates clumps and blocks of aggregate dead material. This is hard for organisms to break down, and incapable of re-ordering and reproducing itself. Living things, however, are the only things that can actually reorder energy and materials, in the acts of ingestion, reproduction and cellular repair. The exception here is ‘modern’ human life, because humans come with more and more dead stuff per capita, in the form of roads, buildings, cars, and other consumables. Hence, we need more golf courses, or to return them to nature, more natural spaces, trees, forests, and healthy water bodies to support the organisms and ecologies that can clean up our synthetic concretions.
In this regard, the current economic model which taxes land in order to induce profit-making activity on it, is now a liability. It needs to change in order to promote natural land. State Governments have to get over their addiction to stamp duty. Otherwise, all this land will disappear under tar and cement.
Redevelopment is a bad thing for golf-courses. We have too much development now, and too much human population growth. Any golf-courses that are going to be abandoned as such, should be returned to nature.
No Re-zoning and prices capped:
Government may need to buy this land from owners of golf-courses who do not want it, and this is a major reason why this land should be excepted from rezoning possibilities. Overpopulation has already drastically overpriced land in Melbourne, even if it is not zoned for development. This makes it difficult and often impossible for local governments to purchase it in order to preserve natural space for Australians. This is why golf-course land and other relatively natural land must not be alienated from its low-use zoning. It must be taken out of the insane speculation cycle, for the thermodynamic reasons stated above as well as the social ones. Speculative gains are not a citizen’s by right.
Sports grounds and Playgrounds:
The ‘guidelines’ have also skewed the idea of open space with social, ecological, and environmental benefits to something always involving some infrastructure, such as ‘playgrounds’ and ‘sports grounds’. It is a form of regimentation as well as an unnecessary kind of capitalisation. As I have intimated, people can enjoy natural surroundings just by walking, and these places can provide habitat for our native animals. They already provide bio-links or wildlife corridors. Any further ‘development’ would reduce the size and viability of these bio-links, which should be increased and consolidated.
Hospitals, affordable Housing etc:
If we have to put hospitals on golf course land then we should realise that we have gone too far in our population and development paradigm. Unaffordable housing and homelessness have increased as Australia’s population has grown, especially from 2009 with massively increased its overseas immigration. Once again, unaffordable housing is a sign that we should interrupt our population and development juggernaut.
The Composition of the Planning Committee lacks diversity and disinterest.
There are no ordinary people on it who do not have deep involvement in the commercial property development industry. One of them was the secretary of population growth-lobbying APop from about 1999 to 2015. For this reason the Committee should not have the power to say whether or not a golf-course may be considered for development. A cross-section of ordinary people should be able to decide this on a case by case basis. Only after this, in the unlikely event that such a democratic cross-section felt that any golf-course could be let go for development, it might be passed on to the Committee for more technical assessment.
The documents for this golf course redevelopment proposal have rationalised the closure of golf-courses largely in monetary terms, especially noting that some were not making a profit. The proposal seems to have attempted no education of the public on the main reason why, which is that state- engineered population growth had raised the costs of land and water involved in running golf-courses, thus narrowing their profit margin, and making it tempting for them to cash their land in. It is also suggested that people are not playing golf as much as they used to. We are not told why this is, although the 2017 discussion paper suggested that ten new golf courses that established themselves as centrepieces of high-end residential developments in Melbourne, had added to an oversupply. The development industry runs VCAT planning; it authorised those developments. It should return that land to nature. Many other possible reasons present themselves – changing demographics, difficulty in travelling due to congestion, increased fees, subtle discouragement of golfing by owners wanting to speculate, overwork among the financial, and poverty among the unemployed. The point is, we should not allow the developers or the government to goad us into a situation where land-availability becomes so desperate that it must be constantly used and attract a high financial return.
Low standards in the development industry:
As for redevelopment and the construction industry: The cladding crisis has highlighted the long-known fact that our construction and development industry is largely incompetent, unaccountable, and uninsurable. With respect, it seems quite remarkable that the same industry thinks it should get golf course land or do any more building at all, let alone continue to be in charge of major decisions in Victorian planning.
This golf course redevelopment proposal is very important. It flags a major danger-point that we have reached, preparing to sacrifice something Australians have counted on – natural land. It shows what happens when a government engineers break-neck population growth and then puts property developers in charge of planning. All natural spaces are threatened. The fewer green spaces there are, the more their potential price for resale as developments increase. If you have planning outsourced to developers, as we do in Victoria (and all States) you will finish up with no green spaces, no birds, no native animals, and hugely priced high-rises.
Democracy and the pace of change:
The massive population-growth engineering that our governments/growth lobby are carrying out, with their push for infrastructure and housing, is breaking our democracy. The pace of change is undemocratic because it is impossible for people to effectively engage, let alone democratically participate, and this juggernaut has been set up by an industry that invests all its time in it for massive profit. There is no way that people with normal responsibilities can keep up with what is happening, even when they desperately want to. Elected members of parliament cannot keep up with this either. In Sleepers Wake, Barry Jones MP warned of the danger that we were heading to a time when government would outsource things it could not understand to a technocracy and that is part of what is happening here.
I personally had no desire to make a submission, but I feel I must, if only so people can read my reasons. Just reading the material provided by DELWP was enough to give me nightmares, because I know that DELWP has the bit between its teeth. The property development, infrastructure, and population growth lobby inside and outside of government is waging war on the rest of us in their quest for personal profit and power. The only difference is that they are using bulldozers instead of tanks.
 I am a population, environment and land-tenure systems sociologist. I completed a 143,000 word research thesis called The Growth Lobby and its Absence in 2002 on the difference between the Australian and French systems for housing, land production and policies on environment and population. Since then I have edited two editions of The Final Energy Crisis, Pluto Press, 2005 and 2008, a book of articles by different scientists on the subject of the future of energy resources. I have also written two volumes of a planned four volume series entitled Demography, Territory, Law. The titles published so far are Demography, Territory, Law: The Rules of Animal and Human Populations, Countershock Press, 2013, and Demography, Territory, Law2: Land-tenure and the origins of Capitalism in Britain, Countershock Press, 2015.
 “Notification was given via letter or email to all golf facilities, local governments, industry bodies such as Golf Victoria as well as all people and organisations who made a submission to the Planning for Golf in Victoria Discussion Paper released in 2017. For more information (and access to the 2017 discussion paper itself) on the Planning for Golf in Victoria process please click here. This process was also publicised on the Engage Victoria website.” Source: Personal correspondence with Michael C. Everett of DELWP. My criticism is that this notification went to local governments and industry bodies and boards in golf, who would not necessarily have passed it on, and who would probably not have looked at or communicated the wider impact of the loss of such spaces to all of Melbourne. Notification did not go to the wider population that will be impacted, or to wildlife networks, such as Birds Australia.
 Stamp duty income for the Victorian Government was $1.284b in 2001/2 and only 17 years later it was $6.933b in 2017/18. Source: https://www.sro.vic.gov.au/land-transfer-duty-stamp-duty-statistics
 James Q Wilson in Wilson, J.Q., ed., The Politics of Regulation, Harper, New York, 1980,) classified four types of politics depending on whether the benefits and costs of policies were concentrated or diffuse, and he applied this model to immigration politics. In this way, mass immigration has become entrenched in systems where its benefits are narrowly focused but the costs that it imposes are diffuse (and therefore not easily identified by the public that is paying for them). Narrowly focused benefits mean that those benefiting from immigration are consciously aware of this and are able to recognise each other and organise to keep those benefits flowing. Where costs are diffuse and fall upon a disparate population at many different points in many different ways, they are difficult to identify and there are no obvious political rallying points for the public to organise a protest around. I used this methodology in my research thesis, Sheila Newman, The Growth lobby in Australia and its Absence in France, 2002. https://researchbank.swinburne.edu.au/file/a3115a39-c50a-4504-8d1f-4aca21be26fd/1/Sheila%20Newman%20Thesis.pdf
 “Planning for Golf in Victoria Discussion Paper (2017). https://engage.vic.gov.au/download_file/3592/907
 State of Australia’s Birds, 2015, Birdlife Australia, 2015; Threatened species recovery hub, National Environmental Science Program, https//www.nespthreatenedspecies.edu.au/news/gimme-shelter-conserving-hollow-nesting-birds
 Tim Low, Where Song Began: Australia's Birds and How They Changed the World, Penguin, 2017.
 State of Australia’s Birds, 2015, p. 11.
 Excerpt from “In the end: Thermodynamics and the necessity of protecting the natural world, Chapter 23 in Sheila Newman (Eds), The Final Energy Crisis, 2nd Edition, Pluto Press, 2008. See most of the article below:
“Humans already use most of the land on the planet. In many places in the world the competition is between the land-poor and the land-rich. This is a political problem which needs to be solved without further trashing the natural environment. Some systems are more equitable than others and, as discussed in other articles in this volume, the Anglo-Celtic system used in most English speaking countries is worse than most. We humans have to share the land we already have more equally with each-other. If we insist on growing our population then the competition for land will be increasingly severe. We have already taken enough from other creatures and need to give some (a lot) back. Land for wildlife is not a luxury. The perception that it doesn't 'do' anything needs scientific countering with a thermodynamic explanation. That explanation is that Life is the only force that can reorder spent energy.
The First Law of Thermodynamics states that energy cannot be created but is never lost. However the Second Law of Thermodynamics states that energy is transformed by use and that you can never make it how it was before. (You can't have your cake and eat it.) Industrial society provides a good example in biological energy (food) with the idea that a machine can make a sausage out of a pig, but it cannot make a pig out of a sausage. Once you have turned the pig into sausage for human consumption the energy in the sausage will never be pig again. It will be human waste. The passage of the cake or the pig into something less coherent is part of the usual flow of chemical and physical reactions in a process known as ‘entropy increase’ or a tendency to ‘disperse’.
Otherwise the planet and the atmosphere would be completely filled with sludge and debris. This is the way that ecology and the life-cycles that make up an eco-system are able to temporarily make order from disorder. Industrial manufacturing can grossly restructure dead things, but life is the only process that is able to do this efficiently, keep the process going, and reproduce itself.
Of course if you feed a pig a pork sausage, some of that sausage will become pig again. Most people would see, however, that converting a pig into a sausage through an energy intensive industrial process and then feeding the sausage back to a pig so that the sausage contributed to a miniscule portion of pig-flesh is a pretty inefficient way to make pigs. Nonetheless pork sausages and many other processed foods do find their way back to pigs' troughs. This is quite illustrative of the circular and needlessly wasteful (and cruel) cycles that occur in consumer-industrial societies.
Modern human societies are in fact quite different from those of pre-fossil-fuel human societies and those of other animals.
We modern humans no longer just produce animal waste that is 'biodegradable' in a normal ecological cycle. Through extractive technologies we have artificially extended our bodies and amplified our activities, so that we consume quite enormous quantities of material and energy. In the process of digging up the materials and burning the energy to make things with, we also clear almost every other living thing in our paths. The waste carbon, nitrogen, phosphates, sulphur and other products which our artificial system puts out largely overwhelm the services of the remaining (shrinking) natural eco-systems. Yet the natural eco-systems are the ONLY agents capable of saving us from being buried, suffocated and burned by the physical and chemical interactions of our industrial-society waste.
That is how the second law of thermodynamics can be used to explain why it is vital to allocate increasing space to natural processes. Returning land to wild grass and forests and giving animals their freedom to live naturally is the most positive thing that we humans can do about the accelerating rate of planetary entropy that consumer society multiplied by huge human populations is causing. Entropy comes in the form of increasingly unpredictable climate and in broken, dead and dying eco-systems. [...]”
 Geoff Underwood (who chaired the Victorian Planning System Committee 2011) was the Secretary of APop, (the Australian Population Institute) from 2000 to at least 2015. This was an organisation with the sole aim of vastly increasing Australia’s population, and almost entirely officiated by property developers who had the money and clout to aggressively promote this. Ordinary Australians had no ability to combat this organised input to policy and media. APop has largely been replaced by the Property Council of Australia, of which several government departments are members, and which, in 2009, announced to its members via a Powerpoint display that its number one aim was “More political influence.” It seems to have achieved this.
 See Anne Paton, of Victorian Building Action Group (VBAG) on the long history of bad building and its costs: https://youtu.be/zsyyVILjGpE. Also see Nerrida Pohl on cladding: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFVNL8rV_ZQ .
“Since July 2002 there have been 54 separate reviews of the building industry, including by the Victorian Ombudsman and the State Auditor-General, all pointing to serious shortcomings and all calling for reform.” Clare Kermond, “When your dream becomes a nightmare,” The Age, August 16, 2015.
"While Melbourne’s green wedges are generally considered to be a legacy of the 1972 – 1981 Rupert (Dick) Hamer State Government, they were established as part of the 1968 – 1971 Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works planning process. They were protected by what was then called the Landscape Interest A zone, with a minimum lot size of twenty acres (eight hectares). For some thirty years, this zoning worked admirably. Then Melbourne started to experience growth pressure and the speculators moved in with their propensity to buy influence. The visionary Melbourne 2030 blue print for Melbourne and its rural fringe came under siege and has been slowly but relentlessly eroded by both sides of Government ever since." [...] "It is the role of councils and State Governments to provide sound, thoroughly researched, enforceable planning policies that support the big picture for the long-term future. It is absolutely critical to halt this tsunami of South Eastern suburban sprawl with its lack of supporting infrastructure, and to provide certainty to all stakeholders. Without such resolve, speculation will run rampant and uncontrolled ad hoc development will be the order of the day. Traffic to and from the area is already appalling well beyond the normally accepted peak hours. What are you thinking, putting exponentially more cars on these road networks that are not designed to take them? Casey is heading down a vortex of engineered chaos."
Letter to Manager of Planning, City of Casey
Manager of Planning
City of Casey
P.O. Box 1000
Narre Warren VIC 3805
Response to City of Casey Draft Western Port Green Wedge Management Plan (GWMP)
I am writing in my capacity as the Southern Ranges delegate on the Green Wedges Coalition.
This draft plan is a disappointing betrayal and another nail in the coffin of all that has been achieved over the past forty or more years to accommodate the wider community’s repeatedly
expressed vision for the future of Melbourne’s peri-urban areas to retain, protect and enhance the countryside now defined as the green wedges.
These are undisputedly precious and irreplaceable resources, and the City of Casey has responsibility for significant sections of not one, but two of the most valuable and valued – the
Southern Ranges and the Westernport green wedges.
With this plan, Council seems to be on the cusp of abrogating its responsibility to our current and future generations. While paying lip service to the importance of the agricultural, environmental
and amenity values of its southern sector, the recommendations make a mockery of these, reflecting rather the successful lobbying of powerful vested interests.
Like the foothills to the Dandenong Ranges, the Western Port rural region is shared between the City of Casey and the Shire of Cardinia. A joint GWMP with a unified approach was only
common sense. Why then did our councillors:
require Casey’s strategic planning department to amend the 2015 Casey-Cardinia draft plan,
causing Cardinia Shire which opposed these pro-development changes to split and go it alone,
leaving this important area with fragmented, contradictory policies and a degraded vision for the future?
Casey has already lost huge swathes of productive farmland to urban development. In this era of climate change and food miles relevance, it makes no sense to compromise what is left by splitting it into Precincts 1 (intensive horticulture and food production) & 3 (Rural Living and agriculture).
The narrow shaft of genuine agricultural land making up Precinct 1 seems now to be jammed between the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB), the Cranbourne Botanic Gardens, lower density
residential and the environmentally sensitive coastal strip. This does not bode well for its future sustainability.
Moreover, the 4-hectare lot size proposed for Precinct 3 because of historic precedent flies in the face of the research carried out by the Port Phillip & Western Port Catchment Management
Authority. This established that areas with properties of around 10 acres (4 hectares) resulted in the worst environmental outcomes. They are “neither fish nor fowl” – too small for effective land
management using agricultural equipment and cross-grazing, and too big to control weeds and pests with domestic scale measures.
Other undesirable outcomes of switching from 8 to 4 hectares include:
It increases human development and intrusion by a factor of at least two;
It potentially doubles the amount of infrastructure – houses, driveways, sheds, tennis courts, swimming pools etc.;
To make space for these, vegetation will inevitably be removed;
It doubles the potential number of pets and thus predation on local fauna;
It more than doubles the number of vehicles, given that most people who move into the area
will be car dependent;
It increases pressure on smaller roads that were designed for lower traffic volumes and that
currently have a more tranquil, rural feel;
It will lead to a flow on effect, with all properties moving towards the minimum lot size.
Properties between 12 and potentially be split into not two, but three lots.
The trend will be reinforced by rising land values with the “price per hectare increasing sharply below 6 – 8 hectares as a result of demand based on factors independent of agricultural
merit”. (“Impacts of Urban Growth & Related Development on Agriculture in the Western Port region Phillips Agribusiness May 1993)
One of the major benefits of the longstanding 8-hectare minimum lot size in the peri-urban areas is the visual and physical relief it provides. People living in ever-increasingly condensed suburbia
need ready access to these open areas. Deprive them of this outlet and you deprive them of the all important health-giving amenity of contact with the natural world.
During the process of fine-tuning the parameters for green wedge zoning, state planners established that anything under 8 hectares should be deemed residential, regardless of zone titles
such as Rural Living or Rural Lifestyle. Hence creating a Precinct 2 that allows one-hectare lot sizes under a Green Wedge A zone is a smoke screen. It is in fact a proposal to rezone from rural to residential.
This is inconsistent with the GWMP vision for a permanent green and rural area within the precinct. Given the bi-partisan support for a fixed UGB, the proposal is unconscionable.
While Melbourne’s green wedges are generally considered to be a legacy of the 1972 – 1981 Rupert (Dick) Hamer State Government, they were established as part of the 1968 – 1971
Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works planning process. They were protected by what was then called the Landscape Interest A zone, with a minimum lot size of twenty acres (eight hectares).
For some thirty years, this zoning worked admirably. Then Melbourne started to experience growth pressure and the speculators moved in with their propensity to buy influence. The visionary
Melbourne 2030 blue print for Melbourne and its rural fringe came under siege and has been slowly but relentlessly eroded by both sides of Government ever since. [Emphasis added by candobetter.net editor.]
The dismay of the community is given voice in the following letter to The Age from the late Lady April Hamer from October 2013.
Keep wedge faith
COULD I add a few words to the current controversy over Melbourne's green wedges.
My arguments are not about money, so perhaps they have little weight today, and of course I am
attached to the ideas of my late husband, Dick Hamer.
I believe that his ideas were firmly based on a system of city planning that emphasises restraint,
for the purpose of allowing families a better choice for themselves and for the environment - which
is now all the more important.
We should also bear in mind that any encroachment into our green spaces is irreversible.
Speculators, of course, will disagree, but remaining faithful to the original intention of the green
wedges would give us all a more disciplined, sustainable and welcoming city for future
Lady April Hamer, Alphington”
I also draw your attention to the last paragraph an old article from the business journal “Rydges” entitled “Profits and losses from re-zoning”. It is enlightening:
“Trying to achieve a re-zoning, or prevent a use down-grading can be a profitable exercise and
one in which you should be prepared to put substantial time and effort because the pay-off is there.”
Of course urban fringe property owners are going to push for zoning changes that bring them unearned windfall profits. And of course, some councillors are going to take up their cause,
whether due to naivety or to personal vested interest. They should, however, be cognisant of the need to stand firm for the sake of the greater good. They have been elected to represent the silent majority, not to pander to a vocal self-interested minority.
As the population in and around them increases, the retention of these open areas becomes ever more important. There is little enough non-urban land left in the City of Casey. What remains
should be treated as sacrosanct. It should be protected and enhanced at all costs. Moreover, the longer firm protective policies are in place and adhered to, the easier it is to safeguard them in the future.
It is the role of councils and State Governments to provide sound, thoroughly researched, enforceable planning policies that support the big picture for the long-term future. It is absolutely
critical to halt this tsunami of South Eastern suburban sprawl with its lack of supporting infrastructure, and to provide certainty to all stakeholders. Without such resolve, speculation will
run rampant and uncontrolled ad hoc development will be the order of the day.
Traffic to and from the area is already appalling well beyond the normally accepted peak hours. What are you thinking, putting exponentially more cars on these road networks that are not
designed to take them? Casey is heading down a vortex of engineered chaos.
The more you eat into open space amenity, the less useful it becomes and the less willing people are to work to protect and/or enhance it. There is no excuse for allowing our precious green wedge open spaces to gradually disappear. There is no shortage of alternative sites for residential development and there is no shortage of contra-indications.
If you don’t revisit this draft scheme and remove those parts that compromise and/or weaken the aims and protective policies of the green wedge zones, you might as well rename it the Casey
Western Port Redevelopment Management Plan, and be honest about it.
Southern Ranges Green Wedge Delegate, Green Wedges Coalition
[Address edited out by candobetter.net editor]
Phone: 9796 8568 Mobile: 0429 955 421
Email: [email protected]
Australia's Catholic Church was Australia's biggest private property owner in 2005 and probably still is. It is deeply embedded in Australia's housing-fueled ponzi-scheme, which costs the rest of us so much environmental heartache and financial pain. It also a major source of the immigrationist propaganda that is fed the public. The author has been particularly sickened to read lately of how the church is reaping untaxed benefits by wrecking a local creek whilst developing a site now infamous for its institutionalised child-abuse, and how it continues to be granted a privileged seat at the planning table.
A recent Age article reveals just how embedded the RC church is in housing-fueled ponzi-scheme we are living through. See "Private school explosion on Melbourne's fringe," by Timna Jacks and Royce Millar,
The Age, July 7, 2017.
Note the paragraph stating:
"So, too, does the Catholic sector in particular demand, and is given, a seat at the table in the planning of greenfield areas.
In its 2016-17 annual report Catholic Education Melbourne claims to be "firmly embedded" with the Victorian Planning Authority and to have strengthened its "prominent" position in growth area planning. [The report] also notes that where the planning authority agrees a Catholic school is justified in a new suburb, it has changed its approach to designate the site as 'Catholic' rather than just 'non-government'.
Another article, about Sunbury with Trevor Dance quoted: "Changing Sunbury a microcosm of Melbourne's rapid growth," by Clay Lucas and Royce Millar, notes that the Salesian Brothers are working with the developer to bring forward the development of the land, and leading to the destruction of Jackson’s Creek.
A 2013 SMH article about these evil abusers, the Salesians of Sunbury, "The Hell House," by Mark Russell and Jared Lynch, gives us significant background and sticks in my mind for personal reasons.
As a Paediatric Audiologist around 1980 I remember one of my patients was a young very deaf lad from some farming area, whose mother so proudly told me she had got him a place boarding at the Salesian Brothers Rupertswood, Sunbury, which had an agricultural strand to its curriculum. The Salesians' debauchery at Rupertswood would have been well underway back then. She envisaged her beloved deaf son becoming a competent farmer and returning to their family farm to eventually take over running it. I shudder to think what might have actually happened, and that the Salesians may well have returned him to his family as a broken, damaged man - so many of whom have gone on to commit suicide.
It makes me sick that they are now reaping millions of dollars developing the site where they abused so many children in their care- and yet we still consider them and their organisation worthy of a seat at the planning table. And they are of course quite happy to trash the local environment in the process.
 "NGOs are an integral part and function of corporate power. In 2005, Australia’s Catholic Church, which receives tens of millions of dollars yearly in government subsidy had revenue of nearly A$16.2 billion, all tax free, and ‘was Australia’s biggest private property owner and nongovernment employer, with more than 150,000 on its payroll (Cadzow 2012: 12)."
Paul, E.. Australia as US Client State, edited by E. Paul, Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2014. ProQuest Ebook Central, .
Created from slv on 2017-05-24 07:01:05
Alex Jones! Infowars! I hear you say. Aren't they the far-right conspiracy theorists? Isn't Alex Jones a card-carrying nutcase? Well, that's what the mainstream press say about him and his followers, all 50 m plus. Mainstream media is on the way out, but Jones is on the way up and he really puts on a show. Maybe judge the pudding by its contents, which vary. But sometimes Infowars seems to really hit the nail on the head. Before you scoff, check out the following video, which is about planning threats to self-government in Austin Texas. Remind you of Australia's cities and towns? You won't hear it on the mainstream news.
Globalist regulations set to enslave american city
Quotes from the video:
"[...]Codenext wants to change existing single family housing development and implement a new 'sustainable' model that contains massive apartment buildings, some of which contain 200 square foot coffin appartments. And, by raising peoples' property taxes to unlivable standards, people are forced to sell their homes to giant developers which could knock down, say, four houses in an area and put up giant high-rises, thereby increasing the property tax base even more and crowding more and more people in to smaller and smaller areas. This also increases traffic congestion, so Codenext also makes driving lanes smaller, even adds concrete embankments, or bike-lanes. Anything to impede the natural flow of traffic.
But what's the true incentive for programs like Codenext? Beyond their claims of being the 'progressive left', the progressive left has been caught many times engaging in voter fraud. President Obama even encouraged illegal immigrants to vote on election day [...] And, with an abundance of cheap rooms and small coffin-like appartments being built in once-middle-class communities, you can turn conservative districts into leftist progressive districts."
"They have an admitted plan under Codenext to take over Austin, to take over the surrounding towns like a cancer, take over the A45 and I45 corridors and fully bring in the third world population to drive down wages, to house them in overpriced coffin appartments and to bring down the standard of living massively, then use those political groups as a checkmate on the rest of the population and kill the middle class once and for all. "
"The bureaucrats win by creating a vertical property tax base. Instead of one house paying one set of property taxes, you now have 400 little appartments all paying tax on the same piece of land. Breaking apart residential communities and adding small, rent-controlled efficiency appartments, popularly known as 'the projects' can have serious effects on a community as well. [...] "
"Alex Jones is a bona fide force in mainstream American politics. His radio show is syndicated from his Austin, Texas, studio to 160 stations nationwide, and it reaches many more listeners over the internet. According to the web analytics company Quantcast, his website InfoWars reaches about 7.5 million unique readers per month, with 6.5 million of the site’s visitors based in the United States. Those numbers aren’t far behind Quantcast’s statistics for the long-running liberal publication Salon, which counts 9.1 million global and 7 million U.S. unique monthly visitors. (That probably says as much about Salon’s declining influence as it does about InfoWars’s grasp on the American psyche, but still.)" Source: http://www.spin.com/featured/the-invisible-empire-of-alex-jones/
Growthist corporations, their peak bodies and other similar organisations have long pushed for a big and continuously growing population in Australia. They have been crowned with success in the past ten years, but will always want more. Towards this, they are in the business of breaking down national borders and national resistance to being overcrowded. Crowding creates demand for land and products and profits for those who control resources and the means of production, whilst the rest of us pay for it. "The cows in the field will always prefer to be fewer than the farmer would want them." We are all just cash cows for the growth lobby, which can buy publicity and speakers, anointing the latter as 'experts' and cementing their grip on academic institutions and the mass media, which have become as one in their investment in property speculation and population growth.
Prominent in the growth lobby, the Committee for Economic Development in Australia, CEDA, is advertising yet another population growth-pushing event: "Migration - the economic debate." This will examine "How the migration program could be reshaped to allow a larger migrant intake to build a greater Australia, How temporary migration has grown to dominate immigration to Australia; and What changes are required to the migration program to maintain broad community support."
The Australian Productivity Commission recently failed to find any evidence of migration increasing wealth or productivity,  so it will be interesting to see what economic excuses CEDA manages to concoct as reasons to push for even more people. It is also more and more obvious that Australians are waking up to the costs of mass immigration.
Although Australia has the highest immigration rates ever for permanent invited economic immigrants and various other 'temporary' immigrants, (see ABS-sourced graph below) the industries and individuals that benefit from rapid population growth want even more. One gets the impression that they really have no more interest in democratic or ecological limits than a machine that has no off-switch.
Since I identified the growth lobby in my research thesis of 2002, I have been aware that this lobby is organising at a global level, gaining more and more power. The CEDA conference is funded by "Fragomen Worldwide": "We build bridges that transcend borders. Learn why and how we do it." "Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP provides immigration services globally in coordination with its affiliates around the world."
Fragoman is part of the massive globalising disenfranchising anti-sovereignty jugganaut
In 2008 Americans were trying to stop this jugganaut. The fact that they did not may be why today so many Americans want to elect Mr Trump, who promises to put some brakes on the import of cheap labour.
Lou Dobbs: 6/24/2008 The federal government is doing an investigation of the biggest immigration law firm -- Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy. Apparently the lawyers have been giving too much coaching to employers on how not to hire qualified Americans. David Huber shows how a job resume he sent to Cisco was reviewed by Fragomen, who coached Cisco on how ignore resumes of Americans in favor of foreign workers on H-1B and green card (PERM) visas.
How did Australians lose so much control over their immigration program?
Wages and Conditions undermined:The right-wing revolution in Victorian industrial law under Kennett in 1993 set the scene for Workchoices under the John Howard government, (11 March 1996 to 3 December 2007). The Howard Government, entering this weakened industrial law and industrial relations situation, went on to widen the use of the corporations clause in the Australian constitution, which exempted corporations from many employer obligations. Up until now Australian employers had not had much to gain by importing immigrant workers because they had been required to employ them under the same industrial awards as native born workers. That meant that there was not the same opportunity to import cheap labour as there was, notoriously, in the United States. Today we are in a situation where the Australian labour market has been greatly deregulated and it is now possible to employ overseas immigrants according to individually tailored employment contracts where they have little or no bargaining power or recourse for legal protection. Coupled with the deregulation of immigration, this has created local pull factors which the Australian growth lobby has been keen both to lobby for and to exploit. (Read more on this here: Sheila Newman: Kennett population policy, numbers and flow-ons: Regional migration and industrial law under Kennett)
Land and housing: After the fall of the Whitlam Government, Australia's foreign ownership laws, including those relating to purchase of land for housing and built housing, were watered down a little bit with each new government, along with our labor laws. There was a push for higher and higher immigration, ballooning with the Howard Government. With the internet, push and pull factors were accelerated and magnified by an order of magnitude. Today we have a legion of small and big operators touting immigration for various enterprises and for Australian property development investment from all over the world. One of the major pull factors is our rapid population growth rates, fueled by mass immigration, for which no government ever sought permission from Australians. Foreign students may purchase established houses if they sell them within a year - creating even more acceleration of turnover. Frequently new suburban developments are presold to people overseas before they are even built. [For more on how this developed, see , The Growth Lobby in Australia and its absence in France, Chapter 8, Globalising the Property Market, Foreign Finance and Immigration from the 1980s. (The full thesis with appendices is available here).]
Open-borders propaganda: In Australia ordinary environmentalists have seen a rising resistance to the protection of our natural environment from the very people they thought we could rely on – The Australian Greens and various big environmental NGOs. Among spokespeople for the Greens, this resistance has manifested as a militant effort to support Lib/Lab policy of massive population growth through planned and commercial immigration by confusing refugees with ordinary immigrants, and calling any attempt to reign in immigration racist. As for the big environmental NGOs, they have become afraid to talk about population growth for fear of being politically stigmatised. Environmental debate on diverse issues has largely been taken over with top-down climate focus. In national policy, a focus on minority groups dominates what we all have in common. Behind this creeping confusion the hacking of multi-billionaire George Soros’s files has recently shown him to be behind the new-age ideology of open borders. Through Open Societies Foundations and a legion of other NGOs, he funds minority causes and flagging political parties as flag-bearers for his ideology. In Australia he has funded various pseudo-socialist groups, and members of the Greens and GetUp, which have cross-pollinated each other and also have links in the ALP, via Bill Shorten. See "Australian democracy swiss-cheesed by George Soros Open Societies Foundations". And that is only the first layer of his influence here. What motivates George Soros, the multibillionaire, to prosecute open borders? See "Population stampedes: Why does Soros push open borders?".
 A remark attributed to French economist and demographer, Alfred Sauvy, who did indeed write about lean cows and fat cows, although this exact remark remains a rumour.
 The material below cites the Productivity Commission, Economic Impacts of Migration and Population Growth, Position Paper, January, Melbourne, 2006, and on Productivity Commission, Population and migration: understanding the numbers, Melbourne, 2010 (December). Direct quotes are in quote marks.
From the 2006 report
The following compares a "base case" with a simulated increase in skilled migration of 50% over the "base case", which would have been about 39 000 persons" per year, see pp. xxviii
“By 2024-25, annual income per capita is about $383 (or about 0.71 per cent) higher than it would otherwise have been. Modelling by Econtech for DIMA arrived at somewhat higher figures, using different methodologies”. p. XXXII
[The period of concern is 2003-4 to 2024-25. Details for the base case and the simulated one are in appendix F. Base case assumes migration fixed at 2003-4 level (but they don't specify what number they are using). The simulated case assumes a 50% increase in skilled migration. cf p. 274. The base case leads to a migration induced population increase of 2.89 million, simulated case one of 3.72million. Both assume natural increase of 1.98 million. p. 275]
All the following is from p. 154
“Most of the economic benefits associated with an increase in skilled migration accrues to the immigrants themselves. For existing residents, capital owners receive additional income, with owners of capital in those sectors experiencing the largest output gains enjoying the largest gains in capital income. On the other hand, the real average annual incomes of existing resident workers grows more slowly than in the base-case, as additional immigrants place downward pressure on real wages.
“Other factors more important to productivity and living standards
"The economic impact of skilled migration is small when compared with other drivers of productivity and income per capita. For example, over the same period, growth in income per capita from technological progress and other sources of productivity growth, and long-term demographic changes, could be expected to be about 1.5 per cent per year, or $14 434, by 2024-25 (Commission estimates).
“The relative significance of an increase in skilled migration to overall per capita income growth is illustrated in figure 8.2. This compares projected per capita income over the next 21 years in the base case with that arising from the increased-migration simulation. It can be seen that the impact of migration is very small compared with other drivers of per capita income growth”. p. 154 (figure 8.2 is on p. 155.)
There was also a media release at Economic Impacts of Migration and Population Growth: Media release
From the 2010 report
"Realistic changes in migration levels also make little difference to the age structure of the population in the future, with any effect being temporary." p. 63
"Some have argued that for Australia to reduce the problems associated with an ageing population, it needs to increase its level of immigration or to take measures
to increase the fertility rate. In practice, neither of these can be a panacea." p. 71
o While population growth is likely to increase aggregate gross domestic product (GDP) and gross national income (GNI), more relevant measures are per capita income and, ultimately, community wellbeing.
o The impacts of immigration growth on GDP and GNI per head of the existing resident population are ambiguous and depend on the source, composition and context in which the growth occurred.
o Population growth and immigration (its main source) can magnify existing policy problems and amplify pressures on 'unpriced' entities, such as the environment, and urban and social amenity.
o The impacts of population growth and immigration are unlikely to be evenly distributed across Australia's population - there are likely to be both winners and losers.” p. 75
"The impacts of population growth on productivity are also complex and, in many instances, depend on the sources of that growth and the context in which it occurs.
There could be some negative impacts on labour productivity, for example, due to the dilution of available capital across a greater number of workers.
On the other [p. 78] hand, population growth could enable economies of scale (a reduction in the average cost of production) for goods and services produced and consumed
domestically. (Conversely, there could also be diseconomies of scale in some cases.) " p. 79
Low income households are becoming increasingly marginalised and excluded from opportunities. More than one third of households privately renting who access Anglicare Emergency Relief are in severe rental stress, spending more than 45% of their income in rent. The Federal government intends to fund only 1,000 new homes under the National Rental Affordability Scheme, against the real need of at least 89,000 dwellings in NSW.
2013 Rental Affordability Snapshot
Rental affordability crisis: Less than 1% of Sydney homes
affordable for low income households
Access to affordable housing continues to be a major issue in Greater Sydney according to the latest 2013 Rental Affordability Snapshot launched by ANGLICARE Sydney today.
The snapshot revealed that of the 12,880 properties available for private rental in Greater Sydney on 13 – 14 April, only 23 properties were affordable and appropriate for households on income support payments without placing them in rental stress.
The report found there were no suitable properties for single people on Youth Allowance or Newstart.
There were few suitable properties available for other household types, including:
singles on the Aged Pension (5 properties)
single parents on the Parenting Payment with two children (2 properties)
couples with children on Newstart (2 properties) and
people on Disability Support (2 properties).
Couples receiving the Aged Pension had the greatest number of suitable properties available to them – 19 across Sydney.
“People on minimum wage fared a little better,” said Grant Millard, ANGLICARE Sydney CEO. “For families with both adults earning the minimum wage, there were 208 affordable and appropriate properties available. For single people on the minimum wage, rental prospects declined substantially to only 34 properties across the city. Prospects for single parents on the minimum wage were even worse, with only 5 properties being both affordable and appropriate.
“ANGLICARE Sydney is concerned that low income households are becoming increasingly marginalised and excluded from opportunities for a better and more secure future. More than one third of households privately renting who access our Emergency Relief are in severe rental stress – meaning they’ re spending more than 45% of their income in rent.
“We’re aware that the Federal government has recently announced a new round of funding to support 1,000 new homes under the National Rental Affordability Scheme. However, with a current housing shortfall of about 89,000 dwellings in NSW, far more needs to be done in this area.
“The NSW government should also include clear affordable or social housing targets in their metropolitan strategy for Sydney 2031 and ensure Local Councils require new developments near public transport to include social and public housing,” said Mr Millard.
ANGLICARE Sydney’s Rental Affordability Snapshot was part of a national project carried out by Anglicare Australia to assess national rental affordability for low income households.
This story follows on from "The Aussie version of creation" an illustrated story which is circulating widely by email, author unknown. [If you are the author, please let candobetter.net know and they will acknowledge your work.] I copy it here to give the context in which the story of blokes arose, but I have updated the story with changes to conditions in Aussi Paradise.
The Aussie verson of creation.
In the beginning God created day and night.
He created day for footy matches,
going to the beach.....
He created night for going prawning, sleeping
On the Second Day, God created water....
for surfing, swimming
and BBQ's on the beach,
On the Third Day God created the Earth to bring forth plants to provide malt and yeast for beer
and wood for BBQs,
On the Fourth Day God created animals
and crustaceans for chops, sausages,
steak and prawns for BBQ's
On the Fifth day God created a Bloke to go to the footy, enjoy the beach, drink the beer and eat the meat and prawns at BBQ's, and God saw that it was good.
On the Sixth Day God saw that the Bloke was lonely and needed someone to go to the footy, surf, drink beer, eat and stand around the barbie with.
So God created Mates, and God saw that they were good Blokes.
On the Seventh Day God looked around at the twinkling barbie fires, heard the hiss of opening beer cans and the raucous laughter of all the Blokes. He smelled the aroma of grilled chops and sizzling prawns and
God Saw that it was good .. ...
Well..... Almost good.....
He saw that the Blokes were too tired to clean up and needed a rest.
So God created Sheilas to clean the house, to bear children, to wash, to cook and to clean the Barbie, and then God saw that it was not just good....
It was Bloody Awesome!
IT WAS AUSTRALIA !!!!!
The Story of blokes, continued - by Quark
And that was pretty good for a while for most blokes and the sheilas didn’t mind it much either. They used to quite like BBQs in the back yard as it saved on washing up and the blokes did most of the work anyway. But as time went on, the back yards disappeared and so, fewer blokes could have BBQs with their mates and sheilas.
The blokes who couldn’t have bar-b q-s became quite aggro as they felt cooped up which is natural as they had been created as BBQ loving creatures.
The other thing that changed was that the sheilas could no longer spend all their time looking after children, cooking, cleaning "barbies" etc. as they had to go to work to help pay off the mortgage on the apartments sans backyards.
This, they were told by the newspapers, was the way it was going to be for all blokes eventually in Australi-bloody –a and that they could no longer expect to have back yards with "barbies".
This cut to the quick of blokes lives and affected their mental and physical health. Whilst blokes always had beer guts, they were starting to have more than that and to be actually obese from all the fast food they had to eat on account of the sheilas no longer having time to cook.
The other problem for blokes was that whilst they used to love going to the footy, they also liked to kick a footy around with their mates. This became harder as the local footy grounds and playing fields disappeared under masses of town houses. The blokes became quite sad but they did not know quite what they were sad about as they still had their beer even though the barbies had gone.
The blokes had really enjoyed surfing, swimming and fishing as the sea and rivers had been created for this purpose. But around the same time as the back yards disappeared the blokes started to have trouble parking their utes at the beach.
A whole lot of signs started appearing at their favourite places saying they only had two hours for a day of surfing and swimming and, what’s more, they had to pay for the privilege!
This made the blokes furious because they used to be free to do what they bloody well liked in Australi-bloody –a.
Then these blokes got older and got a bit used to not getting their own way. They started reminiscing with their mates instead of trying to do all these blokey things. A new lot of blokes cropped up who never knew that you could have a day at the beach and not have to worry about parking.
These blokes were different and seemed happy to sit in cafés with drinks that you would expect sheilas to like such as cappa –bloody chinos and café –bloody- lattes whilst playing with their mobile bloody phones which were not created by God, unlike the sea and the plants for the malt and the yeast for the beer and the sheilas and the crustaceans.
And the other bloody fly in the ointment for the blokes was that, whilst they used to have plenty of time for surfing and swimming and fishing after work and on their “sickies”, most of these blokes, one by one, lost their bloody public service jobs or permanent sort of cushy jobs even in the private sector and had to go onto contracts. This bloody meant that they were even working when they weren’t being paid in the time that they would have been surfing and swimming! What’s more they didn’t get “sickies” or if they did they didn’t have time to take them or they’d lose their jobs!
The blokes who virtually had owned the bloody place no longer seemed to! It was as though the place that had belonged to all blokes to enjoy and do as they bloody well pleased now belonged to a few blokes that they didn’t even know and who seemed to live in castles somewhere and even had houses overseas or owned whole islands. They were not regular blokes. The regular blokes sort of lost their "blokiness" when they were put in this position. They started to agree with the blokes they didn’t know who now seemed to own the bloody place. Maybe the blokes thought this was the way for them to own the place again…
Meanwhile what was happening to the sheilas? Well the sheilas never thought they owned the place unless they were rich sheilas, but that didn’t matter because the sheilas could go where they pleased and it was as good as owning the joint. So when the backyards disappeared around the same time as the parking signs went up at the beach and the blokes lost their cushy jobs with ‘sickies”, the sheilas who had got equal pay to the blokes a few decades earlier also lost their cushy jobs with “sickies” and found themselves on contracts.
Just as the blokes were stuck at work when they could have gone swimming, so were the sheilas. The sheilas still had to have the babies but other sheilas were hired to look after lots of babies while the sheilas who had the babies went to work to pay the mortgage for the apartment or the house with not even enough land for a BBQ.
The blokes and the sheilas had to race to the child care centre before and after work to drop off and pick up the babies. Life for both blokes and sheilas became a balancing act to maintain a life without BBQs, surfing and swimming.
But most blokes and sheilas were very appreciative of the large flat screen teles that were the centerpieces of all living rooms in Australi-bloody- a.
It had all happened so insidiously, the blokes didn’t realise. And that’s the story of blokes.
Why doesn't the government cut land costs? High costs of land, and the resources it carries - energy and water - are responsible for our failing economy. The greatest costs to small and medium-sized businesses are the rents they pay for their shops, warehouses, and factories. The greatest costs to workers are the rents they pay for personal accommodation. Small and medium-sized businesses pay both for their business premises and for their personal accommodation. Manufacturing in Australia is losing out to high rents and housing costs. Wages must go up to satisfy the malignant effect of land-speculation, which government continues to encourage against our common welfare. But, why don't they just cut the land-costs? Stop pushing up property prices by reducing immigration and you won't have to put wages up. Business will become competitive on the world market again, because most of its profits won't go on rent of premises. Let's get rid of the property developers. Let's outlaw land speculation. [Title changed from "Cut land-costs, not wages. Down with property developers, Up with workers!" on 9 Oct 2011.]
We hear that over 90% of small businesses quickly go broke. Some of you may assume that this is because they are all incompetent. That would mean that you have a low opinion of your fellow Australian and that you haven't considered the costs that operate in our society and are causing our factories to close.
The greatest costs to small and medium-sized businesses are the rents they pay for their shops, warehouses, and factories.
Do we ever hear the Liberal Party or the Labor Party say anything about this?
But land costs and rent costs erode profit margins and drive everyone except the major corporations out of business.
The major corporations (which include newspapers, banks and developers) invest in land and are responsible for high rents and mortgages. They constantly lobby against ordinary Australians for more immigrants to keep those costs high. They are in the business of putting the rest of us out of business.
Why is the government ignoring that land cost factors completely dwarf all the other factors causing Australian manufacturing and most other small business to founder?
The public service is bringing in contractors in order to keep wages down. Once they did not have the right to do this. Once they had to negotiate fairly.
We are losing our rights to decent wages and conditions at the same time that big business is forcing up rents and housing costs.
The mass media is full of nonsense about how the economy cannot afford for wage rises. The mass media has nothing to say about the huge iceberg our economy is running up against in rising land prices. It only talks about how a tiny minority of people who have invested in second properties are able to sell their houses for more money. It says nothing about how business fails and people become homeless due to these rising costs.
Now I hear of how state governments are talking about bringing in contractors to undercut cleaners' wages. Cleaners are arguably among the most poorly paid workers in Australian industry. They work very hard and have little status.
The same thing is happening to drivers, with local governments considering colluding to introduce strike-breakers in order to stop industrial action to negotiate small wage rises in another ill-paid industry.
Why is it always those who can least afford it who must bear the brunt of our ill-run economy, whilst the CEOs and head-kickers get huge wages for simply being mean and greedy?
Please send this cartoon to Julia and Wayne and your local politicians and ask them, "Why don't you just cut the land costs?"
Now in Southern California, soon in place near you
The link http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/702.html provides two short videos that starkly illustrate the ultimate results of unsustainable growth, as it is unfolding right now in Southern California, and as it is likely to unravel anywhere that continues too far with an economy based predominantly upon land speculation, urban construction and retail.
Extensive areas riddled with debt and without productive function or options
This growth model produces extensive areas that are riddled with debt and have no genuinely productive function or options by which to repay that debt. The extremity of circumstance shown in these videos also presents a new, terribly real, but currently unreported wave of refugees - the repossessed homeless.
The same situation developing and compounding in Australia
It can happen anywhere in Australia, but I will talk about a situation near my area, Rainbow Beach in Queensland. A world heritage area, and the last small town on the coast, it has been subjected to waves of developer proposals and attempts to massage opinion now for several years.
Bringing the issue closer to home in Cooloola (an obsolete term since Council amalgamation but how else do you quickly describe the region around Gympie, Queensland, Australia), what will happen to the many local families whose debt makes up the rapidly escalating amount of unpaid Council rates? Just prior to the recent rate rise this figure was $3m, up after last year's rate rise from $1.8m only two years ago. The new rate rise of 15-25% plus levies, a 30% increase in electricity costs, fuel on the rise, etc. will all combine to make this situation even harder. Yet local jobs, and all plans to 'increase' them, are focussed on land development and the retail that spins off of it.
Councils have no business getting their constituents into debt
How is Council prepared to deal with these contingencies? It couldn't happen here? That's exactly what they thought in California only two years ago. Denying physical reality didn't help them avoid it. Fringe and regional suburban areas in Australia are structurally very similar to the depicted Californian situation.
The last thing Rainbow Beach (or any other small town) needs is to become a regional suburb. That is not development. In the light of current knowledge, it is socio-economic suicide.
The second last thing we need is for our Council to continue taking the region down this doomed urban development pathway to increasing debt, under-employment and overall infrastructure deficiency.
It's all a hard message to grapple with for some of us but we ignore it at our peril.
This doesn't mean the same thing in France as it would in the US or Australia. France has no major dependency on the housing market. It is not an economy geared to growth in population and rapid turnover. Land speculation is severely taxed and so are inheritances outside direct family. In Paris there are unclaimed buildings because those who would inherit them do not want to pay accumulated taxes. This is a far better system than the one that the Anglophone countries share versions of.
Nonetheless, the news is that sales are down by 27.9% this year and that lots of new investors are unable to find renters. Prices are predicted to decline another 4% this year and then another 6% next year.
The first time there was a housing bubble in France was between about 1989 and 1999. Something like 12,000 realtors went out of business when it crashed.
Graph: "Index of price of dwelling in ratio to disposable Income, using 1965 francs."
Source: L'Observateur de l'Immobilier, No. 43, paris, 1999. The original data source is "Marché immobilier des notaires" (Notaries' property market) and INSEE Annuaire statistique de la France, ed. 2001
This graph was photocopied in black and white so the colour distinctions have disappeared. The top line, indicating higher prices, is always for Paris. The second line is for other French urban centres, and the lowest line, "Province" is for Other Areas, including non-urban.
The graph shows the ratio of disposable income to domestic property prices per square meter from 1979 to the year 2000. Affordability was highest in 1981. Between 1987 and 1996, however, France, mainly Paris, was affected by the same period of global property speculation that affected Australia.
In 2001 I wrote the following in Chapter 8 of my thesis (The Growth Lobby and its Absence) under the heading, "Dwelling Prices and Affordability in France":
"This was the first time France had undergone such a phenomenon [as a housing bubble]. In contrast to Australia, however, the prices returned to the level preceding the speculation bubble. We can observe here that dwelling prices in France, according to this measure of affordability, have risen and fallen quite steeply, but there appears to have been an overall stability, since 1965, when they stopped rising in real terms."
I am not surprised to see that, even though a second bubble followed quickly on the first, prices have come right down again.
Because professional property development speculators do not have much control over the French market, it is actually possible for ordinary citizens to simply hold off buying until prices fall. In contrast, in the US, Canada, Australia, England, where property moguls and their upstream and downstream dependents lobby successfully for high immigration, it doesn't matter if locals stop buying, because the governments will bring in more people. This is totally inimical for civil order and our governments should be covered in shame and thrown out for promoting this horror. Unfortunately, as we often mention on candobetter.org the media control information in the anglophone countries and they also control the global real-estate market to a large extent and they control perception of government and, I fear, government perception. So it is really hard for the public (a) to realise what is happening (b) to organise against it.
In France, although it is possible for foreigners to purchase property, they only obtain work permits if they are Europeans, except in very rare circumstances. So there is not much point in zillions of people jumping in planes and coming over to buy cheap houses and live in France. They would not survive.
Of EU countries, the United Kingdom has terribly costly housing and the English do tend to come and buy cheaper land and housing in France and other EU countries, driving the prices up there. So do some other countries with higher housing prices, such as the Dutch. However these migrants cannot have nearly the same impact as they have, for instance, in Australia. Foreign property buyers find that they also cannot leave their properties to anyone except their children unless they are prepared to be very heavily taxed, so spouses cannot gold-dig so successfully. And, after your first house, you have to wait years to purchase another if you want to avoid the speculative taxes.
(Illustration a fragment from Wreck of the Hope by Caspar Friedrich)
This article is based on a Report from France2 News 25-5-08, translated to give Anglophones a different perspective on the anglophone land and housing system.
"In the United States the housing loan situation is producing more and more homelessness, but now an increasing number of bank victims are trashing their houses to make them uninhabitable before they leave them."
(Ask yourself, how long before the Australian situation gets this bad and are we going to put up with the government letting the banks do it to us?)
With amazement in his voice, the French newsreader announces the gruesome details of homelessness in the United States: "During the US election campaign the number of evictions continues to rise, even to double, as the credit crisis affects more and more people. In the American way, unfeelingly, the bailiffs arrive, put the furniture on the footpath, and the only thing left for the evicted families is their eyes to weep with."
A woman interviewee says, "When I telephoned the credit society, they said, "Well, if you can no longer pay, just leave the keys for us and go outside."
But finally people are beginning to revolt against these insane impositions by their mere fellows in a financial system which is no longer serving the community!
Although so many more people are returning their keys, they are first "meticulously vandalising" the houses they are forced to leave. "Systematic destruction of walls, toilets, electrical wiring, decorations - they destroy everything, with rage in their hearts to avenge themselves."
A bailiff describes his experience: "We have found toilets destroyed by sledge-hammers. People have disemboweled pipes to make them leak; they have cut the wires to the air-conditioners and pulled wiring out of the light fittings."
And it's working: these vandalised properties become unsaleable, even at half-price. Of course this means that cancelling mortgages is costing the banks a lot of money. So now they have begun to pay people bonds if they leave their houses in good condition.
Commentary from newsreader: "Yet the simple solution of renegotiating credit simply doesn't seem to occur to anyone!"
Report based on "Etats-Unis : la crise des subprimes poussent les Américains à quitter leur maison et parfois à la saccager" 20h15m32s, from France2 News 25-5-08, 20h15m32s