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Miscellaneous comments from 14 February 2014

Comments made on the previous Miscellaneous comments page from 134 Feb 2014 can be found here.

If you have anything you would like to raise, which is likely to be of interest to our site's visitors, which is not addressed in other articles, please add your comments here.

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Russia Today (RT) has, in contrast to the lying Western corporate and government media, reported far more truthfully about the fight by the people of the world against the bloody attempts by the United States and it allies to impose their and corrupt rule over much of the globe, for example in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Venezuela and Syria.

On occasions RT has also reported well on the environmental threats to our planet. Contrary to "left wing" "political correctness", the threats from population growth and high immigration are also reported. An example is the article Labour's surrender monkeys dare not criticize Britain's conscript economy of 16 August 2013. This article was re-published on candobetter. This shows how high immigration into the United Kingdom, which is a condition of its membership of the European Union has, in recent years, destroyed the employment and eduction prospects of many young natives of Britain.

Unfortunately, amongst people, who rightly oppose imperialist war, can often also be found immigrant-rights campaigners who have no regard for the state of our environment or for the social cohesion of societies into which large numbers of immigrants wish to move.

One such person is Larry King. In Can America fix its broken immigration system?, he gives a platform to the extremist "open border" advocate United States actor Edward James Olmos. Olmos, and King argue for removal of any immigration controls into the United States on the grounds that:

  1. the hardship faced by existing illegal immigrants in the United States should be reduced;
  2. the ancestors of most of today's native American population previously immigrated from Europe;
  3. greedy United states corporations have exploited Latin America; and
  4. any person should have the right to cross any border anywhere he/she chooses.
    1. Curiously, even Olmos acknowledged that his own parents once opposed illegal immigration from Latin America into the United States, as do many United States citizens of his ethnicity.

      Evidently it has escaped their attention that, due to past high immigration and union-busting, the standards of living for most of United States' working class is already approaching that of the Third World

      Right at the end of this interview (after roughly 15 minutes), Olmos and King take this position to its logical and ludicrous extreme: If we are to allow free movement from Latin America into the United States, then why not also from other countries with even larger populations, such as China? They both acknowledged that this would add vastly more to the population of the United States, but claimed that this was morally necessary and inevitable.

An estimated 100 elephants will be killed across Africa today. Poached, in all likelihood, in front of their families. Their tusks ripped off to meet the global greed for ivory.

A group of volunteers has been flying over Kenya's Tsavo National Park counting elephants, and have found in preliminary results that numbers are down from 12,500 three years ago, to about 11,000.
It does appear to be the smallest recorded population since 2002.
Poaching remains a huge problem and it is believed as many as 30,000 African elephants are killed every year for their ivory tusks. Fines for possession of ivory used to be about $130, but now it is more than $250,000. (Why shouldn't anyone found guilty of murdering an elephant, or being an accessory to the fact, be put in jail? - Ed)

By some estimates more than 80 elephants die every day across Africa simply for their tusks, but that is not the only challenge the animals face. It's not just the ivory trade that's threatening the elephants' existence but human encroachments on their land. There's been development of infrastructure such as houses, roads, market places and so on," said Dr Charles Musyoki, head of species research at the Kenya Wildlife Service.

Elephants have been credited with stampeding over houses and eating entire harvests leaving the subsistence farmers in their wake homeless and hungry as a result.

There are three things that are responsible for the African elephant’s move towards complete extinction:

  1. an ever increasing human population,
  2. the harmful effects of climate change, and
  3. criminal poaching ventures.

Sub-Saharan Africa will record the world’s largest population growth from 1.1 billion to 2.4 billion people between 2013 and 2050. By the year 2050 the current population in Africa will have more than doubled by 1.3 billion people making Sub-Saharan Africa the largest growing region in the world.

Delegates from around 50 countries will descend on London for the world’s largest ever conference on the illegal wildlife trade with the aim of changing the trend of elephant's demise. The event, hosted by the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, and attended by the Prince of Wales, will hear that as many as 50,000 elephants are being poached each year to satisfy the booming ivory market, driven largely by China. The country's insatiable and destructive appetite for economic growth comes at a great cost to the world's natural resources, and an intelligent iconic animals. The world "poaching" has connotations of chicken-stealing, and is inadequate to describe the horrendous and cruel loss of animal lives, and the criminality of the human race!

Unless they also solve the human overpopulation crisis, and the elephants' dwindling habitats, they will plug up one threat, and ignore the other!

Independent- UK: If we fail the African forest Elephant will blink out within our lifetimes

According to Greenpeace, The world's largest fishing vessel, the factory freezer ship Lafayette, has turned up in the Pacific Ocean east of Australia.

SMH: Monster fishing in Pacific, east of Australia

This monstrosity is 5 times the size of the Margiris, that was banned from Australian waters in 2012. As fish numbers deplete, due to human population growth causing dwindling fish numbers, the machinery to chase and capture them is getting bigger and bigger!

Greenpeace campaigner Nathaniel Pelle said: ''The waters where it is now face a crisis of overcapacity. A vast number of vessels are making their way into the Pacific chasing reduced fish numbers.''

They will be near Australia's waters, devouring fish from over the imaginary border. How are fish to know which "side" is safe?

A converted tanker capable of processing 1500 tonnes of fish a day, further causing the crash of marine biodiversity. A 2012 investigation by the US Centre for Public Integrity found giant fishing vessels were responsible for a 90 per cent decline in the South Pacific jack mackerel fishery. Not to be thwarted by evidence, this factory freezer vessel will continue with business as usual, and is hoping prevailing currents will make jack mackeral fish swim in their direction.

By setting high quotas, it ensures they will not be exceeded, and humanity's rapacious appetite for fish continues.

Tensions at the Manus Island detention centre erupted into a violent breakout last night, after asylum seekers were told their only option for resettlement was to live in Papua New Guinea. By definition, refugees are not able to live in their own country, and must find a safe place to live. Surely Papua New Guinea fits this criteria?

Thirty-five asylum seekers escaped from the centre through a fence, safety-glass panels were smashed, bunk beds were "broken apart" and the pieces used as weapons and thrown.

Refugee Action Coalition spokesman Ian Rintoul says he was told by asylum seekers inside the centre that the trouble started after they were told their prospects of resettlement in another country were bleak.
The country does not have a visa category for refugees and there has been little public information about how, and where, they might be resettled.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said: "In Manus they would have freedom of movement around Manus. They would have work rights and all of those normal things you would expect. In terms of access to other programs and things of that nature, that is for the Papua New Guinean government".

At the meeting with Immigration department officials around 2pm Manus Island time, the asylum seekers were told that they would not be leaving PNG – that if they wanted to go somewhere else other than PNG, they would have to arrange this with other countries themselves.
Millions of people around the world have no choice but to flee their homeland to escape war, genocide, torture and persecution. In an effort to plug the human migration tide, four months after Abbott led the conservative Liberal-National coalition to power, he promising to “stop the boats”, he is claiming victory in “Operation Sovereign Borders”.

Amnesty International described the situation on Manus Island (PNG) as “tantamount to torture”, with detainees (including pregnant women and young children) being denied sufficient water, medical help, privacy, and living in cramped conditions and unbearable heat. Conditions on Nauru are similarly inhumane. These offshore detention centres will cost $2.867 billion for 2013/14. They believe that these detention camps should be closed. Asylum seekers should be able to live in the Australian community, with the right to work, while their claims are being assessed.

However, a "right" to work and housing does not guarantee the jobs and public housing exists here in Australia, due to our record-breaking rates of net overseas migration.

I find the refugee advocates kind of amusing. Most refugees pass through a number of countries before reaching Europe or Australia. Mexicans going to the USA are the exception, but they are not refugees anyway, just opportunists.

Now, what's interesting is that no refugee advocate even considers any number of these countries as being viable 'final' destinations. They act as if the only places in the world worth worrying about, or going to, are, well, those in Europe, USA, UK, Canada, Australia...

Now we see the Australian Federal Police harassing the Channel 7 studios in Sydney. They are scared shitless Corby has said something which would incriminate them and bring the whole charade crashing out into the open light of day, to prevent this was the reason they put her away in the first place. The government was behind the drug shipment from Brisbane to Sydney gone wrong thanks to the stupidity of the organizers or baggage handlers on their drug shipment payroll.

But why all the fuss over one lousy shipment?

Because it threatens to bring out into the open the whole scheme of drug smuggling by the Western English speaking governments1 which help prop up their Black Budget economy for the World Control Matrix.

, a giant too big for any one person to get their head around and which they are now puting their finishing touches to. They will stop at nothing. Michel's suffering is zero to them. They are the literal evil mon(b)ster of the deep, far more evil and savage than any movie could portray.

They have done the same to Martin Bryant, and many others individually and nationally to get their way and will stop at nothing to impose their NWO on the world but they have met a stumbling block in and DOES NOT include Russia and China and Iran and North Korea and did not include pre destruction Palestine, Yugoslavia, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan and countless other nations who did not toe the line.

But they will be beaten and destroyed by the Russia China coalition and their allies and thank God for that.

Footnote[s]

1. See also: Who benefits from the Afghan Opium Trade?, Afghanistan: Heroin-ravaged State, Heroin is "Good for Your Health": Occupation Forces support Afghan Narcotics Trade, Money Laundering and The Drug Trade: The Role of the Banks , Unprecedented Increase in World Opium Production on Global Research, The Afghan economy is reconverting to opium and Global opium and heroin production explodes on VoltaireNet, 'Unprecedented increase in opium production'.

The use, non use of the great artesian bore potential is an international scandal and based on false (deliberately so) "facts".
This is pertinent to the building at a great waste and expense to taxpayers of the scandalously over priced desalination plant in sydney during the last drought, but it concerns the whole nation.

The false premise is that it is a one off resource and cannot be replaced. rubbish.
The exact opposite is the true reality. Unless it is used and used extensively it cannot be replaced because it refills itself when used every fifteen years - how do they think it got there in the first place?

BUT SURELY THEY KNOW THIS and its underutilization is a deliberate ploy to keep the Australian nation under the control of the International. What a disgrace! What is the mechanism of this freeemasonic control of our politicians, which clearly emanates from the USA and UK?
In what circle(s) - deep, dark and connected do they operate?
Who will expose them? How can they be exposed?
How will they be brought to justice?

Join the Hanging Rock Action Group for a very special picnic.

The day’s events will include:
- Anne Louise Lambert, best known as ‘Miranda’ from the film ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ sharing her experiences of Hanging Rock
- State MPs Joanne Duncan and Amanda Millar speaking about their views on development at the Rock
- Wild Action Zoo showcasing the area’s diverse wildlife
- Live music all day.

Bring a picnic lunch and meet us at the Petanque area from 11am onwards. Speakers will start at 12pm.

Everyone is welcome so please share this event and invite your friends!

This event is about coming together as a group of individuals who share a common love of Hanging Rock, and concern for the development proposed by the Macedon Ranges Shire Council. Council has proposed a major development at Hanging Rock Reserve, including a conference centre and accommodation. We aim to convince Council to consult with the community before progressing their plans.

Find out more about Hanging Rock Action Group at Hanging Rock Action Group

Last year the council released a 10-page “Hanging Rock Information Bulletin”, while Tourism Macedon Ranges endorsed the council’s position last Friday.

Mayor Roger Jukes said the council considered private investment, secured after state and federal infrastructure funding, as the best way to help the cash-strapped reserve. The public were not consulted!

The Macedon Ranges Shire Council with minimal community consultation is currently seeking expressions of interest for a large scale development at Hanging Rock Reserve.

The Hanging Rock Action Group is an alliance of community groups and individuals who are committed

1. Have Council undertake its Community Consultation Framework,

2. Distil the real issues and facts of the proposed development, and

3. Raise community awareness of the issues.

HRAG stands for an open & transparent process that gives our community the opportunity to participate as guaranteed in Councils Community Consultation Framework.

Once implemented HRAG will cease to exist.

Please note, Hanging Rock Reserve has a $10/car entry fee.

See facebook

Each year, a small, brown Japanese water bird - the Latham's Snipe - migrates from the northern hemisphere to south-eastern Australia.

The rare bird is protected under several international agreements, including the Japan Australia Migratory Bird Agreement and by the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.
Since 2005, the community group Port Fairy Landcare has been fighting against a proposed development for a 32-lot subdivision on a site adjacent to the wetlands. The development was approved of last year by the Moyne Shire Council, and now it will go to VCAT.

The proposed residential development site covers about 40 percent of the known habitat of the Latham's Snipe locally. We may be facing the Sixth Extinction, due to human environmental demands, but it incrementally and seemingly insignificantly is creeping into our own back yards and coastal areas.

The current major threat to Latham's Snipe outside of Australia appears to be the modification and loss of habitat. This has been caused by the drainage, clearance and modification of wetlands for residential, agricultural and industrial development.

Port Fairy Landcare group takes fight to save rare water bird's habitat to VCAT

So well camouflaged, they blend into the background until, with a loud krek!, they suddenly burst from their hiding place, only to land somewhere nearby where they become instantly invisible again.

Latham’s Snipe is the only one of the 36 species of migratory shorebirds protected under the EPBC Act* and Australia’s migratory bird agreements with China, Japan and Korea, that has its own criteria for identifying “important habitat.” The Powling Street Wetland in Port Fairy, Victoria regularly supports a hundred or more snipe over spring and summer with the highest count in recent years being 430. That this unique site that should be protected for the snipe—a bit of a ‘no brainer’. However, the cash rewards for property developers is more material and lucrative than the camouflaged and seemingly insignificant little bird!

BirdLife Australia believes that the proposed high-density residential subdivision will be a tipping point for the birds leading to a large decline in the number of snipe that are able to use the wetland. The snipe are getting squeezed out, and there are exceptionally few, if any, wetlands capable of supporting such high numbers for them to move to.

If the international agreements and the EPBC Act can't protect this site, there is little hope for a precedent of protection for other threatened species.

A new report released by the Victorian National Parks Association (VPNA) has detailed the impact of urban development on Victoria’s coastline.

According to the "Coast is Unclear" report , authored by marine and coastal environment consultant Chris Smyth, the urbanised coast has expanded by 15% over the last 20 years and now makes up about 17% of Victoria’s total coastline.

Population growth, climate change and a "development-focussed government" are all identified in the report as sources of further degradation of Victoria’s 2000 kilometre coastline.

Urban development threatening Victoria's coast: VNPA

It's interesting that a site dedicated to property developers have recognised this threat. Victoria’s narrow strips of coastal crown land are "squeezed" between the sea and developed land, and encroaching development coupled with rising sea levels are threatening protected areas. The interface between our land, and the sea, is sensitive to climate change, and has some unique ecosystems.

The report cites the development of a new breakwater, boat ramp and beach road at Bastion Point, Mallacoota as a significant example of the "dash for development" approved by successive Victorian governments.

It's easy and a no-brainer to rubber-stamp developments and assess their economic worth, but they are adding to the concrete and bitumen overlay, and more people will destroy the integrity of our natural assets - our precious and spectacular coasts!

VNPA marine spokesperson Simon Branigan said: "The rate of coastal urban sprawl over the past 20 years is alarming. We now face new pressures such as major port expansions at Westernport and Port Anthony, a breakwater at Mallacoota's Bastion Point, the spread of coastal towns, and the opening up of national parks along the coast to large-scale commercial tourism developers."

"Endangered animals such as the Burrunan Dolphin, Eastern Bristlebird, Fairy Tern, Orange-bellied Parrot and the Southern Bent-wing Bat rely on healthy coastal habitat for survival," Mr Branigan said.

Instead of attacking "urban development" issues, the VNPA should formulate their own population policy, and face the bigger picture that housing prices and the grab on land will cause the spill-over of housing onto sensitive areas.

Cattle and sheep deaths from the animal exports reached almost 15 000 in the last year according to a Department of Agriculture report. Tasmanian Independent MP Andrew Wilkie introduced his fourth Bill into Parliament on Monday to phase out the industry by 2017. 4000 sheep died in a voyage from Fremantle to Qatar last year, and was kept secret until recently.
Another 3000 sheep of that vessel had to be slaughtered when they were offloaded because of the condition they were in. Yet, this atrocious industry, full if tragic and horrific "incidents", is fiercely defended by our governments. It's part of a group agenda to provide "food security" and profits for farmers.
Independent Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie has taken on the government and intends to stop the live export industry by 2017.
It's propped up by self-interests and a powerful industry lobby group. Not only is it ethically wrong and cruel, but it's bad for Australian workers. They are denied jobs in abattoirs. How are dead and dying animals arriving at ports overseas be acceptable?
Wilkie says that Parliament is completely out of step with the community. It's a case of money speaking louder then words. Animals can't be protected once they leave our shores, and it's been proven over and over again. Once they are at the front of the queue, there's no protection from barbaric cruelty of fully conscious animals having their necks sliced and stabbed at.

Regrettably and tragically, asylum seeker from Iran, Reza Barati, was killed in a riot on Manus Island detention centre. As translated by a family friend, Reza was seeking asylum because ''All he wanted was to have a better life - he was an intelligent young man with productive years ahead of him and he would have been good for the Australian economy.''

By definition, asylum seekers do not have a home, and can't live in their own country because they are not safe. They should not be here for "a better life" or to contribute to the economy! Family friend said ''Reza was not a political refugee – he was a social refugee.'' Just how does "social refugee" fit into the category of being officially a refugee? Reza was the eldest of his siblings, who had trained as an architect, had particular responsibilities to his family. No doubt once he achieved a "better life" and job in Australia, he would unite with his family in Australia!

At the weekend, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison released a statement saying that new information suggests the fatal head injury sustained by Mr Berati, along with much of the violence that night, occurred inside the detention centre's perimeter.

It appears the attack that led to Mr Barati's death, and injuries to more than 60 asylum seekers, was an orchestrated response to a rolling protest that involved asylum seekers chanting ''F--k PNG'' and baring their buttocks. A Papua New Guinean police spokesman has told Fairfax Media that 23-year-old Reza Barati was killed by multiple blows to the head, probably from a piece of timber.

Iranians gain relatively painless entry to Indonesia, with the Middle Eastern country on the list of those whose nationals are able to acquire a visa on arrival. That has meant that Iranians ultimately seeking to arrive in Australia by boat are able to conduct the stretch of the journey as far as Indonesia without legal difficulty. After leaving Iran, many head to Dubai, make their way to Bali or Java before making the final journey south. Many of the Iranians arrivals are middle-class residents of big cities such as Tehran who have been able to summon up the tens of thousands of dollars to pay a people smuggler for a chance at entry to Australia.

The death is tragic, and Berati's murderer needs to be brought to justice. However, the justification that he was "fleeing from persecution", terror, torture, and was unable to live in Iran have been exaggerated. How many other asylum seekers are really "social asylum seekers" trying to get a "better life"- something that we all in Australia are all trying to do - in the face of massive legal immigration!

There has to be a better system than detention centres and imprisonment. Australia has the second largest acceptance of per capita in the world of humanitarian refugees.

We should remove our signature from the UN Refugee Convention, and decide off-shore the refugee we will accept into Australia, and the rest can then be considered illegal entrants. This would remove the impetus of detention centres, and exaggerated claims, public outcries, people smugglers, the lure of believing that Australia has got a '"better life" on offer, and the frustration and the political foot-ball asylum seekers have become.

The current plans for the upgrade of the Pacific Highway in NSW may destroy a critical koala colony in Ballina.

The proposed route would run straight through the middle of a nationally significant koala population in the Blackwall Range wildlife corridor, known to be a linchpin colony, and vital for the survival of coastal koalas. This wildlife hotspot is also home to another 30 threatened or endangered species that will also be put at risk.

There are a number of alternative routes the highway could take that would avoid killing koalas and other wildlife.

A report, written be respected ecologist Dr Steve Phillips, identifies the Meerschaum Vale, Blackwall Range and Coolgardie koala population as "a key source population for breeding and dispersal" and suggests it should be listed as an "important population" under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act.

Dr Phillips's research suggests the koalas in that region have been there since at least the beginning of the 20th century. Doctor Steve Phillips says the chosen route bisects a regionally significant colony of up to 200 koalas.

A packed public meeting at the Ballina RSL has urged a route change to save three colonies of the endangered NSW coastal koala, Echonet Daily reports.

“The Ballina koala study is a game changer: it shows that we have a nationally significant koala population that should be protected by the EPBC Act,” said Greens Councillor, Jeff Johnson.

Please call on the NSW Minister for Roads and Ports, Duncan Gay; the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, Brad Hazzard; and Federal Environment Minister, Greg Hunt, to choose an alternative koala-friendly route that delivers a safer Pacific Highway and also protects our iconic koalas.

Your message will be copied to the NSW Premier, Barry O’Farrell.

We’ve prepared a template e-mail for you to send. We encourage you to personalise this copy to make it more effective. Please ensure that you are polite at all times.

IFAW: Protect Ballina's koalas from the bulldozers

CommunityRun petition: save Ballina's koalas

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says Australia has enough national parks and he will set up a new Forest Advisory Council to support the timber industry. He said that "too much forest is currently locked up in Tasmania".

Under a peace deal with the Wilderness Society and the forestry industry, 170,000 hectares of forest was added to the area, and the Government has formally asked the World Heritage Committee to delist 74,000 hectares.

"We have quite enough national parks, we have quite enough locked-up forests already. In an important respect we have too much locked-up forest."

Mr Abbott also criticised the Tasmanian Greens, blaming the party for everything from the state's ailing economy to its poor educational outcomes.

According to the CSIRO, land clearance and habitat modification are major problems in conservation biology because of both their direct impacts on biodiversity loss and flow-on effects leading to habitat deterioration and degradation, which also have negative implications for biota".

About 80% of the world’s original cover of forest has been cleared, fragmented, degraded or converted to plantations (World Resources Institute, 1997), of which about 50% has been totally cleared. Almost 80% of mammals and about 60% of birds listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature have declined prima-rily as a result of habitat loss".

What adds to the tragedy is that Australia has the highest rate of mammal extinction of the modern world.

The article continues: "Notably, Australia is the only country in
the top 20 land-clearing nations with a developed first world economy! More than 550 000 hectares of native vegetation are cleared in Australia each year (Australian Conservation Foundation, 2001). Even this staggeringly high figure may be an underestimate. In 1999, permits
to clear more than 730 000 hectares of vegetation were issued by the governments of New South Wales and Queensland (State of the Environment, 2001a)".

For years The Wilderness Society and forestry industries were on opposite sides of the conservation debate on old growth forests. Now they're on the same side with the same message for Tony Abbott, amid concern that intervention by the federal government could blow up the peace deal on Tasmania's forests. Increased forest protection was traded off for industry assistance measures, including a "green stamp" for timber products demanded in key export markets such as Japan.

See The Australian: Forest foes join forces to fight Tony Abbott

Bigger trees grow faster than smaller ones, which means larger trees will absorb carbon dioxide faster. Tasmania has Australia’s greatest tract of temperate rainforest, the little-known Tarkine wilderness in the north-west of the state. Northern and Eastern Tasmania contain significant examples of these forest types and are the stronghold of dry-sclerophyll eucalypt forest which is important to biodiversity. Tasmania’s old growth forests are home to the world’s tallest hardwood trees and a wealth of threatened wildlife such as the Tasmanian Wedge Tailed Eagle, the Swift Parrot and the Giant Fresh Water Crayfish

Once a deal is made, no government should have the right to break a well-campaigned contract, made by industries and not-for-profit campaigners!

Residential development on the urban fringe is pushing native animals down the creek corridors towards the city.
Wildlife carers, conservationists and rescuers are facing an uphill battle for the survival of native animals against Melbourne's aggressive rate of population growth.

Such is the nature of our present "planning" schemes, any "vacant" that not owned or protected by State or national park status is grabbed for housing.

Deaths and injuries to animals such as wombats are simply considered incidentals, or collateral damage, and an unavoidable consequence of progress and economic growth!

Clearing removes habitats leading to the direct loss of millions of native animals and plants every year and creates an extinction debt - something that we in Australia are already renown for!

According to Bush Heritage Australia, nearly half our mammal species, including some wombats, wallabies and bandicoots, are either extinct or threatened with extinction as a result of land clearing, habitat destruction and other threats. Wildlife Victoria records show the rescue organisation treated 51 wombats in the northern metropolitan region during the past 12 months, with numbers steadily increasing over the past 10 years.

Mark Winfield from the Department of Environment and Primary Industries agreed that development was pushing wombats upstream, but said revegetation along the Yarra River and Darebin Creek had also made those environments more appealing.

An economy that only thrives on housing, and importing people, is inevitably hostile to wildlife, the environment, and biodiversity.

An economy reliant on importing people, and housing, is inherently anthropocentric and environmentally destructive.

Herald Sun: Housing development on Melbourne's fringe pushes wildlife down the creek

Wildlife "down the creek" is ironically a reminder that extinction is an incremental process, and forever!

These courageous and unassuming migratory birds fly all the way from Russia and Japan to the wetlands near Port Fairy, Victorian coast, but unless property developers are trimmed of the malignant greed for land and profits, they will have nowhere safe to land!

EDO Victoria is assisting local bird lovers who wish to protect the dwindling habitat of the impressive migratory bird, the Latham’s Snipe. It is seeking a merits review in VCAT of the Moyne Shire Council’s decision to allow the development of the habitat. By definition, "development" should imply improvements, increasing complexity and design, not greed and destruction for profits devoid of social and environmental responsibility.

The EDO is representing Port Fairy locals, teacher Jodie Honan and artist and avid birdwatcher Don Stewart, in their quest to save habitat the Powling Street wetlands complex.

Southbeach Wetlands and Landcare Group Don Stewart said buffers of 150 metres to 200 metres needed to be enforced around the wetland — despite pre- existing homes already within that area. It's an example how silently and by stealth our native species are being enclosed and excluded from their habitats by human population growth - causing irreversible destruction and habitat loss.

Port Fairy's wetlands are disappearing. The Latham’s Snipe is listed as near threatened in Victoria, and is an international shorebird migratory species listed under the EPBC Act as being a ‘matter of national environmental significance’. For the local Port Fairy community and for the small bird they are rallying to protect, this most recent battle is one that cannot afford to be lost.

The case was heard in Warranmbool last week.

As documentaries like Blackfish have made all too clear, orcas and dolphins live terrible and unhappy lives in captivity at SeaWorld. It's just shocking to hear that 15-year-old Bindi Irwin, the daughter of the late Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, has become SeaWorld's new Youth Ambassador.

Bindi will be part of "Generation Nature," a new SeaWorld program that, she says, "is all about encouraging kids to get involved and be game-changers for wildlife in wild places." That sounds great -- but Bindi is setting a poor role model for thousands of children by becoming the ambassador for a place like SeaWorld, where orcas and other marine animals are confined to tanks and forced to perform tricks.

Please sign a petition asking Bindi Irwin to step down from position as Youth Ambassador for Sea World. This is compromising the high ideals fought for by her father, Steve Irwin. He did not support the commercialisation of animals, the trapping and capture of animals for entertainment, and displays to exhibit human dominance of captured wildlife. She should be supporting Sea Shepherd, and save the dolphins campaigns, not those who trap and exploit them for $$$$

Bindi Irwin please step down as SeaWorld Ambassador

I was amazed to read your comment that Steve Irwin did not support the commercialisation of animals.

He did. He specialised in tormenting and provoking captured wild animals so his films would be more entertaining. He imprisoned animals in a zoo - which is still going. His main aim was to make money from exploited animals and it makes me sick to see him lauded as some sort of eco warrior. He was the exact opposite!

Hi J. Wilson,

I've only been to the Australia zoo once, but it was vastly superior to most zoos and they have amazing capacity for helping injured Australian animals at their Wildlife hospital. However, I guess the best testimony I found of Steve Irwin's bona fides on this was from kangaroo campaigner Pat O'Brien, who says in this very short video about how Irwin sought him out and funded his work, that he didn't like zoos, but that the Australia Zoo was different.

Sadly, Pat O'Brien died late last year.

There are a number of other videos interviewing Pat O'Brien on this channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/QueenieAlexander2000/videos?view_as=public

I'm not fond of the idea of a zoo, but I found Australia Zoo, when I was there in 2007 quite impressive. Not just in scale, but in the attention to detail with regards to care of the animals, and in creating a natural and comfortable environment.

As to Steve Irwins treatment of animals, he earned the nickname "the croc botherer". He was sincere about conservation, and his videos and zoo were his attempt.

Do I think the ends justify the means? Well, he's done a lot (the zoo and the TV shows are just part it, he and Terri Irwin also established other wildlife refugees, and started the Wildlife Warriors Worldwide), and he did what he thought needed to be done.

I was at Australia Zoo late last year and was impressed and not offended at all at the way the animals were confined or treated. The Steve Irwin tradition of displaying animals in a dramatic way is continued with a sort of amphitheatre and trained staff showing off the behaviours of animals such as crocodiles and birds of prey. In the animal hospital they were treating injured koalas. Injuries are usually from cars . I thought the guide could have made a bit more the population growth that is killing these much loved animals.Their habitat is progressively destroyed for housing and then what is left is criss -crossed with roads carrying cars with oblivious drivers.

Billionaire mining magnate Gina Rinehart has attacked Australia's "entitlement mentality" and called on the nation's leaders to emulate former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.
Mrs Rinehart wrote Australia is facing a future of government debt due largely to its $130 billion annual welfare bill. Coming from a position of privilege and being born into extreme wealth, it's easy to condemn those on welfare as being an economic burden.
Thatcher is most remembered for her program of sweeping economic changes throughout the 1980s, including mass privatisation of government assets, financial market deregulation and labour law changes designed to limit the influence of trade unions. Supporters of her policies point to a reduction in inflation and return to economic growth experienced by Britain in the 1980s. It assumes that economic growth should be the measure of government and national success?
The mining tycoon took aim at welfare recipients and the political left for spending the ‘‘bottomless pit’’ of revenue created by mining. ‘‘We are living beyond our means,’’ Ms Rinehart, worth an estimated $19.89 billion, reportedly wrote in a column for the Australian Resources and Investment magazine.
Ms Rinehart wants the Federal Government to spend money on dams and have lower tax rates in Northern Australia. “She’s against social welfare but she’s very much in favour of business welfare for herself,” Mark Latham said.
Australia's immigration program has continued at illogically high rates, forcing up our population growth faster than jobs and our economy can accommodate.
Back in 2009 and 2010, it was assumed that our "mining boom" would continue and our economy would grow, and more jobs would be created. This hasn't happened, but population growth has continued anyway. Population growth is outstripping it's benefits, and Ponzi-growth pyramid schemes always become obvious in hindsight, when the costs of maintaining them become clear - then the vulnerable are vilified and blamed for the downfall - not the governments and corporate giants who manipulate policies for their own vested interests!

Previously off-limits areas of southeast Queensland may need developing due to "population explosion". Queenslanders will be forced to sacrifice its “sacred cows” to accommodate a projected population increase of more than two million over the next 30 years. This "projected" population increase is not from high fertility levels, but high rates of net overseas migration!
State forests, pineapple farms, canefields and sensitive coastal zones such as Pumicestone Passage may be needed as the region looks to accommodate an extra onemore than one million-plus dwellings, or 34,000 new houses a year.
While the UN says that food production globally must increase by 70% to cope for 9 billion people, here in Australia we are carving up farms and vegetation for more concrete, bitumen and houses! Such is the lack of innovation and bankruptcy in ideas, that housing has become the default route to increase economic activity, "jobs", and the GDP!
Jeff Humphreys, senior principal at infrastructure and environmental services company Cardno said: “We thought we needed 750,000 new dwellings to accommodate a (population) growth of 1.6 million ... 480,000 additional dwellings are now required on top of those that were already planned for in the existing urban footprint"! What a windfall for property developers, and land-owners?
Experts said that by 2041, southeast Queensland’s population could reach 5.5 million . This is despite the fact that there is already a crisis of unemployment in Queensland. The "jobs" provided by property development and construction are contractual, not permanent, and actually add to the unemployment rate by adding more people.
A recent report by the Brotherhood of St Laurence found levels of youth unemployment in Queensland were at 13.2% of those aged 15 to 24, behind only the lagging economies of Tasmania at 17.4% and South Australia at 13.7%. There's no economic demand for more people!
Mr Humphreys said the region must also examine other “sacred cows” such as biodiversity corridors “to see if they can be reconfigured and still meet ecological outcomes”. So, some of our native species, already threatened by human impacts, must another "sacred cow" to go under this malignant growth plan.
Of course, supporting the plan is "demographer" Bernard Salt- the megalomanic growth addict!
Previously offlimits areas of South East Queensland may need developing due to population explosion

Thanks to break-neck speed of Melbourne's population growth and lack of public transport, traffic on the East West Link in the morning peak is expected to have slowed to 20-30 km/h by 2031 as worsening congestion, pushing the road close to capacity just 12 years after it is due to open.

12 years will not even give the time for Melbourne's population to reach 8 million, as targeted by our government. It's over-reached the Plan Melbourne, as they projected "only'' 6.5 million by 2050.

On opening, the EW link is thought to carry 80,000 vehicles a day, (2019), but this will swell out to increasing to between 100,000 and 120,000 a day by 2031, modeling shows.

Read more:

East West Link to hit peak capacity by 2031: expert by Adam Carey, Transport Reporter for The Age

... behind a paywall at http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/east-west-link-to-hit-peak-capacity-by-2031-expert-20140306-34ab6.html

Traffic expert Stephen Pelosi said at the hearing that the most effective way to ease congestion would be to apply a higher peak-hour toll to reduce the number of discretionary trips. So, the travelling public and businesses would be penalised for the congestion that they don't want in the first place!

Labor's shadow planning minister, Brian Tee, said the prediction that the link would become congested within 12 years proved it was a poor investment for the state. However, there's been no population plan coming from the Victorian Labor party either - just more "growth" and "business as usual" on both sides - while our city ends up increasingly strangled and gagged by congestion, traffic, and people!

For 8 billion dollars, the public deserve a realistic and long-serving solution to traffic flows, not just one that will survive for 12 years before also being clogged up! Nothing can grow forever, but the logic seems to pervade the city's planners. The demographic Ponzi-pyramid of growth will eventually implode through unpayable debt, unaffordable costs of living, and a city in stand-still because all arterial routes are blocked by traffic, and priced off the roads by increasing petrol costs.

Conservationists working to protect cassowaries in north Queensland are worried the species' numbers have dropped to an all-time low. But Jennifer Croes from Rainforest Rescue says it is estimated there is fewer than 1,000 that remain in the wild.

"The biggest challenge now is surviving in a modern world with us, humans." Ms Croes says the biggest threat to the birds is a loss of habitat, caused by development and cyclones.

Aggressive human population growth is denying the right of existence to these "dinosaurs" of the rainforests. They have lived in the region for about 80 million years, but they are struggling to survive the "modern" world of housing, land clearing, population growth and human destruction of their habitats.

Losing the ability to fly allowed the Cassowaries and their ratite relatives (with the exception of kiwis) to grow much larger than other birds. There are three species of Cassowary, but only the Southern Cassowary is found in Australia. Their closest relative is another Australian bird, the emu. These birds probably diverged from a common ancestor 25-30 million years ago.

Cassowary numbers in North Queensland at all time low: ABC
The disease of urbanisation is one that our native animals are not managing to adapt to, and it's happening too fast for evolutionary tactics. It's a dead-end street, and our rainforests can only end up becoming generic urban landscapes.

Ms Croes says when the animals venture into urban areas, they are often hit by cars as they are crossing roads.

On the other side of the spectrum, Agile Wallabies have grown in numbers because of land clearing at Mission Beach. The council want to "cull" them, but the responsibility of the State. They are now at loggerhead.
Environment and Heritage Protection Minister Andrew Powell said five current damage mitigation permits (DMPs) would allow for the removal of more than a thousand wallabies.

900 hectares of the former ADI Site at Penrith/St Marys has been spared from a massive housing development proposed by Lend Lease. This 900 ha contains about seven ecological communities listed under the NSW Government Threatened Species Act. Half the bushland is critically endangered Cumberland Plain Woodland. The area provides habitat to hundreds of species of plants and animals. Many of these are threatened with extinction.

The site contains Emus and Kangaroos. These are Sydney's last wild Emus.

Communities and conservation/wildlife groups are now being forced to fight for every bit of "vacant" land around their cities. As human numbers swell, wildlife are forced to the very edges of survival - and ultimate extinction!

However, instead of a Nature Reserve, the government wants to use it as a Regional Park! The focus will be using it for recreation, not conservation! It seems that one way or another, Mother Nature must cave in and just herself as being "useful" for humanity, and for economic benefits, not just for natural values and the ecological communities!

This "win" from the clutches of property developers has a sting in the tail! This proposal means Emus and Kangaroos will be displaced from their preferred habitat and confined to a small area of the Regional Park. They don't fit into this anthropocentric plan! The Nature will exist, but Emus and Kangaroos don't fit into the recreational agenda.

There is no need to open this land up for public recreation. Only 5 minutes away is the 2000 hectare Penrith Lakes Scheme which is an old gravel mine site being rehabilitated. It has no endangered species on it. This area is more appropriate for people to trample than critically endangered bushland.

PETITION: We want a Nature Reserve, not a regional park at ADI Site as agreed at recent community consultation workshops

Sounds like a ruse to ruin the land and fragment and dissolve populations of animals so that it can later be resubmitted as a site for development. There seems no sincerity, science, kindness or notion of what our ultimate survival depends on in this decision. It's the ultimate deception and betrayal of hardworking conservationists and the public at large. Devil Bend on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria was subjected to this sort of delay and disorganise tactic. Groups supporting nature were gradually disorganised by seducing some into currying favour with government and politicians and sidelining others. Parks Victoria seduced some, then claimed it had no responsibility for wildlife. Ultimately the leaders of DevilBend became too old to fight.

Frankston Reservoir nearly suffered the same fate, except that Quinn McCormack was able, with 'renegade' Frankston [once Liberal, now independent] MP, Geoff Shaw, to save this from becoming a Natural Features Reserve, in favour of a Nature Conservation Reserve.

I later communicated with Geoff Shaw, asking how he felt about Victorian Forests, but was disappointed to get back a reply evincing total faith in Liberal forest policy.

I spoke to someone who was a long time client of Shaws when Shaw was an accountant. He said that Shaw was very honest and a careful accountant and very religious. He said also that Shaw, like many politicians, is likely to embrace a project that has captured his attention and enthusiasm, but that this is a very hit and miss affair.

I must say that I admire Shaw's ability to stick up for himself, and don't find him any more of a 'loose cannon' than most of his colleagues who stick together in a kind of feral herd.

This might be rehashing stuff people know, but you would be astonished as to how many people don't know this. When I tell people that Melbourne is bigger than almost all cities in Europe, they are more often quite surprised. They google and are shocked to find that their well known and loved cities are actually smaller! How can they be?

The idea that Australia still needs to grow to 'compete on the world stage', to 'become somewhere' or make our cities livable is a lie. Here are some well known countries, some of which had contributed greatly the world, some still do, some still envied.

All these numbers in this post are from Wikipedia.

Sweden 9.517 million (Held up by many as an ideal country)
Denmark 5.59 million (See above)
Greece 11.28 million
Israel 7.908 million (Major regional mover and shaker)
Austria 8,504,850
Switzerland 8,112,200
Croatia 4,290,612

With cities, it becomes more interesting

Hamburg 1.799 million
Toronto 2.503 million
Vancouver 578,040 (2006)
Rome 2.753 million
[em]Melbourne 4.077 million[/em]
Paris 2.211 million
Berlin 3.502 million

World class cities, with fantastic infrastructure, smaller populations than Melbourne. Yet we are told we need to grow to have nice things...

Lets look at large, cities, the ideal. Whos here?
Lagos 16,060,307 (this is the 2nd largest in the world)
Karachi 13,969,284
Moscow 12,111,194
Guangzhou 11,185,600
Shenzhen 10,467,400
Kinshasa 9,735,000
Tianjin 9,341,844
Tokyo 8,967,665
Faisalabad 7,310,691
Wuhan 6,886,253
Foshan 6,151,622
Shantou 5,391,028

I did leave out some well know examples (like New York, London), but this list is to point out that there are large cities, which most of the world probably hasn't heard of. Tianjin. Wuhan. Faisalabad. Size hasn't put these on the map culturally or politically.

I think Australians have a sense of inferiority, whereby we are convinced we can make up for this by either just becoming big (bigger cities, bigger population, biggest buildings) or slavishly copying other cities and their attractions. The idea that 'we must be bigger' is just wrong, most likely a lie foisted upon us to play on peoples insecurities and make us thing that we achieve relevance, when we hit 30 million, or 40 million, or is that 30 million in Sydney alone?

This sense of national insecurity is then used by the grown lobby to tell use that growth growth growth will make us something.

That is to say, the prime reason for this crime isn't even true. There are no redeeming qualities of massively expanding population or having a high growth rate. The numbers inidicate perhaps the opposite.

Either way, quality and good management are paramout. Growth is NO substitute. I do not accept there are major issues moving away from growth. The only issue is that we are run by people who have no idea to run any other type of economy.

Here are countries by population growth rate as a percentage
(2013 List by the CIA World Factbook), from Wikipedia

Germany ?0.19 (European powerhouse)
Austria 0.02
Finland 0.06
Korea, South 0.18
Norway 0.33
Italy 0.34
Hong Kong 0.39
China 0.46
France 0.47
Sweden 0.18
Russia -0.02

Here are some 'high growth' countries, the ones we think we need to emulate.
Libya 4.85
Zimbabwe 4.38
South Sudan 4.23
Uganda 3.32
Liberia 2.56
Afghanistan 2.25
Australia 1.11 (note there are very, very few high quality countries above us).

When I tell people that almost all European cities are smaller than Melbourne, they don't believe me.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Largest_cities_of_the_European_Union_by_population_within_city_limits

London is the ONLY one bigger (and London is fast becoming a mess). All of Europe, all that history and culture, and NO larger cities than Melbourne or Sydney. Yes, many countries have populations larger than ours, but they are far older countries. Even so, their growth rates are almost all lower than ours. So despite the population size, they do without 'growth'.

Again, the point isn't to get off track, but to demolish the ONLY argument, sorry, [i]excuse for a crime[/i] that the growth lobby has pushed.

"Growth" is just not necessary. Big cities are not necessary. This mentality is the mentality of people who simply have no ideas, no vision, and its just lazy. Its how poor countries operate, through nothing but sheer scale.

Managing high population growth isn't a 1st world problem, its a 3rd world problem. If we are having that problem, we are running Australia like a 3rd world country which is what I see happening. We virtually no quality leaders either in business or politics.

DennisK those figures on Sydney/Melbourne versus famous international cities is interesting. Although actually I believe Australia's current population growth rate is somewhere between 1.6-1.8%, which is just shocking. And when I try to tell people this, they either don't understand how high this is or simply don't care.

But the problem is that from colonization (invasion if you prefer) until recently, Australia probably was underpopulated. We could afford to grow at 1.6% or higher. This is our collective self image. A young, empty, newly settled land with huge growth potential. Look at our national anthem "For we are young and free...We've boundless plains to share".

Well this is no longer the case. Let me quote "Overloading Australia" by Mark O'Conner, end of Chapter 3. "All countries start small, that is the nature of exponential growth. But once they pass 20 million, as we did recently, they are out of the nursery - and only two or three generations away from turning into another obese behemoth of 100 million or more."

We've passed the tipping point from being a young, skinny nation into a fattening, middle aged nation. We can no longer afford to grow at 1.6% or more. But our self image is tied into this rapid growth. Probably our economy is too. This scares me. I want us to gracefully allow our population to stabilize, as soon as possible. I don't want to see Australia grow into "another obese behemoth of 100 million or more". But I don't know if this can be avoided.

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