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Secretive Private water increase MAIN cause of Darling R. crisis - NOT drought - UN supports Emergency Enquiry

Listen to interview.
New data shows that the effect of the rapid increase in privately-held water in the Darling Basin on the volumes of water available for essential public and environmental use is the main cause of the water crisis, not the drought. The Senior water advisor to the United Nations supports a call for declaration of a State of Emergency and the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the management of the water of the Murray-Darling Basin.

Wildlife Research in Australia

Can research benefit wildlife? Can research contribute to its survival? Can research engender respect for the intrinsic value of wildlife? Or will an overriding profit motive drive all wildlife to extinction?

ALP Kelvin Thomson MP says Five Million is too many; Melbourne should control population growth

"Everything that makes our city the great place to live, work and raise a family, is potentially under threat if population growth and urban sprawl continue at the current rate. We must implement a strategy to control population growth, urban expansion and development. Our way of life, open spaces and infrastructure cannot be sacrificed on the altar of ever expanding population. We have a responsibility to secure our city’s future through thorough, thoughtful and detailed planning. This planning should not include an expanding Melbourne waistline." (Kelvin Thomson MP, Federal Member for Wills, "Five Million is too many: Securing the Social and Environmental Future of Melbourne: Submission to the Urban Growth Boundary Review, July 2009)

Cyrius01 Video: Nation building

Cyrius01 has made another great comic video about Australia's national economic policy choices in the face of recession and climate change. Click on the link inside to see the video.

Yet more problems for persecuted cockatoos - West Australia

“I have personally given all my energy and strength to bring the plight of these birds to every Australian and beyond. I have at times put the birds before my family..." Glenn Dewhurst, Black Cockatoo Conservation Team, West Australia. Now, however, the team feels that it is under attack and stonewalled by government. How long can these wildlife warriors personally sustain the unreasonable pressure on them to desist from preventing the West Australian Cockatoo from dying out? See also http://blackcockatoorescue.com, Threatened West Aust Black Cockatoo gets help and Help save West Australian black cockatoo from extinction, phone Glen on 0417 988 872.

One more Australian every 2 minutes: Rapid population growth a disgrace, says expert

Australia needs to stem population growth to address climate change - expert warns. “Australia is a disgrace. We have one of the highest rates of population growth of any developed country. What are we going to do about it?” says Professor Roger Short, Melbourne University.
Australia's population is increasing by about one person every two minutes. [Apologies from Editor: we have just changed the title to reflect the real speed of pop growth -i.e. not two more people every minute, but one more person every two minutes.]

Tax-deductibility, Environmental Groups & NGOs

A few years ago the government overhauled its definition of tax-deductible groups and effectively outlawed independent political activism in tax-deductible environmental (and other) groups. What the government was saying was, 'We are not going to fund our potential enemies' political campaigns.'

This was the point where a lot of organisations should probably have decided to ditch their tax-deductibility status because our environment and wildlife protection are so threatened by government-supported corporate development that environmental activism generally requires opposition to most government programs.

FGA Hunters used stolen water to draw ducks to slaughter

“As Field and Game Australia entered into a partnership to purchase the property with the Hugh Williamson Trust, the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority (WGCMA) and environment group, Watermark, it remains to be seen whether these highly reputable organisations will risk their credibility by remaining in partnership with FGA." (Laurie Levy)

NSW MP Moyes speech for the people against Motor Sport (World Rally Championship) Bill 2009

The psychological condition of "solistalgia" is now widespread in the North Coast area [where REPCO rally push is]. Solistalgia is defined as "the deep distress induced by environmental change, which is exacerbated by the sense of powerlessness and loss of control over the changes that are occurring". "I do not approve of anything that can be construed as a misuse of power and, therefore, I will not support any bill that allows large-scale events unwanted by the people who would have to host them."
Note that Dr Moyes was actually initially physically locked out of the room where this bill was being debated. You can read about that Which MPs voted for and against the REPCO Rally law in NSW Parliament?

Which MPs voted for and against the REPCO Rally law in NSW Parliament?

Hansard, the Parliamentary report publication, beats The Australian, The Courier Mail, The Age and any number of newspapers any day. Tuesday 26 June in NSW Parliament was a bumper issue, with a parliamentarian beating on locked doors and chaotic debating worthy of Lewis Carol's Alice In Wonderland's "Caucus Race". But the issues were serious and, although the majority voted the Repco rally facilitating bill in, that doesn't mean that justice was done or that democracy was served.

Urban Democracy & Environment movement stops rotten DACs law - Victoria, Australia

Another success for the urban democracy and environment movement. The day after the "Restore Residents Rights" rally at parliament house on June 10, which was attended by about 600 people, Victoria's upper house rejected changes to the Planning and Environment Act that would have introduced Development Assessment Committees [DACs] to the State.

Channel Deepening: Auditor General Report figures in question

Port of Melbourne Corporation (PoMC) admitted that only 4% of ships cannot enter or leave Port Phillip Bay fully loaded. (Supplementary EES statement process and the hearings, and Report on Channel Deepening by the Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration released last September) The Auditor General's report relied on a figure of 50% which he told Greens Parliamentarian that he was given by PoMC. Elsewhere the report recommends that the Port of Melbourne Corporation start to collect figures on this.

Westernport & Peninsula threatened by most massive industrial development ever in Australia

Social and environmental damage of unprecedented proportions looms over Westernport and will spearhead the suffocation of natural environment and democratic community on the Mornington Peninsula if projects on the drawing board continue to exert a heavy influence on local and state government and actually find funding. Report from Southern Victoria Community Action Group (SVCAG). SVCAG is an independent expert in its own right on these developments and should represent the regions' citizens, vote on reference groups and give advice. It has, however, been kept off the Port of Hastings Corp Community Reference Group. It is unacceptable to shut out citizens' groups from significant developments.

Human Rights and Water

FairWaterUse: "The right to water will be declared an essential human right as a global commons. Under this definition, the right to water will be given precedence and advantage, in international and local law, over any other interests. Access to water will not be subject to market forces or to private or corporate interests. The precautionary principle of ecosystem protection must take precedence over commercial demands on water." The closing date for submissions to the Human Rights Consultation process established by the Federal Government is June 15th 2009.

Threatened West Aust Black Cockatoo gets help

The Black Cockatoo Conservation Team has just pulled off a remarkable rescue of wildlife habitat. One West Australian Black Cockatoo colony has been saved from the developers, in the nick of time, but the species is still not out of danger. Video-link inside article.

See also: “Help save West Australian black cockatoo from extinction”, blackcockatoorescue.com.

Macca's picture

State Government intervenes on behalf of Repco Rally Australia

The NSW state government has taken the decision about planning approval for the proposed Repco Rally Australia leg of the World Rally Championships away from local councils by announcing that it would prepare special events legislation to ensure the rally goes ahead despite growing local opposition. The minister responsible is Ian MacDonald, Minister for State Development, Energy, Primary Industries, and mineral resources (pictured left).

Frosty Wooldridge reviews 'Overloading Australia'

In his review of "Overloading Australia" by Mark O'Connor and William Lines, Frosty Wooldridge author of America on the brink who has cycled 100,000 miles across six continents in the past 25 years, refutes commonly held misconceptions that the Australian continent is underpopulated.

Also published on Australia.to News and in American Chronicle as part 1 and part 2.
See also: www.frostywooldridge.com.

Prosperity without Growth? Can we build a steady state sustainable economy for our future?

In March 2009 the UK Government’s Sustainable Development Commission, published a groundbreaking report that questions the 'relentless pursuit of growth' by governments. It argued that the pursuit of economic growth is one of the root causes of the current global financial crisis, as well contributing to a growing environmental crisis. It seems Gordon Brown and other world leaders weren’t listening as they spend billions they haven’t got “to restore growth,” in a world of rapidly depleting resources.

Movement consolidating to protect Frankston Pines Reserve from Brumby

Premier Brumby has announced his intention to bulldoze the Peninsula Link Freeway through the centre of Frankston’s 220 hectare Pines Flora and Fauna Reserve. He pre-empted the “Independent” Panel report reviewing the South and Eastern Integrated Transport Authority’s Environment Effect Statement thus wasting $5m of taxpayers money and thousands of hours of submitters time. There is now a dedicated website and a concerted effort by local activists to overturn this decision. See also: "Why wildlife and Devilbend Reserve need more protection"
"Grave loss of native fauna on the Mornington Peninsula"
"SEITA tollway using old data on oil prices"

Influenza pandemic now rates 5/6

Swine Flu: "Current level of influenza pandemic alert raised from phase 4 to 5 (29 April 2009) -- Based on assessment of all available information and following several expert consultations, Dr Margaret Chan, WHO's Director-General raised the current level of influenza pandemic alert from phase 4 to 5. She stated that all countries should immediately activate their pandemic preparedness plans. At this stage, effective and essential measures include heightened surveillance, early detection and treatment of cases, and infection control in all health facilities." Ed. Remember that sodium hyperchlorite (bleach) is the only common disinfectant that kills viruses on surfaces.

Where's the big debate we really need on the economy?

As the G20 summit of world leaders tries to resolve the economic crisis, where are we really heading? Many key issues are being ignored in the rush to "restore growth" at any price.

Also published on Online Opinion on 21 Apr 09.

Documenting opposition to South Australia's growthist population policy

The Department of Trade and Economic Development (DTED) in South Australia has an aggressive Population Policy which flies in the face of logic, safety and South Australia's severe environmental problems. With the spin-title of "Prosperity through People", it aims for growth in fertility and overseas immigration. We publish here three documents, including a letter from a science and engineering researcher who asks Ms Caroline Batty, the Manager of population policy in South Australia, how the government intends to live up to its spin, and some questions from Mark Goldsworthy, S.A. Liberal MP. Policies like this are being steam-rolled over Australians in every state, as our government abdicate their authority and decision-making to the Growth Lobby.

Government interference in Wimmera Mallee Water - some recent history

This document is republished to give background dating from 2003 as the Victorian government began to take control away from citizens and locals over water, land and government, and to assume more and more control, in public-private associations. It was the beginning of overt attempts to promote private profit from induced scarcity. The induced scarcity was created by the government policy to grow Victoria's population and economic activities. At the time few Victorians had the faintest idea of what was going on. I was one of few environmentalists to question the authority of the government's actions.

Deforestation drys continents - new theory explains how

Whilst many people have been aware (but have mostly been ignored) that vegetation, especially forests, creates rain, and whilst desertification has been linked to deforestation historically many times, there is a new and robust theory to explain how this may happen.
See also How logging causes forest fires

There goes the view! Destruction by development.

The costs of environmental destruction wrecked by the growth lobby in the name of 'development' are huge and felt by many people and other creatures on a daily basis, long after what they loved or needed is covered in concrete and roads. Without the growth lobby, we would have environmental peace and democracy in this country.

VicForests slaughters 500 year old Australian

Radiocarbon-testing has confirmed that a giant rare old-growth eucalypt located in its natural forest habitat on East Gippsland's Brown Mountain has been chainsawed by VicForests, despite it being scientifically confirmed to be at least 500 years old.

Review by sociologist, Katharine Betts of Overloading Australia

For those with their eyes open population growth and the immigration that fuels it are never out of the news. ... unaffordable housing drives young families into debt slavery (even pushing some to the less-expensive urban fringe where a number died in Melbourne’s recent fires)... strained infrastructure leading to blackouts, cancelled train services... traffic congestion, draining energy from the economy and from human lives...hospitals that can no longer care for the people they serve... water supplies that dwindle as drought and growth desiccate cities and stretch the capacity of farms... pleasant suburbs degraded by intensive redevelopment; greenhouse gases ...and a natural environment wilting under the burden of numbers.

South East Queensland Plan Review rushed, reckless and will ruin environment

Ann Bligh's needlessly early and needlessly sudden election has disrupted the already rushed consultation for the draft South East Queensland Regional Plan 2009-2031. The Gold Coast & Hinterland Environmental Council (www.gecko.org.au), together with the Redland City Council have asked that the consultation period be extended by eight weeks so that the issues of peak oil, climate change and South East Queensland's carrying capacity can be properly addressed.

Mexico City braces for water rationing - same growth lobby parasites as Australia caused this drying disease

There is a story that about 50 years ago the President of Mexico said that they should grow the population to "put Mexico on the map".
In Australia we have heard the same thing and now we see the predictable (and predicted) results. Fortunately we have abundant records to trace the politicians and individuals responsible for these harmful policies and to show that they were warned, over and over.

Steve Irwin's dad visits Wildhaven after Black Saturday bushfires

Since Black Saturday - Feb 7, 2009 - when Australia's worst-ever bushfires on the hottest day in Victoria's recorded history completely destroyed all infrastructure at Wildhaven animal rescue and release center, Alan and Stella Reid have had a few visitors, including Steve Irwin's father, Bob Irwin, and Maryland Wilson of the AWPC, and four kangaroos that also escaped with their lives. Allan Reid tells an incredible story of his own survival as the place burned to the ground leaving him and perhaps four kangaroos alive. Please consider donating money for hay and rebuilding.See alsoImportant Wildhaven Shelter in St Andrews NE Victoria perished needs rebuilding and video.

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