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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.

Public Alert - ADI Site - Council to approve 3420 houses Monday night

Urgent: Penrith Council set to vote tomorrow night to approve 2 new Delfin-lend-lease suburbs totalling 3420 dwellings at the former ADI Site, last big stand of Cumberland grasslands. Residents say public has no idea of what is in process and call on councillors to defer approval pending series of public meetings. Council planners urge councillors to approve plans despite residents' 16 year campaign to save this environmentally crucial sanctuary for wildlife and natural ammenity, not to mention safe CO2 store.

NSW Planning Minister brings tragic, stupid end to last grasslands

Kristina Keneally, NSW Planning Minister, sells out public land and the environment to Delfin Lend Lease. Now many gentle wild creatures will die the most abject deaths and 1000s of trees will give up their carbon to the atmosphere. How much more nature to be destroyed for narrow corporate interests in a dead-in-the-water economy for the grasping few? See also "Council bastardry..."

Simple natural solutions to fire and flood

"If you purchase two copies of The Age this Saturday, soak one in the bath overnight and read the other. Think of the copy coming out of the bath, as the landscape prior [to the impact of repeated fires] and the dry paper, as the landscape is today." (Article by Duane Norris for Natural Sequence Farming)

The Sheahans and Mitchell Shire Council - Fire-breakers or law-breakers?

Andrew Bolt's story, "Green rules, black forests" is one of many mainstream media sources to keep alive the legend of the brave Sheehans' fight for justice and safety against their philistine greenie neighbours. But there is even more to that story than the press have so-far published. Read on...

Pressure on Crown and public land in Melbourne unsustainable - response to Inquiry

"The value of open land is so much more than the dollar price estimated in terms of what it would yield if subdivided and sold to developers or built on to create a revenue raising venue. It is a defect of our land valuing and legal system that it fails to account for many damages to quality of life through changes to land use. Melbourne's founders were far sighted in setting aside areas of land for Melbourne’s people. Unfortunately their provisions for future generations have been exploited for short term objectives (according to Coasian economic values) at the expense of the general population." - Jill Quirk

Woodchip cargos drifting offshore without buyers

Just in via the bush telegraph, more on woodchip sales downturnLast week there were TWO woodchip carriers moored just off the south head of Twofold Bay (site of chipmill) for several days before one departed without loading any chips. The other is still there and has not loaded any chips. The talk around Eden was that as many as FIVE chip carriers might be expected there, all at once.

The reason is: it is cheaper to park a boat there (avoiding port fees) than sail around aimlessly hoping that someone will buy some woodchips needing shipping.

Governments taking the 'conservation' out of conservation management

In Victoria in 1992 some bureaucrat got the idea of changing the name (and focus) of the Department of Conservation and Environment to a Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, then in 1996 to a Department of Natural Resources and Environment, then in 2003 a split to (1) a Victorian Department of Primary Industries and (2) a Department of Sustainability and Environment.

Source: http://www.austehc.unimelb.edu.au/asaw/biogs/A002037b.htm

Currently its known by its obscure acronym DSE...(Don't Support Environment, or Department of Sparks and Embers).

Nearly half of Wilsons Promontory burnt due to CFA neglect

On 13th February, the fire on Wilson's Promontory was almost extinguished. However, Victoria's Country Fire Authority, seemingly unconcerned with preserving the dwindling remnants of our natural bushland where human lives and property are not threatened, failed to act to extinguish the blaze. As a result, almost 50% of our precious Prom has been burnt out.

See also: "Crews unable to slow Wilsons Promontory blaze" on ABC online on 17 Feb 09, "Huge blaze threatens the very heart of the Prom" in the Age of 19 Feb 09.

Gunns woodchip mills drastically downsize production

Guns' mills are faltering. The Japanese company, Nippon, has just bought the Latrobe Valley's Paperlinx factory, at a time of major downturn in woodchip prices. It seems like a very risky purchase - even if they got it dirt cheap. But is this a buyers' market or a fire-sale?

Fire bunkers could have helped in the Victorian fires

A 'fire-bunker' is similar to those made to shelter from fire in war. It works in bush-fires too. If they had been used as extensively as they once were, hundreds of lives could have been saved. However, if the bunker is not built properly and not built below ground level, it could be a death trap.

Important: See, also, article "How misconceptions about bushfire bunkers may cost lives", which disputes some of the content of this article and comments.

Why we should think carefully about Rudd's $42 billion Nation Building and Jobs Plan

Writer and ecologist, Hugh Spencer, kicks off discussion here about Kevin Rudd's proposed $42 billion Nation Building and Jobs Plan. "The only component of the scheme that I can wholeheartedly agree with is the roof insulation - but even then, it requires a far more coherent energy target - as 'roof insulation' can mean damn near anything...."

Bob Brown on Brown Mountain and Greens Population Policy Wednesday 28 Jan - Report

At a press conference about Brown Mountain today (midday on Wednesday 28 January), Greens Senator, Bob Brown, decried the fact that amateurs are doing work which is a Victorian government responsibility, discovering and documenting endangered wildlife at Brown Mountain. Brown also spoke with confidence on the need for an environmental population policy for Australia.

Growthist responses to Overloading Australia

Mark O’Connor and Bill Lines’s Overloading Australia has only been out for a short time and the growthists are becoming hysterical. Their arguments are as hopeless as ever. Tim Blair, (Murdoch Press) has even attacked Mark O’Connor for being a marriage celebrant and Brigid Delaney (Fairfax) is wheeling out old-fashioned cultural cringe, iced with neo-Macarthyism.

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