Video and transcript inside: Dr Karen Hitchcock: "My core message is that we really need to think about our ageing population as a triumph and really rethink what it means to be old and what it's possible to do when you're elderly. Most elderly people are not sick, most of them are not in nursing homes, but I think we can do a lot more to integrate elderly people back into our communities and try and reimagine what it is that we want our communities to be. I think we need to start from an ethical perspective of what we want our community to be, and then from that, imagine our society and then find ways to create it and fund it, rather than starting from an economic position." Congratulations to the 7.30 Report, Karen Hitchcock and Quarterly essay for criticising the appalling depiction and treatment of Australia's elderly, implicitly and explicitly advocated by the growth lobby in the mainstream media and government. See, for instance, "Should Jeannie Pratt and Elisabeth Murdoch downsize to high rises in Activity Centers to give young people more room?" The negative message about the elderly has been so overwhelming that most of us find it exhausting to fight. The ABC has often also carried this message uncritically. Perhaps it took a woman-led news commentary program - the 7.30 Report - to try to break this mould. Dr Karen Hitchcock (who is a staff physician in acute and general medicine at a large city public hospital) is a very effective ambassador for the elderly, although she is a young woman herself. Her work deserves our collective support and promotion.
http://wombatawareness.com/2015/02/UPDATE 26-02-2015 - The millionaire bequest fell through! Brigitte and the wombats of South Australia are now facing a truly awful situation. She has set up a donation site in absolute desperation, no amount too small: https://www.chuffed.org/project/wombatssoontobehomeless and we hope our readers will spread this news. No-one else is helping the wombats in SA on a large scale and long term; wombats are starving, dying of mange and being killed by cars and farmers. As you know they are adorable and precious... and really worth saving. Thanks for any help.
Professional growth spruiker, Bernard Salt of KPMG, says that 80% of Australia does not want population growth. ("Straightening out Bananas", Property Council Congress, 2011) So how come we are being swamped?
Is Australia governed by morons? Australia preaches about the Asian Century but behaves like the 18th Century British colonists who originally invaded Terra Australis. If Australia understood what it means to be Asian it would realize that most Asian countries have predominantly indigenous populations. For example, Indonesia, China, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Thailand and the Philippines to name but a few.
None of these countries run mass migration programs like Australia’s. Australia leads the world in this category. Asian countries are not selling off their assets and housing to foreigners like Australia does; while crying crocodile tears about carbon emissions as they rapidly expand their fossil fuel exports to pay for population growth that the country cannot afford. With one of the highest costs of living of any country the annual growth of the Federal Budget combined with growing Government debt far exceeds the capacity of the growing economy to finance.
For example, the Ukraine is geopolitically important for many reasons; including its value as a food bowl and as an export route for oil and gas. The Ukrainian people are secondary to the interests of the foreign powers that seek to influence or control the territory and its resources.
The current turmoil in Syria and Iraq has been preceded by French and British military intervention respectively in the early 20th century, combined with imposition of new territorial borders. This was arguably an autocratic foreign assault on the region. People subject to somewhat arbitrarily defined borders have different histories and different vested interests little understood by the foreign autocrats. The same was true of the foreign assault on Australian Aborigines when their territory was first invaded in 1788. Have a look at any capital city in Australia. There are "Boundary Roads" everywhere.
The current publicity machine anoints some architect from New York to tell Australians how to suck eggs for their greedy masters.2 Vishann Chakrabarti is being used to frighten the people of Sydney with a "build up or else" and to market the idea of selling air-space to developers so that they can build the residential towers residents have been fighting for generations. This concept of selling airspace is obscene in the context of human rights as well as Australian values of freedom and nature accessible to all. Australia's self-appointed leaders are in the business of making everything for sale by privatising all natural rights and resources. They should be put on trial for this as a criminal conspiracy to advantage a few at the expense of the many citizens whose taxes they abuse for their own ends. Unfortunately they also make the laws.
Poor beautiful Tasmania, scene of abject tragedy for the local aborigines, site of Port Arthur, a cruel prison for lower-class offenders of Britain's laws, where a still unexplained massacre took place so recently, host to a disfiguring fatal cancer among its Tasmanian Devil population, and now to have its nature desecrated by people who just want to sell houses to anyone they can and the hell with the consequences. For a long time Tasmania was the one Australian state that lacked the problem of foxes predating on local wildlife, which was in consequence, abundant. Then a few years ago someone let a fox in. At the time it did not seem like a good omen. And it wasn't.
According to this author's research, Malcolm Fraser contributed policies which would assist the dismantling of Australia's then growing democracy and aid and abet this colony's overpopulation and overshoot of its own resources. These actions should not be forgotten, despite any subsequent helpful comments on foreign policy, a long time later. After the Whitlam government was sacked, and during high unemployment, the Fraser Liberal/National Party government (November 1975- March 1983) reinstituted economic policies that were dependent on rapid population growth - through high immigration - and high energy consumption. 
Whitlam's concept and attempts to create a system of feedback loops from population to housing were dismantled or under-financed. Prime Minister Fraser abolished DURD very early in his government, under which Federal funding for urban and regional development declined by 86 per cent.  He also began to liberalise the foreign investment rules, with the Foreign Takeovers Act (1975). 
Melbourne lord mayor Robert Doyle has called for an end to “dumb growth”, saying the Victorian capital needs to “stop spreading at the edges like some sort of stain”. The former Victorian opposition leader told a seminar on future visions for Melbourne that he was alarmed by new communities springing up in the outer suburbs, marooned from jobs and public transport.
Cr Doyle said the only “smart” way to achieve a “big Melbourne” was to inject new homes into established suburbs and the city's extensive urban renewal areas, such as E-Gate and Fisherman's Bend. He said the City of Melbourne believed an extra 3 million people could comfortably be housed within the current boundaries of the city.
Only in Canada you say? Perhaps you have wondered, like me, why--- given the substantial number of Canadians who have consistently told pollsters that they want lower immigration levels---there isn't a single MP in any party who will take up their cause. Not one. At least four MPs from two different parties in the UK have done so, and in Australia, Labor MP Kelvin Thomson has loudly spoken out for lower population numbers and a cut in migration levels. But there is not a whisper about reducing immigration numbers from the trained seals on either side of the aisle in Canada's House of Commons. Why not?
This article may be seen as a follow-on from "A history of politics and population in Australia: Thomas Malthus in Australian thought". The Australian business community easily convinced itself that rapid population increase would provide a solution to all its problems, especially after the 1890s, when the property market lost momentum. By this time building societies had mushroomed and banks had begun to invest heavily in property. 
The ABC has done a great job documenting its Vote Compass Project. However the results highlight the role of the ABC in setting the election issue agenda, despite the fact that the ABC explains: "Vote Compass is not a poll. It is primarily and fundamentally an educational tool intended to promote electoral literacy and stimulate public engagement in the policy aspect of election campaigns."
This article responds to a coy media release by Urban Taskforce, which pretends to be surprised that population growth is causing a demand for more housing.
Great news for the housing industry, but hardly unexpected, thanks to the lobbying power of the growth industry!
Urban Taskforce, part of the growth-lobby, have had a wonderful Christmas windfall! Good fortune has landed in their laps, thanks to our socially-engineered population growth. MORE HOUSES will need to be constructed, than previously assumed! Business is booming, and housing is a guaranteed necessity, an essential human need.
Jill Quirk of Sustainable Population Australia (SPA), Victorian and Tasmanian Branch, writes about the many problems of Plan Melbourne. Indeed there are so many problems that it is crazy to go ahead. But most of us realize that the Planners and Ministers behind Plan Melbourne intend to just go on driving bulldozers until something bigger stops them or they run out of oil. There is no plan B and so no room to listen to comment. This is a real problem for the rest of us because we live here.
"Populate and reap rewards," was Monday's editorial (2 December 2013) in the Australian Financial Review. Its flimsy self-serving logic provides a curious contrast to Kelvin Thomson's superb speech on the same topic to a full auditorium of concerned citizens on Sunday. (The speech is embedded in this article.) Where Thomson has reacted to the news that population growth is completely out of control by attempting to help people to organise against the growth pushing forces who seek to benefit financially from overpopulation, the editorial in the Financial Review is cynical in its enjoinder to exploit those problems for elite gain.
What does the G21Geelong Region Plan mean for Geelong? There are already huge developments everywhere including 2000 blocks in Highton, extensive new subdivisions on the Bellarine Peninsula and in Fyansford where a 1000 house development was announced this week. It is also rumoured that Barwon Water can barely cope with the rapid and huge development. The consquences will be traffic congestion, long hospital waiting lists, pollution, and inadequate rail transport from Geelong to Melbourne.
Article by Yvonne Campbell.
In an effort to provide some relief to those readers who are paralysed by the idea of population growth as a tragedy for Australia, candobetter has invited writer Cirrus McNimbus to give us the benefit of his optimistic views on Australia and Melbourne's population growth. McNimbus is a well-known commentator for the ABC on housing and lifestyle imperatives and he is also the CEO of the international accounting firm, StormT and Cup, which is a member of the Australian Property Atheneum and Pyramid Association. Today he writes about how his three year old grandson will handle the future.
The “Outcome principles” as set out in the discussion paper, are aspirations with which no-one would disagree but they do not encompass an overall vision for Melbourne. Furthermore, they are, in our view in reverse order of their actual importance! Confining this part of the submission to what is before us we will examine the importance and substance of each “principle.” Firstly it is necessary to look at the rate of growth which underpins the whole strategy and discussion paper. The present rate of population growth should not be “non negotiable.” [...] One must ask “How much harder does a high level of growth make the achievement of any of the aims underlying the principles?” [...] While the Minister invites the public to “talk” about Melbourne's future, its growth is considered inevitable and non-negotiable. That is, “Over the next 40 years, Melbourne will continue to grow, both geographically and in population.” This is not compatible with the overall aims and objectives of preserving and enhancing the 5 principles stated above.
On the Sunshine Coast development has destroyed a great deal of the beautiful natural surroundings that attracted people there in the first place. Native animals are being cruelly decimated by starvation and exposure.
Developers seem animated by greed alone, machinally moonscaping lots when buyer uptake has dropped to 1996 levels in Australia, despite constant mass immigration. The developer lobbies have not been able to restimulate demand, even by touting for overseas immigrants and selling property to foreign investors off the plan. (That doesn't stop them charging huge fees for membership.)
"This submission does not follow the suggested response questions but sets out to make comment upon what we see as the necessary strategic planning issues for the future of Melbourne... In our previous submissions on planning, BRAG has pushed for a federal population policy that limits immigration to more sustainable levels like we used to have in the 80’s and 90’s of around the 70,000 to 80,000 p.a. mark and we have not moved away from that stance. The first step in any planning is to have a population policy that is sustainable otherwise planning policy will continue to fail....we believe that the general planning powers must be with local councils who better understand their municipalities and those who live in them. Centralization leads to power and power leads to corruption and this is one of the issues we are now facing with developer donations being used to corrupt decision-making." You may not agree with everything, but it's a pretty impressive democracy submission.
“Mr. Rudd needs to be severely questioned on the title of his talk but the context makes this unlikely. Were he speaking in parliament or the public realm he might be questioned but his speech on Thursday will be heard at a forum of an industry known for its bias to high population growth with no practical or logical end point.” (Jill Quirk, President, SPAVicTas)
Liberal Leader Will Hodgman's idea of pushing up Tasmania's population from 512,000 to 650,000 by the year 2050 has started a predictable bidding war, with Housing Industry Association's Stuart Clues, weighing in with a proposal for one million by the year 2050. Tasmania is currently a destination for Australian refugees from the unpleasant effects of turbo-charged population growth in Western Australia and other mainland states, so no-one in government or the property development industry is likely to ask Tasmanian residents what they think. Meanwhile, Canadian population renegade, Professor T. Murray, is accusing the Libs and the HIA of lack of vision. In a phone call to Candobetter.net, he called them 'pussies.' "Let's not dick around," he said, "The sky is the limit for Tasmania..."
"Both the process and the discussion paper are undirected, unsatisfactory and of little help to anyone or anything. Nothing so inadequate has ever been seen in the history of Melbourne strategic planning."... "The paper generally avoids any discussion of how to intensify established areas while not destroying amenity, or even whether it is possible to achieve both objectives.
Reading this letter to the Wheeler center about a shocking spin exercise delivered by professional development spruikers, with Roz Hansen (who is also involved in fielding public submissions), one is reminded of the film, We need to talk about Kevin, a film about a totally underestimated problem with utterly dire consequences. In fact, Melbourne really needs to talk about the corruption of democracy via Melbourne planning and development organisations, their contempt for citizens, their infiltration of law-making in parliament, and the gross unsustainability of the philosophy and projects they seek to unilaterally impose - Candobetter Ed.
VCAT is proposing draconian fees on citizens who wish to protect their property and environment from undemocratic corporate backed development and overpopulation. Fees for a citizen lodging an objection to any development in 2012 were $38.80. For 2013 fees are proposed to rise to $731.80 (for developments costed at less than $1.0m) and to $1,462.30 for developments estimated at $1.0m or more. These fees would increase even more in 2014 respectively to: $869.60 and $1,737.90, and, in 2015, respectively, to $1,007.40 and $2,014.80. Add to this the cost of hiring barristers and this will make a complete mockery of democracy, which is already a laughing stock in Victoria anyway. Submission deadline is 5pm Friday 15 February 2013.
Amazingly or perhaps, true to type, Australia is experiencing extreme shortages of domestic natural gas supplies. World-wide there is a gas-rush. It also looks like oil is already not keeping up with demand as countries scramble for new more energy costly, polluting and environmentally destructive forms of energy, like tarsands, fracked gas, and sugarcane ethanol. The media is failing to paper over the cracks: Australia looks like a cartoon demonstration of entropy with energy dispersing, the environment overheating, overpopulation and political disorder. And there is nowhere for Australians to escape.
"Let me return to my old primary school, St Joseph's convent [in Cloncurry]. Saint Mary McKillop, I'm sure, was just like my principal, Sister Thomas..." Bob Katter's book, while retrieving some good Australian ideas and paying its respects to our ancestors, also markets big population ideas uncannily like those of B.A.