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20 July 10am Meeting to save Victoria Market from Council micro-management

Victoria Market, as we know it, is under threat. The City of Melbourne, along with the top end of town, has plans to reduce and gentrify our historic market, paying lip service only to its valued heritage and the important service it provides to the wider Melbourne community, in particular, its role in keeping food quality standards high, food prices down, while providing astounding diversity.

The Council’s intention is to:

sell off part of the market’s land for commercial development, road extension and other purposes
to build high-rise buildings at its immediate doorstep,creating tall walls and corridors around its perimeter
to shrink the market from 12 sheds to 5
to gentrify this historical market by cherry picking which traders will stay or go,
jeopardise &/or close small, family-run businesses by not renewing or extending leases beyond one year,
to create a gourmet food precinct and entertainment space.

In short the Council proposes to micro-manage a cultural change of the market, to change its size and shape and give itself free rein to make physical changes to its layout without further public consultation.

Ratepayers Victoria: Rate-capping: The Truth is out there!

The Municipal Association of Victoria has, unsurprisingly, issued a press release to undermine Rate Capping. Ratepayers Victoria has countered this with the following arguments: When the rate capping policy was developed and adopted, all official communique and documentation, were very clear upfront in stating that rates capping only apply to general rate and municipal charges. Other council service charges, fees, fines and differentiated rates, together with prevailing state levies (e.g. the fire Levy councils advocated for and changed to CIV rating system a few years back.) The Fair Go Rates policy is a real present and future threat to some councils, as it has taken away councils’ free reign of rates increases and require them to be more transparent any) are excluded.

Open Australia Planning Alert system

The OpenAustralia Foundation, the charity that runs a more accessible Hansard, has made an announcement about the progress of its Planning Alerts service. This is a free and community commons service. It gives citizens some ability to keep up with what the developers and mum and dad subdividers are up to. This, in turn, will give ordinary citizens and residents more insight into the impact of population growth, more information to make political decisions, and more control over its rapid creep.

Mulgrave 14 Nov 2015: Free Reengineering Local Government Seminar - Ratepayers Vic Inc & Eastern Ratepayers Inc event

Venue: Mulgrave Country Club, Saturday 14 November, 9.30am to 4pm. Join us and other ratepayer leaders to discuss about common core issues and how the LG Act and other associated laws, and the roles of ratepayer groups can be changed to fix today’s broken LG system for the better. The seminar will include free light lunch and feature inspirational speakers.

Rate Capping: The Perfect Storm for Change

Ratepayers Victoria Incorporated (RVI) is pleased to know that the legacy culling and bludgeoning of ratepayers to pay excessive council rate increases is about to end. In Victoria, rates have increased to about 80% over the last ten years, almost double NSW's 42%. "On the 14 November, RVI is hosting a ratepayer seminar (themed Reengineering Local Government) in Mulgrave, Monash. During this seminar, RVI will reveal its reform strategy, potential partners and aim to recruit project teams. For the very first time, ratepayers can stop being the silenced and frustrated stakeholder. They can and will become the new high value adding and agile solution partners in the new and reformed local government system. Change has started. There is no way back now." Jack Davis, President.

Rates and Taxes: Time to push back against council rates

The article below is about cost-shifting to local councils to cope with increasing demand for infrastructure and services. This is of course a reflection of population pressure. The councils once could limit the amount of new homes and development but their capacity to do this has been greatly eroded by state government. The state governments have also left councils with little option but to borrow and to gouge residents with higher rates to cater to ever increasing costs of population growth. Just as there seem to be no limits to population growth in Victoria, there are no limits to local rates in Victoria. The article below is an extract from Cardinia Ratepayers and Residents Assn Inc Newsletter.

Yarra Council will join Moreland Council in Supreme Court challenge to East West Link

21 July 2014. Yarra City Council has voted unanimously to join Moreland Council in seeking a judicial review of the Minister for Planning’s approvals for the East West Link and the assessments committee’s recommendation to the Minister.

How to get more inspectors for animal welfare in local government

All councils in Victoria have the ability and the authority to elect at least one local laws officer to represent an inspector, as defined in the “Prevention of cruelty to animals act” (POCTA) under section 18 defined as a “general inspector”, warranted and authorized by” the minister of the time”, to enforce the POCTA as such. All it takes is the stroke of a pen.

Help save Hanging Rock from overdevelopment decision by undemocratic few

Help needed, and it won’t take but a moment of your time. Here in Macedon Ranges Shire we have a terrible council. It thinks it can operate and make decisions in isolation of and without consulting its community, while making the community pay for its decisions. Recently Macedon Ranges council took this culture a step too far. It deliberately resolved (not once, but twice) to apply for funding for a conference centre (and other large-scale development) at Hanging Rock and to not consult the community on the development or funding.

Rainbow beach and Liberal National government - need to consolidate victory

This article contains links to a video of an amazing 2007 meeting at Rainbow Beach where the whole town came out against the development, which has now been terminated by a Court case. Predictably, but sadly, however, the people who lost the Rainbow Beach court case look now as if they are agitating for a political solution in the hope of being able to get what they wanted in another way and put lots of buildings on world heritage Inskip point. So, to keep what has been won, it will be necessary to consolidate that victory.

How much further can developer-debts drag us down?

Australian private debt is proportionately higher than US debt. Financial sector debt is significant and Govt debt is relatively small. Why then is so-called excessive Goverment debt ALL we ever hear about from the media and the growls emanating from the political bear-pit? Article by Greg Wood.

Salty follies and the Naked Property and Growth Lobby

You've got to see this video. Bernard Salt and cronies rattling on at an industry talk-fest.
Warning: Likely to cause anger, nausea or both. An even bigger chance of dying laughing at these unselfconcious antics of the Property and Growth Lobby.

Victoria’s Bays and Coastal Foreshores need protection from planning follies

Victoria's Mornington Peninsula Shire wants to build the largest building project they have ever undertaken on foreshore public reserve land at Rosebud. The proposed complex would be 50 times larger than a recently condemned pool and needs parking for 200 vehicles. Why change something as perfect as Rosebud? Is the council mad?

The Triangle Wars - New film about locals successfully stopping undemocratic development in Australia

Trailer-link inside. In May 2007 the Port Phillip City Council unveiled plans for a large-scale commercial development on the St Kilda foreshore - a $400 million mega mall that would comprise 180 shops, a hotel, a supermarket, eight cinemas, a gallery and five bars. Local residents were outraged ...A compelling story of democracy in action in a country where this commodity is increasingly rare and precious, for we are being attacked by growth lobby developer Nazis in every local government and state. Support democracy by seeing the film. Watch the trailer... JUST WON BEST OZ DOCUMENTARY!

Screening details Nova, Carlton Daily: 11:25AM, 3:20PM, 7:05PM
The Classic, Elsternwick Mon, Tue, Wed: 12:30PM, 4:30PM, 8:30PM
The Cameo, Belgrave Mon, Tue, Wed: 2:30PM, 6:40PM


Peninsula Cinema, Sorrento Thur, Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon: 9:15PM, Tue: 7:10PM, Wed 9:15PM
Theatre Royal, Castlemaine Thu 20 Oct: 7:30PM, Sat 22 Oct: 12:00PM Sun 23 Oct: 5:00PM, Thu 27 Oct: 9:15PM, Fri 28 Oct: 7:45PM, Sat 29 Oct: 5:30PM, Sun 30 Oct: 5:30PM
State Cinema, Hobart Mon, Tur, Wed: 11:15AM, 5:45PM
Narooma Cinema, Narooma

Council rates system destroys urban rainforest and community in Brisbane

The Australian land tax system creates hot treeless slums. In Queensland, for instance, the Brisbane City Council charges landowners according to the assessed market value of their land. If the Council land-zoning changes to allow medium or high density housing on land previously zoned only for detached homes, then the commercial value of that land goes up as each block will then be able to hold several dwellings instead of one. Although living conditions then become cramped and the quality of life for residents of higher density declines in comparison with that of residents of detached single dwellings, the total financial value of the medium density dwellings inevitably exceeds that of a single residence on the same land.

Public Funeral for Local Democracy in Williamstown, Victoria, Australia

Williamstown people would be delighted if you could join them for this special occasion. They suggest you bring your own placards and banners
so that the media can see that all across Melbourne city coast and country we are all fed up with this loss of democracy and are coming together to show that we are united in our opposition to our lack of ability to say what happens to our own neighbourhoods.

Save Williamstown requests help, Saturday 10th at 1pm (Victoria)

The Minister, Justin Madden, has already rezoned the Former Port Phillip Woollen Mill site residential, preventing any mixed use which could have benefited the community and protected the shipyards. Hobsons Bay Council has been excluded from the rezoning decision and was not informed until minutes before the Minister's press release on 26th March. The rezone was on the request of the developer, Nelson Place Village Pty Ltd with no reference to our council or the community or the industrial stakeholders.

Tweed Shire Koala population decline being addressed by council?

At the last meeting of Tweed Shire council on 21 July, a raft of motions by Cr Katie Milne were unanimously approved by council. However, the question is will it be enough to save Tweed koalas when just over the border in SE Qld koalas are in fact critically endangered according to the Australian Koala Foundation? If Events NSW has their way this September Repco Rally will organise 100 competing cars tearing at top speed through koala colonies and rural habitat in breeding season destroying any chance of a meaningful Koala Recovery Plan being implemented in the future.

Ratepayers should resist costly Gympie asset sell-off and development

GYMPIE Regional Council plans to sell off industrial land at Tin Can Bay, Monkland and a home at Kilkivan to raise revenue because council income from ratepayers only funds a $40m budget. Apparently the Council has already committed itself to spend $115m. Surely only a council of half-wits would not have foreseen the need to cut expenditure with the global financial crash and the parlous condition of the state budget? Friends of Rainbow Beach say that, far from saving the ratepayers money, the council's plans to sell off assets will cost residents of Gympie Region even more.

Local Government Corruption & Brimbank: focus too narrow says Marilyn Canet

"I have issued correspondence to the Victorian Ombudsman since the issue of his report outlining a further 22 issues which I believe his investigation should have included. In other words the recent investigation was narrowly focused and did not serve to present the full breadth of the allegations of irregular/corrupt practices." Marilyn Canet - Brimbank scandal witness

"Today I grieve for the erosion of democracy in local government under this Labor government which refuses to stamp out corruption ..." Mrs Powell, Member for Shepparton

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...

Cockburn residents defy Council bullying and threats of fines

In an effort to silence residents with difficult questions, Western Australia's Cockburn Council routinely limits question time and threatens residents who defy these limits with AU$1,000 fines. The Mayor, Stephen Lee, is now on extended leave after the Crime Commission had found him guilty of misconduct for having accepted an undeclared election campaign donation of AU$43,000 from the Singapore-controlled developer Australand, which wanted to build the controversial Port Coogee Marina.

See also: Postscript: Cockburn Councillors threaten to use ratepayer funds to sue residents, Appendix: Cockburn Community advertisement of 18 Nov 08

Unusual Public meeting to discuss Melbourne City Council Election

The CBD Residents' Associations are inviting people all over Melbourne to a serious pow-wow tonight (Wednesday 24th) 6pm, the Bluestone Room, Coopers Inn (cnr Exhibition and Little Lonsdale Streets)

Undermining local democracy: Macedon Ranges: Pork Barelling and other forms of Influence

Macedon Ranges Residents' Group (MRRA) is coping with professional undermining from a similarly named rival association and opponents who are very well funded. Maybe your group is having similar problems?

See original article on www.mrra.asn.au

Pet goat unites democratic protest in Frankston, Australia

Victor on tvConfused by bureaucracy, conflicted by development, and disorganised by new residential enclaves, local Frankston citizens find their voice in sticking up for a man and his goat in the face of bullying by-laws.

What you can do: visit freevictor.com and sign the petition.

Greens and Douglas Shire Mayor to talk on fighting amalgamations

Australian Greens lead Senate candidate for Queensland Larissa Waters will today meet Douglas Shire Council Mayor Mike Berwick to discuss how the Greens can help to overturn the decision to amalgamate local Councils.

Our Brave Redland Shire Council and their Quest!

... Golden Cockerel goes back to Council and asks for an extension to the working hours, 3am-10pm 19hrs a day they cry. They are concerned that the Company cannot make enough profit in 12hr days, six days a week. If the People want cheap Chickens, then that is the price Residents of Mt Cotton must pay for the benefit of us all, and Rightly So! I don't want to pay more for my chicken! Who does? ...

Howard's paper thin hypocrisy on amalgamations

The Coalition Government has exposed its hypocrisy on council amalgamations with its current attack on the Queensland Government according to Independent Member for Calare, Peter Andren.

Queensland mayors defy dismissal threats to consult their communities

Queensland Premier Peter Beattie and his Local Government Minister Andrew Fraser have forgotten the meaning of the word 'democracy'. Mayors who consult with their own constituents over the question of the abolition of their local governments face instant dismissal. These provisions were added to the legislation which forces many Queensland local councils to amalgamate with neighbouring councils at the last minute when the legislation was rushed through in the early hours of Friday 10 August.

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