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Miscellaneous comments from 14 April 2014

Comments made on the previous Miscellaneous comments page from 14 Feb 2014 can be found here.

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ICD Property, is one of the new wave of Chinese dragons transforming Melbourne's property market. ICD now controls five development sites, ranging from the recently launched 632-apartment project Eq Tower in A'Beckett Street, to a 115-hectare house, land and commercial precinct in Geelong.

Chinese, Singaporean and Malaysian interests have invested $1.3 billion in CBD and city fringe development sites over the past two years. Chinese developers snapped up the bulk of potential projects, taking 55 per cent of sites by value, far outweighing their counterparts and overshadowing Australian-based developers who took just 2 per cent, CBRE figures show.

Asian developers were targeting Melbourne because of the end buyer,ICD's owner said.

Data from the Foreign Investment Review Board reveals $5.9 billion in purchases of Australian property in 2012-13 came from China, a 44 per cent annual increase.

SMH: China's property dragons are just warming up

Both the Liberal and Labor parties support the Chinese real estate invasion while Australian families are priced out of the property market, forcing many to the fringes of society. According to the Party for Freedom this is an attack on the right of the Australian people to purchase affordable housing, with many Australian families now trapped in the rental cycle indefinitely, denied equity in their own land due to government policy giving preference to foreigners over local people.

Australians are capable of building houses, and their skills are creating jobs at DIY stores such as Bunnings and Masters. This Chinese invasion will rob locals of jobs, and create more stress.

Chinese demand is so great for residential property that some Sydney suburbs surged as much as 27% last year, making it impossible for Australian workers to get their foot in the real estate market. Auction sites across Australia’s big cities are filled with Chinese nationals wanting to colonise Australia. So, not only will the Chinese built high towers, their immigration numbers will ensure they provide buyers too!

Many of the Chinese intruders are purchasing Australian property off the plan and using their ownership to migration. Kevin Rudd boosted net overseas migration to record, destructive levels, as he wanted Australia to be an Asian country - his "big Australia"! Rudd also loosened foreign ownership rules of residential property in 2009 giving foreigners the right to plunder our housing market.

Recently NSW Liberal Premier, a traitor of the worst kind, expanded the New Home Grant Scheme to foreign speculators. Non-citizens now have access to the $5,000 new home grant scheme.

The definition of genocide is the deliberate and systematic replacement of a people. This is happening quite legally in our property industry, while unemployment and homelessness are increasing - including families and the disabled.

Party for Freedom: is the "Asian Invasion" real?

An investigation by the Department of Agriculture's Investigation and Enforcement Unit was launched after a report on ABC’s 7.30 program last night, where it named Livestock Shipping Services (LSS) general manager livestock and meat trading Garry Robinson as allegedly involved in the forging of export shipment documents.

Footage showing the cattle being treated cruelly, including being gouged in the eyes and stabbed in the neck, was released and exports to Gaza were halted.

Documents revealed on the ABC's 7.30 Report suggest that key export documents may have been falsified, flouting strict national and international laws designed to protect countries from importing diseased animals.

Animals Australia claims Australian animals are being slaughtered outside the approved supply chain.

The 7.30 investigation has discovered a trail of paperwork suggesting export documents may have been falsified, flouting strict national and international laws designed to protect countries from importing diseased animals. The media report that the industry is "safe", "improving animal welfare", and increasing, but now 7.30 has uncovered possible criminal conduct at the heart of the industry. There is evidence to suggest that key export documents have been falsified.

Wellard's ship, the Ocean Drover, was refused permission to unload in Bahrain after authorities there declared the sheep onboard were diseased. It was a claim that was later disproven. 7.30 has now discovered that the documents used to gain permission to land the sheep in Pakistan appear to have been falsified.

"The breaches, the recurring breaches and the horrific, sickening cruelty that we have documented in Jordan the first, second, third time, in Gaza, in October last year, and again in February this year, are supply chains that are owned and operated by LSS" says Animals Australia lawyer, Shatha Hamade.

Due to human overpopulation and climate change, there are fewer lions in west Africa than thought. Lions are eaten for bush meat when there's little food, and heavy grazing is causing desertification and erosion.
There are hardly any lions left.

There were thought to be 21 populations of lions left, but scientists only found 4, with less than 50 lions. Competition for scarce resources means that wildlife inevitably come of second best!

The Sahara is engulfing much of Africa, and the lion is a creature of savannah woodlands and much of the land is disappearing to subsistence and cash crops - for humans. Lions now occupy only about 1% of their original range. Small populations of lions are simply not viable. West African lions are unique, and if they are recognised as such, they could get IUC and international support. To save the lion—and many other critically endangered mammals including unique populations of cheetahs, African wild dogs and elephants—will require a massive commitment of resources from the international community.

The trophy hunting of lions remains legal in Burkina Faso and Benin, while a recent aerial survey discovered 50,000 head of livestock grazing within the boundaries of the transfrontier park - if this encroachment by humans and their livestock continues, the park could go the way of other protected areas in west Africa. The populations of other large mammal species declined an average of 85 percent in West Africa between 1970 and 2005, mostly to feed the voracious demand of the bushmeat trade.

Read more: The number of lions in west Africa has fallen so much that there are growing concerns for the future of the entire species (18/4/2014) at http://www.smh.com.au/world/no-more-time-to-lose-for-lions-20140417-36un0.html

Petition: Help Save the Last West African Lions at http://forcechange.com/99725/help-save-the-last-west-african-lions/

Japan said Friday that it would resume its controversial research whaling in the Southern Ocean next year under a redesigned program that would address objections raised by an international court. Despite the ICJ's condemnation of their whaling as not being scientific, Japan is not deterred and will continue their illegal slaughter. They will redesign the "research" to make it more "scientific" when it isn't!

Japan would submit a new plan for research whaling next fall to the International Whaling Commission that would allow it to restart its annual hunts in waters off Antarctica in 2015. The IWC's loophole that allows killing has not been closed. ICJ questioned whether the program was really for research, pointing out that it had yielded few scientific results. So, Japan will tweak the results of "research" to make it appear more valid!

Minister for Agriculture Mr. Hayashi said Japan would invite “famous scientists from home and abroad” to help devise a new research program that would satisfy the court’s demands. No doubt these pseudo-scientists will be paid, or bribed, to give authority to the results.

The redesigned research whaling could eventually serve as a step toward one day resuming commercial hunts, something sought by Japanese cultural conservatives but opposed by many Western nations.

There's never been any culture or tradition of Japan whaling in the Antarctic, or hunting with explosive harpoons.

It's pointless having court rulings and international laws unless they are enforced. Laws need to be enforced and upheld with law enforcement. With Australia's free trade agreement with Japan, they know that they have Australia's politicians in their laps, in the palm of their hands.

Tony Boys's picture

I live in Japan, but that does not make me love "scientific" whaling any more than you do. However, although no vegetarian myself, I would like to see/hear people (especially those in official positions, the judges who make the decisons and so on) make some statement about the industrial food system, especially, but not limited to, the way we treat the animals that provide meat (beef, pork, mutton, chicken, etc. and also fish, maybe) for people to eat. If we so abhor this very nasty hunting of whales on the open sea, don't we also need to think about our meat-eating habits a little? I can just envision some of the people involved in attempting to prevent Japan's "scientific" whale hunt doing a good job of it and then going out to enjoy a jolly good steak, not thinking for one microsecond how it got to the plate - which is how most city people eat.

Due to toxic and aggressive population growth, many wild species are disappearing, and losing their wilderness habitats. The oceans are being over-fished and polluted. It's more important than ever to protect our oceans, and the magnificent gentle giants - whales - from human aggression and encroachments.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society are fully vegan. Even crews members that are not vegan must be during their time with the organisation. This means they avoid the hypocrisy of protecting whales from harpoons and then sitting down to fish or steak!

The same is not true for our politicians. They heavily endorse the livestock industries, factory farming, live exports and the exploitation of our native kangaroos. No wonder they are blinded and gagged by their falsehoods.
The oceans belong to whales, and other species, while humans are terrestrial. There needs to be some line in the sand, and the meat-eating greed of humanity must have limits. Whales and dolphins do not belong on any menu!

It's not easy killing such huge animals. Their suffering must be horrific, and their deaths full of pain. Some animals and wild areas must be protected, and Japan is showing contempt for the anti-whaling nations, and their defiance is more about national pride and "tradition" of doing exactly what they want. There has never been a big whaling tradition in Japan, and certainly not in the Antarctic, the Pacific, with huge fleets of vessels and explosive harpoons. There are stockpiles of whale meat already, so this "hunt" is more politically and nationally motivated, than about the need for meat!

Tony Boys's picture

I quite agree with you. All I'm saying is that humanity needs to reaffirm a deep respect for ALL life. If the suffering of hunted whales is horrific, then so is the suffering of cattle, pigs, birds and so on in the industrial food system. People in the "developed" countries are generally eating far too much meat. That includes the Japanese, though their annual consumption per cap is not as large as some other countries. There is no need for whale meat here. I never see it in the supermarkets, though I do see adverts for canned whale meat on TV. I also hear, but have not confirmed, that it is served in school lunches. A kind of propaganda perhaps. The Japanese insistence on continuation of whale hunting doesn't seem to correspond to any kind of real need at all. Meanwhile the Fukushima disaster continues to pollute the Pacific Ocean. If they need to research the sea, there would seem to be ample opportunities to do it there.

http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/4/22/economy/big-australia-illusion#comment-686806

Callam Pickering questions the "big Australia" policy of our government, and opposition, and our third world rates of population growth.
He says it's to create an illusion of growth, without actually considering the long term implications.

It seems that our politicians love "growth", but due to short terms in government, are unable and unwilling to have any vision for the future and are willing to sacrifice long term strategies for short-term injections of cash flows. By the time elections come, they are out to retirement or have changed careers or not in power any longer.

The "big Australia" policy continues with the gagging of the public, by political-correctness and the diversionary tactics of the media.

Pickering says that there is little doubt that migration will sit at the forefront of economic growth in Australia over the next generation. It drives up the GDP, and gives the illusion of economic growth, but "high population growth puts pressure on existing infrastructure and commonly leads to greater congestion on our roads and public transport. Not to mention the impact on our natural resources and environment".

High rates of immigration slightly improves per capita GDP, but most of the benefits are for the migrants. They then must be sourced from developing countries or they won't see any improvement in their lives - except higher wages - but watered down by high costs of living.

Pickering says that "effectively our standard of living is now improving at a much slower pace than we had grown accustomed to. If per capita growth rises annually by 2 per cent, living standards will double in 35 years; by comparison, at 1 per cent growth it will take 70 years for per capita income to double". On all accounts, living standards are declining. More people are unemployed and forced into mortgage stress, in public housing or are homeless. Crime is increasing and we have a youth unemployment crisis.

Immigration is not a substitute for real economic growth, or productivity. "Strong population growth is not an economic plan. It will not improve the living standards of you or I; nor will it reduce poverty and inequality or foster innovation and creativity." Amassing people is not progress, but a no-brainer way of increasing the size of consumer markets and the GDP.

Treasurer Joe Hockey warns of budget pain. Older Australians, already many of whom are struggling on pensions, will be asked to bear a lot of the budget pain. Despite record levels of youth unemployment, the "ageing population" are being burdened for much of the blame.

Hockey is blaming the heavy weight of pensions, aged care, and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme for "draining" the budget. "Between 2010 and 2050 the percentage of people of working age supporting those over the age of 65 in Australia will almost halve". That's partly due to the lack of jobs, and ignores the contribution older people have made to our economy, and still do in their later years.

Read more: 'Nothing is free': Joe Hockey warns of budget pain, with pensions in the firing line (23/4/2014) at http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/nothing-is-free-joe-hockey-warns-of-budget-pain-with-pensions-in-the-firing-line-20140423-zqyaq.html

There will be across the board spending cuts in the public sector, households and corporations. There will be wider means testing for welfare benefits, and more people will fall through the cracks.

We've had 23 years of economic growth in Australia, yet debts are getting deeper, and the cost of maintaining this "growth" is becoming more and more extensive. It's a giant Ponzi scheme, one that gets steeper and more austere with each generation.

Population growth has grown strongly during this period, yet where are the benefits? Economic growth is smoke and mirrors, if it means that what we have must be shared with more people, without actually producing more commodities to sell and export.

The economy is meant to provide high living standards, benefits for individuals and families, and a safety net when things go wrong. Abstract economic growth has become an aim in itself, even if it's to the detriment of the participants.

The idea that we can have economic growth and increasing debt is an interesting one.

The fact that people say this and others don't either laugh or immediately get a puzzled look also puzzles me.

Can someone explain to me how I can claim to be growing economically, while going further into debt?

Dennis,

The link between these two 'values' is innate not oxymoronic. Economic growth requires an expanded money supply in order to denominate the value of that growth. As things are, new money is created, in largest part, by way of the issuance of debt by private banks.1

Ipso facto, the collateralisation of this new debt gives private banks effective ownership over the newly grown economic functions/assets. The nominal 'owner' of the new asset gets to work their arse off re-paying the debt that finances this growth.

Your confusion over the notion comes from not determining the exact constitution and relationship of who are the 'we' within your example. In the new order of Global capital there is the extensive 'we' who borrows and there is the much, much smaller we who 'lends' out the notional money supply that 'borrowers' commit to pay back under threat of 're-possession'. That last term quite clearly defines who actually does owns the asset base and any increments to its 'growth'.

Neat really, isn't it?

Footnote[s]

1. See also: Public Banking for Wales, Ireland and Scotland: Promise and Possibilities (13/9/2013), Hot off the press: The Public Bank Solution (13/9/2013), The European Stabilization Mechanism, Or How Goldman Sachs Captured Europe (19/4/2012).

Thanks Greg. I do have an understanding of how the money supply is increased by essentially issuing debt (hence why I have such a problem with it!). However, understanding the details doesn't mean the basics make sense.

That's part of the problem. So few people look as the basics, so they get taken in by the details. In detail, the system works and seems OK, but at its basic level, something appears wrong. People are told not to look at things 'simply', and hence, not see the obvious problems. Asking basic questions gets some labelled as 'simplistic', so they don't ask.

Our whole financial system seems to rely on fraud, misunderstanding and misrepresentation. What money is, is understood by few. It's treated as a resource, when it isn't. If people knew economic basics (not about interest rates, but basic fundamentals like what money is), then they would see through this facade.

But people see banks as some kind of magical fountain of wealth, even though they create little wealth. We can't recover our economic standing, until we overhaul our banking system.

Hi Dennis,

I agree with all that you say except the initial premise that debt growth is somehow at odds with economic growth. Both are utterly flawed premises that work in nexus toward the utterly horrific direction in which we are being rapidly taken.

I fully agree about the need for accurate simplicity in viewing these things. The truth of it is most compelling and comprehensive when considered in stark, simple terms. Unfortunately such simple accuracy renders images that are completely alien and indigestibly confronting to most people's experience and circumstance.

Trying then to overcome this sense of alienation, and attendant disbelief, by substantive explanation of the core factors and their relationship becomes very quickly complex and even more alienating to those who are more or less fully immersed within the popularised delusion.

Even those who can see some particular bits of the prevailing 'wrongness' will struggle to avoid expanding upon this insight if and as it threatens their sense of position or comfort. This is especially so to the extent that an extension of awareness will put them at some degrees of ideological separation from their peer group. The PR/MSM cohort engineer and disseminate both what social groupings are to be popularly recognised as legitimate and/or be made prominent and also what these groupings can each respectively 'agree' upon and 'safely disagree' upon. To be 'improperly disagreeable' is a terrible social disorder in the popularly recognised scheme of things.

Frankly there needs to be much more 'social impoliteness' so as to make people much more familiar with such behaviour and what it might have to say about the invalidity of current proceedings.

Frankly there needs to be much more 'social impoliteness' so as to make people much more familiar with such behaviour and what it might have to say about the invalidity of current proceedings.

I cannot agree more emphatically with this statement! These false constructs exist because they are not challenged.

Ever.

Neither in the mainstream press, nor to politicians. You will never see Labor or Liberal parties challenge the basic's. No Liberal or Labor political will simply point out that the other side is silly. Few who challenge politicians do the same. They will accuse each other of bad fiscal policy, of being poor managers, of using a flawed 'ideology', but NEVER challenge the basics. You do not become a 'respected' politician or 'respected' journalist until you learn to 'respect' the silly ideas of the establishment.

They will never challenge the basics on immigration, or growth, or the environment, or living standards or national identity.

Hence why I think the MSM don't just simply point out the silliness. They support the establishment. The most prominent atheists are the ones who take religion seriously. The most prominent critics of the Soviet Union were the ones who took Marxism seriously.

Calling an idea, like 'prosperity through debt' just plain silly doesn't get you a job, so you don't see people who get paid to discuss the economy making the points we made. Making those points wins you few friends.

Labor Leader Bill Shorten is pushing for Labor party reforms. It's brought some criticism from the union movement, as he wants to weaken links with their traditional allies, and grass roots.

The success of Labor in the past is not working in these times. Shorten wants to renew the party's sense of purpose, and revitalise it with more members.

Mr Shorten hopes to raise membership numbers from the current 40,000 to 100,000, but has not set a deadline for that goal to be met,

The Australian Workers' Union - which Mr Shorten once led - has offered neither criticism nor support for the plans. He wants to give more power to rank and file members, and there will be a ground-up review of their policies.

The first policy to scrap should be the "big Australia" one, based on the false sense of productivity and wealth. It isn't working, in light of present budget constraints of having to share any surpluses with more and more people. Shorten says that new policies will try to broaden Labor's appeal, in areas including small business, science and innovation, and support for regions.

They should also ask the electorate - the public - for the sort of reforms that are important to them. Politics has become too abstract, to impersonal and more about political gains and the vague metric of GDP rather than on what the public need - good services such as housing, jobs and standards of living!

The outer western fringe suburb of Wyndham is under severe stress from heavy population growth, and MP Tim Pallas sees it as putting excessive stress on roads and public transport.
Significantly, he said that Wyndham’s infrastructure was not coping with its annual growth of 12,000 people. However, he misses the point and is lobbying for more funds for transport, without actually questioning the rate of population growth - that simply can't be maintained financially.
Wyndham’s population rose by 98 per cent between June 2003 and June last year, from 95,776 to 189,618. It's not that the public are showing great confidence in our economy, and future, by happily having bigger families! With 60% of our population growth due to net overseas migration, it's not inevitable or desirable.
Mr Pallas said Wyndham desperately needed a $90 million investment in roads, and more schools to cope with congestion. ‘‘Arterial roads in Wyndham are over- capacity and constantly congested" he said, and the area was not coping.
The government must make some "tough decisions" this year, for the May 6th budget. Not all the budget can be spent on one area! The $8 billion East West link will soak up a major portion of State funding, and drain resources away from the most needed areas.
Our grandiose and megalomaniac politicians like the big, magnificent and overwhelming mega-projects, to put their name in history, but mundane and vital links necessary for the "growth" they love always come last - they are too nondescript and it means people end up living in deprivation.

State Budget: Pallas seeks more cash for outer West

Italian navy and coastguard vessels have rescued around 1,800 more people from boats in rough seas off Sicily, authorities said on Friday, as the chronic migrant crisis continued around the southern island.

The latest arrivals come on top of more than 1,000 migrants picked up earlier in the week. In the past two decades, for example, nearly 20,000 people are reported as having lost their lives in an effort to reach the European Union’s southern borders from Africa and the Middle East.

Italy has struggled for decades with a steady stream of migrants looking for a better life in Europe travelling in small, unsafe boats from North Africa to the tiny island of Lampedusa, midway between Tunisia and Sicily.

Rightwing parties in Italy have called for the suspension of the EU-backed mission to rescue migrants who make the dangerous sea crossing from north Africa, putting immigration back on the agenda ahead of next month’s European parliamentary elections.

(Italy's right calls for the end of the navy's rescue of African migrants – behind paywall) at http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4236e56c-ca08-11e3-ac05-00144feabdc0.html

More than 1,200 African migrants were escorted ashore in Sicily by Italy’s navy and coast guard over the Easter weekend, bringing to nearly 22,000 the total that have arrived on Italian shores this year. Eritreans and Syrians fleeing war have made up the largest groups.

Italy says 4,000 immigrants have reached its shores by boat in the past two days before 10th April – the highest number since it began a naval operation to handle the influx after two shipwrecks last year. up to 600,000 people from Africa and the Middle East are ready to set off from Libyan shores. It's a mass migration of humanity, displaced by over population, conflict, poverty and scarcities.

The anti-immigration Northern League – a small opposition party – was quick to weigh in on the issue, urging Alfano to stop the arrivals "by turning them back". The only way to stop the tide is to ensure only valid visa holders are able to land - and valid asylum seekers are selected off-shore. Otherwise the "pull" factor will continue.

Families are being displaced from land they’ve lived on for generations. And it’s happening without their consent.

Oxfam alleges frequent instances of large-scale land deals failing to respect local land rights, violent community unrest and investments that targets the poorest nations with weak land institutions. The ANZ in Cambodia is guilty of displacing over 1000 people from their homes, and at least 400 farms have been stolen from their rightful owners.

“From PNG and Cambodia to Indonesia and Brazil, our banks have backed companies accused of forcing people from their land,” Oxfam Australia’s Chief Executive Dr Helen Szoke said. Oxfam's report says the Commonwealth Bank owns shares in an agribusiness that's failing to comply with orders in Brazil to stop sourcing sugar cane from Indigenous lands.

ANZ, National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac have funded overseas companies investigated for illegally or improperly acquiring large tracts of land from local communities in developing countries, according to an investigation by NGO Oxfam Australia and European research and economics firm Profundo.

The link between developing-world land grabs – which have spiked over the past few years due to a surge in the price of agricultural commodities – and Australian banks was first exposed by Fairfax Media in January.

Read more: SMH: Banks face land grab claims in developing world

Human overpopulation, greed for economic growth despite the constraints, and scarcity of land and food resources means that wealthy corporations are getting more ferocious and unscrupulous. Corporate predators will dispossess the vulnerable, the poor and the small holders in developing countries, for the benefit of their shareholders - and the generic "growth" in opportunities they promote themselves with!

Exactly the same kinds of dispossession are happening in Australia, the United States and the UK. Dispossession is fundamental to wage-slavery. Wage depression, rent inflation and overseas and interregional immigration go hand in hand with dispossession too. People have no choice but to seek work in cities. It's like herding fish into a net, or hamsters onto wheels.

World Heritage body UNESCO has been concerned about the health of the Great Barrier Reef – a world heritage protected site since 1981 – in recent years as a result of numerous threats including agricultural run-off, large-scale industrial development and climate change.

http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/un-warns-on-health-of-great-barrier-reef-but-gives-abbott-government-a-reprieve-on-in-danger-listing-20140501-zr2ar.html

UNESCO points to decisions by the Abbott government and the authority overseeing the reef's marine park to allow the dredging and dumping of three million tonnes of spoil in the reef's waters for new coal export terminals at Abbot Point.

This decision condemns the Federal Government's approval to dispose of three million cubic metres of dredge spoil at Abbot Point coal terminal near Bowen, south of Townsville.

The Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area is bigger than Victoria and Tasmania combined, and is home to 500 species of fish, over 360 species of coral, more than 4000 species of molluscs and over 1500 species of sponge. The constant passage of ships to and from the ports can damage the area through groundings, collisions, introduction of invasive marine pests, oil and chemical spills, waste disposal and anchor damage.

UNESCO postponed its decision on whether to put the reef on the endangered list until 2015. Any "development" should inherently be improvements in efficiency, complexity and technology - not environmental destruction.

"Sustainable development" is an oxymoron, on a finite planet with wilderness areas, and biodiversity, continually under threats from human activities and economic demands for natural resources. Procrastination gives UNESCO and the public the warm feeling that they are addressing the issue, but it's simply waiting for damage control, and a laissez faire attitude. Nobody wants to challenge the priority of economic benefits, and growth, for Australia.

It's easy to make strong decisions in hindsight, when there's little to do and the damage is already complete.

A completely bogus Murdoch Newspoll (paid for by the developer and conducted without oversight or transparency) “found” that more than 50% of Gold Coasters want the development to go ahead.

The Gold Coast City Council today voted to support the Cruise Terminal at the Spit. What a surprise!

Our governments at all levels are completely corrupt and incompetent and the Murdoch and Fairfax news, and the ABC all collude and the commercial press probably actually engineered this terrible situation.

Behind the glamorous façade, there's a dark reality of the Gold Coast high population growth.

In 2007-08, the Gold Coast Police District had the highest number of reports for drug offences, unlawful entry, thefts, handling of stolen goods, weapons offences and traffic offences. And it had the second highest number of reports for homicides, fraud, prostitution, assaults, and other offences against a person.
The Gold Coast has the dubious distinction of being the most unaffordable place in Australia for buying houses, and second most unaffordable (closely following Sydney) for buying units.

Homelessness increasingly continues to be of concern on the Coast. Many people ‘sleep rough’ on the coastal strip between Southport and Broadbeach.1
While 52 per cent of those surveyed were in favour and 32 per cent against the cruise ship terminal, the Newspoll report presented to councillors at a meeting today shows critical differences within suburbs across the city.
It's easy to manipulate the answers of opinion polls by deliberately asking the questions that divert away from direct questioning to give options, and the results required.

1 The Reality of Life on the Gold Coast, Gold Coast primary care partnership council, 2009

States could levy income taxes, there could be a $15 for medical services, pensions will be reduced, eligibility for pensions will increase and retirement age lifted to 70 years. Disability and unemployment pensions are also in the firing line.

Students will pay more for degrees and have to pay loans back sooner. Schools are likely to be States' responsibility, and minimum wages are likely to be abolished. Road tolls could be introduced to pay for congestion, though there's not talk about reducing "growth" agendas, or immigration.

Further proposals considered were: Selling off federal assets including the Snowy-Hydro, the Australian Submarine Corporation, Defence Housing, Australian Rail Track Corporation, Australia Post, Medibank, the Royal Mint and the National Broadband Network over time.

Australia's welfare system and publically owned assets are being dismantled to bring back Australia into a surplus!
Against a backdrop of a sixth consecutive deficit, of $18.8 billion, in 2012-13, or 1.2 per cent of GDP, which is predicted to rise to $47 billion or 3 per cent of GDP in 2013-14. We have been living beyond our means, and our economy has grown but producing less!

After WW 11,Australia was one of the wealthiest nations, and we only had a small population.

Joe Hockey claims, predictably, that the government has inherited a fiscal mess from Labor.

Argentina one hundred years ago was the country ranked among the ten richest in the world, after the likes of Australia, Britain and the United States, but ahead of France, Germany and Italy. Half of the country’s capital stock was in foreign hands in 1913, further exposing it to external shocks. Open borders increased farmers’ takings but sharpened competition from abroad for domestic industry. Low levels of domestic savings can in part be explained by demography: large numbers of immigrants with dependent children spent money rather than saving it. Australia is following suit.

The public are being told that the "age of entitlements" is over, and that Australians have been living beyond their means for too long! Welfare is under threat, and pensioners will have to work until they are 70 for those born after 1965.

Australia, once a prosperous nation, despite all the economic growth, is sliding down the ladder of prosperity. Unemployment, homelessness and poverty are increasing in the once "Lucky" country.

The pain of budget cuts we be part of a drive to cut $70 billion a year from spending. Due to massive population growth over the last few decades, without productivity to justify it, our economy has stagnated, become overly expensive to maintain, and is producing less benefits.

We are bogged down by greed, and an economic model that's outdated its usefulness! However, there's no sacrifice coming from our well-heeled politicians!

Politicians such as Treasurer Joe Hockey will pocket more than $200,000 a year from the moment they leave politics, under their generous parliamentary superannuation scheme. Lifetime gold passes entitle ex-politicians to 10 return business class flights for them and their spouse each year.

Politicians must be willing to share the budget pain, and be forced to work longer. The public shouldn't have to cope with austerity measures, and the dismantling of our welfare system, while the nation’s MPs remain untouched.

The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere averaged more than 400 parts per million throughout April, the first time the planet’s monthly average has surpassed that threshold.

The finding adds to concerns that a buildup of carbon dioxide is damaging the atmosphere, making storms more intense, melting glaciers and putting at risk the future of seaside cities such as Miami.

The last time the concentration of Earth's main greenhouse gas reached this mark, horses and camels lived in the high Arctic. Seas were at least 30 feet higher—at a level that today would inundate major cities around the world.

The effect of rising CO2 levels is already evident across the world’s crops could reduce the amount of plant protein available globally by three per cent over the next few decades. Plants use nitrogen to produce the proteins that are vital for human nutrition. Increases in temperature and carbon dioxide (CO2) can be beneficial for some crops in some places, but overall changing climate patterns lead to frequent droughts and floods that put a severe strain on yields.

In order to halt global warming by the 2C mark, global emissions per nation would have to start coming down by 2020, with a peak no greater than 44 gigatons.

The United Nations has said that in order to maximize our chances of limiting the global temperature rise since 1750 to the internationally agreed-upon target of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), the concentration of all greenhouse gases should peak at no higher than 450 ppm this century.

Global carbon dioxide levels exceeded historic threshold throughout April at http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/global-carbon-dioxide-levels-exceeded-historic-threshold-throughout-april-20140503-zr3s6.html

Despite recent cuts, Australia's emissions per capita stand at 23.2 tonnes, among the highest in the world and nearly four times more than China. The atmosphere is not interested in per capita emissions, but the total.

High population growth cancels out the ongoing emissions-reduction benefits of energy efficiency.

YOUR INVITATION SEMINAR
Combining Forces to save Kangaroos in Victoria
Sunday May 18th @ 1pm

Kindness House 2nd Floor, 288 Brunswick St, Fitzroy
Individually, we are one drop.
Together, we are an ocean.
Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.

Did you ever wonder why some of us can be so
concerned with animals suffering? Because government is
not. Why not? Animals don’t vote.

What The Seminar Is About

This is not a seminar where a cast of thousands will talk at you, it will be an open forum where we want you to feel free to express your thoughts, feelings, ideas, problem solving abilities, any research
you have done and just about anything else you can contribute.

The Aim

To establish an umbrella group working together toward a common goal.
The animal laws, are complex and so to give you a rudimentary understanding of these laws our
guest speaker will be:

Anastasia Smietanka, National Co-ordinator Barristers Animal Welfare Panel (BAWP)

Kangaroos killed under an Authority To Control Wildlife (ATCW) permit, for pet food.
* No source of true numbers killed.
* No monitoring.
* No reporting of how many in-pouch, at-foot, females or males are killed.
* No public consultation.
Aerial Baiting of Wild Dogs.
*1080 poison the most cruel, painful and distressing death.
* The staggering amount of collateral damage to wildlife from1080 poison .

R.S.V.P. by 14 May 2014 to Cienwen Hickey hickey2009@activ8.net.au
If you have questions please call (03) 51548581
When challenging Governments remember what Mahatma Gandhi said:
First they ignore you.
Then they laugh at you.
Then they get angry
THEN YOU WIN !

AWPC website: more info

Melbourne's population is expected to grow to 7.7 million by 2051 – 1.2 million more than the state government said it would just seven months ago.
The city's population tipped to grow to 6.5 million, up from 4.25 million. The mistake threw out figures on jobs, homes and transport needs into the future.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/plan-melbourne-blueprint-reveals-huge-population-prediction-for-city-20140519-38j9n.html

The pressing need for services, housing, infrastructure is breaking budgets, and putting everything in Melbourne under the pressure cooker. Homelessness, crime, and costs of living are spiralling out of control. With the budget cutbacks to the States, there will be less revenue for schools and health care.

Immigration is shaping up to be an election issue in New Zealand. The OECD has found New Zealand has the most over-priced housing in the Western world. This confirms what Kiwis already know: property speculators and mortgage restrictions are locking them out of the dream of home ownership.

New Zealand’s main opposition Labour party indicated it may curb immigration to ease pressure on housing and health as it prepares for elections in September. New Zealand’s net permanent immigration reached 31,914 in the year through March, the highest level in 11 years, government data showed April 23. Labour leader David Cunliffe told TV3’s the Nation on May 17. He noted that his party aimed for an annual intake of 5000-15,000 immigrants when in office.

When is the pressure from overloaded services, housing prices and environmental pressure going to force Australian Labor to do the same as their counterparts in New Zealand?

Unhappy about cuts to health, education or pensions in the Abbott government's budget? You should get some perspective and visit Asia before you complain, according to a government backbencher. “Aussies should do a tour of Asia & live like locals to put these 1st world complaints re budget in perspective,” he wrote.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/liberal-mp-george-christensen-tells-budget-complainers-to-live-like-impoverished-asians-for-perspective-20140522-38qxh.html

Most of us are aware of the poverty and overpopulation in many countries, now, and that's actually what we want to avoid! From being one of the wealthiest countries in the world, for decades after the war, we are now under the pressure from "the Asian Century" to accept lower living standards, lower pay, high rates of poverty, unemployment, homelessness and masses of people!

It's formula that's welcomed by big corporations and the wealthy elite. We become a human resource, that's compliable, silent, impoverished and denied of democratic rights and ownership of land.

Welfare safety-nets are being removed, and people are being disconnected and cut free from the economy. Pensioners, the unemployed, the uneducated, the homeless and the dispossessed are a fund of wealth for the elite - to exploit and use cheaply with little investment needed.

The attack on universities, and the globalisation of our land, housing, industries, infrastructure etc is making us slaves to the Ponzi growth being forced into Australians. Eventually we will feel grateful for any crumbs future governments have the grace and charity to give us - and be grateful! Welcome to the "Asian Century" were we import of the worst of Asia. Their wealthy can buy citizenship to Australia, but there's few opportunities likewise being offered to Australians.

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has called for the end of Europe's visa-free Schengen area and the creation of a Franco-German economic bloc at the heart of the eurozone. European Union migration policy has failed and Schengen I needs to be replaced, former French president Nicolas Sarkozy says.

Schengen encourages the free movement of people and goods. The Schengen area comprises 26 European countries that have abolished passport or any other type of border control in-between their common borders.

For more, see France's Sarkozy calls end of Schengen (22/5/2014) on Sky News at http://www.skynews.com.au/news/world/europe/2014/05/22/france-s-sarkozy-calls-end-of-schengen.html

Schengen cooperation enhances this freedom by enabling citizens to cross internal borders without being subjected to border checks. The border-free Schengen Area guarantees free movement to more than 400 million EU citizens, as well as to many non-EU nationals, businessmen, tourists or other persons legally present on the EU territory.

Sarkozy said that without a quick fix in coming years France's social system could break up. "Europe is not meant to organise social and migratory dumping, almost systematically at the expense of France," he warned. EU’s Economic and Financial Affairs Council approved the adoption of a resolution to eliminate the visa requirements for Perú and Colombia.

He says that "Europe migration policy has failed and the need to replace Schengen I has become obvious, he added, as the current system allows immigrants who enter it to “choose the (European) country with the most generous welfare system”.

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