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Owls' legal case and plans to burn Victoria's native forests for fuel

The protection of owls might soon go to the Supreme Court and a proposed regulatory change will allow native forest wood to be burnt for electricity. It was been tabled in the House of Reps today, 27 May 2015. There is a danger that Bill Shorten's Labor Party might support the bill, despite what that says about our renewable energy scheme. Read on to find out how we might fight this.

Environment East Gippsland (EEG): Logging in disputed rainforest area - contact Lisa Neville MP

Last week GECO - Goongerah Environment Centre reported an illegal rainforest logging operation that has occurred on the Errinundra Plateau, East Gippsland. We documented the destruction and sent a report to the Victorian government. The mainstream media reported it, Australians called, emailed, tweeted and talked about it. They asked the Environment Minister to end this senseless destruction and immediately stop logging. The pressure was felt in her office but logging continues and the forests need you to act again.

Kelvin Thomson to Vic Attorney Gen against VCAT proposed fee increases

"I am writing to express my serious concerns regarding the proposed VCAT fee increases. I believe these fee increases will unfairly hurt everyday Victorian residents, by undermining access to, in the words of VCAT’s motto, ‘Fair, Efficient Justice for all Victorians’" (Kelvin Thomson MP to the Victorian Attorney General.)

Proposed VCAT objection fees would paralyse democracy

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.

Planning for overpopulation - do we really need it?

Is the Department of Planning in the Victorian State government vital to our lives or is it just part of endless population growth ? The Planning Department operates with a seemingly remarkable ignorance of the realities of resource (especially oil) depletion, some apprehension of climate change, scant reference to the environment, and no mention of creatures other than humans. Something funny's going on.

Shocking Proposed Sale of Australia's Port of Melbourne

Sheila Newman will interview Jenny live TODAY 19 April between 12 midday and 1pm at 3RPP. You can listen live here. What next? Will they sell the people off as slaves? Will the remove access to our bank accounts overnight? Will they raise the cost of electricity so high that the companies take our houses to pay for them? Our Parliamentary system is beyond democratic control. Our economic system is a bad joke. Our taxes are used to pay for educational institutions which are then set up to profit private enterprise and investors and users overseas. And now, under Ted Baillieu, there is this proposal to sell Port Melbourne... (No, this is not an April fools joke.)

The Future of Planning for Melbourne?

Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy is setting up a website http://www.planmelbourne.vic.gov.au asking for residents' feedback on the sort of Melbourne we want in the future. These kinds of websites, however, make it hard to say what you really think. It is probably better to send the Minister a submission re Plan Melbourne saying what you really think, in your own words, rather than responding to the website questionnaire. Email it to Matthew.Guy[AT]parliament.vic.gov.au . As a guide, we suggest that any plan must first have a policy to limit the population growth. To ignore this issue and try to plan for greater growth, would be self defeating.

State Trustees Mismanagement of represented persons - auditor general report

This audit assessed whether State Trustees is effectively managing the financial and legal interests of represented persons. It examined the extent to which State Trustees is meeting its legislative and administrative responsibilities, the systems and processes that enable State Trustees to measure quality, timeliness and cost effectiveness, and the adequacy of State Trustees' communication and accountability processes to represented persons. The audit found that State Trustees is not able to clearly demonstrate that it is fulfilling its obligations to represented persons. State Trustees’ direct engagement with represented persons is not sufficient for it to be assured that their needs and wishes are properly understood.

Ballieu Government nurse-bashing violates UN Labor rights convention

Australia had the world's first Labor government ever and ratified the United Nations' International Labour Organisation's "Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention" in 1973, but in 2011 nurses are threatened with jail when they take industrial action.
Footage of 24 Nov 2011 nurses' march on Parliament on Channel 9 plus coverage of associated and earlier related news on Channel 9 (interrupted by Pringles and Westpac ads).

Prevent Victorians from starving - Keep agricultural land for food production - SPA

By upwards engineering population growth, the Victorian and Australian Governments are showing disregard of "ultimate deprivation" and leaving "future generations with the task of rationing energy, oil and food..."

Legal: Report on EEG vs VicForests case - Brown Mountain

It has been more than two years since Environment East Gippsland began legal action to sue the government’s logging monopoly, VicForests. In August 2009 we applied for an injunction for an immediate stop to logging at Brown Mountain. A year later, on 11 August 2010, the ruling was handed down. We had won our case! Here are the details.

Proposed Variations on Code of practice for forestry - Call for Submissions

Proposed revisions to the Code of Practice for Forestry in Victoria Australia could adversely impact Victoria's threatened species. As many candobetter.net readers know, the Victorian Auditor General found last year that Victoria has utterly failed in its objectives under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act (1986) to measure and protect unique species from threat and endangerment. These changes also follow Environment East Gippsland's historic win in court against VicForests last year, where EEG sought protection under this Act for endangered species. With these changes, loggers could seek exemptions from state environment laws protecting endangered species. Victorians (and people all over the world) need to be aware of these proposed changes and to make comments. You can make a submission via this article.

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?

A planned slaughter of endangered wildlife

Victorian government plans to drop 1080 poison bait from an aircraft into forests could result in the extinction of the already critically endangered Spot-tailed quoll. The purpose of this antiquated and vandalistic method is to poison wild dogs. Article by Hans Brunner, Wildlife biologist.

Recycling lies: Auditor General exposes DSE and municipal recycling as mostly useless spin

No Surprise: The Department of Sustainability and municipal councils' positions on recycling have long been an insult to the intelligence of the population. The auditor general's report should also be used to expose "Green" groups that collude with government on this nonsense and to muzzle sustainable population voices. The audit found that the Department of Sustainability and Environment, Sustainability Victoria, the Environment Protection Authority, the Metropolitan Waste Management Group, one regional waste management group and four municipal councils have not effectively fulfilled their roles in implementing the strategy, resulting in ineffective planning, leadership, coordination, and oversight. And gee, we are not going to meet our so-called target of Towards Zero Waste Strategy by 2014.

Kangaroos and ducks flying in fright in Victoria


Not only are ducks fleeing and flying away in fright, but kangaroos are flying into fences as shooters from the DSE are targeting them to "control" wildlife in Whittlesea, Victoria. Our wetlands or suburbs are not safe for our gentle and iconic native animals.

Supermarkets acting as a cartel against farmers, cows and the rest of us

On Tuesday, 8 February 2011, Member for the Victorian Opposition, Martin Pakula (ALP) pointed to the effective cartel which a supermarket may form in its own right, in a bad situation for farmers which, to me is a danger signal that cows will suffer even more (although Mr Pakula did not mention the suffering of cows). "Anyone who has been to Coles or Woolworths in the last few weeks would know of the decision by the retailers to slash the price of their home brand dairy products, and it seems more of this is on the way in regard to baked goods. This has been described in some circles as a win for consumers, but in the longer term I am not sure that will be the case," said Mr Pakula.

Forum: How many is too many? Population, Melbourne's Planning Puzzle

7 November 2010 Richmond Town Hall- There will be a public forum about the problems of population and planning in Victoria. It is sponsored by Planning Backlash, which is an umbrella group for groups all over Victoria, but particularly around Melbourne, who are sick and tired of the way that planners and the government are running roughshod over democracy in order to push more people into this city. Please come along and learn and support this important forum.

Wednesday Oct 6 Rendezvous: Anti Desal Plant Rally & Libs move against VC71: Melbourne Parliament

Midday: Anti Desal Plant Rally on steps of parliament, Melbourne. All supporters welcome. After that, go to the Upper House Gallery, Parliament House,and show your support to the Opposition's motion to Overturn Amendment VC71

Jan Beer of Plug the Pipe takes Melbourne Water to VCAT over right to privacy

Jan Beer, Plug The Pipe spokesperson and environmental activist in opposition to North-South Pipeline, is taking legal action against Government Agency Melbourne Water for alleged infringements of her right to privacy over a 2 year period.

Dodgy Vic Government recycles old announcements and old-logged forest

The ALP’s 2006 election promise was to protect ‘the last significant stands of old growth planned for logging’.
But environment groups say that most of what has recently been identified for protecton was either in existing protection zones, had already been logged or was degraded forest unwanted for logs or woodchips anyway.

Abbeygroup bulldozers and police drive democracy from Westerfield

[This article is the third in the Series on Westerfield. The others are:"LMA (was SEITA) Bulldozers trash bushland from Westerfield to the Pines" and "SEITA Bulldozers imminent on Westerfield Bushland Sth Frankston - Picket-line plans up to Victorian Elections" (was "SEITA Bulldozers threaten...".] People wanted to know who owned the Westerfield property. The government had said that it owned the property and the police had said last week that it was 99% likely that the government did, but that they could not be categorical. On Tuesday they would not even discuss the question. There is a lot of confusion when it comes to compulsory acquisition about who owns what. Two fantails came out of the trees and flew down towards the men and their machines in a dancing pattern, almost attacking the machines. The men standing by the machines ducked to avoid the tiny birds. Then the little birds returned to their trees and sat there, as if they had made their final statement.

Victorian road projects built at expense of community

Against repeated previous promises, the Victorian Government of John Brumby is trampling over community and local govenment opposition to turn Melbourne into a junior version of Los Angeles without a proper cost-benefit analysis.

Article by Kenneth Davidson, a co-editor of Dissent Magazine, originally published as "Projects built at expense of community" in the Melbourne Age of 15 Feb 10.

Our State government appears to be on a campaign to eradicate native wildlife from Victoria, especially kangaroos

Landholders in Victoria are being given permits to kill tens of thousands of protected kangaroos every year, even in good seasons and in areas not affected by drought. This is despite research showing that kangaroos do not compete with stock for pasture. Kangaroos are also being shot without proper assessment of population numbers, locally or regionally, putting them at risk of local and regional extinction. This is despite the some one million native animals killed on Black Saturday.
(photo source: www.business.vic.gov.au)

What part of democracy doesn't the Property Council of Australia understand? - belated response to Ms Cunich

The Development Assessment Committees (DACs) Bill will be represented in Parliament on 10 November. It is therefore a good time to publish a belated response to an article by Jennifer Cunich of the Australian Property Council, canning the community for standing up for their rights against these attempts to pass the undemocratic DACs laws against their property and freedom.

See also: Vic Planning Legislative Bill enslaves Victorians to Growth LobbyNew Vic Planning Legislation Bill "a blatant, naked grab for power

DACs 2: Intro to Highlights: 16-17 Sept reading of Planning Amendment 2 in Victorian Parliament

The Planning Amendment Bill 2 (DACs) was read yesterday in the lower house and today in the upper house (Victoria, Australia) but has not yet been debated and will come back on the 13th October. Victorians are urged to put pressure on Opposition MPs to not cave in on this and to OPPOSE it. Please start emailing them all and telling them what you think. And put October 13 in your diary to be in Parliament for the debate and voting. See alsoDACs 2: Highlights: Macedon Member Duncan makes bizarre statements about population growth in Victoria and DACs 2 Highlights: "The Bill is a very blunt instrument" (Mr Morris, Mornington, Victoria)

Biased Presentation of the Problems of Population Growth Without Questioning It in 'The Age'

Article in The Age(17/7/2009) 'Suburban sprawl costs billions more', presents the problems of population growth as creating urban sprawl that will cost $40 billion. It then highlights as a "solution", the idea that the density of the existing suburbs should be increased so Victoria can 'save itself' $40 billion. At no point is current population policy questioned or examined. It is simply accepted that population growth will be unstoppable. The article purpose appears to justify the need for increasing density as a "cheaper" solution for Melbourne's growth crisis, without of course calculating the cost, both direct economic cost and the loss of amenity for people already living in Melbourne.

An independent analysis of The New Residential Zones for Victoria

Open slather, free range for development, Substantial Change. Money for jam for all developers. Anything goes. Let it rip!! You bewdy!! Towers, Towers, Towers etc ... In these three Zone proposals, each homeowner is being done over by the politicians. There is no Government mandate for this style of change. We employ the politicians. We are their masters not the other way round. Kick butt!! REMEMBER these changes will affect all residential areas across Victoria, including the smallest country towns.(Article by A.H. Editorial by Sheila N.)

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