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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.

Video: SBS interview with Syrian President 1 July 2016

It was great to see that SBS Australia actually published an interview by Luke Waters of the Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, last night. Assad criticized the double standards of the west, by which the west openly attacks the Syrian government politically, but continues to deal with it behind the scenes. He included Australia in this criticism. He called for a more humanitarian and less costly solution to the refugee crisis through stopping support to the terrorists. SBS's presentation of the interview was, however, very poor. The interview was preceded and followed by extremely biased material and one cannot help but think of the influence of Saudi funding on the presentation of Middle Eastern affairs by western media.

Also published (1/78/16) on the Syrian Free Press

Lionfish invadiing the Mediteranean - linked to Suez widening, climate change

Rising sea temperatures in the Mediterranean are encouraging alien lionfish species to invade and colonise new territories with potentially serious ecological and socioeconomic impacts.

Evidence collated from divers and fishermen reveals that in the space of a year, the venomous predators have colonised Cyprus – and these may be at the vanguard of a pan-Atlantic Ocean invasion following the widening and deepening of the Suez Canal.

Video: Prior to Brexit victory, Paul Craig Roberts puts the compelling case for Britain to leave the European Union

On 23 June, just prior to the vote on whether Britain should leave the European Union (referred to as 'Brexit'), Paul Craig Roberts (pictured right) put the case for Brexit in a 30 minute interview with Richie Allen (pictured left).

Turnbull opens new student migration scam floodgate - by Leith van Onselen

A new front has opened in the student-migration scam, whereby the Turnbull Government has opened the door to international primary school students and their guardians to access Australian schools and purchase Australian property ahead of achieving permanent residency. From SBS News:

Senate candidates for Victoria - Easy lookup

Do you remember coming to previous elections and going to vote above the line, then suddenly realising that you hadn't thought to find out about every senate candidate? So, there you were, obliged to fill out every box, trying to guess from the names the least evil of the fifty or seventy candidates you had never heard of. This election there has been a profound and potentially very empowering change. We will have the opportunity to vote for six only or more senate candidates. So we will be able to vote for the people and parties we really want this time and not vote at all for the ones we don't want or do not know. The article below is republished from the Australian Electoral Commission website. It gives the names of the candidates and links to their websites where known.

Population growth, polls and politics by Katharine Betts

For the past ten years Australians have been subjected to an exceptionally high level of population growth and now they are losing patience. (Article first published on June 13, 2016 at the Australian Population Research Institute. Republished here for the second time owing to recent data loss from site.)

The graph shows the steep increase in numbers since 2006 (data from here). If this continues the population will grow from 24 million today to around 41 million in 2061 (see the 2013 ABS projection series 29 and 41).

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.

Brexit debate shows the left must come to the table on population issue

Right now the UK is politically divided on whether or not to leave the European Union and the mood in many quarters is ugly. It seems that there is a very strong chance that the forthcoming Brexit referendum could swing in favour of the Leave vote, something that seemed unimaginable a few years ago. The main reason for most people wanting to leave is because they are concerned with the UK’s rapid rate of population growth. This article is by Michael Bayliss (President of Sustainable Population Australia Victoria and Tasmania Branch) and Mark Allen (Population, Permaculture and Planning)

Demand justice for cruelly treated kangaroos

A terrible thing recently happened at the East Pastoria Wildlife Shelter. Many kangaroos were cruelly killed during a cull authorised by Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning (DELWP). Animals killed included those raised by Chris and Marcus (Shelter Owners) over 15 years and even animals rescued and rehabilitated from the Lancefield DELWP out of control burn. People who have been shocked by these events have have instigated a petition to pressure DELWP to lay cruelty charges. Details of the events are shown in the petition. Please consider sharing this within your network.

100s of trees in Whitehorse face the axe despite agreement - please help

This bad news is from Whitehorse where some areas are famous for their bush areas and trees and now the government plans destroying a lot of it and people are angry - do add your voice in support. We are supposed to grow more trees not destroy them like vandals.

Alex Jones and Roger Stone: 5 minute video - How Clinton will be stomped by Trump

Previously published (7/6/16) on Russia Insider and as Why The Clinton Campaign is Doomed – Roger Stone Tells All (4/6/16) on InfoWars

Roger Stone

From Russia Insider: Believe it or not, but these guys happen to be the smartest people in American politics right now, and they have predicted the course of the elections better than anybody so far.

They think Hillary is going to tank and get completely stomped by Trump. Worth a listen. They've been right so far.


Alex Jones

Policies that should be put to voters at the Australian Federal elections of 2 July

In the Australian Federal elections to be held on 2 July 2016, voters who support each of the policies listed below, are entitled to know whether each candidate asking for his/her vote will, if elected, try to implement that policy. We intend to ask each candidate, including the sitting member, his/her intentions should he/she be successful. Each response, or lack of response, will be posted here, to candobetter.net. Please feel encouraged to express your views about these proposals as comments or, when we make that feature available, to vote on them.

There are 56 policies in all. They are divided into the sections: Effective government participation in the economy, Sustainability, Basic needs: Full employment in secure and fulfilling occupations, Education, Basic needs: other, Democracy, Transparency and Accountability, ForeignPolicy: Syria, Foreign policy - Palestine/Israel, Foreign policy - Other Middle East, Foreign policy: Ukraine and Russia and Human rights: Protection of human rights, civil liberties, freedom of speech and proper legal conduct by the authorities.

An earlier version of this article was published here on 30/4/16. Comments were posted here, here and here.

Video debate: Greek debt bailout by IMF? or is the IMF forcing Greece to allow foreign corporations to plunder its wealth?

Previously published as Debate: Greece debt deal (26/5/16) on PressTV.

In this 23 minute debate with Jack Rasmus (pictured right), Paul Craig Roberts (pictured left), former Assistant Secretary of the United States' Treasury, shows that the so-called IMF bailout of Greece's debt to the IMF is not a bailout at all. A bailout is supposed to reduce the debt to a level where the loan can be paid off. The conditions attached to the bailout will force the Greeks to sell off to foreign corporations much of Greece's publicly owned wealth-generating assets.

Keeping the Greater Sydney Commission honest about population and density

The following article publishes an email sent by Tony Recsei, President of Save our Suburbs NSW, to SOS members and friends. Dated Thursday, 26 May 2016, it is a report on his attendance at a luncheon organised by the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC) in Paramatta. The GSC is a growth lobby tool. Here Recsei points out that the 30 minute city does not exist as planners describe it and suggests that the Commission should investigate low density cities where the cost of housing is also low and find out what they are doing right, instead of continuing to visit high density cities. See the SOS NSW blogspot here.

Latin America: No light at the end of the tunnel

Previously published 20/5/16 on PravdaReport.


Dilma Roussef, President of Brazil

A serious political crisis has paralyzed Brazil. Argentina has changed its president. Venezuela is standing on the brink of violent clashes and a military coup. In Peru, Alberto Fujimori's heiress is coming to power. Why do progressive left-wing parties lose ground in Latin America rapidly?

Of course, Nicolas Maduro's remarks about the external factor - the support of the opposition for the United States - are partially true. No external factor can shake up an economically stable and prosperous country. You may say, dear reader, that there is no such country in the world at the moment, as we all still feel the effects of the global financial crisis. This is true, too. However, there are countries in Latin America that have been developing steadily, even if they change governments. It goes about such countries as Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Uruguay. What is the matter then? The matter is about the very basis of everything - economy.

Includes: Left-wing forces lost their wings for being thoughtless, Transnational corporations modify Latin America

Video Interview Marine LePen EU collapse & French industrial law revolts

This video is of an interview by RT with Marine Le Pen, leader of the French Front National, on the problems of the European Union for itself and for Europe. As usual she goes directly to the point, displaying her characteristic piercing wit. We have included much of RT's article below the video, in the absence of a transcript. The original article and video were published here: https://www.rt.com/news/343715-eu-collapsing-france-lepen/

Australian Sport Delegation concludes visit to Lattakia, Syria

The following article was previously published on the English language edition of the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on 19 May. See also other republished SANA articles: In solidarity with Syria, Australian boxing team conducts exercises for a set of matches in Fayha'a Sports City (14/5/16) and Australian boxing team conducts friendly matches with Syrian national team (14/15/16).

Lattakia, SANA – The Australian sport delegation, that is on a visit to Syria to express solidarity with its people against terrorism, concluded its visit to the coastal Lattakia province on Thursday.

During the three days they spent in Lattakia, the delegation members, who include sport and media figures and activists, held meetings with political and sport figures and paid visits to the mausoleum of Late President Hafez al-Assad and the ancient city of Ugarit.

Residents seek reclaim crownland church wants to sell as appartments

See inside for a fascinating video account of the history of the law on church land grants in Victoria. A North West Melbourne group is asking for support in their battle to reclaim land for a public park land given by the crown to a Baptist church which no longer wants if for a church. The land now has a value of about $15m and the Baptist organisation wants to sell it off for a dense appartment block. The residents feel that if there is no longer need for a church, the land should revert back to the Crown and citizens and the law seems to clearly support this (see the video). People in North Melbourne are desperately short of open space and need a public park. The church never paid for the land and broke the law many times since the 19th century grant in changing its use.

Why We Need To Talk About Population: Questions and Answers - by Mark Allen

People often ask me why I campaign on population and the reason that I give is that it is an issue that is often overlooked by the environment movement and by the wider world at large. I feel that by ignoring this topic, so much of the other great work done by environmentalists and campaigners is in danger of being severely compromised. Rapid population growth is a worldwide issue and it is also an issue here in Australia. One reason for this is because Australia has one of the highest migration rates in the ‘developed’ world. Due to the way our infrastructure is distributed this is a major reason why an average of 1760 people are added to the population of Melbourne every week and 1600 are added to Sydney. (More by Mark Allen at http://candobetter.net/taxonomy/term/7484)

Russian-Chinese strategic water pipeline: A counter to color revolutions and water wars? Article by Andrew Korybko

The Russian-Chinese Strategic Partnership is about to take on an ecological angle with Moscow's suggestion of piping Altai mountain river water to the drought-stricken deserts of Xinjiang. Aside from obviously being used to unburden the Chinese from dealing with the catastrophic effects of climate change, the proposed fresh water pipeline will also have a premier strategic purpose as well. The research begins by examining the strategic vision at play with this initiative and then explaining how it relates to Color Revolutions. Finally, the insight that's revealed from investigating the prior two topics will be linked to the forthcoming global struggle for reliable freshwater supplies in forecasting how the US will try to disrupt Russian-Chinese water cooperation in the coming decades.

Correspondence with Q&A on Syria and balanced reporting

For the record, the below is a partial record of correspondence between Susan Dirgham, National Coordinator of 'Australians for Reconciliation in Syria', and Q&A, the Australian television program. Like most Australian media outlets, the ABC almost invariably presents Syria in a squewed, ahistoric manner that supports the continued and disastrous interference by the US, NATO and its allies in the region, maintaining war.

Turnbull’s 30 minute cities plan is a joke without lower immigration, says Sustainable Australia

Sustainable Australia says the Turnbull Government has no chance of making good on the Prime Minister’s announcement that he wants to build so called “30 minute cities”, where everything people need is within a 30 minute commute. Sustainable Australia’s Senate candidate in NSW, William Bourke, says that the Prime Minister’s vision of a congestion free future is delusional, while immigration continues to run at record levels.

Moreland Greens Set to Vandalise Public Parkland on Rogers Memorial Reserve

Protectors of Public Lands say that notice has been received that the “Greens” Mayor Samantha Ratnam will, tomorrow at 4:30 pm, preside over a “Sod-Turning Ceremony” to mark the start of construction of a monster Moreland Council-funded community/medical centre on Rogers Memorial Reserve in Pascoe Vale. If you can come to the "sod turning ceremony" we will be having a silent vigil of protest. Bring a sign. Come to the Rogers Memorial Reserve on Prospect Street (off Cumberland Road) in the parking area near the Pascoe Vale Swimming Pool. Melways Page 17 A8.

Video debate - United States intervention in Yemen

See also: Ansarullah Furious at US Military Build-up in Yemen (8/5/16) | FARS News Agency

American boots on the ground. We hear this all too often throughout the world and now the war ravaged country of Yemen is the latest victim of US military troops. But why Yemen and why now and what are these troops trying to accomplish in a country that is facing a brutal war against it by Saudi Arabia, a war that Washington has given the green light to.

Former U.S. Army Psychological Warfare Officer, Scott Bennett (San Francisco) and Security Studies Program, MIT debates Jim Walsh (North Carolina) in a 23:30 minute video embedded from the PressTV YouTube Channel.

BBC alleged to have fabricated Syria atrocities - article by Robert Stuart

Newly-discovered images of alleged BBC "napalm victim": This is the latest report in Robert Stuart's extraordinary investigation into BBC war propaganda. In June 2014 a Netherlands resident contacted me, expressing anxiety about being recognised in a frame from 'Saving Syria's Children' which I had posted on Facebook. Although the woman was not among the group of alleged napalm/thermite victims in the frame in question, I subsequently recognised her in a You Tube video shot at Atareb Hospital, Aleppo on 26 August 2013, apparently in the guise of a victim of the same alleged events portrayed in Ian Pannell and Darren Conway's BBC reports.

'Historic documentary' about Palestine/Israel conflict fails to mention Israel's nuclear arsenal and its other threats to world peace

The occupation of the American mind (4/5/16) is a documentary on shown on the Russian live video streaming channel RT - On air. This documentary is evidently produced by someone other than RT. Due to 'copyright restrictions', this show cannot be found and watched like other RT shows and documentaries. It can only be watched live at times scheduled by RT – 3:29pm, 1:30pm, and 10:28pm GMT on 4 May 2016 and at 3:29pm and 10:29pm on 5 May 2016.

Meet the Pro-Syria Palestinians - Extract from article by Jonathan Azaziah

[...]The evidence presented here is only the tip of the iceberg. No doubt that some Palestinians, like some traitorous Iraqis, Syrians and Lebanese, joined the destabilization scheme, but when we get down to the nitty gritty, like most Syrians, most of Syria’s Palestinian citizens back the Syrian Arab Republic, the only Arab nation that has given them a home, supported their righteous cause and treated them as equals. It is shameful beyond shameful that these truths and more were not only ignored but deceptively covered up by “Palestine Solidarity Movement” activists to push a cookie-cutter propaganda line that meshed with the increasingly toothless nature of “solidarity” speak and praxis, not to mention the worldview of their Jewish and Khaleeji “colleagues”. [...] This publication is an extract only from the original article by Jonahtan Azaziah, published 18 April, 2016 at "Meet The Pro-Syria Palestinians That Electronic “Intifada” Will Never Tell You About."

This article also published (4/5/16) on the Free Syrian Press. See also: The shameful traitors of Hamas show once again to be a bullhorn on the payroll of Erdogan-Saudis (2/5/16) | Syrian Free Press, Syrian Army, Palestinian resistance forces launch operations to recapture al-Yarmouk camp (17/4/16) | Syrian Free Press - previously published by the FARS News Agency.

Policies that should be put to you at the Australian Federal elections of 2 July

An updated version of this article has been published here on 5 June 2016.

In the Australian Federal elections to be held on 2 July 2015, voters, who support each of the policies listed below, are entitled to know whether each candidate asking for his/her vote will, if elected, support or oppose that policy. We intend to ask each candidate, including the sitting member, his/her intentions should he/she be successful. Each response, or lack of response, will be posted here, to candobetter.net.

City building height limit; the property council; banks and foreign buyers; more on wall collapse

Here is an update on current overdevelopment trends in Melbourne, by Mary Drost, of Planning Backlash, with references to height and density, the Property Council of Australia, safety and a new activist group, Victorian Building Action Group.

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