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Divide and Conquer: Developers set to carve up Mornington Peninsular via Tootgarook Swamp

Check out the advertising: “Divide and Conquer Unsurpassed Development Opportunity.” Tootgarook Swamp on the Mornington Peninsula is under widespread threat from developers. They need your help. 92 Elizabeth Ave, Caple Sound, is for sale for 'environmentally friendly' residential development (a contradiction in terms). Environmentalists suggest that this might be the least developable block on the entire Mornington Peninsula, due to flooding risks alone. Meanwhile, the site's biodiversity values are incredible and that’s without even considering the site's implemented VCAT order for illegal clearance, P2706/2016. The site's values and species need your help to step forward and make a stand for biodiversity on the Southern Peninsula. The site serves as critical habitat for one federally listed wetland bird, and is also utilised by many migratory and state listed species. Please write to your Councillor, you State and Federal Members requesting that this site be acquired by purchase and protected forever. Please share this message with those who care about Tootgarook Swamp and the Peninsulas biodiversity.

Video Happiness in the Rat Race cartoons our overpopulated predicament

What does happiness mean to you? We tend to search for it in material things, substances, and career achievements, but often lose sight of what really matters to us in the process. London-based artist and animator Steve Cutts is taking a long hard look at this ‘rat race’ to which we’ve all found ourselves tied, and is examining our modern sources of joy in a satirical new short film that depicts us as the ‘rats’ we’ve become in the eyes of the system. It’s titled after that mysterious high we’re always chasing; “Happiness.” Take 4 minutes out of your busy day and watch the clip for yourself below, and tell us in the comments if you think Cutts hit the nail on the head.

Video: Bashar Al-Jaafari responds to ISIS having burnt alive captured Syrian fighter pilot

Syria's permanent representative to the UN, Dr. Bashar Jaafari (pictured left) speaks on the burning alive of the Syrian pilot Syrian Air Force pilot Azzam Eid (pictured right) by ISIS.

In reality, the United States' supposed war against ISIS is a sham and only a cover for its own efforts to overthrow the popular, democratically elected Syrian government using its local proxies, including ISIS.

Residents excluded from planning privatisation - Article by Prof Michael Buxton

"Labor is developing what is meant to be the most fundamental restructure of the Victorian planning system since the 1996 introduction of the Victoria Planning Provisions, the new Smart Planning program. [...] A simpler, more efficient and certain planning scheme is long overdue, but Smart Planning is not the way to provide it. This is a $25 million program managed through the Smart Planning program Rules team. If the system is simply to implement five minor changes, along with online access, then the program is a massive waste of money.

Residents excluded from planning privatisation - Article by Prof Michael Buxton

"Labor is developing what is meant to be the most fundamental restructure of the Victorian planning system since the 1996 introduction of the Victoria Planning Provisions, the new Smart Planning program. [...] A simpler, more efficient and certain planning scheme is long overdue, but Smart Planning is not the way to provide it. This is a $25 million program managed through the Smart Planning program Rules team. If the system is simply to implement five minor changes, along with online access, then the program is a massive waste of money.

Christine's Thoughts on ‘Smart Planning’ and the Victorian Planning Provisions Discussion Paper

This is dismantling planning schemes, removing impediments to what developers want, and allowing development on developers’ terms. What is happening under “Smart Planning” has no relationship to either of those words. Read it and weep – or get angry, and loud. This is essentially about making a single planning scheme for Victoria, controlled by the State government (and whoever may have its ear). You are having YOUR planning scheme stolen from you.

Malvern East Group reproves Vic Gov on so-called 'reform' of planning

"The MEG Committee expresses its anger at the entire lack of contact between DELWP and residents’ groups such as ours. DELWP’s actions re the Discussion Paper seek to exclude residents from being informed of the proposed changes and from taking part in the decision-making process about the area in which we live." ..."VicSmart must not be broadened. It is quite clear that there is enough of the ‘fast tracking’ for so-called ‘simple’ planning applications. The Discussion Paper indicates that “the sky’s the limit.” When VicSmart was introduced the then Opposition (now the Government) vigorously opposed it saying that it really meant “the sky’s the limit” with regard to fast-tracking Planning Applications and this was to be deplored. The same Party (now in Government) has put aside such quibbles and enthusiastically adopted fast-tracking of applications and the Discussion Paper is mere tokenism."

Ashburton Residents reprove Vic Gov Planning 'Reform' dictatorship

We need stronger not weaker planning controls at the level of local government and more community involvement. We need to empower local government and communities by ensuring that projects other than minor modifications to existing properties are scrutinized by council in consultation with the community. It might be more time consuming and cumbersome however it will be well worth the additional effort if we can avoid a planning disaster while at the same time achieving better planning outcomes. To achieve a good result, we need to give Councils the right to veto or modify a proposed development application and in the case of a disputed application that cannot be resolved at the level of local government, I would like to recommend that we replace VCAT by appointing a democratically elected community jury with the power to veto or modify a project. Overpopulation, planning and overdevelopment and building safe, attractive and cohesive communities will be the over-riding themes in the upcoming election campaign. Any further action in relation to the proposed changes should be deferred until we elect a new government in 2018 to allow the people to decide whether or not they support further deregulation and privatisation of the planning process and the removal of appeal rights. (A. Walker, Ashburton Residents Action Group)

Brilliant Green Wedges letter from Rosalie Counsell to Casey Planning Manager

"While Melbourne’s green wedges are generally considered to be a legacy of the 1972 – 1981 Rupert (Dick) Hamer State Government, they were established as part of the 1968 – 1971 Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works planning process. They were protected by what was then called the Landscape Interest A zone, with a minimum lot size of twenty acres (eight hectares). For some thirty years, this zoning worked admirably. Then Melbourne started to experience growth pressure and the speculators moved in with their propensity to buy influence. The visionary Melbourne 2030 blue print for Melbourne and its rural fringe came under siege and has been slowly but relentlessly eroded by both sides of Government ever since." [...] "It is the role of councils and State Governments to provide sound, thoroughly researched, enforceable planning policies that support the big picture for the long-term future. It is absolutely critical to halt this tsunami of South Eastern suburban sprawl with its lack of supporting infrastructure, and to provide certainty to all stakeholders. Without such resolve, speculation will run rampant and uncontrolled ad hoc development will be the order of the day. Traffic to and from the area is already appalling well beyond the normally accepted peak hours. What are you thinking, putting exponentially more cars on these road networks that are not designed to take them? Casey is heading down a vortex of engineered chaos."

Submission to Victorian Planning Provisions Discussion Paper - Sustainable Population Australia

[Address for submissions. ]The discussion paper fails to acknowledge fundamental truths about our modern society and how we live. The built environment profoundly affects residents, visitors, and indeed other species every day. As such, as in other disciplines, it is incumbent upon government to exercise the “Precautionary Principle” in how it plans for Victoria’s future. A fundamental part of proper planning is to acknowledge the importance of local input and longstanding local knowledge of an area. From the discussion paper on “Reforming the Victoria Planning Provisions” residents have been excluded from the both the technical and advisory groups to the “Smart Planning” process. Long standing and hard fought for citizens’ rights, previously accepted and adopted into our Planning provisions have been swept away. What is proposed is government and developers operating as a combined growth machine pitted against the residents without residents even being given a seat at the table as a minority voice. Where has our democracy gone? [Candobetter.net editor: For a history of how this has come about in Victoria, check out our 'bad laws' section.]

The end of Daesh - Why isn't the west celebrating?

President Assad and President Putin met on 21st of November to celebrate the defeat of Daesh in Syria, but we hear little of this in the western media, which is distracting people with Hollywood scandals. In this brilliantly documented episode of The Debate, Iranian Press TV has conducted an interview with Janice Kortkamp, a journalist from Washington, and Jonathan Fryer, a London-based writer and lecturer, to discuss "the end of Daesh" terrorist group in Syria and Iraq.

Why is the US Media and Foreign Policy Establishment Targeting Russia?

The antagonism towards Russia by U.S. media and foreign policy elites goes far beyond allegations of Russian interference in the U.S. elections. Paul Jay of The Real News interviews
Larry Wilkerson, retired United States Army Colonel and former chief of staff to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell. Wilkerson was the 2009 recipient of the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence. This hour-long interview goes much further and wider than most on this issue. You won't agree with every idea expressed here, but you will be stimulated by many of them, because Wilkerson is intelligent, learned, and unfettered. I have not previously seen a debate cover so much history and geography. They look at the Middle East, Syria, of course, and at petro-politics and climate change. Russia's motives, attitudes. Bill Clinton's incursion into Georgia. Nazis in Ukraine and US encouragement of them. They look at the rise of China and the one belt road. At the reasons for conflict within Saudi Arabia. And they worry about the United States and MSN beating the war drums for Iran. At the end Wilkerson says what strategic advice he would give Trump, if he had the opportunity. Part of that advice is that America has too many enemies and how Trump might reduce the amount. And, finally, how the US, which is trillions of dollrs in debt, with about 20% of the productivity it had in its heyday, might go about partly sharing with and partly relinquising power to China.

Oz Intention to ratify ILO Forced Labour Protocol crucial step in combatting slavery

The Law Council of Australia has applauded the Australian Government’s confirmation that it intends to ratify the ILO Forced Labour Protocol as a vital development in combating forced labour, trafficking, and slavery-like practices.

Norfolk Island economy headed for disaster following Australian Government intervention, new report claims

An independent report on the economic situation on Norfolk Island following the Australian Government takeover of governance of the island last year, released today, warns the island’s economy is heading for disaster as a result of spiralling costs and inappropriate regulation. Problems include the widespread imposition of Commonwealth and NSW regulatory regimes; the planned introduction of Australia's Modern Award System; the failure of the Australian Government to take up the responsibilities previously held by the Norfolk Island Government, such as for the promotion of tourism; the loss of direct passenger airline services between New Zealand and Norfolk Island; restrictions placed on primary producers and agricultural pursuits; and the removal of the general revenue raising powers of the Norfolk Island Government.

AGM Vic Branch of Sustainable Population Australia Nov 25 Hawthorn Library

Public Seminar with two speakers: Jack Roach, immediate past president of Boroondara Residents Action Group and Adrian Whitehead. Adrian Whitehead will speak on "Population Perspectives, from global to local." Public Welcome. Free Parking near venue. Financial members may nominate for any committee positions. See details inside re how to nominate.

Declassifying JFK with James DiEugenio

Video: Jesse Ventura and Brigida Santos revisit the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Witness David Wallace reflects on the events from that day and shares rare photos from the crime scene. Expert JFK researcher James DiEugenio dissects newly-declassified documents. What does the US Government have to hide about the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy after 45 years? If Lee Harvey Oswald really killed the President, then what is the big deal in releasing unredacted documents? Obviously the government has plenty to hide and this gives us every reason to question the official story. The documents have been released with huge gaps in them due to whiting out and other forms of illegibility.

HR manager among those penalised almost $400,000 for "systematic" exploitation at restaurant

An example of the effect of the liberalisation of labor laws combined with massive increase in economic immigration in Australia. See more about how this came about in Australia. The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured almost $400,000 in penalties against a company and three individuals – including an HR manager – for systematically exploiting overseas workers at a Chinese restaurant in NSW and fabricating records to try to cover it up. The penalties have been imposed in the Federal Court after 85 employees at the New Shanghai Charlestown restaurant at Charlestown were underpaid a total of $583,688 over a 16-month period in 2013-2014. Justice Robert Bromwich has imposed a $54,672 penalty against the mastermind of the exploitation, restaurant owner Zhong Yuan “John” Chen, and penalised his company NSH North Pty Ltd a further $301,920. Justice Bromwich imposed a $18,496 penalty against restaurant manager Jin Xu for her involvement in the exploitation – and in addition, imposed a $21,760 penalty against the restaurant’s HR manager Ting “Sarah” Zhu, dismissing her argument that her culpability was greatly reduced because she had been following her boss’s orders.

Soviet Union of America - RT debate on growing media suppression in US

We live in increasingly 'interesting' times. US Journalists and government employees are afraid to criticise their government's outrageously authoritarian move against one media outlet, because they are afraid of being harassed themselves. According to the US Department of Justice, RT is an agent of a foreign, even hostile, power. All the while, the United States Department Of Justice refuses to explain why this is the case or even cite what laws RT may have broken. But something else is in play: critics warn RT is a test case for a wider campaign of media suppression. The UK is following suit, with parliamentarians attacking journalists who write against its illegal foreign wars, because they are afraid of being pursued one day for war crimes. Julian Assange has rightly described Australia as being governed by Washington, so we Australians had better look out and stand up and defend RT and anyone who writes a different point of view.

Kelvin Thomson on defending public land (Speech to PPLVic AGM 11 Nov 2017)

The driving force behind the Protectors of Public Lands, Julianne Bell, passed away on Friday January 27 this year. Julianne was an indefatigable and tireless campaigner for the protection of Melbourne’s public open spaces. She was most well-known as the defender of Royal Park against any and all who would seek to diminish it for their own purposes, and she told me that she was most proud of her role in stopping the East-West Link, a Freeway which would carve up Royal Park in an outrageous act of environmental vandalism. She was the driving force behind this organisation and used it to defend public open spaces far and wide from all manner of threats – the Carlton Gardens, the Catani Gardens, the Exhibition Gardens, the Rogers Memorial Reserve and many others too numerous to mention – no public open space was too far away or too small to merit her attention.

Julianne worked closely with me on the problems caused by Rapid Population growth for the world in general and for Melbourne in particular. She understood that it is people, it is us, who are responsible for environmental damage, and was prepared to cut through the vanity that prevents many of us from acknowledging this. She had worked in the Immigration Department, and told me a number of times about the propensity for migration agents to tell fibs on applications, and the trouble an understaffed Department had in verifying claims and uncovering rorts.

America's lawyer discusses media mergers historical and threatened

We are embedding this show because it is educational. Mike Papantonio invites lawyers on each week to discuss major public interest cases, most of which have international impact. In this episode, Mike Papantonio reminds us of how media once had many diverse owners and actually sought to inform us. He and Holland Cooke discuss the looming mega-merger between media giants AT&T and Time Warner, which even the pro-business President Donald Trump has warned could be dangerous. Mike then talks with Brigida Santos about how some states are using artificial intelligence against criminals during sentencing. Then Farron Cousins, Executive Editor of the Trial Lawyer magazine, tells Mike about how Grubhub, along with other app-based companies, argue in court that the people whom they hire are not employees. The show was first published on November 9, 2017 at https://www.rt.com/shows/americas-lawyer/

Finland's Frankenstein fox-fur industry rivals China's bile-bears for cruelty

Abusive breeding of arctic foxes by the fur industry in Finland. Finland's Frankenstein foxes - weighing five times their normal weight, unable to stand for long, with huge pelts that hang over their eyes and form rolls on their bodies, kept standing with their soft paws on wire floored cages that give them little room to move, fed pulped animal offal that they cannot bite. I had no idea that Norway held such disgusting and unbearable secrets, close to equaling the Chinese bears milked for bile.

Hungarian PM warns of Soros interference in EU to promote mass immigration

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban has apparently called on Hungarians to beware of the power of the Sith in his latest speech on migration crisis in Europe. He also declared Eastern and Central Europe the last ‘migrant-free zone.’ "We should never underestimate the power of the dark side," the prime minister said, referencing Star Wars as he referred to the plots of those behind the “migrant invasion,” adding that they “have no solid structure but extensive networks.” Article first published 23 October on RT with the title, ‘Never underestimate the power of the dark side’: Orban goes Star Wars on EU ‘migrant invasion.’

Senate scuttles sensible immigration motion - Article by Leith Onselen

"All sensible stuff [...]. No reference to irrelevant issues like race or culture. Just a sensible focus on Australia’s extreme immigration levels and their various deleterious impacts on ordinary Australians’ living standards. Sadly, while the speech reads like something that should have come from the Left, it instead came from One Nation’s Pauline Hanson. And because of this, it was blocked without debate by the Senate." (Article by Leith van Onselen)

Protectors of Public Lands, Victoria update on 2017 activities and forthcoming AGM

It has been a difficult year for PPL Vic following the death of our longstanding Secretary, founder and driving force, Julianne Bell at the end of January, 2017. Notwithstanding this huge loss, we have continued the good work of PPLVic. See inside for details.

Residents declare “Sydney is full”. Curb immigration now! Article by Leith Onselen

With NSW’s (read Sydney’s) population growing at a break-neck pace (see below chart), last month it was revealed that there was a revolt underway from within the NSW Liberal Party against the federal government’s mass immigration program and over-development across Sydney (watch video).

PPCC Speakers on threats to Port Phillip Bay and strategic LNG projects

On 30 October 2017, Port Phillip Bay Keeper, Mr Neil Blake and Mr Jay Gleeson, AGL Community Relations Manager, Strategic Projects, will be speakers at the Annual General Meeting of Port Phillip Conservation Council, Inc. Mr Neil Blake’s talk 'From the back blocks to the Bay' discusses likely threats to the Bay from population growth, urban consolidation and climate change. He will also give an update on his Bay Keeper citizen science initiatives promoting community stewardship of our waterways – including his project recording recent changes to beach profiles and erosion around the Bay. Mr Jay Gleeson's talk will involve a presentation on AGL’s assessment of options for shipping Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from interstate and overseas, receiving it at an import jetty and injecting it into the pipeline transportation system for supply to south-eastern Australia. After assessing sites around Australia, Crib Point in Westernport Bay has been identified as AGL’s preferred option. Mr. Gleeson will give an outline of AGL’S Import Jetty Project and implications for Westernport Bay and Crib Point, and will take questions from the audience. For background to the LNG project see: www.engageagl.com.au. Time: 7pm 30 October 2017 Venue: Longbeach Place - Chelsea Community Centre, 15 Chelsea Rd., Chelsea.

First Opinion Poll Held in War-torn Syria Showed General Feeling

There had been a general public opinion poll conducted by independent sociologists and political scientists from all around the world in war-torn Syria. The citizens of the state shared their views on the main events and situation now taking place in the country, their attitude towards other countries acting actively on the fate of the country and also called the main problems of the state.
Article first published at https://www.globalresearch.ca/first-opinion-poll-held-in-war-torn-syria-showed-general-feeling/5611409

What's wrong with Antifa? Chris Hedges interviews Mark Bray on Antifa book

Are Antifa just fascists fighting for turf with other fascists? Mark Bray, author of Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook discusses the movement's perception that it is countering the rise of the far-right and responds to Chris Hedges' critique of the violent tactics used by the activists. Chris Hedges suggests that Antifa's targets and strategies play into the hands of the corporate enemy. He also makes an odd mistake in suggesting that German Communists failed to counter Hitler as strongly as they might have because their leader had been jailed, but there is no history of the German Communist leader of the 1930s having been jailed at the time. (In fact Stalin advised the German Communists not to form a united front with the Social Democrats against the Nazis and they stupidly followed that advice.) Chris Hedges thinks Antifa is dehumanising fascists the way that fascists dehumanise their targets. (i.e. Antifa are actually fascists fighting for turf with other fascists.) Mark Bray thinks it is okay to shut presumed fascists up by making them too afraid to come out of their houses. The problem with this is, essentially, that just because an Antifa thinks someone is a 'fascist' does not mean that they are, especially when Antifa is shouting too hard to hear what someone may really be saying. Bray seems to be justifying the judgement and street-policing of people on the most superficial appraisal. Everyone is entitled to a defense, but not according to Antifa. [At the beginning of this program RT Correspondent Anya Parampil looks at the origins of Antifa and gets them terribly wrong. Just bear with it.] A critical point overlooked by Chris Hedges is that Antifa is funded by George Soros. Wonder why?

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