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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.

SNOWDEN - Official Trailer

Academy Award© - winning director Oliver Stone, who brought Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July, Wall Street and JFK to the big screen, tackles the most important and fascinating true story of the 21st century. Snowden, the politically-charged, pulse-pounding thriller starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene.

Seven news misreports police interview of alleged Port Arthur mass murderer

Thursday 28 April 2016 is the 20th anniversary of the Port Arthur massacre. On 28 April 1996, 35 people were killed and 23 others were injured by a single gunman. Later that day, Martin Bryant, a 26 year old man was arrested at the Seascape cottage, some distance away from the site of the massacre, and charged with the murders. He was never tried before a jury for the crime. Martin Bryant initially pleaded not guilty. Allegedly, six weeks after he was arrested and interrogated intensively, isolated from friends and family, he confessed to the crime. As shown in the article Was Martin Bryant the Port Arthur killer? (3/4/2010), this 'confession' flew in the face of overwhelming forensic evidence and eyewitness testimony which pointed to his innocence.

As the 20th anniversary of the massacre approaches, the same 'news' media, that fed us the 'incubator babies' story of 1990, Iraqi WMDs, the Gulf of Tonkin incident, the Warren Commission cover-up of the JFK assassination, claims that the Syrian government had been using chemical weapons against its own people, etc., etc., is trying desperately prevent the broader Australian public from critically examining the Port Arthur Massacre.

More misreporting of the Port Arthur massacre: Port Arthur changed how we respond to crises | SMH, Port Arthur survivors remember – and say gun laws must never change (28/4/16) | The Guardian, ...

See also: 15 Facts About The Port Arthur Massacre You NEED To Know (16/2/08) | Prison Planet.

Syrian Election Results - Article from Ken Stone in Syria

Tuesday's Syrian election was a vote of confidence by the Syrian people in their government. 5,085,444 voters cast their ballots out of a possible 8,834,994 eligible voters. The overall participation rate of 58% (virtually identical to Canada's last federal election) exceeded the government's expectations in most places but was low in others. For example, it was over 80% in Homs but only 52% in Tartous. What might explain the uneven results is the history of the war. People who suffered the most from the war, for example in Homs, were probably more grateful for their liberation and more motivated to exercise their political rights than people in Tartous who saw no fighting at all (though they lost thousands upon thousands of sons and grandsons in the war).

Syrian Elections 2016: US, NATO Criminals, Liars & Hypocrites’ Failed Attempt to Deny the Will of the Syrian People - by Vanessa Beeley

First published on 21st Century Wire.

“We declare our right on this earth…to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary.” ~ Malcolm X

Yesterday Parliamentary elections were held in Syria. 7000 polling booths were opened across the country. 11, 341 candidates were proposed from across Syria with 250 to be elected to Parliament, including a number of female candidates.

Syrian voters repudiate export of western 'democracy' - again ignored by 'news' media

Previously published on the Syrian Free Press. Story includes embedded video (10:00 min). See also: Syria's Press conference the United Nations doesn't want you to see (20/6/14) | canDoBetter, Syria Elections 2016: US-NATO's Failed Attempt to Deny the Will of the Syrian People (14/4/16) by Vanessa Beeley | Global Research, Polling Stations Closed in All of Syria's Provinces – Elections Committee (14/4/16) | Sputnik News.

The voting takes place in areas under the government’s control. More than 7,000 polling stations have been set up. More than 3,500 candidates are competing for 250 seats. President Bashar al-Assad speaks of high voter turnout and says the candidates cover all sectors of the syrian society. Speaking after voting in Damascus, Assad noted that terrorism has been able to destroy much of Syria’s infrastructure, but not its social structure and the national identity. Parliamentary elections are held in Syria every four years. The last vote was held in May 20-12, four months after constitutional reforms were approved by President Assad.

Video & notes: The truth about kangaroos in the A.C.T. by Frankie Seymour

This paper is about the ACT government’s behaviour in relation to killing kangaroos, not just its treatment of the kangaroos themselves, but the way it has recently been trampling the rights of its own citizens in its zeal to kill kangaroos. This talk was one of three given on 5 April 2016 in Canberra in an event held by the Animal Justice Party, called, "Policy basis for kangaroo treatment in the A.C.T."

Dutch Referendum: European Union's anti-Russia foreign policy backfires


The significance of yesterday's event in The
Netherlands was that this time the people
spoke, not their elected or appointed officials.

By Gilbert Doctorow. Previously published (7/4/16) on Russia Insider. Includes embedded RT CrossTalkvideo CrossTalk: Ukraine's Destinies

On this overcast Thursday morning in Brussels, the Capital of Europe, rays of bright sunshine are breaking through from the East as the latest results of vote counting in neighboring Netherlands suggest that yesterday's referendum on the EU's Association Agreement with Ukraine passed the 30% quorum requirement of all eligible voters, while those who cast their ballots came out nearly two to one against the Ukraine deal.

Virginia Governor plans to execute Ivan Teleguz on 13 April for a crime he COULD NOT have committed

Previously published (30/3/16) by Paul Craig Roberts as The Case of Ivan Teleguz. Includes embedded 1:47 minute YouTube Video. Please visit ivansprayerforjustice.org.

UPDATE: Faced with the Governor of Virginia's apparent indifference to the execution of apparently an innocent person, the federal 4th Appeals Court has issued an order of stay of execution until 13 April.

Hapless Americans have little idea how broken the criminal justice system is in America. "Freedom and Democracy" America not only has the largest percentage of its population incarcerated than any other country, America also has the largest absolute number. American has more of its citizens in prison than does China, allegedly an authoritarian one party state with four times the American population!!!

Bahrainis protest ahead of Formula One race

Previously published (1/4/16) with video on PressTV.

Bahraini people have held an anti-regime demonstration in the Persian Gulf kingdom ahead of the upcoming Formula One Grand Prix. The demonstrators carried anti-Formula One banners reading, "Racing on Persecution" and chanted slogans against the race during their march in the village of Diraz, west of the capital, Manama, after Friday prayers.The second round of the Formula 1 season is scheduled to take place in Bahrain this weekend.

Public event: Policy basis for Kangaroo treatment in the ACT - Animal Justice Party

Recent mainstream media articles raise serious questions as to the policy base behind the ACT government policy to kill Kangaroos. Join us and hear about the research base purportedly in support of killing Kangaroos in the ACT. 6.00-7.30pm, Tuesday April 5th 2016, Urambi Village Community Hall, Gateway B, Crozier Circuit Kambah. Speakers: Sheila Newman, Marcus Fillinger, Frankie Seymour.

Australia’s disgrace: the exploitation of foreign workers - Article by Leith van Onselen

The Senate Education and Employment References Committee has released a scathing report entitled A National Disgrace: The Exploitation of Temporary Work Visa Holders, which documents the abuses of Australia’s temporary visa system for
foreign workers. Article republished with author's permission from http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2016/03/australias-disgrace-the-exploitation-of-temp-workers/

Why the West wanted to destroy Yugoslavia - Article by Ken Stone

Author Ken Stone is an executive member at Syria Solidarity Movement and his website is www.hamiltoncoalitiontostopthewar.ca

If you have lost faith in western explanations of what is going on in Syria, maybe you have begun to question what you believed about the break-up of Yugoslavia which began in the 1990s and was accomplished with NATO's involvement in 1999. NATO waged war against the Serbian and other governments opposed to Yugoslavia's division into several states - its 'balkanisation'. The way these conflicts were reported in the west was terribly confusing. In the first part of this article, Ken stone suggests why outside forces were so keen to disorganise post-Tito Yugoslavia. In the second part, 'Victors' justice', he criticises the way the the victors rewrote history as they dominated the international justice system and notes how they got away with dismembering Yugoslavia.

Kerry's Plan at Balkanising Syria

Embedded video, by the author Maram Susli, also known as the "Syrian Girl", now included.
See also Assembly of Syrian Tribes and Clans in Hasaka reject so-called “federal region in Northern Syria”, previously published (19/3/16) on SANA. This article was previously published on New Eastern Outlook. Maram Susli, is an activist-journalist and social commentator covering Syria and the wider topic of geopolitics. especially for the online magazine "New Eastern Outlook."

Last month, US secretary of State John Kerry called for Syria to be partitioned saying it was "Plan B" if negotiations fail. But in reality this was always plan A. Plans to balkanize Syria, Iraq and other Middle Eastern states were laid out by former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in a 2006 trip to Tel Aviv. It was part of the so called "Project For a New Middle East". This was a carbon copy of the Odid Yinon plan drawn up by Israel in 1982. The plan outlined the way in which Middle Eastern countries could be balkanized along sectarian lines. This would result in the creation of several weak landlocked micro-states that would be in perpetual war with each other and never united enough to resist Israeli expansionism.

"Controlled Chaos" as an Instrument of Geopolitical Warfare and "Color Revolutions"

by Dr. Vladimir Prav. First published (23/3/16) on South Front. Also published (24/3/16) on Global Research

Nowadays, a variety of means are being used in order to implement and extend the “controlled chaos” in the national economies and societies in the geopolitical struggle. The actor, who is using the tool, is maintaining the “controlled chaos” within the opposing country.

Steven Mann, the US foreign policy expert, who took part in the developing of many of the current “controlled chaos” hotspots in various parts of the world, speaks openly of the need to use “increased level strongly-worded criticism”, and causing “controlled chaos” to secure and promote the US national interests.

Video & transcript: Syrian UN rep refutes ABC's Tony Jones on Syria war, denounces Western meddling

ABC Lateline transcript and video of Wed 16 Mar originally published here. Video and transcript with embedded YouTube video has also been published here on the Syrian Free Press on 22 March 2016.

Dr Bashar al-Jaafari is the Syrian UN ambassador. In this interview he refutes the ABC-US-NATO line that Tony Jones runs on Syria. Among other things, he says, "Number one, we are not regime. In Syria, there is no regime. There is a government. We are the legitimate government." Bashar al-Jaafari was present when independent international witnesses delivered their (positive) reports on the conduct of the Syrian elections of June 2014 (video included).

Considering Noam Chomsky's take on Syria - article by Susan Dirgham

It has been an enigma for me and others that Noam Chomsky seems to be blind to the covert war against Syria. One would normally assume that any Chomsky follower could see the US (and allies) hand behind the 'Arab Spring'. Chomsky had described the basic blue print. After investigating, for me, the only possible explanation for Chomsky not joining the dots in regard to Syria relates to his close friendship with Robert Fisk: Is Chomsky deferring to Fisk on matters related to Syria? [Update: The reference to John McCarthy was corrected to John McCain on March 26, 2016. Candobetter.net Editor.]

From RT's "In the Now": War in Syria can only end if President Bashar al-Assad is REMOVED?!

The following is some of the transcript from the latest episode of 20 March of RT's In The Now entitled "Trump Card". In the first part program host Host Annissa Naouai interviews Doctor Theodore Karasik a senior advisor of Gulf State Anaytics to discuss how the Syrian conlict may develop now that Russia has decided to withdraw most of its forces from Syria.

Much of the interview consists of a long ostensible explanation by Dr. Karasik of Saudi Arabia's actions in the conflict. The transcript of the end of the interview concludes in the paragraphs immediately below. Below, at the end of the article, is a critical response to that interview posted to that In the Now page.

Assembly of Syrian Tribes and Clans in Hasaka reject so-called “federal region in Northern Syria”

Previously published (19/3/16) on the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA)
See also;Kurdish “Federalization” Reminiscent Of Kerry’s Plan B, Brzezinski, NATO Plan A (17/9/16) | Global Research by Brandon Turbeville, also published (18/3/16) on Activist Post.

Damascus, SANA – The Assembly of Syrian Tribes and Clans in Hasaka province stressed its firm rejection of the declaration of the so-called “federal region in northern Syria,” adding that such an attempt to undermine Syria’s sovereignty is doomed to failure.

Brisbane ABC 'Drive' hosts debate on congestion with Lord Mayoral candidates

The debate can be heard here until next Thursday 24/3/16 but apparently cannot be downloaded. - Ed

Tonight I attended a debate between Brisbane Lord Mayoral candidates: Graham Quirk (incumbent, LNP), Ben Pennings (Greens) and Rod Harding (Labor). The debate was held on 17 March 2016 in the ABC South Bank building, hosted, ironically, during 5-6pm "Drive," by Emma Griffiths. Questions from staff and guests were almost entirely about congestion due to population growth. An air of farce built up as the candidates' delivery was interrupted by frequent traffic bulletins describing appalling road congestion and accidents from seemingly every major artery in Brisbane.

Don's party 2016 and the culture of opportunism - article by Sally Pepper

It was a hot night and twelve of us approached an impressive spread of endangered sea-creatures at a large table under cover outside. It was Don's birthday party. We had met him a few months ago at the local squash courts, and we only recognised four of the other guests, also squash players. I looked around me carefully. Would we all get on and have a laugh, reach furious agreement on something important, or would my friend and I be silenced in the face of others’ opinions in our effort not to make waves? Worse, would my partner open his big mouth? Unlike the 'old days' when it was so exciting to meet new people, on this particular evening I was plagued with doubt because of the strong political divides that are appearing in Australian society.

Neurologically poisonous organisms take over Murray Darling river system

Entirely predictably, the Murray Darling river system is toxic with effluent again, host to masses of poisonous cyanobacteria. As the Weekly Times reports, "WATER will be switched off to hundreds of farmers and town residents in the Mallee this week as the Murray River blue-green algae emergency worsens. The toxic outbreak now involves almost 500km of the Murray River and has claimed reservoirs, rivers, wetlands and parts of Victoria’s two biggest irrigation districts. Taps were turned off to towns and farms in parts of the southern Mallee late Friday when the algal bloom reached key Wimmera Mallee pipeline pumps near Swan Hill, catching most residents unaware. Experts said a record autumn heatwave, with temperatures soaring above 40C in northwest Victoria this week, was expected to grow the algal bloom until it choked almost all of the Murray River along the NSW-­Victoria border within weeks."[1] But these problems have been known for so long now, it seems foolish to believe that we can hope for any resolution that would keep the vast Australian desert from claiming on our only major inland river system. Certainly we should not meddle with the northern river systems, but unfortunately our psychopathic leaders have already started.

Victoria, once garden-state, now overpopulated - Kelvin Thomson's speech to PPLVic

An ecologist and an economist are swept off a tall building by a sudden gust of wind. The ecologist is horrified, but notices that the economist seems unperturbed as they plummet towards the ground. Why are you so calm, he asks? The economist replies, "because demand will create a parachute"? Economists, rather than ecologists, have been in the driver's seat concerning public policy for many years now, and I think there are plenty of signs that we are at risk of being swept off our tall building.
[This article contains the text of Kelvin Thomson MP's latest speech, to Protectors of Public Land Victoria Inc on the occasion of their 2016 AGM. It's full title is "Victoria, once the garden state, is now headed for population overload: how we are failing the next generation."]

US wants Assad out for not backing Qatari pipeline: Kennedy

Washington’s intention to overthrow Syria's legitimate and democratically-elected President Bashar al-Assad results from his refusal to back a Qatari gas pipeline project, an attorney says. Article first published by Iranian Press TV at http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/03/03/453669/Washington-Bashar-alAssad-Qatari-gas-pipeline-project

Endangered southern brown bandicoot at risk as proposed habitat corridors deemed 'not cost-effective' - Article by Sara Phillips (ABC)

ntroduction by candobetter.net editor: This article reflects interviews with Frankston natural scientist, Hans Brunner, who has spent decades of his life trying to save the southern brown bandicoot, as many of those who know Hans are aware. Here the ABC takes up Hans's argument about the $20m promised by the State Government to be spent protecting bandicoot habitat that was threatened by Peninsula Link was never used as promised for a fox-proof fence. "Peninsula Link dutifully spent $20 million of taxpayers' money on the underpass, and handed over $1.6 million to Parks Victoria for the fence. But Parks Victoria never built the fence. At the completion of the freeway in 2013, and with only a single bandicoot hair detected two years prior, Parks Victoria chose to direct the money intended for the fence to bandicoot programs near Cranbourne..." in an area now allocated for a projected housing development. This is totally outrageous by Parks Victoria and by the government with which it is too closely aligned. Surely the current Parks Victoria Board should be sacked. Planning documents from 2011 show wide reserves with predator-proof fencing. But a 2012 revision made them a dotted line — an option if Federal Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt required it. Mr Hunt failed to do so. His dereliction with regard to this unique creature in the world, the southern brown bandicoot, seems to be his support for by Melbourne's [over]development. A Dubai conference recently named Greg Hunt 'the best environment minister in the world' seems a reflection of extreme cynicism or a calculated insult to the Australian public. Good on the ABC for promoting this investigation. Article by Sara Phillips, first published on http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-28/survival-of-rare-melbourne-bandicoots-under-threat/7181580

To the aged (and soon to be aged) of Australia - Article by Vanda Amandanstone

From the Minister for the Aged:

I need to let you people know that you have had it pretty good so far but you cannot expect things to continue as they are. You Baby Boomers are in fact an impending liability on the country. Having said that (and in a way, I wish I hadn't) you are probably mostly still in the workforce, but think what a drain you will be when you have finished your useful, paid, working life. I warn you that you will all need to pull in your belts, in the interest of Team Australia (pardon the expression but it is so very suitable in this context!)

Video: Mark Allen, planner: Fast population growth and poor planning - a vicious circle

“So, increasing the population – fast population growth and poor planning – they’re like a vicious circle. When I worked as a planner, I’d go to VCAT and, quite often, development applications would be turned down by councils and the developer’s argument would be, ‘I know, ideally, this isn’t the best place to build this development, but you do know that Melbourne’s population is going to double by 2040-something and so, therefore, we’ve got to start building high-density in areas where we wouldn’t normally build it, because, you know, unless we’re just going to sprawl outwards forever…’. But both are going to happen, so we’ve got to understand that rapid population growth and developers who are making sure that they’re taking control of the planning system - they’re intertwined.” Mark Allen, former planner, of Population, Permaculture and Planning in a speech at the Sustainable Living Festival in Melbourne, 14 February 2016.

New Research: Mussels are fighting back against ocean acidification

The gradual rise in oceanic acidity is weakening the shells of shellfish, corals and sea urchins, making them vulnerable to predation and damage from oceanic movements.

Many marine animals produce protective shells and exoskeletons from calcium carbonate from seawater, but higher CO2 concentrations absorbed into seawater from the environment is lowering the oceanic PH.

Kelvin Thomson objects to motion to disempower environmental groups

This article contains a speech by Kelvin Thomson, critical of a motion to change environmental law by George Christensen, Member for Dawson, Queensland. Monday, 8 February 2016, House of Representatives, Chamber Speech, page 22 Hansard proofs.

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