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Melbourne and Jakarta: While we are on the subject of overcrowding ...

I have just come back from 2 weeks in my old home Jakarta. When we went there to live there were 3 million people and it was easy to get around and very manageable. Those were the good days. The Governor, Ali Sadikin, closed the city to more incomers on advice from UN city planning experts as they said the bigger a city gets the harder it is to manage and the mega cities are beyond human management. Immigration was reduced down to those who had work permits. (Immigrants in this case refers to people coming to the city from the countryside). The Governor himself told me the story that the President eventually forced him to open the city to immigration. Population is now maybe 10 million and growing. The city is a total polluted gridlocked nightmare.

Mary Drost reports on Meeting with President of VCAT 18 April 2017

Mary Drost, (Convenor of Planning Backlash Inc), Joanna Stanley (Brunswick Residents Group), and Ann Reid (Convenor of Malvern East Group) met VCAT President Justice Greg Garde on Wednesday April 18. One of our objectives in having this meeting was to persuade him to arrange a forum for residents such as the ones previously arranged by Justice Kevin Bell and Iain Ross some years ago. Both of those men had actually listened to residents and had approached the then Attorney General to have some changes made to procedure so the "natural justice" would get more attention in the Planning and Environment section of VCAT than had previously been the case. Alas, apart from two minor changes no actual reform was permitted.

Justice Garde's reaction to our request was interesting. He said he would speak at a meeting but did not seem interested in following the previous Presidents and arranging a meeting to hear residents' opinions. He explained that VCAT was run by handpicked professionals who followed the rules to the letter.

2 Storeys, not tall stories! Ferntree Gully; lots of weekend reading it pays to be informed; Stop Press

Stop Press - Just received this minute. It seems that Josh Frydenberg, Federal member for Boroondara and Minister of Environment, has put an interim protection order on St Kilda Road, as it has been sponsored for National Heritage Protection. I knew this has been proposed by a leader of the Liberals and a leader of Labor. A number of us wrote to Josh urging him to do it. Great news!

Alert! Melbourne Subway plans threaten St Kilda Rd trees, the Domain, the gardens

(Submission inside) Plans for the proposed underground railway from north west to south east of the city are not yet finalised. On Friday the 13th the Minister of Planning said the location of the proposed Domain station may be moved and yet the Age announces 14th Jan that work would begin on Monday the 16th. This is clearly vandalism. They are going to start destroying trees and moving gas and sewer lines at the Domain. Remember that St Kilda Road is heritage listed and Heritage Victoria have received thousands of objections and Heritage Vic have not yet made a determination. One has to wonder how much pressure they are under by this State Government in their determination to start digging. We are sick to death of hearing them say they are 'shovel-ready'. How dare the government say that the damage to St Kilda road will be worth it for the advantage the rail will give. The necessity for this rail is being questioned by respected planners in Melbourne. There are far more important road and rail projects that are needed first.

Hard to believe that they are intent on wrecking one of the most beautiful boulevards in the world. One of the most picturesque parts of Melbourne. Compare this to what London are doing right now - putting in 42 kms of underground from west to east called Crossrail, without disrupting anything up on top. This took years in the planning before one shovel was put in the ground so that they got it perfectly done. Please Minister ask for their help. (Mary Drost, Convenor, Planning Backlash.) [Candobetter.net Editor: Illustrations inserted by candobetter.net editor. See also Submission from the National Trust of Australia. and this Port Phillip Council information about its trees which include the historic St Kilda Road historic boulevard.]

May 29, 2016 'Mad as hell about planning' public forum, Camberwell

Since 2002 when Melbourne 2030 was quietly introduced by the Bracks’ government (which was intended to be a 30 year plan for Melbourne to make it a more compact city) there have been another 1 million people in Melbourne and 16 new plans introduced in 14 years. The latest is “Plan Melbourne Refresh,” very quickly followed by “Managing Residential Development,” which is a review of the Reformed Residential Zones. You would think that our planners could come up with a long term plan but obviously they are responding to different agendas set by developers. Planning Backlash invites you and your members to a public forum to voice your concerns about the way development is happening in Melbourne. To be held in the Parkview Room, Camberwell Civic Centre, 340 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Sunday 29th May 2016, 2.30 PM.

Seeking Info on house purchase Breaches of the Foreign Investment Review Board rules on foreign investment

Planning Backlash reports that there have been some discussions with the Assistant Treasurer about the continued flouting of the FIRB regulations that contain exploitive overseas investment in the local property market. These breaches are resulting in driving prices for housing up to the exclusion of locals, adding to a rapid demolition of housing stock for new 'MacMasions', adding unoccupied houses to our neighbourhoods and resulting in buying tours from overseas which exclude local buyers. Here is how you can help:

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