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The growth lobby is stalking Tasmania

Poor beautiful Tasmania, scene of abject tragedy for the local aborigines, site of Port Arthur, a cruel prison for lower-class offenders of Britain's laws, where a still unexplained massacre took place so recently, host to a disfiguring fatal cancer among its Tasmanian Devil population, and now to have its nature desecrated by people who just want to sell houses to anyone they can and the hell with the consequences. For a long time Tasmania was the one Australian state that lacked the problem of foxes predating on local wildlife, which was in consequence, abundant. Then a few years ago someone let a fox in. At the time it did not seem like a good omen. And it wasn't.

"The Mercury reported yesterday that business and community leaders agreed that increasing the population was a priority, with support shown for the incoming Liberal government’s aim of 650,000 people by 2050.University of Tasmania sociologist Brendan Churchill said it was heartening to see population again at the forefront of public debate."

'Heartening', although he conceded that it would cause 'tension about peoples' standard of living.' He also talked about population being 'one of the most important debates that Tasmanians and Tasmanian politicians should be involved in'.” Any kind of population expert should be aware that there has been and is no democratic 'debate' from local Australians on what is happening to their social and physical environment. There are managed and sidelined discussions. Population growth is a totalitarian spear thrust into our midst by wholly commercial interests, aided and abetted by governments which are really corporations.Hobart sociologist warns stakeholders on setting population targets.

Our world, locally, nationally and globally is already over-populated to the environmental detriment of the planet - the ONLY one we have - or ever will have. Take a look around and see what damage we have caused - [and are still causing] - to our environment over the last 200 years of our so-called stewardship. If the Hodgman Government wants to boost the local economy, they should improve the education and skills of the citizens we already have, not import what will later present an even bigger problem.

In 2011 the Property Council of Australia and the Mercury newspaper began to push back democracy in Tasmania in favour of population growth. With the coming in power of the Liberal Government there, the similar plans of the old Labor government will come into fruition. With a Catholic prime minister, Tony Abbott, the bulldozer will finally be given absolute domain (easily confused with over nature, beauty and freedom.

Let's not dick around

As the introduction to the article that Tim Murray wrote in "The Sky is the limit for Tasmania's population"reads:

"Liberal Leader Will Hodgman's idea of pushing up Tasmania's population from 512,000 to 650,000 by the year 2050 has started a predictable bidding war, with Housing Industry Association's Stuart Clues, weighing in with a proposal for one million by the year 2050. Tasmania is currently a destination for Australian refugees from the unpleasant effects of turbo-charged population growth in Western Australia and other mainland states, so no-one in government or the property development industry is likely to ask Tasmanian residents what they think. Meanwhile, Canadian population renegade, Professor T. Murray, is accusing the Libs and the HIA of lack of vision. In a phone call to, he called them 'pussies.' "Let's not dick around," he said, "The sky is the limit for Tasmania...""

The newspapers are promoting the despotic commercialisation of human population growth, with the Mercury leading with beat ups. There were signs of the gathering storm in 2012. There are no major newspapers prepared to present to the public how bad this is going to be for them, nor to canvas informed opinion on this situation.

Local university commentators, overlooked to date, will be touting themselves as population experts, singing the song of the Property Council of Australia and the hollow lie that growth is good. There will be more conferences, adding nothing but sound to the furious bulldozing of Tasmania.

In 27 March 2012 Candobettter published an article at "Property Council pushing Doomsday scenario that Growth is Inevitable", with this on Tasmania about the Property Council's social engineering blog called "Makemycitywork":

Look out Tasmania!

Although this so-called "Makemycitywork" blog has different portals for every Australian capital city, this article cannot deal with them all, so I have chosen to look at how it treats Tasmania.

We recently heard from Tigerquoll of how an entire suburb full of Koreans is to be inserted into the Tasmanian electorate without so much as asking the community's permission. So we know that Tasmania is in the sights of the growth lobby. And we also know that Bernard Salt was recently campaigning for growthists to start spreading their propaganda via the social media, in order to get an apparently authentic trend happening to counter grass-roots counter-growth lobby which came into being to help ordinary people identify the agents of unwanted and unnecessary growth and organise to stop being snowed by them.

We see many of these propaganda trends in newspaper articles which just happen to feature property council views again and again, and in a kind of parallel tv universe creation in the form of the current-affairs format panel interview called 3Q, on "Essential Vison", where, Peter Verver is presented as a bland kind of socially motivated 'expert' pushing the idea of cities. href="">"What's wrong with our cities? [Read more about 3Q.[1]]

Council Merger push by corporates

The nightmare for Tasmania includes, "Council Merger Kick-along: Property Council of Australia executive director Mary Massina has demanded action on local government reform, as an independent report recommending council amalgamations sits gathering dust in mayoral offices."

For those of you who have already suffered, since Jeff Kennett in Melbourne, and Anna Bligh in Brisbane, from council amalgamations, here are the vested interests that drive them, which are totally anti-democratic. On 21 March Australian banker, Elizabeth Proust, pushed a line that Australians should be denied their local councils because they were more easily able to stand up against property development and overpopulation. She used the term 'NIMBY' as a derogation.

In Charles Waterhouse, "Council Merger Kickalong,", The Mercury, March 03, 2012 12.00, the journalist has created a 669 word article, citing a number of professionals praising council amalgamations, suggesting that there is a general swing towards these among ordinary Tasmanians in the first 593 words. Right at the bottom (and how many readers would continue down that far, he apportions 76 words to another side to the propaganda [the real community] allowing that:

"However, some residents are worried for their communities and question the benefits.

Citizens for Glenorchy leader Jan Dunsby said no business case study had proven cost savings from forming a greater Hobart council.

"How can we form an opinion when there is nothing to back up any cost savings?" she said.

"Other councils which have amalgamated on the mainland have not produced cost savings and if rates have diminished, so have services you can't have both.""

Another article, by Craig Hogget, "Council merger risk warning," September 28, 2011, which gives a bit more weight to those who are not taken in by council mergers, nonetheless uses biased language. Mergers are dubbed 'reforms', as in "Council mergers have been increasingly on the agenda since the Southern Tasmanian Councils Authority set up an independent review into the issue. The Property Council of Tasmania has also been campaigning for local government reform."

In another article by Craig Hoggett, "Bold Bid ends in farce," September 28, 2011, about local council elections, we can read of how Liberal Party member, Mr Bold, had been campaigning for months on a platform of reducing red tape [euphemism for pro-council amalgamations], but missed the deadline for election candidates. Mr Bold is in the construction business with a company, "Bold Impressions," which "creates 3D computer models of construction projects."

Yet another article in the Mercury, by David Killick, "Planning rated as a failure," March 16, 2012, begins with the ubiquitous Property Council of Australia again, "TASMANIA'S planning system has been rated the worst in the nation by the Property Council of Australia." Much of the rest of the article gives prominence to Property Council state director Mary Massina.

You get the picture, I hope. And let's all hope that it never comes to pass, for the outrageous growth that the Property Council seeks so remorselessly is not inevitable, but they would have it so.

It may seem impossible to stop growth, but stopping slavery was also considered impossible not so very long ago.


"Essential Vison", where 3Q is presented, lists some strange assortment of bedfellows as its 'partners': "Industry Super Network, Every Australian Counts campaign, Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, Australian Super, Greenpeace, Community and Public Sector Union, bankmecu, Property Council of Australia, CFMEU."


Tasmania was our last bolt hole. A thousand plagues on the growth lobby.
It was the bolt hole for Victorians who are being driven out of their city through housing unaffordability and untenable lifestyles.

There is nowhere to get away from population growth. This is insanity.

And it is all the fault of selfish bastards in government and commerce who would sell their own grandmothers just to appear important and make a grubby buck.

How hateful these people are. They are betraying the rest of us.

Hell, Port Arthur should be reopened to accommodate these human foxes.

I agree. It's a disaster for Tasmania. Residents and visitors alike think Tassie is paradise (now), yet they want to change it! By increasing the population, Tassie will lose much of what makes it special. Already we have to destroy World Heritage wilderness in order to provide wood, hydroelectricity and tourist infrastructure ('eco'lodges, cablecar, roads and so on) for jobs and income for the existing population. A bigger population will increase that pressure, together with land and housing prices and also increase the pressure on native fauna and flora. Fish stocks will decline further (remember the supertrawler furore?). All the commentators quoted in The Mercury assumed that further economic (and population) growth is necessary, without careful reasoning. They should instead be looking at sustainable quality of life for average Tasmanians, plus the tourism experience - then reason from those starting points.

Further economic growth might appeal on the basis that it will satisfy the current demand for more jobs and income, but it will do this only for a few years before that itself will attract more people to live in the state, which means that the demand for more jobs and income will be back again and probably bigger than before - so the promise of economic growth (and of population growth as a way to produce it) is false. This argument has a slightly longer term perspective than the conventional view of economic (and population) growth, but the shorter term and deceptive view appeals to business people and politicians (as voters don't think too much).

I think we need to attack the pro-economic growth paradign as well as the pro-population growth one. Each is used to support the other. I am currently negotiating to publish a book on this.

P.E. Smith,
MSc in environmental studies and political science

It's assumed, under the economic growth formula, that larger population means more consumers of Tasmanian commodities.

Local firms will be able to expand their production and to achieve that they must employ more labour.

It ignores that the present population is underemployed, and production should be expanded using presently wasted human resources. In the north-west, the rate of youth unemployment has jumped 59 per cent since 2012; last month the youth jobless rate was 20.5 per cent. Tasmania has the nation's highest unemployment rate at 7.6 per cent but the charity warns the youth rate could climb to triple that. It's absurd, on these figures, to think that more of the same (more people) can be the solution to the problem. Their population is in overshoot of the economy. As Albert Einstein said:

"The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."

It looks like a lot of Tasmanian land may be under foreign ownership.
Just putting one and one together: It could be that the Tasmanian government, together with the growth lobby, are getting themselves into position to import many foreign farm labourers. So, it may be that this is a double abuse of Tasmanians: to wreck the environment for housing and to bring in foreign labour over the heads of Tasmanians, in guise of growing the population.