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Miscellaneous comments from 7 November 2010

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Death penalty for Asia Bibi

Anna Bligh's concrete legacy

Brumby boost to native waterbird annihilation and cruelty

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News
State Election Forum 2010

Should there be firm height limits?
Does the community have enough say?
Will traffic choke our suburb?

Candidates speaking:

• Jane Garrett (Labor) •Cyndi Dawes (Greens) • Liberal Party representative
• Trent Hawkins (Socialist Alliance) • Phil Cleary (Independent — if standing)
• Bill Cawte (Independent)

Chair: Shane Maloney

THURSDAY 11 NOVEMBER

6.30pm-8.OOpm
CLARRIE WOHLERS CENTRE, FLEMING PARK,
51 ALBERT STREET, EAST BRUNSWICK

All welcome! Includes Q&A from chair, plus audience questions. Organised by
local residents’ network. More info: albertstreet2020@gmail.com 0421 840 100

Authorised by Nancy Atkin, 135 Albert Street Brunswick

The extent of Victoria's ''secret'' hospital waiting lists has been revealed, with official figures showing more than 200,000 people are on outpatient lists across the state.
The Age obtained documents from many of Victoria's major hospitals showing that at the end of May, 203,584 people were listed as outpatients - separate from the 40,000-long ''official'' elective surgery waiting list.
If Labor was re elected, they would recruit (note: not necessarily train, but possibly "recruit" from overseas) more than 2800 extra doctors, nurses and other health professionals in the next two years, and commit to a $1.5 billion health package.
Like all the other "shortages", our hospitals are under stress from population growth, with people being forced onto our society as fillers for the property developers, and through foreign students being lured here to study - and apply for PR.
The Brumby/Madden Real Estate agency doesn't make enough profits to build enough hospitals and employ enough staff! Solution - bring in a few more people to gain more Stamp Duty and taxes, and thus we have an addition to growth that can never satisfy the demand for infrastructure and public services.
If our universities weren't so starved of funds and outsourced for foreign income, we wouldn't have so many skills shortage and wouldn't have to recruit them from overseas. We used to provide education for those from developing nations so they could provide for their own nation's economic development, but now we head-hunt them to come here! If we funded more medical students from Australia, our doctor shortage could be addressed.

The health system is under siege by fat Aussies who are living longer (and hence need more healthcare). Nothing more. Population growth actually eases pressure off the health system by lowering the average age, thereby increasing the health of the average Australian. Over half of all hospital beds are occupied by the aged and aging, not young people. If you want our hospital system to collapse, strangle population growth and let the average age rise.

An undercover survey of more than 100 mosques and Islamic schools in America has exposed widespread radicalism, including the finding that 3 in 4 Islamic centres are hotbeds of anti-Western extremism. The Mapping Sharia in America Project, sponsored by the Washington-based Centre for Security Policy, has trained former counter intelligence and counter terrorism agents from the FBI, CIA and U.S. military, who are skilled in Arabic and Urdu, to conduct undercover reconnaissance at some 2,300 mosques and Islamic centres and schools across the country."

atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2008/12/mapping-sharia.html

So far of 100 mapped, 75 should be on a watchlist," an official familiar with the project said. Many of the Islamic centres are operating under the auspices of the Saudi Arabian government and U.S. front groups for the radical Muslim Brotherhood based in Egypt. Frank Gaffney, a former Pentagon official who runs the Centre for Security Policy, confirmed that "the vast majority" are inciting insurrection and jihad through sermons by Saudi-trained imams and anti-Western literature, videos and textbooks.

The project, headed by David Yerushalmi, a lawyer and expert on sharia law, has collected data from the 102 mosques and schools. Preliminary findings indicate that almost 80 percent of the group exhibit a high level of sharia-compliance and jihadi threat, including: Ultra-orthodox worship in which women are separated from men in the prayer hall and must enter the mosque from a separate, usually back, entrance; and are required to wear hijabs. Though not all mosques in America are radicalized, many have tended to serve as safe havens and meeting points for Islamic terrorist groups.

Even with such radical mosques operating in its backyard, the U.S.government has not undertaken its own systematic investigation of U.S.mosques. In contrast, European Union security officials are analysing member-state mosques, examining the training and funding sources of imams, in a large-scale project. Some U.S. lawmakers want the U.S. to conduct its own investigation."We have too many mosques in this country," said Representative Pete King. "There are too many people who are sympathetic to radical Islam. We should be looking at them more carefully.

Source: Intercessors for America

Editorial comment:

(This comment was originally published at 12:35PM on 9 November 2010.)

Perhaps a question to consider is just how fundamentally opposed to the interests of the western ruling elites are the 'extremist' 'anti-western' 'Islamist' ideologues? Al Qaeda, itself, is largely the creation of US intelligence agencies. Sincere Islamist fundamentalist terrorist recruits to al Qaeda should be considered no more than patsies, who, in fact, serve the interests of the U.S. elites by providing them with excuses to launch bloody wars against countries in the Middle East or Central Asia.

Controversy and unanswered questions surround all of the major terrorist actions, supposedly committed by Islamist extremists in recent years -- 9/11, the Bali bombings, the London Tube bombings of 7/7, the Madrid Train bombings -- which are cited to justify these ongoing wars.

If it is true that these actions were carried out by terrorists trained in bases in Afghanistan, why has not one with a proven link to any of these atrocities been captured in 9 years of U.S. military occupation of Afghanistan?

Still, it is not altogether impossible for some of these actions to have been assisted by sincere Islamist jihadists. Even if this were ever proven to be the case, it seems that their actions have very nicely served the interests of those looking for excuses to wage war against Islamist nations.

Meanwhile Australia's Prime Minister Gillard flippantly donates $500 million to 1500 madrasah Islamic schools in Indonesia [Read More], while Indonesian President Yudhoyono is set to splurge Rp 100 trillion (AUD10 billion) over the next five years 'to bring the military’s arsenal up to date'. [Read More]. What bloody for?

Gillard hasn't even had the gumption to make the donation conditional - such as insisting the money not go to Islamic fundamental teachings, that the Indonesian Government tries the military human rights abuses in Papua, and insisting upon sending Australian convicts back to Australia to serve out their time. Gillard is a naiive spendthrift with no national vision - an embodiment of her irrelevant self-serving political party.

As what electoral mandate does Gillard thinks she's got to gift half a billion dollars of Australian taxpayer money overseas anyway? It is not as if Australia is rolling in it, or as if Australia's growing underclass and infrastructure aren't desperate for government funding after decades of neglect under the Howard regime?

Now Labor's Finance Minister Wong and Treasurer Swan claim Treasury's budget is running over...no bloody wonder with wonder woman in the till! [Read More].

So when are Australians going to wake from heir stupor, take to the streets and refuse to pay taxes. As with every other country in the western world this is the only way to stop these treasonous theives from bleeding every Australian dry...

Indonesia has a population of 242,968,342 (July 2010 est.) Indonesia is the largest Muslim majority country. Most of its 240 million people adhere to variations of Islamic beliefs to some degree. Mosques are a common sight and Islamic rituals are largely observed. The discovery of a militant training camp in Indonesia, along with persistent terrorist attacks there, have increased U.S. concerns that extremists are regrouping and eyeing Western targets in a country long viewed as a counterterrorism success story.

Julia Gillard offered Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono $100 million for each of the next five years to boost his push to ensure all Indonesian children have at least nine years of schooling by 2015. We handed Indonesia $500 million to build 2000 schools, 1500 of them ISLAMIC SCHOOLS. This is in an effort to reduce radical teaching in Islamic schools, but by their very nature, Islamic schools ARE radical! She herself is a self proclaimed atheist, so there is a fairly good chance of her taking it for granted that all religions are equally bad and none can be more radical than others. If so, she is out of her depth.

Indonesia’s Islamic schools are largely moderate in outlook but there have been pockets of radicalism that have produced terrorists in Indonesia. No promises of clemency for Corby, and Gillard did not condemn Indonesia's invasion or West Papua or the torture of nationals.

In response to anonymous 9/11. The website that you are basing your post on also contains the following claims and misinformation:

  1. A video suggesting muslims have sex with goats
  2. A doctored photo showing President Obama urinating on a US flag
  3. Claims that Obama's mother was involved in pornography
  4. Claims that Obama was involved with a "crack whore" in his youth
  5. Suggestions that Obama is the "lovechild" of Malcolm X

Furthermore, David Yerushalmi is the author of an unbelievably racist article that challenges why the following claims are racist:

  1. Islam is an evil religion
  2. Blacks are the most murderous of people

Yerushalmi also goes on further to advocate a pre-Bill of Rights Constitution and to limit the vote to white, male landowners. His mosque-mapping exercise is not transparent and his current website is only available to "members".

So why oh why would anyone in their right mind be believing a word that Yerushalmi, Geller or anonymous 9/11 say?

From the Saudi Arabia Immigration website:
"Women with plans of permanently residing in Saudi Arabia should be informed that all children and females living in the country as members of a Saudi household such as adult women married to Saudi nationals, unmarried adult women who are daughters of Saudi fathers, and males below 21 years old with Saudi-born parents are considered household property and will need the permission of the Saudi household male head before leaving the country".

"Married women need to be allowed by their Saudi husbands to depart the country, while male Saudi fathers or guardians grant permission to unmarried women, children and young boys to depart the Kingdom. Saudi mothers cannot independently grant permission to minor children without their husbands consent".

All government business in Saudi Arabia is conducted according to the Islamic calendar. Any Gregorian (western) date you encounter on official documents is there purely for your convenience and is in no way to be construed as official.

Unlike other countries of the GCC, (Gulf Cooperation Council -- Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and the Sultanate of Oman) Saudi Arabia does not issue tourist visas nor is it possible for a hotel to sponsor a visitor. Other than the two types of visas which are only available to Muslims.

On the other hand, the Australian Department of Immigration provide spouses, partners, children, parents and relatives of Australian citizens and permanent residents the opportunity of migrating from Saudi Arabia to Australia.
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Well said, Scott! I wonder why Geller appeals at all, except that official hysteria against Islam is so bad in the US that it must seem almost natural to go along with Geller's extremism. And Christianity, as practised in the US, tends to see itself in natural opposition to Islam. I did have a look at one of Geller's films and noted that she was making very exaggerated claims for France vis a vis Islam. She seems to be very approximate with figures.

Meet the Candidates forum. Tuesday November 16, St George's Anglican Church Hall, 296 Glenferrie Rd, Malvern. (Next to the Police Station which is next to Malvern Town Hall.)

Prahran candidates 6.30-7.30. Malvern candidates 8pm -9pm. Admission free. BYO your signs.

Anna Bligh sale of the Port of Brisbane will add $2.3 billion into the government's coffers. This once proud and vibrant State has been financially and ecologically destroyed by Peter Beattie and Anna Bligh.
Interesting that she is able to sell a public asset on behalf to the public! The money will help pay all the costs for infrastructure that the Queensland population boom doesn't cover. They sold off public transport in Melbourne and it is now totally crewed up. Now, like Victoria, they will lose apprenticeships/training opportunities and jobs will go overseas where they are cheaper. How long it will be before the lay-offs begin?
This in turn will add to our "skills shortages", and then Queensland government will justify more immigration while existing youth find it hard to get opportunities. Such is the price of progress and economic reform!

I dont believe there is a skllls shortage in Australia...I think the goverment says there is a skills shortage so they can bring more and more immigrants in. I live in WA and appled for countless jobs in the mining sector which Iam qualified for and never had a single reply from any of them. The West Australian newspaper seems to have less ads now than before for mining sector workers and there seems to be alot of companies over here going bust now..Where is this skills shortage they keep banging on about...Meanwhile I know of some asian people that were sponsered to come to Australia and work in Mcdonalds flipping burgers and they now have permanent residency in Australia and are still flipping burgers...and I have friends who are highly skilled overseas who cannot get into Australia...Its an insane world we live in..

The stoning of women is one of the more savage, and revealing aspects of the mullahs' rule in Iran. Since the inception of the mullahs' rule, hundreds of women of various ages have been and continue to be stoned to death throughout Iran. In the Quran and the Prophet's traditions, such barbarism is denounced.

Stoning is more a women's issue because, according to Islamic laws, a man can have four permanent wives and any number of temporary wives.

When caught in adulterous relationships, men can always claim to have been in a temporary marriage contract with the woman involved -- provided she is not already married to someone else. A married woman cannot escape stoning in the same way.

The theoretical foundation of the Islamic Penal Codes is a social model based on sexual apartheid. The chief elements of this model are first: a belief that women are deficient in their natural and “innate” potentials and abilities, including their psychological-makeup and intellectual capacity. Second, a belief in a social and family order where men must be guardians over women, and women must submit.

Recent reports have warned that Iran was preparing to execute Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the woman sentenced to be stoned for adultery. Reports say she would soon be executed. Human-rights groups and ordinary citizens who sympathize with her plight protested her case in many Western cities, earlier this year.

Hadi Ghaemi of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran says Iran has "doubled the number of executions it normally conducts" in recent months and is now second only to China in its per-capita execution rate.

Murder, adultery, rape, armed robbery, apostasy, and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under Iran's Shari'a law, enforced since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

It seems likely, in one of the tiniest pieces of good news on record, that Ashtiani will not – following a huge public outcry – be stoned to death, but instead be hanged. Thank heaven for small mercies!

Comment moved to here.

A response to the comment from Milly entitled "Stoning of Women in Iran" is now an article, "Origins of modern Iranian fundamentalist government," by Geoffrey Taylor.

Accounting firm KPMG said yesterday that WA employers had increased their use of 457 visa workers more than any other state, with 34 per cent having done so compared with 25 per cent nationally.

KPMG are investors with self-serving interests in immigration. They often bemoan Australia's small population with veiled threats of us lagging behind the rest of the world, and our ageing population. The latest thrust is "skills shortages"!

The Access report says inflation in WA was expected to run at between 2.9 per cent and 3.2 per cent for each of the next four years, leaving the state only behind Queensland and South Australia in increases in the cost of living.

“The 457 visa offers businesses flexibility in meeting temporary skills shortages,” KPMG migration practice head Karen Waller said. “Up to half the people entering Australia under a 457 visa have subsequently been granted permanent residency. For employers and workers 457 visas offer the advantages of a try-before-you-buy system.”

The WA population boom has created an increased cost of living, and this in turn makes moving there prohibitive. If there are skills shortages, they need to be made public and broadcasted to schools, and graduates should be encouraged in the areas needed. If funding for universities were adequate, we would have more skills.

Our universities and colleges have been made reliant on foreign students due to lack of funds and this in turn creates the very skills shortages that in turn mean we "need" more foreigners here! It's a Ponzi-like scheme to increase our population.

Editorial comment: This comment has been turned into the article of the same name. Thanks, Bandicoot.

Earlier this week the BBC reported that one-third of loggerhead turtles recovered recently from the Adriatic Sea had plastic in their intestines. The presence of such an undissolvable substance in the digestive system can be fatal, and probably was the primary cause of death for some of the shell-encased reptiles.

Much of the trash of some 4 million people of Italy and Croatia north of the Mediterranean Sea produce ends up floating on the Adriatic, including plastics in the form of water bottles, food wrappers and whatnot. Loggerheads, according to the BBC, are omnivores who in their youth feed on the surface along the shallow Adriatic shores to bulk up for adult-life eating in deeper waters. Water pollution is a growing catastrophe not just for marine creatures but for humans as well.

Sea turtles are threatened by extinction across the globe and it is thought that along with numerous factors plastic ingestion is contributing to their decreasing populations.

In Europe, issues of high levels of pollution are also found in the Celtic Sea and the northwest region of the Mediterranean. Many more locations exist elsewhere in the world.

What we really need is a long-term approach. We can start by reducing consumption, cleaning up after ourselves more carefully — and keeping in mind that what we do can impact animals such as loggerhead turtles.

However, nobody "owns" the high seas, and thus they are nobody's responsibility. It is not just over consumption, but overpopulation.

See also article Are we witnessing the death of our planet?.

As reported in the Herald Sun article "Boys aged 10 to 14 Queensland's fastest growing group of violent criminals" of Nov 13th:

Boys just 10 to 14 years of age represent the fastest growing group of violent criminals in Queensland and experts are blaming parents who use television and computer games as babysitters.
Higher density living is not only environmentally bad, but bad for children and families.

The statistics were generally in contrast to overall crime rates which saw sexual offences, robberies and break-ins decrease slightly, and assaults rise by 6 per cent.

Increasing crime and social dysfunction are a sign of society's dis-ease and underlying malignancy. Population has just grown too fast, putting pressure on finances, infrastructure and families. Natural growth is fine, and able to be accommodated in the long term, but abnormal growth will inevitably bring internal stresses, as it would to any community of species. Humans are complex, and mass immigration is not in our interests - and it is not about "race" but undue numbers!

Editorial comment: Subject was originally the same as the Sun Herald to which the article refers, Boys aged 10 to 14 Queensland's fastest growing group of violent criminals".

The website Feral.org.au is administered by the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre .

It says that A pest is an animal that causes significant damage to a valued resource. The pest status of an animal can change with time, between areas or according to the perception of the assessor. What might be one persons pest might be another’s valued resource. Native animals such as kangaroos and possums can be a pest in some situations.

This website, by association, includes kangaroos and possums under the same category as "feral", "invasive", and "pests". This very disturbing, un-Australian and very warped!

Kangaroos and possums have evolved in Australia over millions of years. Surely, under any logic or any evolutionary forces, they are perfectly adapted to our nation, their ecology they have existed so harmoniously in for so long. In 220 years since European settlement in Australia, we have made extinct more mammals than in any other country. (WWF). This, ironically, is the Year of Biodiversity, something mainly overlooked in Australia.

The Murray Darling Report is a scientific report published by the Murray Darling Commission and written by government and independent scientists. It makes clear warnings regarding the risks of hunting kangaroos below 5k/km2 ('quasi extinction'):-

  • -Red Kangaroos are quasi extinct across 92% of South Australia, and at less than 2k/km2 across 50% of the state.
  • -Western Grey Kangaroos are quasi extinct across 80% South Australia, and are at less than 2k/km2 across 60% of South Australia.
  • -Euros are quasi extinct across most of South Australia, and at densities of less than 2k/km2 across 63% of the state.
  • -Across half of South Australia 50% of the kangaroos killed by the commercial industry are female. Killing 50% females from a wild population puts a species at great risk of extinction.

The commercial kangaroo killing industry is forced to kill more females, and smaller, younger kangarooos which are the breeding stock for the future; a certain recipe for extinction.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, Sept 2008, Australia's macropods, kangaroo and wallaby species, will face extinction if urgent action is not taken to protect their habitat. With twenty per cent of Australia's animal and plant species now threatened, WWF is highlighting the plight of our beautiful threatened macropods - a unique group of marsupials including tree kangaroos, rat kangaroos, hare and rock wallabies. Of the 53 species that existed before European settlement, six are now extinct with more at risk if urgent action is not taken.

Human numbers have exploded in Australia, and we have the highest population growth rate in the developed world. This means more pressure on food production and exports, plus housing and developments and roads on wildlife habitat, driving numbers down further, and adding to their stress. Frightened or chased by dogs and trail bike riders, kangaroos run blindly and get tangled up in the fences on the boundaries where township meets rural. Barbed wire fences inflict nasty injuries on native animals.

The threats to kangaroos and other wildlife come from human impacts. Our governments have economic reasons to support land-holders and farmers, and are continually vilifying the "plague" numbers of kangaroos, and propagating their "pest" status, and this organisation, instead of supporting objective and independent science, is helping to propagate this message to the public.

Kangaroos, and possums, are iconic animals to Australia. Kangaroos are recognised everywhere in the world, and they should be honoured and protected. Farmers and producers should be encouraged to live with our wildlife, our ecology, our natural heritage, not get killing permits.

Apart for humans, the real threats on our environment come from the heavy impacts of livestock, their massive numbers, and real feral animals!

Our wildlife are being hounded out of existence, and hated due to ignorance and maligned publicity.

Why don't they recommend ways for farmers and land holders to live sustainably and holistically with our native animals? What about some lateral, creative thinking, on appropriate fencing and the benefits of native animals instead of using barbed wire fences and firearms?

Easier and cheaper to use firearms! No wonder our society is becoming increasingly violent.

Julia Gillard's election pitch to avoid a ''big Australia'' is to be abandoned after a Treasury warning that strong future immigration is ''probably inescapable''. She is now revealing the REAL Julia Gillard, now the election frenzy is over!

Her rejection of former MP Kevin Rudd's "big Australia" gaff was just rhetoric, and Treasury have declared that it is unavoidable.

The government will focus on skills shortages and regional growth, rather than nominating population targets. Any skills shortages should be addressed within our own population rather than the global workforce.

Why regional growth when many regional areas are being oppressed by unemployment and land degradation?

Treasury briefing sent to Ms Gillard after the campaign suggests she could have no choice. Even if annual net migration was lowered to an unrealistically low 60,000 per annum, Australia's population would still reach 29 million by 2050! What about stopping the baby bonus if we are too fertile?

''Strong population growth is not necessarily unsustainable. It need not adversely affect the environment, the liveability of cities, infrastructure and service delivery, provided the right plans and policies are put in place now in anticipation of it.''

We already have the MDB drying up, and there are continually "shortages" of infrastructure and public services. Limited fertile land is being covered over by housing estates, despite looming global food and water shortages, climate change, and peak oil.

The quest for "economic growth" is consuming any logic, long-term considerations, the numerous "peaks" the planet is facing, and any logic. They are simply in denial, or obscenely stupid!

Politically installed puppet Judy Gillard is trying to learn on the job. Judy is beholden to Sussex Street's puppeteers, who installed her. Punch is the developer lobby. So now the 'Labor Favor' needs to be repaid. So Judy's propagating the Right agenda of Sussex Street bover boys to appease the Labor Party's corporate funders - many developers and big business dependent on growth and cheap skills (aka skilled immigrants).

Recall corrupt development linked to Labor Favors - recall Orange Grove, Quattro, Braxton, Lewisham Towers, Sandon Point, Marrickville Metro, Coogee Bay Hotel, Balmain Leagues Club? Nice little earners if you're in the know.

Environment is lip service. Immigration control is lip service. How manipulative for Judy to renege on her Big Australia rejection and now say the government will focus on skills shortages and regional growth, rather than nominating population targets? It is puppetry unplugged!

Labor policy is all about Labor, Labor, Labor and Labor mates. If your not wiv da Labor bruvverhood, forget government funding, maaate.

Many in Labor power broking are ethnic, so is it any wonder? Like back in the old country, political favours make the world go around, eh Joe? And Karl's always watching and listening. How feeble and desperate to Karl to single out Latham's one off presence for Labor's selfish demise? Give over maaate!

Do Sussex bruvvers have a secret handshake?

This was a comment to ABC Radio National's National Interest program on the new "Freedom of Information" laws.

I remain skeptical about whether the new Freedom of Information laws will give members of the public the right to know how government decisions affect their lives. That laws which have so effectively prevented the public from obtaining information requested, almost from their inception, were referred to as "Freedom of Information" laws is an example of grossly misleading labelling.

There is very little government information that I believe the government should have any right to withold from the public. The only information that any government should withhold should be that which threatens the personal privacy of other members of the public. The prevention of violations of personal privacy as a result of FOI requests would, I guess, be the role of the Privacy Commissioner, who featured on your program.

It is time that "commercial in confidence" clauses in government contracts with private corporations, which have been used to stop Freedom of Information requests, were stopped. Only if there is good reason to believe that the government would be unable to obtain a given service from a particular contractor or any of its competitors should a "commercial in confidence" clause even be considered. I think it is unlikely in a competitive market that many contractors would refuse to provide services if governments did not agree to "commercial in confidence" contract clauses.

Given the Internet and modern technology, I see no reason why we should not be able to have on our desk, within minutes or hours at most, the order of at least 99% of information we request from our government. Any laws which ultimately fail to deliver something approaching this in the age of the Internet should not be called "Freedom of Information" laws.

Melbourne's Lord Mayor Robert Doyle is threatening to unleash a brigade of predators - powerful owls - to fix our problem possums. Cr Doyle yesterday declared war on the "exploding" population of "vermin".

Candobetter Editor: This comment has now been elevated to an article on the front page entitled, "Melbourne Mayor Robert Doyle focusing on wrong pest". Glad someone took the time to write in about the mayor's unnecessarily cruel manner of promoting owls. Our thanks to Nimby.

In breaking news: MRRA (Macedon Ranges Residents' Association) has info obtained under FOI which paints a scandalous picture of what went down to get AAMI into the Gisborne call centre. This information will be forwarded to most local papers this week. The Gisborne community was ‘done over’ with this development, which wasn’t intended to have regard to the things the people of Gisborne think are important about their town.

MRRA has managed to obtain a copy of the (almost) infamous Committee For Melbourne’s recommendation that government include parts of Macedon Ranges in the Metropolitan area – watch out Gisborne, New Gisborne, Bullengarook, South Gisborne, Riddells Creek, Clarkefield, and possibly Macedon. The Committee For Melbourne are the big business lobby group pushing for 8 million people in Melbourne. We have posted a speech given by Kelvin Thomson at the Planning Backlash population forum last week, at which the CEO for the Committee For Melbourne also appeared and spoke.

The draft Macedon Ranges’ draft Settlement Strategy is out for ‘consultation’, if the consultation processes attached to it can be called consultation. This is a critical document and the consultation proposed is pathetic, to say the least. Submissions are due in the week before Christmas, and there is a huge amount of documentation to get through. Only one public meeting is proposed – at Riddells Creek on 9 December.

Koala joey Frodo, with 15 pellets in her small body, including the skull, would need a miracle to survive. Fortunately, she is in the expert hands of caring people.
The callous attack on the koalas - this joey and the mother - shocked the nation, with newspaper columns and radio airwaves running hot with calls for the offenders to be tracked down and dealt with.
Not only is violence a problem, stress in koalas causing Chlamydiosisis. It is increasing due to fewer trees and more contacts with people, and the threats that accompany human encroachments onto their habitats.
The Australian Koala Foundation estimates there are fewer than 100,000 koalas left in Australia, down from the millions at the time European settlement started in the late 1700s. For a flagship species, this trend means koalas' survival is severely threatened.
Ironically, Australia Zoo is having a 'Walk of Fame' today as one of the activities for Steve Irwin Day.
It involves something similar to the Film stars in America where they press their hands into concrete to leave a print and there is a star above with the name on it.
Who is doing this? Anna Bligh is!!! Yes, the woman who eats Kangaroo and does her best all around the world to promote the export of Kangaroo meat and products. She is also responsible for the mass starvation and destruction of koala habitats due to Queensland's population explosion! They refuse to label koalas as Endangered!
Doug, a previous victim of cruel shooting, and Frodo are symbols of our society's disconnection with indigenous animals. They are also victims of contempt by governments that support property developers and the logging industry that devalues them and propagates their deaths, for profits.

Today is Steve Irwin Day at Australia Zoo.
Apparently wildlife hater, habitat destruct-or and kangaroo eating Premier Anna Bligh is allegedly to take part in their "Walk of Fame" where the "stars" print their hand and names in concrete.
Surely this is the height of hypocrisy?
Surely those at Australia Zoo are aware that Queensland promote the commercial kangaroo eating industry, and is trying to extend the exports to Russia and China?
Steve Irwin condemned the kangaroo meat and skin industry.
The losses of koalas is monumental - and they are a flagship species - and our government refuses to list them as Endangered!

Contact Australia Zoo: phone numbers and online form

Anna Bligh is involved and yes she has already had her handprints placed in concrete.!!! This is totally contradictory to any claims of Australia Zoo being supportive of conservation.
Rangers working in Queensland's Wild Rivers regions will receive mentoring and training from Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo. Ms Bligh said the government's partnership with Australia Zoo would give Wild Rivers rangers a chance to broaden their experience in wildlife handling and management issues.
Terri Irwin said the partnership was an important step toward securing the future of indigenous people, and wildlife and habitat in Wild River declared areas. Maybe this is a trade-off - to accept Anna Bligh's handprint as a symbol of the further benefits of conserving the Wild Rivers area and some financial partnership?
The costs - of declining koalas and the ongoing slaughter of kangaroos - is too high a price to pay for environmental protection!
Such are the costs of partnerships with governments, something that Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, to their credit, have always avoided.

Comment moved to here.

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