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Video of Kelvin Thomson vs Robert Doyle in Great Population Debate (October 13, 2014)

Video inside: The Big Population Debate at the Deakin Edge in Federation Square, Melbourne, on October 13, 2014, between Kelvin Thomson and Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, was a fantastic success in terms of numbers and outcome. Given the utter inertia of political process in responding to this democratic emergency, Mary Drost's call for a Referendum on Australia's Population Growth was a great idea to go forward. With both Kelvin Thomson and Mayor Doyle agreeing that a referendum on population is a good idea, Victorians and other Australians have something concrete to go forward with. The film here is of the debate. The referendum is on the open mike section, which is the next film that will be published. The debate embedded here showed that Mayor Doyle really doesn't have a handle on the issue at all, except as a loyal servant to the business end of growth. Kelvin Thomson's ability to debate the subject would make him a world leader in this area. This is a very important and historic record. Congratulations to Mary Drost of Planning Backlash for making it happen. Sheila Newman produced the video.

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Lord Mayor Doyle's solution to creating "affordable housing" is all too convenient for the housing, mortgage and construction industries! He thinks we can solve the problem by racing to keep building more and more apartments and units! With population growth running at full throttle levels, the prices are kept high because demand is outstripping supply, and prices have flowed over any level of affordability for first home buyers! Melbourne is becoming more "vibrant" with all the homeless living in the streets. With zero net immigration, and a referendum on population growth, we could actually manage to drop prices and housing would become affordable. However, the power elite are gouging the public with record house prices, and of course would obviously say that our population growth was "inevitable" and impossible to do anything about!

Australia Published the World’s Harshest Anti-Immigration Ad:

Poster tells asylum seekers they "will not make Australia home"

“'NO WAY', the ad declares in bold red letters over an ominous background featuring a small rickety boat on a churning sea. “YOU WILL NOT MAKE AUSTRALIA HOME.” To a tourist in Australia, the ad seems unwelcoming. To its real target—people sailing to Australia to escape the oppression and violence in their home countries—it’s just plain cruel."

The blatantly exclusionary ad is part of a campaign by the Australian government’s military-led border security plan, called “Operation Sovereign Borders,” to prevent asylum seekers from thinking they can settle in Australia. “If you get on a boat without a visa, you will not end up in Australia,” the advertisement says. “Any vessel seeking to illegally enter Australia will be intercepted and safely removed beyond Australian waters.” The ad appears in English, Urdu, Dari, Pushto and Hazargi; it also surfaced in Pakistani newspapers on Friday.

Proponents of the ad might suggest that its aggressive tone could potentially save lives by scaring people from making a perilous sea journey. But the Australian government has also ramped up punishment for those who make landfall safely. Anyone who arrives to Australia on an unauthorized boat is refused residency and held in a detention camp, Pakistani publication Dawn reports. The government keeps refugees from ever settling in Australia by placing them at one of two offshore centers: one on Nauru, the other on Manus Island, in Papua New Guinea. As of September, about 3,300 people were seeking asylum in Australia’s offshore detention centers, according to Amnesty International.

Australia's asylum ad

The irony is that many people DO come to Australia and are making it their home - in record numbers! The only ones our government puts out the red carpet for are the skilled and wealthy! There are at least one million temporary visa holders in Australia, with permits to work. We have record post-war rates of net overseas migration, set to increase, making Australia have the highest rate of population growth of the developed countries. However, the poor and displaced are singled out - not welcome!

Australia on Tuesday took steps to boost a visa scheme aimed at luring investment from wealthy Chinese, including speeding up approvals. With more than 10 million people in China wishing to live in Australia, the visas were "too strict". It announced another visa scheme on Tuesday offering residency to those who invest A$15 million for one year.

The Australian government’s campaign to stop asylum seekers in their tracks has been criticized by human rights groups for its perceived bigotry and disregard for human life. It's also highly hypocritical and blatantly biased towards the world's wealthy elite, rather than compassion and human justice.

There were some very obvious points that ought to have been made in response to Robert Doyle's strawman arguments.

1) We all agree that population growth is happening but all I hear from Kelvin is negativity.....

Yes we can all agree that population growth is happening and that something need to be done about it.

But the audience seemed to let him off the hook too easily about deliberate federal immigration policy resulting in the bulk of current population growth. Instead Doyle just kept falling back to is spurious argument that it is inevitable.

He doesn't know what the annual immigration intake should be.... No good enough. If he is genuinely concerned about 'smart growth' then logic would dictate that he is also concerned about the quanta of local population growth versus his and Victoria's financial capacity to cater for it re infrastructure and services.

2) We can't go back to the 1960s re culture and population size.......

That was not the point of Kelvin's argument. The point was that it is not necessary to have population growth or a larger population in order to have vibrant and interesting communities!

Or that we are so brilliant that we can totally avoid the break down of communities - increasing poverty, crime and inequality etc, that has resulted from large populations and population growth in other parts of the world.