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Video: Open Mike session at Thomson vs Doyle Population Debate 13 October 2014

Audience with open microphone, commenting and asking questions of Kelvin Thomson and Mayor Doyle at the "Big Population Debate" on 13 October 2014 at Deakin Edge, Federation Square, which attracted well over 200 people from peak ratepayers, planning and environmental groups. It culminated in a call by Mary Drost, of Planning Backlash, for a referendum on Australia's population growth. Both Kelvin Thomson and Lord Mayor Doyle agreed that this was a good idea.

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Lord Mayor Doyle's "smart growth" rather than "dumb growth" is a fine distinction between "planning" and ad hoc growth. It makes planning an over-all panacea that is meant to solve all the problems and challenges of growth! However, the former is about buildings, infrastructure, cash flows and built-assets, not grass roots and long term concerns.

Victoria's abysmal $40 million trade deficit is outside Doyle's concern! We've become a large conglomerate of consumers, producing little but housing and short-term cash flows.

Doyle's focus is local, and the City of Melbourne's boosted budget from growing towers, rents, revenues, property charges, rates etc, not the "big picture" of the broad impacts on the community. There is a conflict in layers, on the hierarchy of power, status and every day concerns of people being being displaced, and disadvantaged, and living in deprivation from the massive flow of human growth! He says nothing on housing costs, youth unemployment, costs of living, embedded debts, traffic gridlocks, overloaded public transport etc! These are what the "normal" public face every day!

Doyle is a powerful elite, living in his Ivory Tower, with the masses in turmoil around enslaved to "smart growth". Doyle's callous indifference is alarming and shows his contempt for the public and complete disregard and indifference to their concerns.

The Thomson vs Doyle population debate at Deakin Edge on 13 October 2014 culminated in a call by Mary Drost, of Planning Backlash, for a referendum on Australia's population growth. Both Kelvin Thomson and Lord Mayor Doyle agreed that this was a good idea.

Now Mary has put a petition for this up at Change.org Please consider signing it. We need that referendum.

Petitioning Member for Wills Federal government – attention Kelvin Thomson, Federal Member for Wills

An Australia-wide referendum to be as follows: 'Do you agree that Australia should keep on growing at the present rate because of the much higher immigration numbers that the government has introduced? Yes or No.'

We the people of Australia have never been asked what we think about the huge increase of population that our government is determined to give us, therefore we request that the government conduct an Australia-wide referendum and let the people decide if we want a big Australia or not.

Member for Wills Federal government – attention Kelvin Thomson, Federal Member for Wills

An Australia-wide referendum to be as follows: 'Do you agree that Australia should keep on growing at the present rate because of the much higher immigration numbers that the government has introduced? Yes or No.'

Citizens Electoral Council of Australia

Media Release Wednesday, 20 May 2015
Craig Isherwood‚ National Secretary
PO Box 376‚ COBURG‚ VIC 3058
Phone: 1800 636 432
Email: cec@cecaust.com.au
Website: http://www.cecaust.com.au

Australia should rescue and settle Rohingya refugees

The world’s richest, emptiest nation should open its arms to the refugees from Myanmar who have been forced to drift for months off Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.

Adults and children alike suffered incredible hardship, running short of food and water, with no relief from the elements and the incessant swells of the ocean, as nations refused to let them land until the last few days.

Australia should take the lead on rescuing these desperate people, by sending the navy to transport them here for settlement. We should take this action, not just because our nation boasts a rich continent which can easily fit many more people, but because we are, in a real sense, responsible for the appalling way they have been treated.

In pushing back these refugees, and extending their suffering on the ocean, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia—which unlike Australia cannot be called underpopulated—are emulating the shameful behaviour Australia has taken towards refugees since the MV Tampa incident in 2001.

Certain European nations—notably the UK—have also started to emulate Australia’s behaviour, with regard to the African refugees crossing the Mediterranean from Libya, and with deadly results.

Australia began this race to the moral bottom; Australia must take the lead in reversing it.

The great lie: we’re saving lives

The great, Goebbels-style lie (yes, Goebbels—a Nazi policy deserves a Nazi name) that has been drummed into Australians to justify our appalling treatment of boat people is that it is necessary to save their lives, to stop them from drowning at sea.

On 17 May Prime Minister Tony Abbott piously gave his blessing to the actions of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand: “I don’t apologise in any way for the action that Australia has taken to preserve safety at sea by turning boats around where necessary,” he said. “And if other countries choose to do that, frankly that is almost certainly absolutely necessary if the scourge of people smuggling is to be beaten.”

The proof that this is a great lie is that Australia’s cruel policy started before refugees drowned at sea. It actually started when Keating’s Labor initiated mandatory detention, but it took on its brutal present form in 2001 when Abbott’s mentor John Howard was facing electoral defeat, and decided to make an example of the 438 Hazara Afghani refugees fleeing the Taliban and Al-Qaeda who had been rescued by the Norwegian vessel MV Tampa, by refusing to let them land in Australia. “We will decide who comes to this country, and the circumstances in which they come,” Howard bellowed in his 28 October 2001 election campaign launch speech—an attitude and tone that wouldn’t have been out of place in one of the Nazi fist-pumping rallies staged in Sydney in the 1930s by the pro-fascist New Guard, which his father Lyall probably attended as a member. Howard’s re-election ensured that this cynical scapegoating of refugees would become the new standard in Australian politics.

The first deaths at sea occurred two months after Howard stopped the MV Tampa from offloading its passengers, when the SIEV-X sank with more than 400 passengers—an incident that to this day is shrouded in mystery, as it coincided with Howard’s policy to turn boats around, which some suspect to have caused the sinking. In a different incident, Howard’s minister Peter Reith was caught out lying that refugees deliberately threw their children overboard—an intentional slander calculated to deflect scrutiny of the government’s policy, and make out the refugees to be responsible for inflicting their own suffering.

Not all Australians would be aware that our nation’s name is forever enshrined in infamy, at the Yad Vashem holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, where the words of the Menzies government’s delegate to the 1938 Evian conference on Jewish refugees are on display, to epitomise the attitude that led to millions of Jews being abandoned to Nazi genocide. US President Franklin Roosevelt had convened the conference in Evian, France, to try to organise a coordinated effort by nations to take those desperate to flee Hitler. Australia’s delegate, Trade Minister T.W. White, set the tone that ultimately led to the failure of the conference when he expressed the Menzies government’s unwillingness to accept more Jewish refugees; White stated that it “will no doubt be appreciated that as we have no racial problem, we are not desirous of importing one.” These are the words on display at the holocaust memorial.

Malcolm Fraser redeemed our nation for its shame when he demonstrated how a civilised society should treat people in desperate need of sanctuary. John Howard, Rudd/Gillard, and now Abbott have again earned Australia its place in the holocaust memorial.

It’s easy to prove that welcoming refugees to Australia will be a benefit to our nation, not a cost. It’s easy to prove that Australia is an empty continent in desperate need of economic development, in which new Australians would be enthusiastic participants, as they were on the Snowy Mountains Scheme, Tasmania’s hydro development, and other such projects. It’s easy to prove that the costs we are presently incurring to treat people so cruelly, in the form of billions of taxpayers’ dollars going to shady private prison contractors such as the British firm SERCO, are far greater than if we let them all live in Australia.

But those are the secondary reasons that Australia should take the lead on helping these refugees. The primary reason is that it is the right thing to do.

For an Australia that is committed to the common good of all people, and the necessary policies of economic development that can meet the needs of all people, join the CEC.