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SPAVicTas AGM: Dr Angela Munro: "Kennett's 'commonsense revolution' and the Melbourne 'growth machine'" - Sept 5, 2015

UPDATE 29 September 2015, Click here for video of speech.SPAVicTas AGM, 5 September 2015, Ross House, 247 Flinders Lane, 4th Floor Conference Room: 1.45 for 2pm. Speaker: Dr Angela Munro, Public Policy expert: "Kennett's 'commonsense revolution' and the Melbourne 'growth machine'. "The unilateral substitution of an appointed commission for the elected Melbourne City Council in October, 1993 by the incoming, neoliberal Victorian Government, was followed by its disempowerment as a democratic institution before reinstatement in emasculated form in 1996. The resounding defeat of the Labor government, in 1992, coincided with an unprecedented global property collapse whose cataclysmic economic and political consequences in Melbourne were conducive to this marginalisation of the City Council and citizenry. A historic dual conflict over the governance and development of central Melbourne between the Victorian Government and the City Council on the one hand, and between central city property interests and citizenry on the other, was immediately resolved. Whereas efficiencies justified council amalgamations statewide, the Melbourne City Council was subject to separate and extreme centralisation of state government power, deregulation of urban planning and de-democratisation as a micro CBD council."

Sustainable Population Australia,
Victorian and Tasmanian branch
Annual General Meeting 2015
On - Saturday September 5th
At - 1.45 for 2.00pm. (if you arrive late and the front door is closed – ring 0405 825769 or 0409742927)
Venue: Ross House, 247 Flinders Lane, Melbourne 3000 Hayden Raysmith Conference Room, Fourth Floor. – (Turn left from the stairwell; or from lift through fire door and then left. It is the corner room).

Guest Speaker : Dr. Angela Munro, Public Policy expert:

"Kennett's 'commonsense revolution' and the Melbourne 'growth machine"

"The unilateral substitution of an appointed commission for the elected Melbourne City Council in October, 1993 by the incoming, neoliberal Victorian Government, was followed by its disempowerment as a democratic institution before reinstatement in emasculated form in 1996. The resounding defeat of the Labor government, in 1992, coincided with an unprecedented global property collapse whose cataclysmic economic and political consequences in Melbourne were conducive to this marginalisation of the City Council and citizenry. A historic dual conflict over the governance and development of central Melbourne between the Victorian Government and the City Council on the one hand, and between central city property interests and citizenry on the other, was immediately resolved. Whereas efficiencies justified council amalgamations statewide, the Melbourne City Council was subject to separate and extreme centralisation of state government power, deregulation of urban planning and de-democratisation as a micro CBD council."

Sheila Newman (Masters by Research in Environmental Sociology, specialising in population and environment), writer and researcher, current president of the SPA VicTas branch whose own research is complementary will add population specific details to fill in the jig saw of the picture of the population pressures we are experiencing in Victoria: "Victoria's population numbers under Kennett."

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Comments

It’s an issue that mirrors the nation’s economic and social health but gets little or no attention and very little public debate. The article by Jeff Kennett says that the unacceptably high rate of youth unemployment and there are no programs of substance at any level of government to proactively address the issue.

Australia’s youth jobless rate today stands at 13.4 per cent. The highest rate ever recorded in Australia was 20.3 per cent in 1992 and the lowest rate was 7.7 per cent in 2008.

His solutions are:

First, those receiving unemployment benefits, who are not intellectually or physically disabled, should be involved in some form of occupation that will keep them busy, in return for the financial benefit they receive from Australians.

Secondly, Australia should consider a mandatory year for all young Australians at the end of their secondary education, or when they turn a certain age, to undertake community service. Life today is so much about the individual – there is little concept about team, or of working and sharing together. Of being Australian as opposed to being an individual.

Opinion: Tackle youth unemployment with meaningful jobs programs and community service work, says Jeff Kennett (undated as of 19/8/15) | Courier Mail

There's some underlying assumption that young people need to be developed, and benefit from community or national service. He's suggestion there are personal limitations in our young people, rather than as flawed economic model, based on endless and perpetual growth!

There's nothing mentioned about our massive "skilled immigration" of temporary and permanent immigration, the prohibitive costs of tertiary training/education, or the fact that due to trade agreements and high quantities of imports, Australia is losing jobs instead of producing goods.

Successive premiers, from Jeff Kennett to John Brumby, have lobbied for more migration. Jeff Kennett, was actively courting the ethnic vote, siding openly with the Greek leadership on the Greek/Macedonian question. The unemployment crisis should be relabeled as a symptom of population growth overshoot of jobs creation, and our economy.

Below are reader's comments in response to Jeff Kennett's opinion piece. It is necessary to allow a number of web sites to run scripts on your browser to see these comments. To post a comment or even just press the 'like' or 'dislike' links for any comment, it is necessary to register with the Courier Mail and provide personal details.

Ecoengine 5:20PM, 18 Aug 2015

Jeff Kennett's suggestion that our young people are unemployed because they lack development, and experience. Thus, they need to do community work, or national service. It's offensive to the unemployed, and a slight on their efforts and abilities! What is flawed is our economic model on endless growth, and the loss of jobs because of government policies. We have our skilled migration, of up to 240,000 per year, plus an uncapped quantity of temporary migrants here. Our population growth is faster than job creation. There needs to be an assessment of our current economic policies, and immigration rates need to be pulled in line with our productivity, costs, and how many jobs there are left over for locals without blowing out our welfare budget.

Steve 10:00AM, 18 Aug15

Quote - "First, those receiving unemployment benefits, who are not intellectually or physically disabled, should be involved in some form of occupation that will keep them busy, in return for the financial benefit they receive from Australians."

I don't disagree with this, but they must get at least minimum wage. Work for the dole only deals with slave wage amounts. And any work will do. It doesn't have to be stimulating ... my work surely isn't, but here in the real world, you do what you can to get paid so you can live.

Leslie 8:20AM 18 Aug15

For the record, my housemate is a 22 year old radiographer student who is finishing up his final year placement. He works 5 days fulltime for $0 from 6:30am, he is one of the most switched on and clued-up young people I've ever met, head on straight, incredibly hard worker, looks after his health, knows what's going on in the world and is completely disillusioned with our government and the trajectory our country is taking.

He lives on Austudy, he lives very frugally, the biggest cost is our bedroom rent as he needed accommodation near the hospital, did I mention he bike rides each morning at 6:30am to get there in the freezing cold, to save petrol money. He buys groceries and petrol and pays bills, aside from that over 6 months all I've seen him buy is a mattress and oil for his bike. I'm actually concerned he needs his car serviced as it sounds terrible, but he doesn't have the money.

So what I'm getting at:

Is this the world we want for the next generations? Baby Boomers 1  sitting high in their negatively geared properties while our youth slug their guts out so they can spend their years renting, all the time told they just need to work harder? Do you wonder why the bitterness and resentment is growing when we see people like Bishop and that other guy take all the travel and perks they like at our expense. When we see these people parading about fluffing their feathers at us who completely lack any sense of decency and morals.

Then you call for community service for youth.

It just smacks of hypocrisy and is simply disgusting. When we get to the crux of the matter, the youth didn't put our country in the situation it's in, greed did: namely government colluding with big business and topping it off with help from Murdoch. So trying to pin all the consequence onto youth, let them carry the entire weight of your mess-ups, (and also pensioners, 50+ getting back into workforce - I haven't forgotten about how you've been screwed over too), lies at the heart of the problem.

Just like Wall Street getting off scot-free with a very nice bailout a few years back. The real culprits skate, while the victims are left to pick up the tab.

Leslie 8:00AM, 18 Aug15

Wonderful, so lets lump all the young in the category of selfish, selfie taking, brats, good work. So all the young who reject this materialistic lifestyle, have a brain and are kind, bighearted and selfless, who see what has become of this country would then be forced into community service for a year. Lets just do a one size fits all, works like a charm everytime doesn't it?

Then when they finish their one year of community service or as it's more properly known "work for the dole" they can to come out to no jobs aside from retail and hospitality again so they can be further exploited. Brilliant, critical thinking going on there.

You had me up until community service as long as you were talking about real jobs and not stacking boxes in a warehouse (after the young person has already spent countless years working menial hospitality/retail jobs), a real entry level job where they can gain experience, actual training (that word employers are allergic to) and move up in the field they studied in. Then you lost all credibility. The politicians ought to do community service, they certainly having been serving the community for a long time now, just 1% of the community.

Footnote[s]

1. ↑  The following articles argue that Baby Boomers as a group have been unjustly blamed for many of the problems created by high immigration and the neo-liberal economic policies that were imposed on this country since 1983 by Bob Hawke, Paul Keating and their successors on both 'sides' of the Australian parliamentary political spectrum:

Baby Boomers can't win! (17 Aug 2008) by quark and Baby Boomer to Gen Y on home ownership (11 Feb 2014) by admin.- Ed

First published (17/8/15) on PressTV

A British Conservative lawmaker says that young unemployed Britons should be sent to mandatory boot camps to ensure their fitness for a job.

Matt Hancock said, "By working across government to make sure that every young person is in work or training, by opening up 3 million more apprenticeships, expanding traineeships, and making sure that a life on benefits is simply not an option, we want to end rolling welfare dependency for good, so welfare dependency is no longer passed down the generations."

"We are absolutely committed to ending long-term youth unemployment and building a country for workers, where nobody is defined by birth and everyone can achieve their potential," he added.

This is while critics have slammed such a plan as a form of punishment of the youth, which Hancock was swift to dismiss, saying, "We are penalizing nobody because nobody who does the right thing and plays by the rules will lose their benefits," he told BBC Radio 4 on Monday

Now London-based editor and commentator Javier Farje says such a plan can only bear results when there are job opportunities for the young people and that without such vacancies, there would be no point in training the youth who will also lose their benefits if they fail to attend the trainings.

The 'boot camp' will take place over three weeks. Young people who do not attend will be stripped of their rights to the Job Seekers' Allowance benefits. Dubbed an 'intensive activity program', the camp will take place at job centers and comprises up to 71 hours of the first three weeks of a benefit claim, according to RT.

The curriculum is set to include classes on filling out job applications, interview techniques and will teach youngsters how to search for jobs. It will be compulsory for all job seekers between the ages of 18 and 21.

The reduced spending power of Western nations is dragging down emerging economies (including China), who rely on being able to export goods to us.

But we don't have money to buy those goods. International trade has slowed markedly in the last year or two, and is one of the reasons for the current financial crisis emerging. The wealth is tied up in bubbles. Our current spending was sacrificed to buy inflated assets in the past, and with the sharemarket turning sour, we can expect to see the Self Managed Super Fund grey army pour their money into bricks and mortar, driving up prices further, and further eroding productive spending, and exacerbating the financial crisis.

We cannot support sustainable population economically if we are to support asset price bubbles. I'll be blunt.
Any attempt to stabilise population levels, or stop population growth, without also correcting asset bubbles and reducing private debt (not government debt) is doomed to fail.

The choice has to be made. Do older Australians get to keep their capital in their homes, or do we have a sustainable population? If they want to keep their homes AND the capital growth, then we have to find additional consumption from elsewhere.

You have to understand that the West still has most of the wealth. The rest of the world relies on our buying of goods. If the large boomer demographic of the wealth holding west lock it up and hoard it, then trade slows and the global economy slows.

Here is where the animosity towards the Boomers that some have comes in. They are perceived as being unwilling to allow the situation to correct and the government knows this.

That is not to say that this is THE reason, there are many other factors, but it is one reason, and it is a reason that there was concern about the 'ageing' population.

What is the relationship between keeping a home and preserving capital growth. Why must both be aimed at?
If house prices go down so will the cost of living. Less growth will be required.

I need more explanation.

Rising house prices do not benefit people who only have one house which is adequate and not superfluous to their needs. Home owner retirees on more or less fixed incomes are disadvantaged by the rise in the $ value of their houses as their council rates increase and become an ever higher proportion of their incomes. Furthermore costs of moving house are multiplied by the rise in house prices . Living in a house you own because you paid for it is not hoarding capital as the house is needed. It is does not represent excess capital.

quark, you are correct. There is no tangible advantage to having an asset rise in price, if you don't plan to sell. One could argue that it means you could borrow more against the house, but this is only for those who want to do this, which isn't many. If actually works out to be a disadvantage to the homeowner. It is a disadvantage to the economy, and most business.

Yet it seems that people still want to know their homes are worth more, even if they won't benefit. Even if it means more rates, and less elsewhere. People are funny like that. Howard said no one complained that their home was going up in value. Who said this? People who probably weren't selling, but liked the vanity. There are plenty of people, purely for reasons of vanity who want to have the most expensive house, even if it is technically not that flash... I hear this all the time.

So in doing so, we increase debt... There is a reason that Pride is one of the seven deadly sins, up there, and even greater than Greed.

House prices have for as long as I have been a "grown -up" been part of the boring conversation at dinner parties of aspiring young couples . People used to get excited that their houses were nudging $100,000 in value. But one's satisfaction is relative to others with whom one normally compares one's self; not with endless increases -if one gives the matter any real consideration. If the average home cost $100,000 the aspiring classes would be happy if theirs were worth $150,000 to $200,000! Now the same sort of people are disappointed if the value of their houses are less than $1,000,000. A million dollars used to be an unimaginable, breathtaking sum uttered almost with reverence. Now it is glibly glossed over in real-estate parlance as "$1 point something"! Anyone who gives it a moment's thought will realise that our Aussie dollars now sound almost like Indonesian Rupiah such is the inflation of our dollar largely through rising house and land prices

@quark,

Curriencies around the world are being dropped. Your observations about our currency seeming to be more like the Rupiah reveals more than you realise. That may be what is actually happening.

Think about it. Who HAS the trillions in their saving accounts which banks lend out? If everyone has mega-mortgates, where is the corresponding increase in deposits from savers? Banks are lending out far more than a few years ago, but do they have people who are saving far more and having far bigger deposits?

What is happening, is that money is appearing out of nowhere, and our share is decreasing, as it becomes a smaller and smaller proportion of the funny money used to inflate these prices.

So in a sense, our currency IS dropping in value.

Our banks share prices have dropped dramatically in the past few months, because they need to raise more capital (to cover potential house price falls). and they will need to raise more money again, and take another hit.

Mortgages now are a legal way of draining the savings and earnings out of the hands of the owners, and workers, into the banks. There's huge profits to be made, from housing! People need housing, and shelter, and for most people the family home is their biggest investment.

There's no obligation in our economy, or by our government, to guarantee housing. It's a free market economy, with few restrictions and limitations, such as social welfare and responsibility. It's given lip-service. If we have homeless and unemployment now, how can we have labour shortages, or skills shortages, requiring such heavy rates of immigration? Being trapped into mortgages and rents is a way of keeping the public silent and busy, with their own concerns.

And yet bank shares have been hammered in the previous months...

With very low interest rates, they are finding it harder to keep their profit margins. On top of that, there are requirements for them to increase their capital to withstand falling valuations. The ANZ share price dropped about 10% when they did it. Commonwealth Bank fell too. Low interest rates mean the margin between what the bank lends, and pays drops. Investors are growing concerned about their ability to sustain the bubble. Despite the fact their profits are good, people are sceptical about the future.

The banks are even raising interest rates where the RBA wont, to try and keep profits. AMP has stopped lending to investors. and has jacked up rates.

Even the banks are finding the situation displeasing!

Yet the RBA is dropping rates, and the government refuses to address the issue. In the last year or so, the housing bubble has gone from something people have cheered, to a real source of concern. There is a growing consensus that it is out of control.

Glen Steven is an idiot. There is no other way to put it. He is a downright moron, concerned about 'crazy' house prices, but knowingly keeping interest rates down, which anyone with a room temperature IQ now knows, just goes into housing speculation and nothing else.

Just this morning as I was driving I saw a perfectly good house, modern brick, large, new, well kept on an 550m2 block of land being sold. The advertisement billboard merely showed the land area. This perfectly good, NEW, clean, modern house is sold just to be demolished and subdivided. Normally, people have done this with old weatherboard houses, but every house, even new good ones are being torn apart in the rush for profit.

No one is buying but investors...

When even the banks are worried now, you have to sit up and take notice.

But with the RBA keeping rates low, and the government wanting to keep votes, it seems our society would rather let this consume us all, than face reality and allow the market to correct. Which is why I predicted that there is a good chance that instead of prices falling, our society and opportunities would take a massive leap backwards to compensate.

Otherwise this implodes. But as prices and mania is accelerating, the damage this will cause is greatly increasing.

I think I will take my family overseas. This kind of activity demonstrates this country is full of idiots. Sorry, there is no other way around it. Few, if any other Western countries would take this as far as we have. Even Canada put a stop to it.

As it happens i took the dog for a walk in a park in a nearby suburb today. Walking along a very pleasant windy, tree lined street, I first saw a very attractive maybe 60s brick house for sale with the sign saying it was for re-development into 2 units. (so it will be demolished). Then there was another one of similar calibre showing the land as the attraction, then on a sharp corner there was a 50s art deco curvy sort house with a front garden extending as a grassy knoll to the footpath. Same thing, with the sign showing all the "spare" land. Within a decade this lovely but very modest suburban street will be unrecognisable.

This is the observation I have made where I live.

All houses are sold for the land. All of them. Bar the ones already subdivided. No matter the condition of the house, its suitability for habitat, it is only the land size.

This used to be the case for old, small houses on large blocks. But now even nice houses on 500m2 blocks, are sold merely to subdivide.

What is happening, is that prices have elevated to the point where it only makes sense to buy a house to subdivide. It is a losing proposition unless you're a property parasite.

This is going to impoverish those who buy the subdivisions, because they cannot do the same. The wealth transfer is accelerating.

How much longer can this go on? I'm not sure. Perhaps until every house is subdivided, but this would require so much debt that it would grind our country to a halt.
Either Australia will rapidly turn into a 2 class society (with a deteriorating standard of living), or this will crash and burn.

The latter would be more desirable.

The process is well described by Dennis K (above). Most people, even those Baby Boomers who live in normal houses with front and back gardens as most of us used to, cannot profit from the densification process. if a block of land is be be used optimally, the existing house must be demolished so that both front and back gardens are engulfed by new dwellings and underground garages. The block must be "mined" for all it's worth. The ordinary home owner cannot do this as a large amount of capital would be needed for the building works. During this process (with which most of us are not very experienced) the owner would need to find somewhere else to live which is another major expense. Then what would these hypothetical owner builders be left with( if they survive) ? They will have made some extra cash from their own land but would then be living in close proximity to others on what used to be exclusively theirs.
For a developer who has no personal interest in the aesthetic values of the target property the aim is maximum accommodation for maximum return. This drastically undermines amenity and quality of life in the target area.
I learned last week from my local council that an area quite near where i live but on a main road (less than 1km) has had all height restrictions removed. This order came from the State Government despite the council trying to maintain height restrictions in the area. An officer from the council planning department told me on the phone that they are constantly under pressure to accommodate more population.

I wager the developers believe they aren't personally affected.

Another short walk, and I counted at least 10 houses demolished to make way for units that I hadn't seen before. The new homes which are being built have no lawn, no trees, no natural environment.

Think of all the resources that are being wasted tearing down good houses, to build crappy houses with no natural yard and poorer energy ratings. Vandalism to our suburbs, our environment, society and economy.

This is what happens when "Banksters Capitalism" runs amok, a system of hyper economic rationalism manipulated by the banksters.

If Western Civilisation adopted this system at the end of fuedalism, it would have never gotten off the ground...

Oddly, this is one of the worst abuses the Capitalist system is imposing upon people, turning a necessity into a financial instrument for gamblers (and thereby forcing people wanting to put a roof over their head into gambling), yet none of the very active anti-capitalist political groups want to touch it.

I am another who takes many walks in my own and neighbouring suburbs. I honestly feel depressed when I see yet another bare block waiting its overdeveloped fate. I usually can't remember what has been demolished because in general, the houses built last century have visually receded into the street-scape behind established gardens. I would have to describe my feelings as a kind of grief even though I am not directly affected (yet). I feel terribly sorry for the neighbours of the bare block who may lose 4 hours per day of winter sunshine from a favourite window or no longer be able to grow vegetables in the back garden bed that is soon to be overshadowed. Their only option if the effects of the coming overdevelopment rob them of these simple pleasures (now probably called "luxuries") is to move out and thus the process will proceed along he street until the transformation is complete. Most of the birds and other signs of life in the area will disappear as shrubbery and trees are ripped out and replaced by concrete. It is a long grieving process for me similar to a prolonged terminal illness.

AUSTRALIA FIRST PARTY

Happy Wattle Day to all fairdinkum Australians.

In this epoch of unchecked decline for Aussies, in Wattle Day, 1st September, there is the great legacy of an inheritance which is uniquely Australian, and which needs to be reclaimed as an essence of our Australian culture.

From our earlier generations, the call was made to "all citizens to foster, protect and cherish the Wattle; for a sacred charge to every Australian to plant it in all parks, reserves, and pleasure grounds and also private gardens, that it might become a source of pilgrimage in blossom time. Also to rouse the young people's sense of chivalry, and make the Wattle synonymous with Australia's honour."
and
"To the Native Australian the wattle stands for home, country, kindred, sunshine and love - every instinct that the heart deeply enshrines".
and
"the golden fleece - the wool; the golden green - the wheat; the golden sunshine - the golden hearts of the Australian people", was the theme suggested from the Golden Wattle

TO PARTICIPATE:- Wear a sprig of Wattle; plant a Wattle shrub in your garden; rub hands on the bark of a Wattle tree, and reflect on the unique eco-diversity of our Southern Land; read some verse of The Banjo or Henry Lawson; play a few Larrikins songs; dwell on our cultural heritage with thanks to our earlier generations.

Investment in wars promotes flight and moves money. A few years ago Francis Ronsin, a contemporary French historian, wrote, La Guerre et L'Oseille - War and Lucre. This book consisted of a revealing collection of economic journalism leading up to and during the war on the fortunes of the Parisien stock exchange. Economists were upbeat about war and the stock exchange reflected this. as people put their money on the side of the enemy if they thought it was winning. Money and the market were already divorced from social consequences as vast as WW2.

Watching what is going on in the Middle East reminds me of this. We see Australia's allies, the US and NATO, shamelessly and criminally provoking war and mayhem in petroleum rich zones. Their obsessive focus on removing the democratically elected Assad Government from Syria by any and every means, notably through the financing of gangs of psychopathic opportunists calling themselves 'rebels' and 'ISIS' is utterly chilling. Similarly chilling is the way Australia's public broadcasters and its commercial media whitewash and promote this incredible cruelty and corruption with patently false stories. How can the public be so uncritical of the way our government remains friends with the long-corrupted Saudis who they have launched a full-scale war of unbridled atrocities on Yemen and treat their own people the worst in the Middle East?

The result of Australia's unhealthy friendships in the Middle East is vast numbers of economic and political refugees from all the lands that Australia has supported the devious 'interventions' in. We now see bankers and big business, in league with government, promoting the idea that all these people must be given asylum because they will provide cheap labour. It is obvious that marketeers are looking forward to cherry-picking the richest, the highly qualified and the docile labour content from these floods and using them against the citizenry of the host nations to raise house prices, lower wages and increase populations. The citizens here and in Europe and the United States, have not been consulted and have misinformed about the motives for these wars and our government's criminal responsibility in provoking homelessness on a grand scale and vast exoduses.

Most breathtaking has been the constant failure by Murdoch press, Fairfax, ABC, CBC, and the European press, to report on the fact that the Assad Government was elected last year in a big majority. Read about it here: https://candobetter.net/taxonomy/term/6173, This scale of malignant propaganda is only equaled by the continuing transparent propaganda that the Syrian government is responsible for killing its own people when clearly it is defending them from death squads launched by Australia's allies.

Our governments and press cynically demonise the peoples of the Middle East as religious nuts and cynically portray refugees both as heros and as poor wretches, whilst undermining local governments and armed forces and actively financing and publicising gangs of true religious nuts and psychopaths so scary that people will flee from them rather than stand and fight. With regard to Syrian refugees, we should be cautious, because the Assad Government has maintained protected areas for the Syrians, Palestinians and Kurds in Syria, to which people can safely flee. Yes, there are people who have no alternative but to flee from regions where the 'rebels' have taken over. And, in the end, as economies collapse under the weight of Western investment in war, no-one will want to stay. The solution is to criminalise all investment in foreign intervention.

The Assad Government has continued to fight the 'rebels' and ISIS, while Australia's allies seek to remove that government on false grounds. 'Rebel' criminals fleeing justice can pass for refugees and hide in camps and economic diasporas. The interventions Australia supports in the Middle East and in the East (Ukraine) not only cause disorganisation and social disintegration there; they are being used to undermine social contracts and industrial democracy in the West, the better to subject all populations to the increasingly uncompromising Market.

To stop the flight of people caught in these Middle Eastern wars, Australia and her allies must stop sponsoring the terror squads that are dismantling government there. For this to happen, people need to realise that they cannot trust Australian and other mainstream media.

The people of the 'developed world' need to inform themselves about what is causing economic and political flight from the countries where we are backing economic destruction.

Bendigo mosque ‘to attract more Muslim worshipers’ as population grows. There were clashes in Bendigo with anti-Mosque protesters, and anti-racist groups. The irony is that there are only 36 Muslims in Bendigo, but the Council has rejected an appeal against the building of the mega-mosque, that would cater for 2000 people!
Islam is not a "race", any more than Christianity.
I would be a double domed, two hectare facility with mooted expansion was not meeting demand but creating demand.
With the state’s population tipped to touch 10 million by 2051, a consultant employed by the Council said it was important that the needs of multicultural communities were met in regional hubs such as Bendigo. A "multicultural community" of 36 is obviously very significant!
An Australian flag was burnt at the end of the protest.
Rather than "tipped" to be 10 million by mid century, with low fertility rates, this is not about accommodating asylum seekers, the usual focus of "immigration" topics, but deliberate funneling of people into Victoria, and Bendigo, to promote housing growth and investment in property!
If we had a true democracy, we'd be ruled by the majority, and public concerns. This fiery issue shows that property developers, and foreign influences, are driving this maligned "planning".
Unless the Muslim population is rapidly pumped up, and highly inflated in the near future, with only 36 worshipers, there will be plenty of empty seats!
Reassuringly, the Mayor of Greater Bendigo, Peter Cox, said "“We are a welcoming, giving and thoughtful city.” There will be a lot of "welcoming" to reach the numbers to fill this mega-Mosque.

The comparison of the Australian dollar and the Indonesian Rupiah was deliberate as Indonesia is a close neighbour geographically with a currency that reflects massive inflation. Indonesia has eliminated the 1000 Rupiah note and its largest denomination is 100,000 Rupiah. Australia eliminated altogether the 1cent then the 2 cent coins. The 5 cent coin will be next. The $1.00 note became a coin as did the $2.00 note. We do not yet have a $100,000 note but surely we are headed in that direction? Our currency is dropping in value with respect to what really matters - land and housing, water and energy. It is true that we can buy such items as furniture and kitchen wares, electrical goods and computers for quite reasonable prices but they are not real assets in my view. I can "hear" the inflation of our currency in everyday language, " 1 mil" "1 point 8" "only 1.2" for houses and I know that I am not gaining (in wealth) even though I have more dollars than I did 10 years ago! They are not really dollars any more in the sense that they used to be.

Dennis,
Are you sure you are not taking for reality what the newsmedia manufacture? It is the business of big business/the growth lobby to promote what they want as what 'everyone' wants. Just because the Age or the Australian or the ABC or various commercial tv and radio stations say that everyone wants the price of their home to go up does not mean that everyone actually does. They just make it up and flog the message until a small froth of noisy yuppies absorb it and become mad speculators. Then the same news sources promote ways to drive up demand further, such as advertising to foreign purchasers.

The majority of people I meet, no matter in what area these days, want housing to become affordable. They can see that they need higher wages simply to keep up with the rent, the mortgage or the rates, not to mention electricity and water. All costs of living and doing business are driven up by land/housing prices. And the same big end of town that pretends that we all want what it wants then complains about the cost of wages in Australia.

The people who run the media in this country should be forced to declare, day by day, all their investments and assets. Then it would become clear why they promote such ridiculous attitudes as norms.

The reliance on revenues from increasing housing prices, and growth at a time of budgetary and job limitations, is an admission of a vacuous and shallow economy. It's evidence of a lack of ideas, productivity and innovation. It's about bulking up people instead of a real economy.

There's desperation to ramp up supply of housing, but there's rarely any discussion of the demand - driven by excessive population growth riding on high immigration levels. The fact that we have massive infrastructure deficit, youth unemployment and increasing homelessness is evidence of hitting the limits of housing growth. Never has there been such a disadvantaged generation as this one.

It's the worship of "growth" at all costs, without justification and along with the stealth that's it's somehow natural and organic.

Unfortunately, it is not the media where I am getting my opinions from. It's often straight from the horses mouth... Maybe my neighbourhood is different.

Perhaps the difference is that the area and circles we move in. Some I speak to recognise that it is an issue, but they want a solution that doesn't affect them.

Victoria's population will explode to 10 million by 2051! There's already entrenched disadvantages in Melbourne's fringes.

Dear Mr Wynne,

With due respect, why do we need Melbourne's massive projected population growth? What can't we do now that will improve with 8 million people? What about after mid century? Will growth end?

Mr Wynne will tell a conference looking at how Melbourne will cope with such rapid growth that state governments have the "duty and an obligation" to ensure planning decisions mean outer Melbourne suburbs have proper access to transport and infrastructure.

Read more: The Age: Being born on city fringe must not disadvantage says Planning Minister Richard Wynne

Other than housing growth, the beneficiaries will only be the banks and property developers. There's already massive shortfalls of public service, and infrastructure, especially in outer suburbs. We'll almost be bigger than any other city of Europe, except Moscow?

Just what will be the benefits? In the past we brought migrants to build infrastructure, and build our nation. Now, we must spend $billions on infrastructure, so we can bring migrants? Where's the net gain?

With unaffordable housing, unemployment, crime, evaporation of manufacturing industries, and traffic congestion costs, there's really no social, environmental or economic reason for this population growth. Accommodating it means nothing will be done at Federal level to manage our borders, and put the brakes on our unsustainable rate of immigration.

Surely your "duty and obligation" should include actually questioning this socially-engineered population growth? Planning now is just about deregulation, and more people!

Please, could you discuss this Melbourne at 8 million plan with your colleague, MP for Wills, Kelvin Thomson.

The reply:

DELWP: Victoria in Future: Population and household projections

Governments are committed to providing adequate housing and infrastructure. ( Already there is inadequate housing, homelessness, and massive infrastructure deficit. As for "strong" natural growth, Victoria has one of the lowest fertility rates! The growth is largely due to migration, but it's still considered inevitable - and questions not answered!)

Thank you Nimby for trying to get some democratic consideration from our terrible government and for putting this on the record. Was that actually a one line answer from the Minister?

Sheila, not the answer was NOT one line, but actually said very little, and referred me to the above DEWLP web page.
According to the letter, migrants arrive where there are jobs, opportunities and amenities. and government has the job of planning for the growth! It's assumed their hands are tied, and they are not implementing the growth. or have any part in promoting it.
The government, they claim, is meant to provide infrastructure and housing to manage the growth, but this is failing now, and will be unlikely to be able to cope in the future. They are passing the buck, and not claiming responsibility. Why continue with the facade of providing "affordable housing" when it isn't?
As for jobs and amenities, we are facing high youth unemployment, and there are few amenities in fringe suburbs already.
They just get the generic "population growth" letter from their files, print it, without directly addressing or responding to concerns, taking responsibility, or admitting to the contradictions.

Hi again Nimby.

So, it sounds as if you got a quite half-baked response. The sort of slurry, half-thought out response you might get from a drunk on his way to the pub in response to a reasonable question, like, "Before you head off, could you tell me what have you done with the rent money?

In case I am not making myself clear, I mean that our ministers and public servants seem to have given up on rational dialogue with citizens. I rarely bother to try to communicate with these ne'er do wells, but recently I wrote a careful complaint to SBS and a specific inquiry to Julie Bishop, Min for Foreign Affairs and Trade, about a reference she had used which did not actually reference what she said. I received neither acknowledgement nor response.

The government is out to lunch, discussing mad projects like bombing Syria to 'stop' the refugee outflow, for instance. They are like drunks blaming everyone else but themselves for the mess they are making.