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Melbourne protests mass population growth and its profiteers

For his political courage in speaking out against undemocratic, but mainstream media and government endorsed, growth, actor, Geoffrey Rush deserves particular historic recognition from Australians. He launched a new website: Marvellous Melbourne at https://marvellousmelbourne.org. Candobetter.net editor 12 January 2017: Unfortunately, eight years later it is no longer maintained, so we have removed the link. Candobetter.net remains one of its memorials. However the problem those optimistic protesters set out to solve has grown every year into a behemoth that threatens many of our institutions and certainly our way of life, all over Australia.

On Sunday July 6, 2008, Planning Backlash held an impressive public meeting in Mooney Valley.
Speakers included Blue Wedges activist, Jenny Warfe, and Actor Geoffrey Rush.
The meeting focused on the imminent threat of two key changes to government powers:

- New residential zones that remove residents’ rights to object to or even know about planning applications, and
- Removal of Councils’ planning powers by the Victorian government.

Jill Quirk, of Sustainable Population Australia, Victorian Branch, described the meeting as "Amazing".

Jenny Warfe evoked the ultimate pointlessness and crudeness of dredging operations in OUR Port Phillip Bay.
Geoffrey Rush launched a new website for Planning Backlash, called Marvellous Melbourne at marvellousmelbourne.org.
He spoke movingly of how utterly Melbourne will be transformed over the coming years. He also intelligently and courageously questioned the necessity for the population growth currently being imposed on Victorians, and raised the question of the optimum size for Melbourne.

For his courage, Geoffrey Rush deserves particular historic recognition from Australians. Although it is common for people at candobetter.org to challenge the grotesque premises and impacts of endless growth, a professional actor depends upon the mainstream media to a great degree. He therefore takes enormous risks in speaking out against politics which profit the mainstream media and which it heavily endorses. Indeed, it is largely because the mainstream media endorses undemocratic growth and the governments which provide it, that we have had this growth and its frightening and demoralising effects imposed upon us.

The Marvellous Melbourne site, marvellousmelbourne.org, asks:

"Is development the same as progress ? What makes the difference ? Is growth sustainable ? Is there any such thing as 'big enough'? What do we want to sustain ?"
And,
"Are elected governments just dictatorships between elections ?"
It states that,
"Planning is off the rails in Melbourne", and asks, "What is happening in the country and on the coast ?"
It concludes, "This site is for you. It is an attempt to celebrate the best of Melbourne - and to encourage you to explore what was, what is, and what could be."

Details to hand are sketchy, but other speakers were a Leongatha area resident who told of how the imposition by the Victorian government of a desalination plant has forced hitherto non-political residents to come out in organised protest to protect their environment and way of life. A woman from Kilmore, where high density living is being imposed, described how antithetical this was to the community's wishes, since Kilmore is a town which people deliberately chose to live in for a relaxed lifestyle and open space. A Stonnington councillor spoke about the massive and unwelcome changes which are looming for that area.


I believe that that other indefatigable campaigner against bad treatment of native wildlife, horrible planning decisions, and undemocratic population growth, actor Rod Quantok, was also there, but I have no actual report.

SPA(Vic) President, Jill Quirk, said, after the meeting, "The over all feeling I got from the afternoon and all the speakers was expressed pain and anxiety over losses continually suffered because of "development" and the consequent erosion of our environment as well as the loss of democracy entailed in the pace and magnitude of what is happening now in Victoria."

Let's hope that Marvellous Melbourne will extend to represent the rest of Victoria, and that similar sites will rise to represent every state in the country, since almost every settlement on this continent is at the mercy of corporatised growth and related forms of exploitation, which our corporatised governments have completely failed to protect us from. Candobetter will try to promote all such democratic initiatives.

We will try to include details of other speakers and speeches as they come in. Please post comments on this article, supplying details of speakers and speeches, if you are able.