Another idiotic housing affordability “solution” emerges - Article by Leith van Onselen

Leading real estate rent-seeker, the Property Council of Australia (PCA), is pushing for another idiotic policy “solution” to fix Australia’s housing affordability woes: offering a government-backed low deposit home loan scheme.

Immigration hype and immigration reality - enforced by the bulldozer

St Kilda Road and Hoddle Street widening to accommodate larger volumes of road traffic in Melbourne means bulldozing hundreds of beautiful, mature trees, cultivated in a time when people appreciated the importance of natural shade and beauty. This vandalism is caused by willful promotion of overpopulation by the Victorian State government. Furtively supported by an equally venal Opposition, invited economic mass immigration-caused population growth marches on like an invasion preceded by bulldozers, jack hammers and all manner of violence towards our environment and display of might by state governments. Australia grew by over half a million people between July 2016 and July 2017, although natural increase actually declined, almost certainly due to rising costs affecting Australia's fertility opportunity.[1]

Are you really alright, Jack? Pollyanna-ism and the 99% in Australia - article by Sally Pepper

(Article by Sally Pepper.) On New Year's Day, January 1st 2018, as I surfaced around 10.00 a.m, I heard on the news that power prices and tolls on roads around Melbourne will both increase and, that this year many Victorians will experience additional economic hardship. My immediate defensive thought was, "Well I don't use tollroads and I guess I can be more frugal with my use of gas and electricity."

Starving brood-mares in Mt Eliza - Animal Cruelty Hotline report

These are photos of horses on a property on Moorooduc Hwy, Mt Eliza, in Victoria, Australia. People have expressed concern at the condition of these horses, which looks dire, and the paddock, where there appears to be no grass at all - only dirt. One horse photographed has gross leg deformities, although this could be a birth defect. The person who took the photos says that the RSPCA has informed them that they are working with the owners. The photographer has expressed alarm at how long this is taking and fears that the delay will doom these horses. Barrie Tapp of Animal Cruelty Hotline has passed this information on to candobetter.net because it needs public attention. Please let your local member of parliament know. Animal cruelty hotline is Freecall 1800751770

Hooray, Hooray, for New Years Day!

Hooray, hooray, it's New Year's Day
wish we could go out and play
but every place we want to go,
is packed with cars, it's such a blow!
100 thousand more each year
makes it very, very hard to steer
and all those bikes an extra trouble
I'd rather live inside a bubble.

New patch aims to turn energy-storing fats into energy-burning fats

A new approach to reducing bulging tummy fats has shown promise in laboratory trials. It combines a new way to deliver drugs, via a micro-needle patch, with drugs that are known to turn energy-storing white fat into energy-burning brown fat. This innovative approach developed by scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) reduced weight gain in mice on a high fat diet and their fat mass by more than 30 per cent over four weeks. This is good news for fat mice, but fat humans will need to wait until human trials start.

Reserve Bank policy and Recent immigration impact on Australian workforce

Luci Ellis, Assistant Governor of the Reserve Bank (Economic), is very pro immigration. Some have wondered whether she may be making the running on this question behind the scenes more than is Philip Lowe, the Governor. Recent migrants may be somewhat more likely to hold degree-level qualifications than locals but this does not mean that their professional qualifications are well suited to the Australian labour market. (We should also ask ourselves, what is it about the Australian education system that makes Australians less likely than some immigrant streams to hold degree-level qualifications?)

"Australian wages stall, as immigration soars." Might things be changing at the ABC?

Australian Dick Smith, techie, environmentalist who founded National Geographic, and millionaire, has recently attempted to educate Australians about the wealthy population growth lobby in their country, which benefits from Australia's rapid immigration-fueled population growth whilst the rest of us pay the cost. To do this, he has run his own expensive campaing, including taking out expensive ads in newspapers. Among other things, Smith has decribed Australia's public media, the ABC, as biased in its failure to fairly report the costs of population growth. We on candobetter.net cannot help but be impressed at his community spirit. Are Dick Smith’s ads having an effect on population reporting further afield? Maybe. Here's an example of what we hope may be a new trend in truthful reporting on the matter by the ABC.

Are car rampages the new normal in Melbourne?

Every day, ordinary men and women, climb into the driver’s seat of machines capable of high speeds where a collision with each other, an obstacle, or a living thing, can cause serious injury or death. These people, when they start their engines, could be feeling calm, stressed, angry, sad, or confused. The extent of these feelings may or may not be sufficient to impair their ability to drive safely to their destination. Even if their feelings are sufficient to affect their driving, most times they will be lucky enough not to encounter any problem and will live to drive another day. The same applies to the extent to which they may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The viability of our cities, commerce, societies, relies on the trust that people behind the steering wheels of motor vehicles will behave themselves, will not endanger others, and they that they will not use the full potential of the engines they control.

Port Campbell Group rejects DELWP's 'Smart Planning'

"The proposed “Smart Planning” must not proceed in its current form. The Group does not support fast tracking development, weakening permit or planning triggers or referral requirements, or permit exemptions, or the removal of appeal rights." Inside find Port Campbell Community Group Inc's submission to the Victorian Planning Provisions Discussion Paper.

Credlin: Give us a debate and vote on Australia’s population - Article by Leith van Onselen

Chief of Staff to former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Peta Credlin, is the latest to question Australia’s mass immigration program, which flooded NSW (read Sydney) and VIC (read Melbourne) with a record 185,500 net overseas migrants (combined) in the year to June, further crush-loading our two biggest cities. This article was first published on Macrobusiness at https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2017/12/peta-credlin-give-us-national-debate-vote-australias-population/ on December 15 2017.

Mammal long thought extinct in NSW resurfaces in State's west

A Crest-tailed Mulgara, a small carnivorous marsupial known only from fossilised bone fragments and presumed extinct in NSW for more than century, has been discovered in Sturt National Park north-west of Tibooburra.

Propaganda is a very big problem in the war in Syria - for both sides

Propaganda is how they got people to go along with the so called 'revolution' in the first place.

What if armed men came to town and the cable TV news stations broadcast that there is a revolution and if you want a place in the new society you have to join now? What if you were poor and living in the ghetto when the announcement arrived and they told you that this was your chance to participate in the government and to become empowered in society? Then, armed checkpoints were set up everywhere, some operated by local people who might be armed and trigger happy, but at least they recognize you; others by strangers who are part of the national army, and they aren't in a good mood. Both sides believe that some of their members have been killed by the other for no good reason and they are angry. You weren't at the protests so you don't really know what happened. You've seen some very polarized 'news' on TV. and a call to battle. What do you do now?

Divide and Conquer: Developers set to carve up Mornington Peninsular via Tootgarook Swamp

Check out the advertising: “Divide and Conquer Unsurpassed Development Opportunity.” Tootgarook Swamp on the Mornington Peninsula is under widespread threat from developers. They need your help. 92 Elizabeth Ave, Caple Sound, is for sale for 'environmentally friendly' residential development (a contradiction in terms). Environmentalists suggest that this might be the least developable block on the entire Mornington Peninsula, due to flooding risks alone. Meanwhile, the site's biodiversity values are incredible and that’s without even considering the site's implemented VCAT order for illegal clearance, P2706/2016. The site's values and species need your help to step forward and make a stand for biodiversity on the Southern Peninsula. The site serves as critical habitat for one federally listed wetland bird, and is also utilised by many migratory and state listed species. Please write to your Councillor, you State and Federal Members requesting that this site be acquired by purchase and protected forever. Please share this message with those who care about Tootgarook Swamp and the Peninsulas biodiversity.

Video Happiness in the Rat Race cartoons our overpopulated predicament

What does happiness mean to you? We tend to search for it in material things, substances, and career achievements, but often lose sight of what really matters to us in the process. London-based artist and animator Steve Cutts is taking a long hard look at this ‘rat race’ to which we’ve all found ourselves tied, and is examining our modern sources of joy in a satirical new short film that depicts us as the ‘rats’ we’ve become in the eyes of the system. It’s titled after that mysterious high we’re always chasing; “Happiness.” Take 4 minutes out of your busy day and watch the clip for yourself below, and tell us in the comments if you think Cutts hit the nail on the head.

Residents excluded from planning privatisation - Article by Prof Michael Buxton

"Labor is developing what is meant to be the most fundamental restructure of the Victorian planning system since the 1996 introduction of the Victoria Planning Provisions, the new Smart Planning program. [...] A simpler, more efficient and certain planning scheme is long overdue, but Smart Planning is not the way to provide it. This is a $25 million program managed through the Smart Planning program Rules team. If the system is simply to implement five minor changes, along with online access, then the program is a massive waste of money.

Christine's Thoughts on ‘Smart Planning’ and the Victorian Planning Provisions Discussion Paper

This is dismantling planning schemes, removing impediments to what developers want, and allowing development on developers’ terms. What is happening under “Smart Planning” has no relationship to either of those words. Read it and weep – or get angry, and loud. This is essentially about making a single planning scheme for Victoria, controlled by the State government (and whoever may have its ear). You are having YOUR planning scheme stolen from you.

Malvern East Group reproves Vic Gov on so-called 'reform' of planning

"The MEG Committee expresses its anger at the entire lack of contact between DELWP and residents’ groups such as ours. DELWP’s actions re the Discussion Paper seek to exclude residents from being informed of the proposed changes and from taking part in the decision-making process about the area in which we live." ..."VicSmart must not be broadened. It is quite clear that there is enough of the ‘fast tracking’ for so-called ‘simple’ planning applications. The Discussion Paper indicates that “the sky’s the limit.” When VicSmart was introduced the then Opposition (now the Government) vigorously opposed it saying that it really meant “the sky’s the limit” with regard to fast-tracking Planning Applications and this was to be deplored. The same Party (now in Government) has put aside such quibbles and enthusiastically adopted fast-tracking of applications and the Discussion Paper is mere tokenism."

Ashburton Residents reprove Vic Gov Planning 'Reform' dictatorship

We need stronger not weaker planning controls at the level of local government and more community involvement. We need to empower local government and communities by ensuring that projects other than minor modifications to existing properties are scrutinized by council in consultation with the community. It might be more time consuming and cumbersome however it will be well worth the additional effort if we can avoid a planning disaster while at the same time achieving better planning outcomes. To achieve a good result, we need to give Councils the right to veto or modify a proposed development application and in the case of a disputed application that cannot be resolved at the level of local government, I would like to recommend that we replace VCAT by appointing a democratically elected community jury with the power to veto or modify a project. Overpopulation, planning and overdevelopment and building safe, attractive and cohesive communities will be the over-riding themes in the upcoming election campaign. Any further action in relation to the proposed changes should be deferred until we elect a new government in 2018 to allow the people to decide whether or not they support further deregulation and privatisation of the planning process and the removal of appeal rights. (A. Walker, Ashburton Residents Action Group)

Brilliant Green Wedges letter from Rosalie Counsell to Casey Planning Manager

"While Melbourne’s green wedges are generally considered to be a legacy of the 1972 – 1981 Rupert (Dick) Hamer State Government, they were established as part of the 1968 – 1971 Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works planning process. They were protected by what was then called the Landscape Interest A zone, with a minimum lot size of twenty acres (eight hectares). For some thirty years, this zoning worked admirably. Then Melbourne started to experience growth pressure and the speculators moved in with their propensity to buy influence. The visionary Melbourne 2030 blue print for Melbourne and its rural fringe came under siege and has been slowly but relentlessly eroded by both sides of Government ever since." [...] "It is the role of councils and State Governments to provide sound, thoroughly researched, enforceable planning policies that support the big picture for the long-term future. It is absolutely critical to halt this tsunami of South Eastern suburban sprawl with its lack of supporting infrastructure, and to provide certainty to all stakeholders. Without such resolve, speculation will run rampant and uncontrolled ad hoc development will be the order of the day. Traffic to and from the area is already appalling well beyond the normally accepted peak hours. What are you thinking, putting exponentially more cars on these road networks that are not designed to take them? Casey is heading down a vortex of engineered chaos."

Oz media joins US witch hunt of celebrities - Geoffrey Rush targeted

I am disgusted to hear that actor Geoffrey Rush has been refused the details of an accusation of 'inappropriate behaviour'. This has apparently left him accused and unable to defend himself except by denying a vague claim from a person unknown. He appears to have been denied natural justice by his accusers and by the newsmedia, which has sensationalised the little information it has been able to glean. Publishing this news without objecting to this manner of disclosure should be seen as defamation.

Submission to Victorian Planning Provisions Discussion Paper - Sustainable Population Australia

[Address for submissions. ]The discussion paper fails to acknowledge fundamental truths about our modern society and how we live. The built environment profoundly affects residents, visitors, and indeed other species every day. As such, as in other disciplines, it is incumbent upon government to exercise the “Precautionary Principle” in how it plans for Victoria’s future. A fundamental part of proper planning is to acknowledge the importance of local input and longstanding local knowledge of an area. From the discussion paper on “Reforming the Victoria Planning Provisions” residents have been excluded from the both the technical and advisory groups to the “Smart Planning” process. Long standing and hard fought for citizens’ rights, previously accepted and adopted into our Planning provisions have been swept away. What is proposed is government and developers operating as a combined growth machine pitted against the residents without residents even being given a seat at the table as a minority voice. Where has our democracy gone? [Candobetter.net editor: For a history of how this has come about in Victoria, check out our 'bad laws' section.]

A report card on liveability in our cities

This article provides a quick analysis of the 128 page document, Creating Liveable Cities in Australia. Although it does not provide a complete picture, it finds many obvious flaws which suggest that it should not be accepted at its face value.

Where's NATO? Putin, Assad win Syrian war

Russian President Vladimir Putin met his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad in Sochi on 21st November 2017. The last time Assad visited Russia was at the beginning of the Russian campaign in Syria in 2015. According to the Syrian president, in two years of the Russian campaign the successes achieved have been evident and many residents of the country were able to return to their homes. He noted that thanks to Russia, Syria was saved as a state. (Text by Inessa S.)

The end of Daesh - Why isn't the west celebrating?

President Assad and President Putin met on 21st of November to celebrate the defeat of Daesh in Syria, but we hear little of this in the western media, which is distracting people with Hollywood scandals. In this brilliantly documented episode of The Debate, Iranian Press TV has conducted an interview with Janice Kortkamp, a journalist from Washington, and Jonathan Fryer, a London-based writer and lecturer, to discuss "the end of Daesh" terrorist group in Syria and Iraq.

Why is the US Media and Foreign Policy Establishment Targeting Russia?

The antagonism towards Russia by U.S. media and foreign policy elites goes far beyond allegations of Russian interference in the U.S. elections. Paul Jay of The Real News interviews
Larry Wilkerson, retired United States Army Colonel and former chief of staff to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell. Wilkerson was the 2009 recipient of the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence. This hour-long interview goes much further and wider than most on this issue. You won't agree with every idea expressed here, but you will be stimulated by many of them, because Wilkerson is intelligent, learned, and unfettered. I have not previously seen a debate cover so much history and geography. They look at the Middle East, Syria, of course, and at petro-politics and climate change. Russia's motives, attitudes. Bill Clinton's incursion into Georgia. Nazis in Ukraine and US encouragement of them. They look at the rise of China and the one belt road. At the reasons for conflict within Saudi Arabia. And they worry about the United States and MSN beating the war drums for Iran. At the end Wilkerson says what strategic advice he would give Trump, if he had the opportunity. Part of that advice is that America has too many enemies and how Trump might reduce the amount. And, finally, how the US, which is trillions of dollrs in debt, with about 20% of the productivity it had in its heyday, might go about partly sharing with and partly relinquising power to China.

Koala found Frankston Reserve on day Parks Vic about to tear down fences

A koala was photographed today (25 November 2017) in the Frankston Reserve, just as Parks Victoria are about to rip down the fences and open the gates for 24 hour recreational access. This park had been until recently a natural reserve for wildlife, established with great difficulty by local wildlife activists and scientists. Urgent action is required to stop Parks Victoria from giving the public 24hr access to Frankston Reserve. It was always a stupid and selfish decision to reverse the status of a natural reserve which had been acquired with such difficulty by people who actually cared about our wildlife. The presence of the koala emphasises the tragic folly of this decision. Please write to Frankston Council and these parliamentarians: lily.d'ambrosio@parliament.vic.gov.au Yes, this is the e-mail address from her parliamentary web page - Ed); Nick.wakeling@parliament.vic.gov.au; Councillors@frankston.vic.gov.au.

Oz Intention to ratify ILO Forced Labour Protocol crucial step in combatting slavery

The Law Council of Australia has applauded the Australian Government’s confirmation that it intends to ratify the ILO Forced Labour Protocol as a vital development in combating forced labour, trafficking, and slavery-like practices.

Easter Island, Nauru and the Future-Eating Global Growth Economy

Expansive Economies and Limited Economies: Industrial capitalism is characterized by population growth, economic growth, expansion and intensification. [1] Although there was a short-lived case of industrial capitalism between about 1585 and 1622 in the Netherlands, [2] industrial capitalism as we know it today really originated in England, based on the apparently limitless fossil reserves of coal and the presence of many landless people who had to live by their labour. [3] These vast reservoirs of fuel gave rise to technologies that permitted mass production and facilitated the conquest and settlement of lands all over the globe. In the 20th century petroleum oil replaced coal as the fuel of industrial expansion, particularly where wheeled transport was concerned, although coal remained a mainstay for electricity production. [This article is an extract from Sheila Newman, Demography Territory Law: The Rules of Animal and Human Populations, Countershock Press, 2013, which is part of a four-book series, of which the first two have so far been published.]

Norfolk Island economy headed for disaster following Australian Government intervention, new report claims

An independent report on the economic situation on Norfolk Island following the Australian Government takeover of governance of the island last year, released today, warns the island’s economy is heading for disaster as a result of spiralling costs and inappropriate regulation. Problems include the widespread imposition of Commonwealth and NSW regulatory regimes; the planned introduction of Australia's Modern Award System; the failure of the Australian Government to take up the responsibilities previously held by the Norfolk Island Government, such as for the promotion of tourism; the loss of direct passenger airline services between New Zealand and Norfolk Island; restrictions placed on primary producers and agricultural pursuits; and the removal of the general revenue raising powers of the Norfolk Island Government.

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