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Mary Drost (Planning Backlash) complains to VCAT about the terrible job they are doing

Mary Drost is the convenor of Planning Backlash, a group with a network of 250 residents' groups, which last year held the biggest ever population awareness function in Australia. Recently VCAT issued a very limited survey for users to fill out. Many of the 250 residents' groups in Planning Backlash were formed through bitter experience of appealing to the law via VCAT. Here is what Mary Drost has to say, in her frank and concise manner.

Residents' Bill of Rights (RBR) - Support this brilliant initiative

At the Planning Backlash and Boroondara Residents Action Group "Mad as Hell event" in Camberwell on Sunday 29th May, 2016, BRAG introduced the following draft Resident's Rights Bill. To indicate your support please email drostmary[AT] Among other things it calls for the setting of population growth targets within OECD averages. It thus nails a continuing problem of the moving target in previous population policy claims. Australia lacks a civil rights code, unlike Europe. Our civil rights used to be implicit in our publicly owned resources and services, like water, Telecom, and power. This draft Residents' Bill of Rights is truly impressive in its ability to identify gaps in Australian residents' rights.

May 29, 2016 'Mad as hell about planning' public forum, Camberwell

Since 2002 when Melbourne 2030 was quietly introduced by the Bracks’ government (which was intended to be a 30 year plan for Melbourne to make it a more compact city) there have been another 1 million people in Melbourne and 16 new plans introduced in 14 years. The latest is “Plan Melbourne Refresh,” very quickly followed by “Managing Residential Development,” which is a review of the Reformed Residential Zones. You would think that our planners could come up with a long term plan but obviously they are responding to different agendas set by developers. Planning Backlash invites you and your members to a public forum to voice your concerns about the way development is happening in Melbourne. To be held in the Parkview Room, Camberwell Civic Centre, 340 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Sunday 29th May 2016, 2.30 PM.

Seeking Info on house purchase Breaches of the Foreign Investment Review Board rules on foreign investment

Planning Backlash reports that there have been some discussions with the Assistant Treasurer about the continued flouting of the FIRB regulations that contain exploitive overseas investment in the local property market. These breaches are resulting in driving prices for housing up to the exclusion of locals, adding to a rapid demolition of housing stock for new 'MacMasions', adding unoccupied houses to our neighbourhoods and resulting in buying tours from overseas which exclude local buyers. Here is how you can help:

Democracy - the cost of population growth: Mathew Guy, Ethiopia and the Sustainable Population Charter

Sustainable Population Australia, Green Wedges Coalition, Protectors of Public Lands Victoria and Planning Backlash are four of the peak planning and environmental groups that have produced a Sustainable Population Charter for Victoria because the government seems unable to do so. It recommends that net overseas migration be reduced from the recent 232,000 immigrants in a year to 70,000 net per annum. See "Peak Community Groups advocate for Population size as an election issue."

Melbourne Future Planning shades of Judge Dredd dystopia

Community groups are making submissions on the Reformed Zones in Victoria. The government's zoning aims to increase commercial areas into residential areas in a serial manner and to intensify activity in the green wedges. The Department of Planning and Community Development has appointed a Ministerial Advisory Committee 'to review all submissions and provide advice back to the government', but the Chairman of the Committee is Geoff Underwood, who is prominent in the affairs of the Australian Population Institute (APop), which is officiated by professional developers and has the primary aim of promoting a huge population for Australia. What chances do robust submissions have with APop defining the parameters of planning in Victoria? See Planning Backlash submission inside.

Planning reform (Backlash) candidates in Local Government Elections, Victoria - list

UPDATED Oct 18 Inside is list of names of people running for local councils in Victoria who are members of groups affiliated with Planning Backlash. The list was compiled by Mary Drost, convenor of Planning Backlash, who says it represents 14 councils and it the total she has so far.

Mary Drost Planning Backlash Submission to proposed changes in Planning Laws [VIC, Australia]

Planning Backlash Inc, a coalition of 250 resident groups across city, coast and country, is astonished at the complexity of the proposals for major changes to Melbourne and her Green Wedges and the limited time to understand it and make submissions. Coalition members are disappointed that there has been no thought given by Government to run public sessions to explain the changes. As a result the vast majority of people don’t know what is happening and have been given no opportunity to find out.

Resident planning rights should be strengthened, not watered down - Kelvin Thomson MP, Australia

Federal Labor Member for Wills, Kelvin Thomson, has condemned reports (The Age 29/11/11 ‘Push to cut planning appeals’) that the Victorian Liberal Government is seriously considering proposals to further reduce the rights of residents to object to inappropriate developments in their neighbourhoods. Wills is an electorate in Victoria, Australia, with very high population density.

New GAIC V55 laws from hell need massive opposition from Victorian public - Mary Drost

The Minister for Planning has approved and is now seeking parliamentary ratification of Amendment VC55. Subject to Parliament’s approval of the Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution legislation it will then come into operation.
25 May is the date on which the government will probably try to bring this bad law (Amendment VC55) in. Mary Drost of Planning Backlash has called these proposed laws, "diabolical".

Victorian organisations demonstrate against bad taxes and urban expansion - GAIC

Organisations unite to oppose GAIC legislation: Angry landowners and Taxed Out supporters will rally against the Brumby Government’s Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC) bill, currently before Parliament, tomorrow on the steps of Parliament House (Melbourne) at 1.00pm. The rally has been called by Taxed Out and will be supported by Protectors of Public Lands Victoria, Planning Backlash and the Green Wedges Coalition, who have's support. Note however that the Australian Property Institute, the Property Council of Australia, and the HIA are all profiting from and lobbying for the undemocratic population growth that is the cause of these new taxes. I hope some people carry some signs pointing this out and speak out against these profiteers. In this case, lambs might as well unite with wolves. We do not support these latter organisations. See also: GrowthLobby

What part of democracy doesn't the Property Council of Australia understand? - belated response to Ms Cunich

The Development Assessment Committees (DACs) Bill will be represented in Parliament on 10 November. It is therefore a good time to publish a belated response to an article by Jennifer Cunich of the Australian Property Council, canning the community for standing up for their rights against these attempts to pass the undemocratic DACs laws against their property and freedom.

See also: Vic Planning Legislative Bill enslaves Victorians to Growth LobbyNew Vic Planning Legislation Bill "a blatant, naked grab for power

Urban Democracy & Environment movement stops rotten DACs law - Victoria, Australia

Another success for the urban democracy and environment movement. The day after the "Restore Residents Rights" rally at parliament house on June 10, which was attended by about 600 people, Victoria's upper house rejected changes to the Planning and Environment Act that would have introduced Development Assessment Committees [DACs] to the State.

Democracy, not Desalination for Bass & Victorians

"I was on the front steps of Parliament House when yet another rally was conducted by Victorians who came to the Parliament to complain about the excesses of the Brumby government. The organisations involved in yesterday’s rally were the Coalition of Concerned Councillors, an organisation called Planning Backlash, and another organisation called Watershed Victoria. I was presented with about 3000 letters in relation to issues to do with the desalination plant." (Mr Ryan, Leader of The Nationals, Victoria). See also: Desalination Project Bass Coast - Public Disquiet and Environmental impact statements too late for the environment

More on the Melbourne protest against Bill to Gag local councilors - video

(Photo of Mary Drost)
The Brumby Government tried to undermine this crucial Melbourne Rally and to avoid criticism by announcing they were modifying their offensive Bill, so the mainstream journalists stayed away. But the alternative press is growing and we will not fall for such simple ploys.

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.

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