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:
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.
Groups representing thousands of Australians intend seeking meetings with Federal MPs to see where they stand on population growth and are calling for a referendum on the issues.
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.
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.
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.
Mary Drost of Planning Backlash and the Marvellous Melbourne website has picked up Matthew Guy's 'challenge' on population growth and comes back with the figures and this statement. We look forward to Matthew Guy's response.
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.
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".
Report on the Federation Square (Victoria, Australia) Population Forum on 23 April 2010, where Mark O'Connor debated Marcus Spiller.
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 candobetter.org'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
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.
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.
"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
(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.
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.