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2011: Portsea Beach, Dredging and development at Hastings: The disaster continues

Is Portsea preparing for invasion? Yes, by sea. Much of the beach has disappeared and the overhang has been sandbagged to prevent businesses from following it. Where did that $38m given to Parks Victoria go? This article also looks at Ted Baillieu's plans to continue development plans (cost $9.4b?) where Brumby left off, plus some comments from the Ex-Ports Minister, Tim Pallas.

Parks Vic and DSE fail to protect marine environment: Auditor General Victoria

Victoria's Auditor-General, Des Pearson, this morning (March 2, 2011) tabled the "Environmental Management of Marine Protected Areas" report in the Victorian Parliament: This audit examined how effectively marine protected areas have been managed to protect biodiversity. It assessed the roles of Parks Victoria, and the Departments of Sustainability and Environment and Primary Industries, in the environmental management of marine protected areas. Parks Victoria cannot show that marine biodiversity is being protected or that the related management obligations of applying resources as intended are being discharged. Little environmental management activity is evident across its marine protected areas.

Link to audit summary and full report:
http://www.audit.vic.gov.au/reports__publications/reports_by_year/2010-11/20110302_marine_parks.aspx

Parks Victoria incompetent management of Invasive weeds and animals: Auditor General

In May, 2010, The Auditor General found that Control of Invasive Plants and Animals in Victoria's Parks was complicated, poorly coordinated, and poorly administered. Around 75 per cent of all plant data and 57 per cent of animal data is over 10 years old, while around 30 per cent of plant and animal data is over 20 years old. Data gathering on new and emerging invasive species is not given sufficient emphasis.

Was the Victorian State Election A Poll on Population Growth?

Julianne Bell and Jill Quirk write that planning issues dogged the Victorian ALP Government, although the ex-Planning Minister seemed remarkably unconcerned about community angst over high rise, high density development. Probably millions of dollars of the community's money and thousands of hours have been spent opposing unwanted, inappropriate developments especially in the established suburbs of Melbourne.

Big bad John Brumby

There are a number of videos on you-tube deploring what the Brumby Government is doing to Victoria. Let's hope that someone comes up with a real alternative. See inside for a selection of films. Please send us the URLs for other films about Australia that you think should be seen. If you are a political candidate, send us your promotions.

Today: Wednesday 10 November, 10am: Supreme Court prosecution of Brown Mountain protesters - be there!

URGENT: Please lend your support by attending at Supreme Court to Victorian Government prosecution of Brown Mountain protesters. Wednesday at 10:00am, (10 November 2010) the Department of Sustainability and Environment will proceed with its prosecution of the individuals charged with protesting at Brown Mountain. meet outside the Magistrates’ Court at 9:15am, corner of Williams and Lonsdale Street Melbourne. A forest- lawyer will be there to meet you and direct you to the relevant Court room. This is a political cause of deepest importance. The Victorian Government and the ALP's involvement in forest crimes goes back years. The forest protesters are our bravest democratic and environmental activists. We must support them for all that they do for the rest of us.

Victorian Greens vague in countering Brumby's VC71 'Big Victoria Manifesto'

Victoria - the place to be? - for bloody whom?


With the VC71 land use planning amendment, clearly the Victorian Brumby Government is hell bent on accommodating immigration hoards regardless of triple-bottom line impacts - economical viability, social equity, ecological integrity.

Yet the Victorian Greens, while tokenly supportive of triple bottom line principles and the desire for limits on urban growth; true to form, remain idealistic and motherhood, with no shovel-ready strategy nor costed programmes.

'Greens' support Madden's Bad Law VC 71 in black week for Victoria, Australia

VC71 clause 16 was to be challenged by the Liberals on 6 October. Greens were approached to support it and many people expected that support to be automatic. The Greens had voted against clause 16 in its earlier form and it had reappeared with few changes. Many conservationists and planning activists throughout Melbourne have seen in the Greens some hope of an alternative to population growth and development uber al. They were aghast to realise that the Greens had finished up supporting the Brumby Government's ecologically unsustainable population growth and this crowning horror of Justin Madden's bad development laws.

See also: Are the Greens a real alternative? of 9 Mar 10, "Tasmanian Greens and the terror of coalitions" of 24 Mar 10 on Online Opinion and related discussion forum.

Wednesday Oct 6 Rendezvous: Anti Desal Plant Rally & Libs move against VC71: Melbourne Parliament

Midday: Anti Desal Plant Rally on steps of parliament, Melbourne. All supporters welcome. After that, go to the Upper House Gallery, Parliament House,and show your support to the Opposition's motion to Overturn Amendment VC71

Dodgy Vic Government recycles old announcements and old-logged forest

The ALP’s 2006 election promise was to protect ‘the last significant stands of old growth planned for logging’.
But environment groups say that most of what has recently been identified for protecton was either in existing protection zones, had already been logged or was degraded forest unwanted for logs or woodchips anyway.

Abbeygroup bulldozers and police drive democracy from Westerfield

[This article is the third in the Series on Westerfield. The others are:"LMA (was SEITA) Bulldozers trash bushland from Westerfield to the Pines" and "SEITA Bulldozers imminent on Westerfield Bushland Sth Frankston - Picket-line plans up to Victorian Elections" (was "SEITA Bulldozers threaten...".] People wanted to know who owned the Westerfield property. The government had said that it owned the property and the police had said last week that it was 99% likely that the government did, but that they could not be categorical. On Tuesday they would not even discuss the question. There is a lot of confusion when it comes to compulsory acquisition about who owns what. Two fantails came out of the trees and flew down towards the men and their machines in a dancing pattern, almost attacking the machines. The men standing by the machines ducked to avoid the tiny birds. Then the little birds returned to their trees and sat there, as if they had made their final statement.

LMA (was SEITA) Bulldozers trash bushland from Westerfield to the Pines

New (third in series) article, latest update: "Abbeygroup bulldozers and police drive democracy from Westerfield." This is the second in a series, which began with our important, long-running article,"SEITA Bulldozers imminent on Westerfield Bushland Sth Frankston - Picket-line plans up to Victorian Elections" (was "SEITA Bulldozers threaten...". Update, Monday 27 September 2010: VCAT Appeal and Be ready on site for action Tuesday 28 Sep
On 21 September 2010, Gillian Collins, who has led the defense of the Pines Bushland and wildlife corridors, against the Frankston Freeway for years now, may have taken her final physical stand on this on the battlefield at Westerfield, where she has been manning a picket-line since Monday 5 July 2010. I doubt, however, that we have heard Gillian's last word on this matter, because as she went down, she was brandishing papers and talking barristers.

SEITA Bulldozers imminent on Westerfield Bushland Sth Frankston - Picket-line plans up to Victorian Elections

Click to go to New article 1 October 2010. 16 September - URGENT REINFORCEMENTS REQUIRED - See inside! 15 September 2010: New plans - more troops needed; Photos by Jill Quirk added on 21 July. Leader Newspaper 2 August coverage of Protest March to Alistair Harkness's office, Frankston This will make you angry. In the first project to come under the notorious "Major Transport Facilitation Act," bulldozers move in to nationally significant heritage Westerfield before the Heritage Council Decision comes out. Picket line ongoing, since 5 July. Contacts for the picket site: S Walsh Mobile: 0405 380 312 Also Gillian Collins Pines Protectors 0414 309 960 and Jim Kerin Defenders of the South East Green Wedge Mobile 0409 501 764. Original notice was from Julianne Bell, Secretary, Protectors of Public Lands Victoria Inc.
PO Box 197, Parkville 3052, Mobile: 0408022408

Supreme Court: Victory for Brown Mountain against VicForest loggers

Congratulations Jill Redwood, leader of Environment East Gippsland! In a landmark decision today, the Supreme Court has found that the government has a responsibility to look for and protect endangered wildlife before logging in the contentious Brown Mountain forests of East Gippsland. “This judgment has implications for all native forests that are set to be destroyed by logging,” said EEG spokesperson Jill Redwood. “If we hadn’t sued VicForests, Brown Mountain would have been illegally logged by now. And Brown Mountain is just one area. The government is logging publicly owned forests every day without endangered species surveys.” EEG Website for more updates

Bushfire Commission - playing politics with fire?

Many Victorians who lost friends and family, and know people who lost houses in the 2009 furnace in Victoria are appalled at some of the recommendations issuing from the Royal Commision Final Report. They are trying to find solutions that match the enormity of the increase in bushfire threats of the future. Inform yourself with this analysis of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission Report and Recommendations!

Update on Frankston Victoria, Demonstration to defend Nature Friday, July 30th, 2010

Update and mainstream press online comment opportunityLeader Newspaper 2 August coverage of Protest March to Alistair Harkness's office, Frankston Demonstrators walked from Shannon Mall to ALP member, Alistair Harkness's office. The reason for demonstrating was to highlight the failure to defend nature by our Victorian Government, which Alistair Harkness represents in Frankston. This demonstration was related to the violent destruction of Westerfield Bushlands and of democracy in this connection. (See this article.)

An "Unfortunate" Bid to Corrupt Victoria's Planning and Heritage Laws ?

"The Windsor Hotel redevelopment scandal will go down in history as a bid to corrupt Victoria's Planning and Heritage laws.

What is not so clear yet, however, is whether the Windsor scandal is an isolated incident linked to a 'Rogue Trader' in the State Government's Media Unit, or whether it is part of a wider conspiracy designed to help undermine the rule of law, and the regulation of property developers in Victoria," says Brian Walsh, leader of the Kew Cottages Coalition in Victoria. (Kew Cottages Coalition was formed in 2003 to defend public ownership of public land containing building and plant for the care of people with developmental problems. This public estate, overlooking sweeping views of parkland and the Yarra River all the way to the city of Melbourne, has since been sold-off by the government to private development, without democratic consultation.)

Nightmare on your street - Planning & Democratic Catastrophe for Melbourne as VC 68 passes parliament

This morning Planning Minister Madden’s revised Planning Amendment, now re-badged VC 68, was fast tracked through Parliament with the support of the coalition - Liberals and Nationals – who had, over the past year, held out against inducements to approve this toxic planning amendment. (Only the Greens and DLP MP’s stood firm.) This represents a catastrophe for Melbourne as it will see rezoning of land from rural to residential on the City’s fringe and so extend our notorious urban sprawl.

Protest Tuesday 22 June: Amendment VC67: Urgent Appeal to all Victorian activist groups

Protectors of Public Land, Planning Backlash and Green Wedges Colaition join forces tomorrow (June 22nd) to oppose Amendment VC67, which is being brought to Parliament by Justin Madden (Minister for Planning) the same day. Rally on steps of Victorian Parliament, Spring St., Melbourne, at 12:24 pm for 1 pm start, Tuesday 22 June 2010.

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".

Public Funeral for Local Democracy in Williamstown, Victoria, Australia

Williamstown people would be delighted if you could join them for this special occasion. They suggest you bring your own placards and banners
so that the media can see that all across Melbourne city coast and country we are all fed up with this loss of democracy and are coming together to show that we are united in our opposition to our lack of ability to say what happens to our own neighbourhoods.

Brown Mountain update and first ever footage potoroo new behaviour

First ever film of unknown long-footed potoroo behaviour! Inside.
And update on EEG's Brown Mountain funding and progress on case (final judgement still pending)
Report on VicForest's appalling plans for Victorian forests - "whole-of-landscape-obliteration".
See also http://candobetter.org/taxonomy/term/701

Save Williamstown requests help, Saturday 10th at 1pm (Victoria)

The Minister, Justin Madden, has already rezoned the Former Port Phillip Woollen Mill site residential, preventing any mixed use which could have benefited the community and protected the shipyards. Hobsons Bay Council has been excluded from the rezoning decision and was not informed until minutes before the Minister's press release on 26th March. The rezone was on the request of the developer, Nelson Place Village Pty Ltd with no reference to our council or the community or the industrial stakeholders.

Brown Mountain Trial awaits final Judgement - summary of arguments in Loggers vs Mother Nature

The long trial for the wildife on Brown Mountain has come to an end - all except the final decision by Justice Osborn, which all await with baited breath. This is a land-mark trial where real-life avatars have come out and opposed the 160 year old treatment of Victoria's forests and animals as colonial spoils for the taking and Victorians as mere servants to the State.
Read inside a fascinating summary of the arguments and evidence from either side: Vic Forests (for logging) and Environment East Gippsland Inc. (for nature). Revelatory of Department of Environment and Sustainability.

Planning Minister Madden Panics Parliamentary Enquiry Committee: Hearing Abandoned

Hysteria in Victorian Parliament disrupts Hearing on Finance and Administration. Witness fails to appear, perhaps advised not to by Attorney General. Scandal surrounds the Victorian Department of Planning and the ability of Victorian Law to pursue the truth in Parliament. Report from several sources present at the events. Please submit your views to Parliament - see inside

Brown Mountain: Case of the century at Sale Court-house Monday March 1st (tomorrow)

NEWSFLASH! Environment East Gippsland v Loggers. Court case begins tomorrow (March 1, 2010) between Environment East Gippsland for Brown Mountain against the Government and logging interests. All welcome. This is a very important test of our environmental and democratic laws. In the preliminary hearings Judge Forrest did not make going ahead with the case dependent on EEG providing a financial bond for costs to the logging interests if EEG lost the case. This public interest decision on his part has made this case possible. The requirement of such a bond was what stopped Blue Wedges from going ahead to represent the public and try to stop the dredging of Port Philip Bay.

Shock Horror - Madden's Press Secretary lets truth slip

The TRUTH comes out of Maddens office. Consultation is faked. This is what we have all know for a long time as we spend hours of our time working away putting in submissions.
Well it is official; they just tick the boxes, as in: "Consulted with the community - tick."
And this is Madden who wants to be Premier?

Originally published on 25 Feb 10. Updated on 28 Feb 10 with embedded videos (thanks to Marvellous Melbourne) showing Madden being grilled by the newsmedia.
See also: "Government email reveals plans to deceive" of 25 Feb 10 by Ryan Sheales on ABC Online, "Consultation with community a sham" of 27 Feb 10 on Marvellous Melbourne.

Roos dying poisoned by fluoride emissions in Portland and Cragieburn, Victoria

We do need an Animal Justice Party NOW! Our kangaroos are dying of fluoride poisoning apparently from dust levels from a brick factory at Craigieburn and the Alcoa aluminium smelting plant near Portland. DSE was informed of the problem in 2008 and the EPA was told in 2005, but signs of fluoride-related symptoms in kangaroos were noted as early as 2001. DSE's wildlife statistics are unreliable and the EPA is known as a toothless tiger, but how many of us would have thought there was enough fluoride dust out there to kill herds of kangaroos? And where does that put humans, especially children?

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