Rapid population growth is political poison, and has brought down a second Victorian Government in four years. In the past decade Australia's migration rate more than doubled. The greatest consequences of this dramatic increase have been in Melbourne, which started growing by more than 200 people a day, 1500 each week, 75,000 each year.
As I pointed out at the time, the adverse consequences of this growth for planning, transport, the environment and the cost of living were crucial in bringing down the former Labor Government. Article originally published on Kelvin Thomson MP's site.
What is a normal response from an environment minister to a straight question to a matter that alarms about 80% of Australians, as even self-styled demographer, Bernard Salt of KPMG admits?  Mr Kelvin Thomson, ALP member for Wills, asked Greg Hunt, the Liberal Government Minister for the Environment, whether the Government would consider adopting a stable population policy to avoid new infrastructure imperatives. Minister Hunt responded bluntly that "the answer to the honourable member's question was: No."
Video inside: The Big Population Debate at the Deakin Edge in Federation Square, Melbourne, on October 13, 2014, between Kelvin Thomson and Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, was a fantastic success in terms of numbers and outcome. Given the utter inertia of political process in responding to this democratic emergency, Mary Drost's call for a Referendum on Australia's Population Growth was a great idea to go forward. With both Kelvin Thomson and Mayor Doyle agreeing that a referendum on population is a good idea, Victorians and other Australians have something concrete to go forward with. The film here is of the debate. The referendum is on the open mike section, which is the next film that will be published. The debate embedded here showed that Mayor Doyle really doesn't have a handle on the issue at all, except as a loyal servant to the business end of growth. Kelvin Thomson's ability to debate the subject would make him a world leader in this area. This is a very important and historic record. Congratulations to Mary Drost of Planning Backlash for making it happen. Sheila Newman produced the video.
Mayor Doyle took the position that would guarantee that the ongoing dispossession of the Wurundjeri should continue at an ever escalating rate because it was "inevitable". Kelvin Thomson's position was more respectful of the Wurundjeri and took the opposite view.
UPDATE: For the film of debate click here. The debate was attended by a 200 plus audience. The Lord Mayor showed courage under fire as he went down in the debate with only a pea-shooter of light-weight fashion statements like how many coffee shops Melbourne has vs a steady stream of deadly facts from Mr Thomson. The editors of candobetter.net are working to bring you a film of the debate, plus commentary and interviews with people who attended, ASAP. Mary Drost is to be resounding congratulated for achieving this important democratic event and also for calling for a referendum on population increase, which both Kelvin Thomson and Lord Mayor Doyle agreed would be desirable.
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle and Kelvin Thomson MP will debate the topic of Victoria's rapid and increasing population growth at Deakin Edge in Federation Square from 5.30-7pm on 13 October 2014. A few months ago Planning Backlash leader, Mary Drost, challenged Melbourne Mayor, Robert Doyle, to debate much loved Federal Member of Parliament, Kelvin Thomson, who retained his federal seat by a huge margin in an election where most other members of his party lost their seats. In 2014 Mr Thomson established Victoria First, a not-for-profit NGO to safeguard and enhance Victoria’s way of life against overpopulation. He is the only politician in Victoria to represent the people against the big business drive for rapid population growth.
Video and Transcript inside: Federal Labor Member for Wills, Kelvin Thomson, spoke in Parliament against the signing of contracts and the construction of the East West Link Road Tunnel, also known as the Royal Park Freeway. Before the election the Liberals were in favour of independent cost benefit analysis for major projects, yet now in government, they are avoiding undertaking one for the East-West Link in Melbourne, the freeway through Royal Park. Mr Thomson wrote to the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, and his Parliamentary Secretary on 27th August, to seek appropriate and publicly transparent economic modelling, environmental assessment and community consultation before tens of billions of dollars are spent on a tunnel that makes no economic sense, will damage our environment and which will hurt local communities. (23/9/14). Note that Kelvin will be publicly debating Victoria's population growth policy with Melbourne Mayor Robert Doyle on 13 October in Melbourne at Deakin Edge in Federation Square from 5.30-7pm.
Video added inside. Headings in this highly informative paper include: How people get to Frankston Station, Social needs and mobility, The household transport cost burden, Peninsula Link, East West Link, The VicRoads Point Nepean Road Study, The Container Port at Hastings, The Cranbourne/Pakenham rail corridor project, and remarks on Road Spending. Only about 0.6% of Frankston residents who travel to work, work in locations that would be accessed by the Napthine government's proposed East West link, if they chose to drive. Poor frequency of service is a major issue in Frankston and on the Peninsula for bus services. The Stony Point train service is in danger of death through neglect and indifference if its service frequency is not improved and locals do not mobilise to support it. Local government can and should play a major advocacy role in this space.
Public forum with Kelvin Thomson, William Burke, Sheila Newman, Clifford Hayes and numerous community groups. Sustainable Population Australia & Victoria First are hosting a panel discussion and open mike on Melbourne's population future. The event will be filmed to use as a document to show how Melbourne people feel about overpopulation. "Melbourne's population growth is treated by the media, by governments and by planners as though it is inevitable, giving the impression that the fate of Melbourne is to be a city of 7 to 8 million by mid-century. What the public seldom hears is that Melbourne's huge growth rate is not inevitable, nor that growth of the population does not magically stop at mid-century unless changes to existing trends are made. If present growth rates continued, Melbourne would be a city of about 20 million by the end of the century. The truth is that Melbourne's future could be largely in our own hands. This meeting is a chance for the people of Melbourne to question the ideology that "Melbourne must keep growing"" (Jill Quirk, President SPA Vic & Tas). "Melbourne has been growing by 200 people a day, 1,500 a week and 75,000 each year for some time now. The latest projections are that this rapid growth will escalate still further. But Melbournians are not asked whether this is what we really want for our city." (Kelvin Thomson, President, Victoria First)
Hon. Kelvin Thomson is conducting a Victoria First public meeting about population concerns in Ringwood on Saturday 29th March 2014, 2PM-4PM. at Central Ringwood Community Centre, Bedford Park, Bedford Rd. Ringwood. Professor Buxton will be the main speaker. Subject: The impact of Melbourne's population growth on local communities. If you are concerned about population growth, planning issues, over-development, and the loss of residents' rights in Ringwood, please come along. If you are bothered by how growth impacts wildlife, this meeting is for you as well.
Australia's net overseas immigration absolutely dwarfs any asylum seeker or refugee program by about 280,000 to 20,000 people, yet almost no-one is blowing the whistle. (Planned immigration for 2013-2014 is 190,000 alone. The permanent migrant worker program called “Skilled Migration” is now completely out of whack with Australia’s current and future jobless numbers. "Whether you’re one of the many young people concerned about your future job and career prospects, or how you will purchase your first home, or an older Victorian concerned about the type of Victoria we will leave behind for future generations; Victoria First is taking up the fight," says MP, Kelvin Thomson, about this new organisation formed to fight for Victorians' democratic rights.
"It is astonishing that the Australian Industry Group [AIA] is calling for an increase in Australian migration from 190,000 to 220,000, through an increase to our permanent Migrant Worker Program. First it is astonishing that they think the number should be lifted by 30,000, when as recently as twenty years ago the entire permanent Migrant Worker Program was less than 30,000. Secondly it is astonishing that they want to increase the number of migrant workers when we are already unable to find jobs for Australian workers" (Kelvin Thomson, MP., Wills, Victoria, Australia)
See update and details at http://candobetter.net/?q=node/3591Community groups have received the news of an apparent backflip on East West link. Is there some democracy left in Melbourne after all? REMINDER - NO TUNNEL Snap Protest at 12 noon for a 12:15 pm start TODAY Thursday 12 December 2013 on the steps of Parliament!
Victoria First is a new organisation to promote democratic empowerment over the size of Victoria's population. It was launched today by Kelvin Thomson, Labor MP for the Wills electorate in Victoria. Victoria is a state in Australia that is at the center of the elite push for a huge population, which is projected to go from 17m in 1994 to 37.5 million by 2050, and possibly 70 million by 2100. Currently immigration contributes 60% + to annual population growth in Australia. Membership forms for Victoria First inside.
New projections released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics have revised upwards the growth estimates that triggered the Big Australia debate in 2009 and 2010. At that time it was estimated that Australia was heading for 35 or 36 million by 2050. Now according to the ABS central projection we are tracking for 37.5 million by 2050, and possibly 70 million by 2100.
"I, and every other post-war baby boomer, can count myself incredibly lucky to be born when I was, because our children do not have the opportunities my generation had—job and career opportunities, housing opportunities and free education. For all the hype about growth and progress and development building a better world, it is not. It is tougher for our kids than it ever was for us." (Kelvin Thomson Thursday, 14 November 2013, House of Reps Chamber Speech)
Kelvin Thomson writes, "Malcolm King’s article, "Fortress Australia: green wasting the future", in the Sydney Morning Herald makes numerous claims which are ... so far divorced from reality that one wonders why he makes them. He describes himself as director of a PR Business. It is time he disclosed his clients, which may help us understand the answer to that intriguing question."
Julianne Bell (Protectors of Public Land Victoria) and Jill Quirk (Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) Victoria and Tasmanian Branches) met with Kelvin Thomson last week for advice on contacting Federal Election candidates regarding population and urban planning. They are very pleased to see that he has been appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Trade.
"I am writing to express my serious concerns regarding the proposed VCAT fee increases. I believe these fee increases will unfairly hurt everyday Victorian residents, by undermining access to, in the words of VCAT’s motto, ‘Fair, Efficient Justice for all Victorians’" (Kelvin Thomson MP to the Victorian Attorney General.)
In November 2012 an astonishing 47.7 million Americans were receiving taxpayer funded food stamps but the United States government still imports over 1million immigrants a year - and those are the legal ones.