Tuesday 16 September 2014. A Westernport community group representative has headed to Switzerland today to present the Ramsar Convention Secretariat, the body in charge of international wetland treaties, with a letter outlining the imminent threat posed by the massive Port of Hastings development to the bay's extensive wetlands.
This is the first step in having Westernport Bay listed on the Montreux Record, a Ramsar register of internationally important wetland sites in which changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring, or are likely to occur as a result of technological developments, pollution or other human interference.
Environment and community groups from across Australia are calling on Federal Environmental Minister Greg Hunt to save the fragile environment of Westernport Bay amid ongoing concerns over the Coalition’s One Stop Shop policy.
The massive Hastings port expansion plan and associated land transport corridors will not only devastate the internationally important Ramsar-listed wetlands of Westernport, but also impact on the liveability of Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs, the groups say.
This is a huge scandal with far reaching serious National consequences and implications. The following represents my personal view on the 457 visa scandal and its ramifications. The recently exposed corruption is the last bit in the jig saw puzzle of my understanding. I cannot "prove" much of what follows, it is supposition not fact, but I believe that I am fairly close to the overall truth.
Inside is the video of the Open Microphone session for members of the audience, including members of community groups for Must Melbourne keep growing. Motions passed calling for a national plebescite on population numbers and for a national conference on sustainable population taking into account State of the Environment reports.
In this report, Ernest Healy, spokesperson for the Moreland Planning Action Group, concludes that VCAT, together with the MCC, have created a precedent which overrides the intended meaning of government policy. He argues that the meaning of the Victorian government’s Policy on Commercial 1 zone can be interpreted to mean that, if the commercial potential of a commercial 1 site is poor, then its suitability for medium density residential development should also be deemed poor.
In 2013 foreign investors obtained permission from the Victorian government to build or to buy 4,500 houses, amounting to some $18b worth of approvals. Numbers of houses falling into foreign hands are increasing, with the Chinese the biggest buyers and builders, followed by the Canadians, Americans and Singaporeans. There were 12,025 applications to invest in Victorian real estate according to an annual report for 2012-2013. Not one was rejected. On Wednesday 19 March 2014 the Treasurer, The Hon Joe Hockey MP, asked the Economics Committee to inquire into and report on Australia's foreign investment policy as it applies to residential real estate.
Although the date for submissions seems to have passed, the committee is still receiving them. Since most submissions have come from professional organisations with a financial interest in promoting more houses, there is a great need for members of the public who cannot afford housing to make submissions. Submissions
For an Australia going the way of the Philippines, we should take heed. Rural Filipinos are being murdered by real estate developers. Even those who survived the recent typhoons are being harassed by developers.Filipinos have been struggling for land-rights for centuries now, against colonisers. Although they are nominally a republic now, they are overrun by violent corporate forces, which are forcing them off rural land and turning it over to rich immigrants and housing estates. The history of the Philippines is another one where an idyllic Pacific island existed for centuries with low populations until colonisation. The Philippines were invaded and ruled by Spain from 1821 until the end of the Spanish–American War in 1898, except for a brief period of British rule from 1762 to 1764. The Filippinos finally overthrew Spanish rule in August 1896, establishing the First Philippine Republic. In tragic irony, the United States took them over the next year as an outcome of the Spanish–American War. 1.4 million Filipinos died trying to defend themselves against the U.S. , in a war lasting six years until 1902. This period has been described as massive genocide perpetrated by the United States and also as its 'first Vietnam'.  The Catholic Church Has played a leading and shameful part in facilitating these problems since the initial Spanish invasion. Now the corporate developers of resorts and housing estates are continuing this scurrilous business.
Immigration policy in Britain continues to reveal depths of incompetence, as Europe is under increasing pressure from illegal immigration. Government claims that they are tackling the issues will do little to reassure a worried public.
Speakers: Jenny Warfe (Blue Wedges); Jenny Lowe (BirdLife); Dave Minton, Port of Hastings Development Authorities; Simon Brannigan, VNPA Marine spokesperson; Hugh Kirkman, Marine Environmental Consultant. Starts 5.45, Tuesday 15 April, Hastings Community Hub, 1973 Frankston-Flinders Rd, Hastings (booking essential) Westernport Bay is a site of international significance for aquatic birds and right on the doorstep of Melbourne. Its extensive intertidal mudflats, seagrass meadows, saltmarshes and mangroves support more than 10,000 migratory
shorebirds and 10,000 waterfowl. Yet despite its incredible importance as a bird sanctuary the Napthine Government plans to drastically expand Port of Hastings within the bay into an international container port - oil spills, dredging, land clearing, and thousands of more ships a year could put Westernport’s birdlife and habitats at risk.
This article takes a quick look at some of Australia's sources of revenue and the costs of supporting our growing population. The numbers are frightening.
This research is significant for Australians who, with government engineered population growth causing rising water costs, are attempting to recycle water in many ways. "Researchers have identified that the use of wastewater to irrigate vegetable crops, which is common across developing countries, may significantly contribute to deadly health risks such as rotavirus, a major cause of diarrhoeal diseases." (Report from Melbourne School of Land and Environment)
You are Cordially Invited to Kew Cottages Coalition Inc. Annual Public Meeting at the Kew Civic Centre, 8pm Tuesday 18th March 2014 (Details and Melways Reference at end of this article). Kew Cottages Coalition Inc. presents "Kew Cottages and the Victorian State Election: A Midsummer Night's Public Meeting" with MC Rod Quantock
Be there! Sunday 23 February, 11.00 am Petanque Pavilion, Hanging Rock Reserve. Live music all day from 11 am - 12pm, Anne Louise Lambert and other speakers plus Live Action Zoo. Join the original Picnicker, Miranda (Anne Louise Lambert, star of the film) for a very special picnic at Hanging Rock. Voice your concern at the lack of community consultation on Macedon Ranges shire Council's proposed large-scale development at Hanging Rock, which includes a conference centre and accommodation facility.
(Article by Sally Pepper)
I am, together with a female I never met, excited to announce the non-birth of the son or daughter that was never conceived due to our proactive determination to ensure that outcome. This non-being was not born today on January 1, 2014, nor on any other day of our adult lives. Accordingly, nothing weighing 7 lbs. 14 ounces or any other weight issued from anyone's womb on that day or any other day on our account. And no grandfather, grandmother, uncle, aunt or sibling irrationally celebrated the arrival of a newborn simply because he or she shared their genes.
Jack Roach of Boroondara Residents Action Group (BRAG) writes that neither our federal nor our state governments can fund the infrastructure required to supply a doubled Melbourne population. The growth lobby, which includes the Labor opposition, is placing pressure on Mathew Guy to reduce residents' rights. The real problem is, of course, the unwise decision to grow Melbourne's population.
Good news, but they still haven't got the technique quite right.
The people of Western Sydney have been betrayed by the NSW Government after it was revealed (see bottom of page) they issued Lend Lease a licence that will allow the removal of all the Emus from the controversial former ADI Site. Despite years of protests by locals and their supporters further afield (see ADI site history on candobetter.net ), the 1535 hectare former Australian Defence Industries Site is now owned by Lend Lease which is developing 5400 houses. 900 hectares of the site, the future home of the Emus and Kangaroos, is meant to become a Regional Park.
This article is about how parents should not use their status as an escape route from political participation, but should step up that participation. Katie observes that there is a tendency to opt out with the arrival of children amongst the middle classes, which have important capacity for political effectiveness. The author wonders how parents can fail to be motivated as the world they came into is disappearing before their children's eyes.
"Populate and reap rewards," was Monday's editorial (2 December 2013) in the Australian Financial Review. Its flimsy self-serving logic provides a curious contrast to Kelvin Thomson's superb speech on the same topic to a full auditorium of concerned citizens on Sunday. (The speech is embedded in this article.) Where Thomson has reacted to the news that population growth is completely out of control by attempting to help people to organise against the growth pushing forces who seek to benefit financially from overpopulation, the editorial in the Financial Review is cynical in its enjoinder to exploit those problems for elite gain.