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Kelvin Thomson on defending public land (Speech to PPLVic AGM 11 Nov 2017)

The driving force behind the Protectors of Public Lands, Julianne Bell, passed away on Friday January 27 this year. Julianne was an indefatigable and tireless campaigner for the protection of Melbourne’s public open spaces. She was most well-known as the defender of Royal Park against any and all who would seek to diminish it for their own purposes, and she told me that she was most proud of her role in stopping the East-West Link, a Freeway which would carve up Royal Park in an outrageous act of environmental vandalism. She was the driving force behind this organisation and used it to defend public open spaces far and wide from all manner of threats – the Carlton Gardens, the Catani Gardens, the Exhibition Gardens, the Rogers Memorial Reserve and many others too numerous to mention – no public open space was too far away or too small to merit her attention.

Julianne worked closely with me on the problems caused by Rapid Population growth for the world in general and for Melbourne in particular. She understood that it is people, it is us, who are responsible for environmental damage, and was prepared to cut through the vanity that prevents many of us from acknowledging this. She had worked in the Immigration Department, and told me a number of times about the propensity for migration agents to tell fibs on applications, and the trouble an understaffed Department had in verifying claims and uncovering rorts.

ACF and ABC need to promote open public policy debate on population growth

I recently attended an ACF meeting. As the oldest environmental NGO in Australia they are doing a road tour seeking support. These people are fighting against the inevitable destruction of the Australian environment, which the ABC, our public broadcaster, on whom so many Australians rely for serious information, fully sanctions using pro population growth extremism. Unfortunately the argument put forth is akin to one where a driver, because he is wearing a seat-belt, believes that he now no longer needs to worry about travelling at high speed without brakes.

Australian Conservation Foundation calls to stabilise Oz population mid-century

The Australian Conservation Foundation has called for a policy to:
* Stabilise Australia’s population by mid-century.
* Increase humanitarian migration and continue to support family reunions, but substantially reduce skilled migration.
* Return Australia’s overall migration to 1990s levels.
* Adequately fund strategies to minimise the environmental impact of population growth.

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