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Steve Bracks

Victoria's Wonthaggi Desal Plant - public demand for Royal Commission

Andrew Chapman is calling for a Royal Commission into the Victorian (Wonthaggi) Desalination Plant. We publish here his comments and some early discussion. We also publish some correspondence with Tim Holding, the Minister for Water under the Brumby government. There seems to be wide support for a royal commission into the matter, which is perceived widely as corrupt. The matter of desalination plants is a huge one in Australia where such plants, not necessary when we had a population of 17m only a decade ago, have been introduced in nearly every state with the excuse that our growing population requires them. The public have not been adequately consulted on the population growth induced by ill-considered government policy nor on the introduction of these plants themselves. What is for sure is that almost no-one likes these plants and governments are bitterly resented for having forced them on Australians. (More about Wonthaggi Desal plant here.)

Cost of housing and cost of dependency in Australia

Republished here to give background to Sheila Newman's remarks in her debate with Steve Bracks on the Jon Faine show 19-4-2010. You can comment on Jon Faine's "Population Forum" about the debate here and you can listen to the podcast here. The sector in Australia that has the most costly dependency ratio must be the property sector, since it costs all Australians an enormous and unreasonable amount just to cover the cost of land for housing, business and agriculture. Most of the very high costs involved are completely unnecessary, except in the eyes of greedy developers and their hangers-on. The only reason that the costs are so high is that the industry wants it that way and our state and federal governments are in cahoots with it. See also on Labor Resources and Labor Holdings etc. Early identification of the Growth Lobby is to be found on my thesis by that name, notably in Chapter 6. The latest article on candobetter on dependency ration is "Discussing Australia's Dependency ratio 2009 with graph by Dr Katharine Betts"

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