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land clearing

Vegetation clearing on days of total fire bans and development in guise of reducing fuel load - public should be concerned

Bearing in mind the recent Crib Point tragedy - a suspected arson attack, with wildlife loss yet to be detailed, one home destroyed and one home damaged plus several sheds destroyed, we have to be more vigilant about how and whether we develop our bushland neighbourhoods more densely. Planning laws allow property owners to remove large amounts of vegetation without permission from their land citing their reason as 'fire protection'. After the vegetation is removed, those property owners may apply to the council for permission to intensify development on the land. Council usually does not deny permission for individual cases. But such individual cases mount up and create a danger which councils and planners may not have seen. The risk is that the granting of denser housing development in a bushland area means that, if there is a fire in the remaining bushland, there will be an increased number of residents needing to evacuate. Increasing population density means that more roads are needed to cope with a fire emergency evacuation. However, densification is being allowed to happen in an ad hoc, case by case fashion, without the building of roads in advance of significant development. No-one is overseeing the total impact.

Conservation initiative in Latin America

This month, at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru, one of the most important battles facing humanity is playing out. At stake: the salvation of the planet. Climate change is already being felt across Latin America and the Caribbean, the World Bank says.

Rising temperatures are changing rainfall patterns, leading to flooding in some places and intense droughts in others. Climate change will mean dry places get drier and wet places get wetter.

VCAT on Westerfield - report by Gillian Collins

Freeway proponents' argument for clearing push prior to provision of net gain offsets:
"Their main argument was that granting this injunction would cost them millions of dollars. They did not challenge that the Incorporated Document said the offsets should be in place prior to construction. They did not produce a list of offsets that are being considered." (Gillian Collins)

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.

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