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property rights

What next after the 8 June protest? Residents groups on front line of democracy

Victorians and Australians need to initiate a new democratic process and hold to it. Residents' action groups now find themselves at the coal-face of democracy. They are the front line representing the future of our cities, states and this country. Their task is to identify, defend, and establish new property, community and natural environment rights and the implied citizens' rights that accompany these rights. We can no longer rely on the traditional environment NGOs or alternative political parties to represent us on these fundamental problems. They have been silenced by one means or another. Twenty years ago no-one would have contemplated making Planning Minister Mr Wynn's statements on drive-time ABC radio that we have to fit in 10 million more people in Victoria with four more million in Melbourne. This insane proposition is not the end of it by any means, either. Not only would Melbourne keep on growing, but most state governments are trying to force similar changes on their residents and the property development lobby has in the past admitted to the desire for something like 50 new mega cities around Australia, with eight new ones currently on the drawing board. The scale of these commercial projects will demand authoritarian regimes similar to China's. The looming privatisation of the planning system carries a danger of law suits from commercial developers against government, resident groups and private individuals if they try to object to any and all constructions. This paper proposes starting the new democratic process using the Planning Backlash Residents' Bill of Rights document and building on this. Victoria lacks any effective democratic process except state and council elections, but these elections give almost no rights to citizens and residents, renters or owners. This has to change or we will live in a property-developer-led dictatorship with our population completely replaced and displaced by constant massive construction and infrastructure projects, like those in China.

Know your rights as residents! Property acquisition and the East West Link

Message from YCAT and the RAT re the outrageous proposed acquisition of property by the State Government in the path of the East West Link and a meeting organised for affected residents and traders. Education session with lawyers on issues of compulsory acquisition.

Australia - no home for the homeless


The Frankston Times and The Age have both this week published articles dealing with the problem of homelessness, and in particular the problem of "rough sleepers" - those sleeping on our streets and reserves.

There are rough sleepers in Frankston, and recently there have been anecdotal reports that these people are being preyed upon by small groups of thieves and sexual predators. This article discusses the problem of rough sleepers and a possible way we can help protect these people in Frankston.

Ronald Coase and economic bullying today

All over the world right wing 'think tanks' will be commemorating the work of economist Ronald Coase, who died on the second of September this year (2013) at the age of 102. Unfortunately his work has been used as an excuse to marginalise civil and human rights by making it legally acceptable for the interests of big business and the wealthy to over-rule everyone else’s financial, social and environmental interests. Coase's work is largely responsible for many of the problems of democracy, overpopulation and overdevelopment that are ruining more and more peoples' lives and freedom today. Many of its lesser supporters are naive followers of fashion and don't really understand what they are losing through their innocent embrace of 'efficiency' any more, perhaps, than did the followers of Chairman Mao's 'Great Leap Forward'. (This article is based on an extract from Sheila Newman's forthcoming book, Demography, Territory, Law 2: Land-tenure and the Origins of Capitalism in Britain, Countershock Press, probably early 2014.)

The Next Financial Bubble: Mining and Indigenous Peoples Rights

Report exposes risk to shareholders when indigenous rights are ignored. Are extractive companies operating on indigenous land overvalued? Indigenous Rights Risk Report.

Population Pressure, Age Discrimination, Reverse mortgage and other Risks to Property Ownership in Australia

We applaud the initiatives of the Gillard Federal Government today in refunding Aged Care. PM unveils $3.7bn overhaul of aged care, Friday April 20, 2012. We are particularly impressed to read that: "The [Gillard] government rejected a Productivity Commission recommendation that proposed allowing the use of reverse mortgage facilities to help fund care costs." Good on the Gillard government! Reverse mortgages steal inheritances, impoverish youth and render them homeless, and amount to double charges for old age care provision (on top of taxes). We republish a relevant and well-researched article on this matter. See also "Ageism" and ABC article on reverse mortgages.Article by Sheila Newman with Jill Quirk

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