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Residents excluded from planning privatisation - Article by Prof Michael Buxton

"Labor is developing what is meant to be the most fundamental restructure of the Victorian planning system since the 1996 introduction of the Victoria Planning Provisions, the new Smart Planning program. [...] A simpler, more efficient and certain planning scheme is long overdue, but Smart Planning is not the way to provide it. This is a $25 million program managed through the Smart Planning program Rules team. If the system is simply to implement five minor changes, along with online access, then the program is a massive waste of money.

Residents excluded from planning privatisation - Article by Prof Michael Buxton

"Labor is developing what is meant to be the most fundamental restructure of the Victorian planning system since the 1996 introduction of the Victoria Planning Provisions, the new Smart Planning program. [...] A simpler, more efficient and certain planning scheme is long overdue, but Smart Planning is not the way to provide it. This is a $25 million program managed through the Smart Planning program Rules team. If the system is simply to implement five minor changes, along with online access, then the program is a massive waste of money.

Christine's Thoughts on ‘Smart Planning’ and the Victorian Planning Provisions Discussion Paper

This is dismantling planning schemes, removing impediments to what developers want, and allowing development on developers’ terms. What is happening under “Smart Planning” has no relationship to either of those words. Read it and weep – or get angry, and loud. This is essentially about making a single planning scheme for Victoria, controlled by the State government (and whoever may have its ear). You are having YOUR planning scheme stolen from you.

Malvern East Group reproves Vic Gov on so-called 'reform' of planning

"The MEG Committee expresses its anger at the entire lack of contact between DELWP and residents’ groups such as ours. DELWP’s actions re the Discussion Paper seek to exclude residents from being informed of the proposed changes and from taking part in the decision-making process about the area in which we live." ..."VicSmart must not be broadened. It is quite clear that there is enough of the ‘fast tracking’ for so-called ‘simple’ planning applications. The Discussion Paper indicates that “the sky’s the limit.” When VicSmart was introduced the then Opposition (now the Government) vigorously opposed it saying that it really meant “the sky’s the limit” with regard to fast-tracking Planning Applications and this was to be deplored. The same Party (now in Government) has put aside such quibbles and enthusiastically adopted fast-tracking of applications and the Discussion Paper is mere tokenism."

Ashburton Residents reprove Vic Gov Planning 'Reform' dictatorship

We need stronger not weaker planning controls at the level of local government and more community involvement. We need to empower local government and communities by ensuring that projects other than minor modifications to existing properties are scrutinized by council in consultation with the community. It might be more time consuming and cumbersome however it will be well worth the additional effort if we can avoid a planning disaster while at the same time achieving better planning outcomes. To achieve a good result, we need to give Councils the right to veto or modify a proposed development application and in the case of a disputed application that cannot be resolved at the level of local government, I would like to recommend that we replace VCAT by appointing a democratically elected community jury with the power to veto or modify a project. Overpopulation, planning and overdevelopment and building safe, attractive and cohesive communities will be the over-riding themes in the upcoming election campaign. Any further action in relation to the proposed changes should be deferred until we elect a new government in 2018 to allow the people to decide whether or not they support further deregulation and privatisation of the planning process and the removal of appeal rights. (A. Walker, Ashburton Residents Action Group)

Brilliant Green Wedges letter from Rosalie Counsell to Casey Planning Manager

"While Melbourne’s green wedges are generally considered to be a legacy of the 1972 – 1981 Rupert (Dick) Hamer State Government, they were established as part of the 1968 – 1971 Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works planning process. They were protected by what was then called the Landscape Interest A zone, with a minimum lot size of twenty acres (eight hectares). For some thirty years, this zoning worked admirably. Then Melbourne started to experience growth pressure and the speculators moved in with their propensity to buy influence. The visionary Melbourne 2030 blue print for Melbourne and its rural fringe came under siege and has been slowly but relentlessly eroded by both sides of Government ever since." [...] "It is the role of councils and State Governments to provide sound, thoroughly researched, enforceable planning policies that support the big picture for the long-term future. It is absolutely critical to halt this tsunami of South Eastern suburban sprawl with its lack of supporting infrastructure, and to provide certainty to all stakeholders. Without such resolve, speculation will run rampant and uncontrolled ad hoc development will be the order of the day. Traffic to and from the area is already appalling well beyond the normally accepted peak hours. What are you thinking, putting exponentially more cars on these road networks that are not designed to take them? Casey is heading down a vortex of engineered chaos."

Submission to Victorian Planning Provisions Discussion Paper - Sustainable Population Australia

[Address for submissions. ]The discussion paper fails to acknowledge fundamental truths about our modern society and how we live. The built environment profoundly affects residents, visitors, and indeed other species every day. As such, as in other disciplines, it is incumbent upon government to exercise the “Precautionary Principle” in how it plans for Victoria’s future. A fundamental part of proper planning is to acknowledge the importance of local input and longstanding local knowledge of an area. From the discussion paper on “Reforming the Victoria Planning Provisions” residents have been excluded from the both the technical and advisory groups to the “Smart Planning” process. Long standing and hard fought for citizens’ rights, previously accepted and adopted into our Planning provisions have been swept away. What is proposed is government and developers operating as a combined growth machine pitted against the residents without residents even being given a seat at the table as a minority voice. Where has our democracy gone? [Candobetter.net editor: For a history of how this has come about in Victoria, check out our 'bad laws' section.]

America's lawyer discusses media mergers historical and threatened

We are embedding this show because it is educational. Mike Papantonio invites lawyers on each week to discuss major public interest cases, most of which have international impact. In this episode, Mike Papantonio reminds us of how media once had many diverse owners and actually sought to inform us. He and Holland Cooke discuss the looming mega-merger between media giants AT&T and Time Warner, which even the pro-business President Donald Trump has warned could be dangerous. Mike then talks with Brigida Santos about how some states are using artificial intelligence against criminals during sentencing. Then Farron Cousins, Executive Editor of the Trial Lawyer magazine, tells Mike about how Grubhub, along with other app-based companies, argue in court that the people whom they hire are not employees. The show was first published on November 9, 2017 at https://www.rt.com/shows/americas-lawyer/

Hungarian PM warns of Soros interference in EU to promote mass immigration

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban has apparently called on Hungarians to beware of the power of the Sith in his latest speech on migration crisis in Europe. He also declared Eastern and Central Europe the last ‘migrant-free zone.’ "We should never underestimate the power of the dark side," the prime minister said, referencing Star Wars as he referred to the plots of those behind the “migrant invasion,” adding that they “have no solid structure but extensive networks.” Article first published 23 October on RT with the title, ‘Never underestimate the power of the dark side’: Orban goes Star Wars on EU ‘migrant invasion.’

Residents declare “Sydney is full”. Curb immigration now! Article by Leith Onselen

With NSW’s (read Sydney’s) population growing at a break-neck pace (see below chart), last month it was revealed that there was a revolt underway from within the NSW Liberal Party against the federal government’s mass immigration program and over-development across Sydney (watch video).

Walk to save St Kilda Rd trees and parklands Sunday 30 July 2017

Save the date: Sunday 30 July 2017. Walk in St Kilda Road and Environs for National Tree Day. Walk in St Kilda Road grand boulevard on Sunday 30 July 2017 or join an information walk in St Kilda Road and Environs. There will be information meeting points along St Kilda Road, from opposite Victoria Barracks down to near the intersection of Toorak Road and St Kilda Road, manned at least from 1.00pm to 4.00pm., and planners, engineers, politicians, arborists, heritage consultants and others will be invited and available for information and discussion on St Kilda Road and Environs. Video inside explains what is at stake.

Prof Justin O'Connor in "Smart Cities vs Creative Cities Symposium"

[Illustration from screen print of Prof Justin O'Connor's slide presentation.]The population and development behemoth is so multi-faceted that many of us feel like blind people trying to describe an elephant. Far richer than the bewildering 'policy porn' we are constantly subjected to by planners and growth merchants, the videos from this wonderful symposium provide vital clues to how we have been ambushed and sidelined by the nightmarish infrastructure juggernaut. "The ‘Creative City’ attempts to mobilise culture and creativity for city branding, urban regeneration and cultural industries growth, which also point to new forms of urban planning and governance. It has been closely associated with the “creative class” and the creative- entrepreneurial city in ways that have frequently become divisive and exclusionary, focusing on arts flagships, photogenic CBDs, and real estate profits. So too, cultural production has been reformatted under the rubric of the ‘creative industries’ in ways that foreground their contribution to economic growth. Increasingly calls have been for social justice, citizenship and the rights to the city, with a return of community and activist-focused arts activities, as well as new forms of ‘post-capitalist’ production communities." Source: "Smart City - Creative City", which is where the video of which this article is mostly a transcript, comes from, along with four others. The symposium took place at the Chunky Move – Dance Company Melbourne, Southbank, Australia on 15 June 2017.

Citizen Shadow Parliaments - an alternative planning approach?

Do you ever wonder what our society would look like if everyday people were calling the shots? If everyday people had more influence rather than a few privileged rich and large corporations? Would we have sold our public utilities? Would the centre of Melbourne look less like Manhattan; have less poorly constructed and dangerous residential towers? Would citizens be forced into selling off the backyards of family homes to pay their outrageous mortgages? Would we ever have allowed negative gearing and its looming financial tsunami?

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.

Michael Bayliss talks on Planning Backlash and the Development Crisis in Melbourne

3CR talkS to Michael Bayliss from Planning Backlash about the development woes facing Melbourne and how this issue will only become more serious in light of plans to further deregulate the planning system. Whether it is increasing densities in the inner suburbs or developing the urban fringe, we are not getting the standard of development that Melbourne requires as we proceed to a low carbon economy. (Article adapted from one published on 3CR at https://www.3cr.org.au/citylimits/episode-201705310900/planning-backlash-and-development-crisis-melbourne. Interview begins at 13.10. [Note that the links to 3CR probably won't work unless you remove the 's' in https. We have added the 's' in order not to be stigmatised by Firefox browsers as displaying 'passive mixed content'.]

Towards "Melbourne at 8 million" and beyond

This article is adapted from a talk with power point given to U3A Deepene on March 15th 2017 by past president of VicTas branch of Sustainable Population Australia, now secretary, Jill Quirk, who is also now the secretary of Protectors of Public Lands Victoria. The talk explored the noticeable effects of rapid population growth and compared some past and current projections for Melbourne’s population to mid–century and beyond, considering what Melbourne on current trends might be like in 50 years. These comparisons, not usually available, make it clear how Victorian governments have increasingly snowed citizens with every successive plan for Melbourne.

2 Storeys, not tall stories! Ferntree Gully; lots of weekend reading it pays to be informed; Stop Press

Stop Press - Just received this minute. It seems that Josh Frydenberg, Federal member for Boroondara and Minister of Environment, has put an interim protection order on St Kilda Road, as it has been sponsored for National Heritage Protection. I knew this has been proposed by a leader of the Liberals and a leader of Labor. A number of us wrote to Josh urging him to do it. Great news!

Call for Spring St to act: Knox Rally planned on height controls 27 Feb

Community outrage continues in the battle to protect the iconic Dandenong Ranges from inappropriate development following Knox Council’s recent failure to adopt the independent Panel recommendation for mandatory maximum height controls in the Upper Ferntree Gully Activity Centre. Knox Appropriate Development Alliance President, Catherine Kruse said that a petition to the State Government calling for their intervention is gathering momentum with interest from across Victoria. A rally is also planned for Monday February 27th at the Knox Council offices.

Alert! Melbourne Subway plans threaten St Kilda Rd trees, the Domain, the gardens

(Submission inside) Plans for the proposed underground railway from north west to south east of the city are not yet finalised. On Friday the 13th the Minister of Planning said the location of the proposed Domain station may be moved and yet the Age announces 14th Jan that work would begin on Monday the 16th. This is clearly vandalism. They are going to start destroying trees and moving gas and sewer lines at the Domain. Remember that St Kilda Road is heritage listed and Heritage Victoria have received thousands of objections and Heritage Vic have not yet made a determination. One has to wonder how much pressure they are under by this State Government in their determination to start digging. We are sick to death of hearing them say they are 'shovel-ready'. How dare the government say that the damage to St Kilda road will be worth it for the advantage the rail will give. The necessity for this rail is being questioned by respected planners in Melbourne. There are far more important road and rail projects that are needed first.

Hard to believe that they are intent on wrecking one of the most beautiful boulevards in the world. One of the most picturesque parts of Melbourne. Compare this to what London are doing right now - putting in 42 kms of underground from west to east called Crossrail, without disrupting anything up on top. This took years in the planning before one shovel was put in the ground so that they got it perfectly done. Please Minister ask for their help. (Mary Drost, Convenor, Planning Backlash.) [Candobetter.net Editor: Illustrations inserted by candobetter.net editor. See also Submission from the National Trust of Australia. and this Port Phillip Council information about its trees which include the historic St Kilda Road historic boulevard.]

Can we get back to what we were talking about? - Article by Angela Curry

You are deep in an enjoyable conversation when suddenly a loud blustering person arrives, diverting all the attention of your group to her. She shows no curiosity as to what you were discussing before she arrived, relating a story about herself as though assuming everyone had been waiting for her arrival to come alive ..

George Soros Manufactured EU Refugee Crisis

George Soros funded and orchestrated the refugee crisis in Europe, opening the gates to allow refugees and terrorists into the continent. Soros’s agenda has always been about destroying national sovereignty and national borders. See also, "Australian democracy swiss-cheesed by George Soros Open Societies Foundations."

Australian democracy swiss-cheesed by George Soros Open Societies Foundations


http://dcleaks.com/ have revealed that billionaire, George Soros, has used billions of dollars to try to bring about open borders by funding NGOs all over the world to harass people who do not want mass immigration. Tactics taught are to equate all immigrants with refugees and to accuse people who want control over immigration numbers of racism.

Hackers have revealed that Australia's GetUp, like its U.S. counterparts, MoveOn and Avaaz, have massive financial support from Soros and that their agendas conform to those of Soros. Labor Leader Bill Shorten is linked to Soros-funded activities as is Greens Sarah Hanson-Young.

20 July 10am Meeting to save Victoria Market from Council micro-management

Victoria Market, as we know it, is under threat. The City of Melbourne, along with the top end of town, has plans to reduce and gentrify our historic market, paying lip service only to its valued heritage and the important service it provides to the wider Melbourne community, in particular, its role in keeping food quality standards high, food prices down, while providing astounding diversity.

The Council’s intention is to:

sell off part of the market’s land for commercial development, road extension and other purposes
to build high-rise buildings at its immediate doorstep,creating tall walls and corridors around its perimeter
to shrink the market from 12 sheds to 5
to gentrify this historical market by cherry picking which traders will stay or go,
jeopardise &/or close small, family-run businesses by not renewing or extending leases beyond one year,
to create a gourmet food precinct and entertainment space.

In short the Council proposes to micro-manage a cultural change of the market, to change its size and shape and give itself free rein to make physical changes to its layout without further public consultation.

Residents' Bill of Rights (RBR) - Support this brilliant initiative

At the Planning Backlash and Boroondara Residents Action Group "Mad as Hell event" in Camberwell on Sunday 29th May, 2016, BRAG introduced the following draft Resident's Rights Bill. To indicate your support please email drostmary[AT]gmail.com. Among other things it calls for the setting of population growth targets within OECD averages. It thus nails a continuing problem of the moving target in previous population policy claims. Australia lacks a civil rights code, unlike Europe. Our civil rights used to be implicit in our publicly owned resources and services, like water, Telecom, and power. This draft Residents' Bill of Rights is truly impressive in its ability to identify gaps in Australian residents' rights.

Ignorance and evasion in Europe’s migration crisis

Ignorance and evasion in Europe’s migration crisis. Migration is part of our collective history, but Europe’s political leaders are still failing completely to address widespread public concern over the flood of migrants now storming Europe’s borders. The consequences of these pressures will have profound impacts.

Video & notes: Kangaroos, culling and Canberra - presentation to AJP event 5 April 2016

Video and text of Sheila Newman's speech at the Animal Justice Party's event, "Policy basis for Kangaroo treatment in the ACT," 5 April 2016: Harvesting, damage mitigation and culling probably actually accelerate population growth in roos because the smaller ones survive and adapt by sexually maturing earlier - which speeds up fertility turnover. Since 2003 DNA studies have shown that ACT and southern NSW roos, both male and female, migrate at significant rates and for longer distances than the ACT model assumes. Migration has probably been mistaken for fertility, rendering ACT roo counts unreliable and invalid. The ACT needs to stop culling and widen its research base to consider various genetically based algorithms that naturally restrain fertility opportunities in kangaroos.

SPA Seminar: Attitudes and communication in population and the environment

Saturday April 23 rd at 1.00pm to 4.00 pm. Venue: Hawthorn Arts Centre, 360 Burwood Rd. Hawthorn Vic 3122. Members and non-members are welcome to attend. Speakers are: Mark Allen, Founder, Population, Permaculture and Planning; Dr Katharine Betts, Population Sociologist, Swinburne University; Hon Kelvin Thomson MP, Environmentalist and high profile sustainable population advocate; Rod Quantock, Environmental activist, Much loved comedian. M.C. SPAVicTas President Michael Bayliss. Audience Q&A and discussion will follow (Free parking behind venue or at nearby Glenferrie Station).

Traffic congestion in the Corridors of Power

It is just possible that the terrorist attack warnings by both the PM and ASIO head, Duncan Lewis, and the announcement of a hefty hike in defence spending was just a coincidence. But for those cynics who claim otherwise, let me point out that at this very moment we already have more than 1000 (perhaps as many as 4000) terrorists running riot in Canberra and doing so with the full knowledge and encouragement of our government.

A West Brunswick Resident’s account of Moreland Council ‘Neighbourhood Centres Strategy’ public meeting for West Brunswick residents

Estonian House, West Brunswick, 24th February
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The crux of this meeting, as presented by Moreland planning staff, is that the previous agreement was voided root-and-branch by the State Government, and in the newly planned Neighbourhood Centres, the allocated zones have been changed somewhat (no-one seemed to recall being given prior notice) and also the previously agreed 3-storey limits (all achieved by quite verbally violent public activity!) have morphed into 4-storey. In the course of the meeting it turned out that 4-storey was not 4-storey mandatory but 4-storey discretionary! The council "hoped" they could make them mandatory. It was impossible despite direct and explicit questioning to find out what was the actual upper height limit is right now, or even if there is an upper height limit.

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