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Melbourne's overpopulation problem

Libs say they will protect Mornington Peninsula from overdevelopment

"Only the Liberal Party will protect the amenity and character of our neighbourhoods and rural hinterland," says Russell Joseph, Liberal Candidate for Nepean. We don't often publish statements from the major parties, but this is the first one we know of that looks at protecting the Mornington Peninsula. The Peninsula is an incredibly biodiverse part of South-Eastern Australia, hardly explored to date in terms of paleontology, rapidly losing its native fauna and flora. The undeniable fact that governments since Jeff Kennett have promoted destructive population growth here makes any policy to protect it extremely important. We will publish statements from any other political party that has a plan to protect the Mornington Peninsula from overpopulation.

Demographer slams overdevelopment in Melbourne - Video and text

Professor Bob Birrell [1] calls for better planning to stop over-development, sustainable population policy reform at a Sustainable Australia Party event. "Net overseas immigration is completely dominating the figures." The politicians tell us, "We just have to get used to it, and the way we're going to deal with it is to throw literally billions at it ... and ... eliminate suburbia." "That's what they say. But rezoning and high density doesn't actually work. The houses are too expensive. The reason is site costs. The more people the more demand for housing. If you increase the opportunity for housing on the same site, the site values go up higher.... It doesn't work." "Nor does the high rise 'solution'. You know there are tens of thousands of these being completed. When we checked the 2016 census, what we found was, that in the two areas of greatest density, CBD and South bank, only 5% of all those appartments were occupied by families with children. Well, what are we going to do about it? We have to deal with high NOM (Net Overseas Migration), it's not inevitable - and this is the key point. The high levels of NOM at present are due to government policy or government non-policy. They are a deliberate consequence of government policy. Not inevitable. For example, overseas students. It is a fact that the biggest source of growth in Net Overseas Migration in Melbourne is overseas students. There are more overseas students coming in on a student's visa each year than are leaving holding a student's visa. Okay, we don't object to students coming here for an education. the problem is that, once they get here and complete their education, they can stay on, more or less forever. Our governments have deliberately encouraged them to do so. By providing, as of right, a two year stay here, with full work rights - even if your degree is in cultural studies - and, when you've done that, you can get another student visa. Or you can become a tourist, or you can get a working holiday visa, or you can apply for a 457 temporary visa. Or you can apply for a permanent entry visa. And, as a consequence, a big chunk of overseas students are just spinning out ... over the years. So, we can change that and that would have a major impact. There are many other areas we could change. I'll just give you one or two to finish, which you may not know about. You've probably heard a lot about 'regional policy' - 'maybe we'll put people in the bush, rather than let them stay in Melbourne or Sydney. Well, currently, there's a program near 30,000 visas strong for state and regional sponsorship. The problem is that these visas do not require people to actually stay in the states or regions that sponsor them. They very quickly move off and they end up in Sydney or Melbourne. Or, consider this, and I'll finish on this note, consider the policy on spouses. [...] what happens in Australia is that you can sponsor a spouse at the age of 18 and you do not have to show that you have a job or an income which will enable you to sustain that spouse. I'm not kidding you. This is the situation. Compare that with Europe. Most countries now, you've got to be at least 22 before you sponsor a spouse, and you've got to prove that you have the funds to support that spouse. I could go on. There is massive potential to bring down the numbers. [...] We have to get the numbers down if we are really coming to grips with Melbourne's crisis of overdevelopment. I'll just leave you with one final thought, and that is that at least public opinion is moving in the right direction. [refers to TAPRIS study] Some 54 % of voters now believe that immigration should be reduced. The polls this year are putting the numbers in the 60%, so the potential is there. May I wish [Sustainable Australia Party] the best in mobilising it."

Demand on behalf of Melbourne Residents to stop St Kilda Rd damage

DEMAND
We, the residents of Melbourne demand that the
Government stop its plan to damage St Kilda Road and that
they make alternative plans such as an alternative route via
Kings Way and linking it into South Yarra Station, or deep
tunnelling the entire length or stop work , re-focus and re-
plan, in meaningful consultation with the people of
Melbourne.

Voted on and approved unanimously by the attendees at the
Public Protest at The Domain Interchange on the 21 st
February 2018

Big line up of speakers at rally to save trees in St. Kilda Road

Yesterday between 1 and 1.30pm a rally was held to save the trees in St. Kilda Road destined for removal to make way for the new underground metro. It was organised by the combined forces of Planning Backlash, Protectors of Public Lands and Walk in St. Kilda Road and environs Approximately 80 people attended including the 9 speakers listed below. The M.C of the event was Mary Drost , Convenor of Planning backlash.Prof. Michael Buxton was unable to attend and Dr. Ernest Healy , Vice President of Protectors of Public Lands Victoria deputised by reading Prof. Buxton's speech. Feelings for the impending loss of ancient trees and for those already lost ran high. The general consensus from the speakers was that the damage envisaged for avenue of trees in Melbourne's beautiful boulevard, St. Kilda Road was not necessary to accommodate the project and that a better way must be found. A statement to this effect will be sent to Shadow Minister for Planning, to be read out in both houses of Parliament.

Protest: St Kilda Road vandalised 21 Feb, 1pm in front of the domain building

St Kilda Road, Melbourne's Champs Elysees, is being vandalised for population growth that we don't need, but big business is imposing. Join a public protest Wednesday 21 Feb 2018, 1pm-1.30pm. The meeting is now in the reserve which is outside 1 Albert Road. It’s a triangle of land in the fork of Albert Road. Some more details and yellow arrow on map inside.

PPCC Speakers on threats to Port Phillip Bay and strategic LNG projects

On 30 October 2017, Port Phillip Bay Keeper, Mr Neil Blake and Mr Jay Gleeson, AGL Community Relations Manager, Strategic Projects, will be speakers at the Annual General Meeting of Port Phillip Conservation Council, Inc. Mr Neil Blake’s talk 'From the back blocks to the Bay' discusses likely threats to the Bay from population growth, urban consolidation and climate change. He will also give an update on his Bay Keeper citizen science initiatives promoting community stewardship of our waterways – including his project recording recent changes to beach profiles and erosion around the Bay. Mr Jay Gleeson's talk will involve a presentation on AGL’s assessment of options for shipping Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from interstate and overseas, receiving it at an import jetty and injecting it into the pipeline transportation system for supply to south-eastern Australia. After assessing sites around Australia, Crib Point in Westernport Bay has been identified as AGL’s preferred option. Mr. Gleeson will give an outline of AGL’S Import Jetty Project and implications for Westernport Bay and Crib Point, and will take questions from the audience. For background to the LNG project see: www.engageagl.com.au. Time: 7pm 30 October 2017 Venue: Longbeach Place - Chelsea Community Centre, 15 Chelsea Rd., Chelsea.

A Matter of taste or symbolic of the times? Article by Sally Pepper

The other day I retrieved a brochure with an illustration like this from my letter box. It was imploring me to take up residence in newly built apartments quite close to where I live. I guess that decor was supposed to sell the sterile looking place to me.

3 Groups censor the rest on population numbers at Planning Backlash Rally 8 June 2017

The Minister for Planning has publicly insisted [1] that Victoria has to fit 10 million people in Victoria with four more million in Melbourne and that that is the reason for the planning dictatorship he is trying to force on Victorians. If we did not 'have' to fit in millions more, no new plan would be 'needed'. Population numbers as a topic dominate the mainstream press,[2] but three residents' action groups in Planning Backlash - possibly trading on their marginal electorate status - reportedly held the rest to ransom for their presence at the Planning Backlash rally on the steps of parliament 8 June 2017. Their ransom was censorship of their fellow groups in a promise that no rally speakers would mention the role that population growth has in driving Plan Melbourne 2017-2050 and all the destruction it promises. Even though the Victorian Government has openly published several written policies for massive population growth, [3] the Yarra Residents' Coalition, Brunswick and Moreland groups of Planning Backlash have been identified as censoring debate about this on the very steps of Victoria's parliament.

VIC Liberal’s decentralisation policy is fantasy - by Leith van Onselen

In late 2015, in a great twist of irony, one of the people responsible for the proliferation of high rise dog boxes across Melbourne – former planning Minister (now Opposition Leader) Matthew Guy – had a Damascus moment and questioned the merits of high immigration into Melbourne: Article first published at Macrobusiness.

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!

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.]

AWPC: No proper fauna surveys before rezoning land for housing

This week Craig Thomson, President of the Australian Wildlife Protection Council, is working on a submission to oppose the rezoning of Melbourne Water land in Rosebud South. Unfortunately he has run into problems getting appropriate ecological information about the site. He wonders if the State Government and Melbourne water have deliberately made the ecological report unavailable. The fauna report relies solely on a habitat assessment and a desktop study for threatened species.

PPLVic AGM Speaker, Importance of Preserving Trees in Urban Landscapes

Dr Greg Moore will speak on “The Importance of Preserving Trees in Urban Landscapes” at Protectors of Public Lands Victoria Inc's 2016 AGM at Flemington Community Centre, Debneys Park, Mt Alexander Road Flemington. If arriving early you can relax in the foyer of the Centre. in 2 pm for 2:15 pm start on Saturday 19 November 2016.

Things are no longer quiet around Highett

Here cdb poet, Brolga-Brolga, tells a moral tale of how a number of neighbours clubbed together to speculate on their adjacent land, but when they tried to buy again, they were already priced out of the market. With homage to Barry Humpreys who wrote The Highett Waltz, sung by Dame Edna, and linked to here.

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.

May 29, 2016 'Mad as hell about planning' public forum, Camberwell

Since 2002 when Melbourne 2030 was quietly introduced by the Bracks’ government (which was intended to be a 30 year plan for Melbourne to make it a more compact city) there have been another 1 million people in Melbourne and 16 new plans introduced in 14 years. The latest is “Plan Melbourne Refresh,” very quickly followed by “Managing Residential Development,” which is a review of the Reformed Residential Zones. You would think that our planners could come up with a long term plan but obviously they are responding to different agendas set by developers. Planning Backlash invites you and your members to a public forum to voice your concerns about the way development is happening in Melbourne. To be held in the Parkview Room, Camberwell Civic Centre, 340 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Sunday 29th May 2016, 2.30 PM.

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

Estonian House, West Brunswick, 24th February
……………………………………………………………………………………
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.

Pascoe Vale Resident’s account of Moreland Council ‘Neighbourhood Centres Strategy’ public consultation meeting for Pascoe Vale and Oak Park residents, February 2016

I went to the one [meeting] at Pascoe Vale neighbourhood Community Hall. People were hostile. They [Council staff] said they were seeking community input for their submission. One resident said;

'Is it going to be like last time when you had the Moreland Rezoning Community consultations. You didn't give an accurate account of our opinions in your submission. No mention how residents opposed increased density, wanted greater protection etc. Instead you said things like, residents wanted better quality apartments etc. What a load of bullshit, you lot are going to do what you want?'

The residential rezoning merry-go-round continues; First the Coalition; now Labor Screws Moreland Residents

Moreland residents are presently being treated to a new round of ‘consultations’ throughout the municipality, and being indoctrinated by Council staff on the assumed benefits of residential rezoning (radically increased residential densities) and of neighbourhood activity centres as a central feature of the ’20-minute city’. Under this new feudalism, it is expected that residents will access all of their basic material needs and services within a 20 minute walk, bicycle trip, or by public transport. Superficially this may seem a nice idea. On closer scrutiny it is fanciful, so expensive that the necessary additional infrastructure will never be provided, and little more than a pretext for an atrophied Australian business culture dependent upon population growth and capital widening; incapable of building a genuinely modern economy.

Melbourne's daily dose on Talkback Radio

AD Good morning listeners, time to think about getting up. (I already have). Just a few news items before we move into the program and here’s GH with the traffic report.

Video: Mark Allen workshop on Population, Planning and Permaculture

This population workshop took place in Melbourne's strongly multicultural northern suburbs, at a Community house open day in Thornbury. It deals with Australia's population and planning problems from the point of view of socially and ecologically sustainable future. What is causing Australia's very high population growth? How to preserve Australia's established multicultural communities? How to limit growth. Democracy and planning. Relocalisation and planning. Interactive with audience. Mark Allen studied town planning at the University of South Australia and has worked as a planner in three states. His frustration at the planning system's inability to deliver sustainable outcomes led him to leave the profession in order to concentrate on spreading awareness about the important role that town planning can play in mitigating climate change, biodiversity loss and social isolation. Mark's approach to sustainable planning is heavily influenced by two of his mentors, permaculture co-founder David Holmgren and labor MP Kelvin Thompson who advocates for a slower more manageable rate of population increase.

Mark Allen of Population, Permaculture and Planning vs Peter Newman on Urban Consolidation

Mark Allen from Population Permaculture and Planning locks horns so to speak with West Australian Planning Professor, Professor Newman, over Melbourne's apartment proliferation, in discussion on the Conversation website relating traffic congestion to GDP rather than to population growth, and where the professor has suggested that increasing low cost, low quality, high density appartments would solve housing unaffordability. (If you wish to contribute on The Conversation site, please hit 'newest' on the 'Comments' section to read the latest dialogue at: https://theconversation.com/dont-panic-traffic-congestion-is-not-coming-for-our-cities-45154)

Fairfax sinks to a new low on population growth

The Fairfax media sank to a new low recently in pushing its in-house pro-population bias (in The Age) by publishing commentary on this crucial issue from the Australian Population Institute.

Unfortunately, the article, ‘We should look to the west as our population swells’, by Jane Nathan, 16 July 2015, highlights the way in which the left-liberal establishment in Australia, including Fairfax, now sings from the same song sheet as free-market growth maniacs. While it may be claimed that the population-boosting rant presented in this article is the opinion of the Australian Population Institute and not Fairfax, Fairfax, of course, can exercise considerable bias in its selection of opinion piece commentary. It has a broad menu of pro-population vested interests to choose from. It is worth mentioning that material presented as commentary or opinion does not have to stand up to any serious standard of factual accuracy or rationality in the eyes of the Australian Press Council. Commentary, therefore, provides an opportunity to push an in-house view to extremes without being very accountable about it. Fairfax may respond that ‘balance’ will be struck over the longer-term with the subsequent publication of opposing views. Just when this may occur or whether subsequent opinion would directly address the inaccuracies and bias of commentary like this within a reasonable time frame remains unclear.

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