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Mary Drost

28 October: State Election Forum: Vic MPs to take planning questions from the public

It is important to hear policies from key MPs before the election. Thanks to Prof Michael Buxton, we have a large lecture hall in Swanston Street, on the west side, called RMIT Building 80, and we have room 7 on the ground floor. Take note - it is 3 weeks today - lets fill the hall. (Mary Drost, Planning Backlash).

Sunday 7th:Public Meeting - Stop overdevelopment in Melbourne - Hawthorne Arts Centre

2.30PM - Sunday 7th of October 2018. Open Public Meeting Stop Over-Development in Melbourne! Speakers: Professor Bob Birrell, Professor Michael Buxton, Mary Drost OAM Planning Backlash, Jack Roach, Boroondara Residents' Action Group, Leith van Onselen- economist. Venue: Zelman Room, Hawthorn Arts Centre, 360 Burwood Road, Hawthorne.

Time for a Royal Commission to examine the Developers' World

How dare the Urban Development Institute of Australia tell the State Government that it should set housing targets for each council to cope with Melbourne's rapid population growth and then if we don't meet the targets they set we will be victimised. [1] They even specifically mentioned Boroondara and Stonnington as not pulling their weight and referred to NIMBYs. As a resident of Boroondara I can assure the Development Institute that Boroondara is being flooded with buildings to such an extent that the whole neighbourhood character is being ruined, what on earth do they want. High rise on every suburban street?

The real problem is that Melbourne is getting too many people coming to the city. Even Planning Minister Wynne is quoted as saying that Melbourne has the highest growth rate of any city in the developed world. We have been saying this for years as we see it's livability being wrecked. People all across Melbourne are complaining as they see their areas being overcrowded and over developed. The Federal Government must reduce immigration - tell them we are full to bursting. Do they want to turn us into a dense third world city with polluted gridlocked streets?

Many of us are saying, having watched the Royal Commission into the Banking World, that it is time for a Royal Commission to examine the Developers World.

Property Council's Sally Capp & conflict of interest if Lord Mayor of Melbourne

Today Mary Drost, of Planning Backlash, went to a Forum in South Yarra to meet the 14 candidates for Lord Mayor of Melbourne. She says, "We need a good Lord Mayor and not one who will overdevelop and wreck our city even more. These last few years have been terrible. Go and take a look. If you use a search engine to check the population of cities in North America and Western Europe, you will find that Melbourne and Sydney are bigger than all cities except New York, Toronto, London, Paris and Berlin, and add Singapore as that is first world also. We are increasing much too fast - it is wrong."

Video: Mary Drost speaks at Restore residents rights Planning Backlash 8 june 2017

Mary Drost, Convenor of Planning Backlash, speaks to the protesters at 'Restore Residents' Rights', a Planning Backlash Rally she convened on the steps of Victorian Parliament, Australia, 8 June 2017. This rally was a huge protest by many residents' and ratepayer groups against the Victorian Government's despotic plan to privatise the planning system in order to provide for an increase in an increase in Victoria's population from approx 6m to 10m by 2050, mostly through immigration, mostly through immigration, in order to satiate the greed of developers who have taken over this country.

Melbourne and Jakarta: While we are on the subject of overcrowding ...

I have just come back from 2 weeks in my old home Jakarta. When we went there to live there were 3 million people and it was easy to get around and very manageable. Those were the good days. The Governor, Ali Sadikin, closed the city to more incomers on advice from UN city planning experts as they said the bigger a city gets the harder it is to manage and the mega cities are beyond human management. Immigration was reduced down to those who had work permits. (Immigrants in this case refers to people coming to the city from the countryside). The Governor himself told me the story that the President eventually forced him to open the city to immigration. Population is now maybe 10 million and growing. The city is a total polluted gridlocked nightmare.

Restore Residents' Rights: Rally at Parliament 8 June 1pm - Planning Backlash

Responding to "Plan Melbourne 2017-2050" and changes to the Planning Scheme which will transfer government powers to private developers, Planning Backlash will rally on the steps of Victorian Parliament on 8 June 2017 at 1pm.

Mary Drost reports on Meeting with President of VCAT 18 April 2017

Mary Drost, (Convenor of Planning Backlash Inc), Joanna Stanley (Brunswick Residents Group), and Ann Reid (Convenor of Malvern East Group) met VCAT President Justice Greg Garde on Wednesday April 18. One of our objectives in having this meeting was to persuade him to arrange a forum for residents such as the ones previously arranged by Justice Kevin Bell and Iain Ross some years ago. Both of those men had actually listened to residents and had approached the then Attorney General to have some changes made to procedure so the "natural justice" would get more attention in the Planning and Environment section of VCAT than had previously been the case. Alas, apart from two minor changes no actual reform was permitted.

Justice Garde's reaction to our request was interesting. He said he would speak at a meeting but did not seem interested in following the previous Presidents and arranging a meeting to hear residents' opinions. He explained that VCAT was run by handpicked professionals who followed the rules to the letter.

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.]

Mary Drost (Planning Backlash) complains to VCAT about the terrible job they are doing

Mary Drost is the convenor of Planning Backlash, a group with a network of 250 residents' groups, which last year held the biggest ever population awareness function in Australia. Recently VCAT issued a very limited survey for users to fill out. Many of the 250 residents' groups in Planning Backlash were formed through bitter experience of appealing to the law via VCAT. Here is what Mary Drost has to say, in her frank and concise manner.

Planning reform (Backlash) candidates in Local Government Elections, Victoria - list

UPDATED Oct 18 Inside is list of names of people running for local councils in Victoria who are members of groups affiliated with Planning Backlash. The list was compiled by Mary Drost, convenor of Planning Backlash, who says it represents 14 councils and it the total she has so far.

Resident planning rights should be strengthened, not watered down - Kelvin Thomson MP, Australia

Federal Labor Member for Wills, Kelvin Thomson, has condemned reports (The Age 29/11/11 ‘Push to cut planning appeals’) that the Victorian Liberal Government is seriously considering proposals to further reduce the rights of residents to object to inappropriate developments in their neighbourhoods. Wills is an electorate in Victoria, Australia, with very high population density.

Should Jeannie Pratt and Elisabeth Murdoch downsize to high rises in Activity Centers to give young people more room?

Committee for Melbourne growthers are scraping the bottom of the barrel looking for new ways to get people to move to the hated high-rises the property development lobby has planned all over Melbourne. Mary Drost says, "Both Andrew McLeod and Bernard Salt are obsessed with growth. It is exactly this growth that is making Melbourne less liveable as everything is overstretched." Jill Quirk asks, "I wonder if Salt and MacLeod think widows Jeannie Pratt or Elisabeth Murdoch should vacate their premises for a flat in an "activity centre" or is just people who inhabit more modest post war triple fronted accommodation who are being asked to move over ?"

More on the Melbourne protest against Bill to Gag local councilors - video

(Photo of Mary Drost)
The Brumby Government tried to undermine this crucial Melbourne Rally and to avoid criticism by announcing they were modifying their offensive Bill, so the mainstream journalists stayed away. But the alternative press is growing and we will not fall for such simple ploys.

Activists co-operate and stop councillor-gag laws (Victoria, Australia)

Today Victorian activist groups working together stopped legislation which could have defined any local councillor who may have previously actively opposed a particular development proposal as an 'interested party' and hence ineligible to vote. Demonstrators wore tape over their mouths on the steps of Victoria's Parliament.

See also: "Backdown on activist councillors", in The Age of 27 Oct 08, "Govt backflip on council conflict of interest legislation" on ABC on 29 Oct 08.

VCAT Community Forum highlights problems fixes none

"VCAT unelected, unaccountable and system has lost all respect from community." VCAT is Victoria's Civil and Administrative Tribunal. (Australia)

Quantock in just released "Planning Backlash" - the movie

Rod Quantock is currently appearing in First Man Standing at Trades Hall in Carlton, 03 9659 5699, but here he is in a stand up role for democracy (which does seem very funny in Victoria) at the Mary Drost-led rally in July.

Melbourne protests mass population growth and its profiteers

For his political courage in speaking out against undemocratic, but mainstream media and government endorsed, growth, actor, Geoffrey Rush deserves particular historic recognition from Australians. He launched a new website: Marvellous Melbourne at https://marvellousmelbourne.org. Candobetter.net editor 12 January 2017: Unfortunately, eight years later it is no longer maintained, so we have removed the link. Candobetter.net remains one of its memorials. However the problem those optimistic protesters set out to solve has grown every year into a behemoth that threatens many of our institutions and certainly our way of life, all over Australia.

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