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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.

SPA Submission to the Inquiry into the Australian Government’s role in the development of cities.

"As Sustainable Population Australia is an environmentally focused organization, we advocate policies that encourage human activity that is sustainable within finite natural limits and question the ongoing growth paradigm. Growth in the capital cities is reaching limits, whilst coastline development impacts fragile ecosystems. However, inland Australia is more subject to temperature extremes, water shortages and a lack of locational comparative advantage to sustain livelihoods. Within the context of an increasing climate emergency and peak fossil fuel energy, investment will be better spent on resilient communities and foreign aid rather than growth for growth's sake."

Gregory Corso on Molloch - a poem that fits Australia's planning dystopia

Some extracts: "What sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination? [...] Moloch whose buildings are judgment! Moloch the vast stone of war! Moloch the stunned governments! Moloch whose mind is pure machinery! Moloch whose blood is running money! Moloch whose fingers are ten armies! Moloch whose breast is a cannibal dynamo! Moloch whose ear is a smoking tomb! Moloch whose eyes are a thousand blind windows! Moloch whose skyscrapers stand in the long streets like endless Jehovahs! Moloch whose factories dream and croak in the fog! Moloch whose smoke-stacks and antennae crown the cities! Moloch whose love is endless oil and stone! Moloch whose soul is electricity and banks! Moloch whose poverty is the specter of genius! Moloch whose fate is a cloud of sexless hydrogen! Moloch whose name is the Mind!" This is from "Howl" by Gregory Corso (1926-1997) was written in 1984. Full poem plus background at http://howlcriticaledition.weebly.com/howl-by-allen-ginsberg.html

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.

Ratepayers Victoria: Rate-capping: The Truth is out there!

The Municipal Association of Victoria has, unsurprisingly, issued a press release to undermine Rate Capping. Ratepayers Victoria has countered this with the following arguments: When the rate capping policy was developed and adopted, all official communique and documentation, were very clear upfront in stating that rates capping only apply to general rate and municipal charges. Other council service charges, fees, fines and differentiated rates, together with prevailing state levies (e.g. the fire Levy councils advocated for and changed to CIV rating system a few years back.) The Fair Go Rates policy is a real present and future threat to some councils, as it has taken away councils’ free reign of rates increases and require them to be more transparent any) are excluded.

Keeping the Greater Sydney Commission honest about population and density

The following article publishes an email sent by Tony Recsei, President of Save our Suburbs NSW, to SOS members and friends. Dated Thursday, 26 May 2016, it is a report on his attendance at a luncheon organised by the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC) in Paramatta. The GSC is a growth lobby tool. Here Recsei points out that the 30 minute city does not exist as planners describe it and suggests that the Commission should investigate low density cities where the cost of housing is also low and find out what they are doing right, instead of continuing to visit high density cities. See the SOS NSW blogspot here.

Are Victorian governments trying to get rid of Victorian wildlife on purpose?

Video inside. This article is about the effects of 390,000 ha of native vegetation targeted to be burned every year in Victoria, Australia's most cleared state. The video inside this article documents how vast numbers of Australian wildlife are burned alive in scientifically dubious prescribed burns, mandated by the Victorian Government. It asks whether the cruel and avoidable fate of many wildlife in prescribed burns is really protecting human lives and assets or merely a way of meeting an arbitrary target. Others would be much harsher and say that this may be a calculated strategy to rid the state of wildlife in addition to an apparently deliberate failure to cooperate with wildlife activists in making easily protected wildlife corridors to connect viable habitat.[1]

Respect the Rock! Join Miranda for Live music and political action all day at Hanging Rock Sunday!

Be there! Sunday 23 February, 11.00 am Petanque Pavilion, Hanging Rock Reserve. Live music all day from 11 am - 12pm, Anne Louise Lambert and other speakers plus Live Action Zoo. Join the original Picnicker, Miranda (Anne Louise Lambert, star of the film) for a very special picnic at Hanging Rock. Voice your concern at the lack of community consultation on Macedon Ranges shire Council's proposed large-scale development at Hanging Rock, which includes a conference centre and accommodation facility.

Professor Roz Hansen cans East-West link on democracy, parkland and public transport

Item 6.3, MCC Futures Committee Meeting on 10 December 2013: "Council’s submission should state ‘up front’ that it opposes the East West Link project. This inner urban freeway project will undermine, erode and destroy part of Royal Park being a special place of state and metropolitan significance, as well as a signature feature of Melbourne’s renowned network of large parks and gardens. These much valued public assets are integral to our city’s liveability and distinctiveness. We are not being asked by government if we want this project – we are being told we must have it noting that there isn’t a week that goes by that the evidence against this project grows and grows." Roz Hansen

Oz Parliament: Kelvin Thomson on Planning and Population, Environment and Democracy

"I, and every other post-war baby boomer, can count myself incredibly lucky to be born when I was, because our children do not have the opportunities my generation had—job and career opportunities, housing opportunities and free education. For all the hype about growth and progress and development building a better world, it is not. It is tougher for our kids than it ever was for us." (Kelvin Thomson Thursday, 14 November 2013, House of Reps Chamber Speech)

Report on Min. Mathew Guy's community briefing on Plan Melbourne


On 25 October, Mathew Guy delivered his talk[1] to community representatives from a top floor in a high building overlooking Melbourne's vast expanse, which exceeds that of Paris. Community representatives heard Guy, speaking of the need to accommodate an ever rising population, say that 85% of Melbourne's population growth is from natural increase. In fact only 40% is from natural increase. The other 60 per cent of Victoria's population growth is due to immigration.

Democracy - the cost of population growth: Mathew Guy, Ethiopia and the Sustainable Population Charter

Sustainable Population Australia, Green Wedges Coalition, Protectors of Public Lands Victoria and Planning Backlash are four of the peak planning and environmental groups that have produced a Sustainable Population Charter for Victoria because the government seems unable to do so. It recommends that net overseas migration be reduced from the recent 232,000 immigrants in a year to 70,000 net per annum. See "Peak Community Groups advocate for Population size as an election issue."

Huge growth in the Geelong area - G21Geelong Region Plan

What does the G21Geelong Region Plan mean for Geelong? There are already huge developments everywhere including 2000 blocks in Highton, extensive new subdivisions on the Bellarine Peninsula and in Fyansford where a 1000 house development was announced this week. It is also rumoured that Barwon Water can barely cope with the rapid and huge development. The consquences will be traffic congestion, long hospital waiting lists, pollution, and inadequate rail transport from Geelong to Melbourne.
Article by Yvonne Campbell.

Doreen Residents' impressive 17 Questions survey response to "Melbourne Let's talk about the future"

Local democracy in action. Congratulations to Doreen Residents Action Group for conducting a democratic survey to really test responses to Mathew Guy's "Melbourne Let's talk about the future" request for submissions. The following report is a summary of answers provided by residents of Doreen in response to a 17 question survey conducted in relation to the Melbourne Metropolitan Planning Strategy for the next 40 years.

23rd March, 2013

Deadline tomorrow (28-3-13): Advice for submissions to "Melbourne Let's talk about the future"

We urge you to write a submission to Planning Minister, Matthew Guy’s, “Melbourne, let’s talk about the future”. Submissions close: 28th March. Go to: http://www.planmelbourne.vic.gov.au/getinvolved/submissions Or email to: planmelbourne@dpcd.vic.gov.au. Inside this article there are suggestions about doing your own submission rather than using the government format submission.

MEG Submission re VCAT Fee Increases

As a residents’ group which deals with planning procedures, Malvern East Group (MEG) finds that VCAT fails its own mission statements of being a low cost, accessible, efficient and independent tribunal delivering high quality dispute resolution. The institution of draconian fees now dramatically highlights this disconnect.

Jill Quirk: SPAVic Submission to Matthew Guy on Planning Zone Reforms

Sustainable Population Australia takes the State of the Environment report 2008 as a warning of the unsustainable path that Victoria is on as the government recklessly engineers its population at a rate about twice the level it would naturally be at present. This state government and its predecessors have actively encouraged population growth through the artificial means of seeking increasing numbers of migrants from overseas to settle in Victoria, using the website "Liveinvictoria.com.au".

Julianne Bell: Protectors of Public Lands act to save Victoria's environment and heritage

In her submission to the Victorian State Department of Planning and Community Services, Julianne Bell, Secretary of Protectors of Public Lands, quoting Professor Michael Buxton of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) shows how the proposed changes to Victoria's urban planning laws will destroy the quality of life and sustainability of Melbourne.

Mary Drost Planning Backlash Submission to proposed changes in Planning Laws [VIC, Australia]

Planning Backlash Inc, a coalition of 250 resident groups across city, coast and country, is astonished at the complexity of the proposals for major changes to Melbourne and her Green Wedges and the limited time to understand it and make submissions. Coalition members are disappointed that there has been no thought given by Government to run public sessions to explain the changes. As a result the vast majority of people don’t know what is happening and have been given no opportunity to find out.

"Time for a referendum on population growth" - SPA Victoria, Jill Quirk

The government needs to listen to the electorate. Consecutive public community polls have shown that Australians are very concerned about the ongoing rapid rate of population growth and density of development, food security, and social disorganisation in poorly serviced new suburbs.

Australia: Vampire-like mosquito inhabits dark underground vaults, waits to suck blood

Culex molestus is thought to have been introduced into southern Australia in the 1940s, hitching a ride into the country with travelling American military personnel. The species is known in other countries for the spread of West Nile virus. Since the 1940s, the mosquito has been found in all states except Queensland and the Northern Territory. Where exactly the mosquito came from before arriving in Australia is still a mystery but it is well known from cities in the US and Europe. The mosquito infamously made a meal of Londoners sleeping in the Underground during the Blitz and is often commonly referred to as the London Underground Mosquito. The culex species, although not necessarily Culex molestus, has been implicated in the spread of diverse diseases which include Eastern Equine Encephalitis, Japanese Encephalitis Virus, St. Louis Encephalitis, and Western Equine Encephalitis.

Julianne Bell, PPLVic: Citizens rights to preserve public land and wildlife habitat from private greed in Melbourne Planning

This superb document establishes a history of concerted public demand for protection of the green wedges and a host of reasons for that public opposition to Matthew Guy's six new suburbs. It represents more than 80 groups of Victorians - (Ed. Candobetter.) "The whole rationale for extending the Urban Growth Boundary is to accommodate the unprecedented flood of population to Victoria. PPL VIC considers that the extension of the Urban Growth Boundary is really the thin end of the wedge. As there are no plans to stop the present high rate of population growth (mostly from immigration) the process of loss of Green Wedges and agricultural land is endless. There will be another extension when the proposed boundaries are seen to be filling up. The Government must abandon the Green Wedge land grab as destructive of the environment, a threat to wildlife, including endangered species, and as a major contributor to Green House Gas Emissions." Julianne Bell, Protectors of Public Land, Victoria.

The Future of Planning for Melbourne?

Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy is setting up a website http://www.planmelbourne.vic.gov.au asking for residents' feedback on the sort of Melbourne we want in the future. These kinds of websites, however, make it hard to say what you really think. It is probably better to send the Minister a submission re Plan Melbourne saying what you really think, in your own words, rather than responding to the website questionnaire. Email it to Matthew.Guy[AT]parliament.vic.gov.au . As a guide, we suggest that any plan must first have a policy to limit the population growth. To ignore this issue and try to plan for greater growth, would be self defeating.

What's up in Melbourne this week - by Di Cachinnans

Surprise surprise. It is official. Overpopulation has overstretched Melbourne infrastructure. This week, areas of Hawthorn had no water because of the pipes being so old and overloaded. At Camberwell Junction after heavy rain you can smell sewer because the sewer lines are overloaded. Well we know about the hospitals and the schools not to mention the roads and the public transport.

Victoria’s Bays and Coastal Foreshores need protection from planning follies

Victoria's Mornington Peninsula Shire wants to build the largest building project they have ever undertaken on foreshore public reserve land at Rosebud. The proposed complex would be 50 times larger than a recently condemned pool and needs parking for 200 vehicles. Why change something as perfect as Rosebud? Is the council mad?

Coexisting with Nature: Reflections after the Devastating 2011 Earthquake in Japan - by Junko Edahiro

"We often use the expression "coexistence with nature." It's often found in the corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports of companies, and it definitely becomes a topic when discussing town-building activities. After seeing the situation in Ishinomaki, however, I began to think the expression is used merely superficially and is too optimistic...."

Jill Quirk: Sustainable Population - deal or no deal?

This article title is based on the title of a debate at the Municipal Association of Victoria AGM, which took place on Thursday, October 21 at Hotel Sofitel. The article itself is based on speech notes from SPA Victoria's president, Jill Quirk, for her part in the debate. Panel members were: Jill Quirk, President of Sustainable Population Australia (Victorian branch); Pru Sanderson, CEO, VicUrban; and Professor of Physiology, Roger Short, Melbourne University. The Chair was Jon Faine.

'Greens' support Madden's Bad Law VC 71 in black week for Victoria, Australia

VC71 clause 16 was to be challenged by the Liberals on 6 October. Greens were approached to support it and many people expected that support to be automatic. The Greens had voted against clause 16 in its earlier form and it had reappeared with few changes. Many conservationists and planning activists throughout Melbourne have seen in the Greens some hope of an alternative to population growth and development uber al. They were aghast to realise that the Greens had finished up supporting the Brumby Government's ecologically unsustainable population growth and this crowning horror of Justin Madden's bad development laws.

See also: Are the Greens a real alternative? of 9 Mar 10, "Tasmanian Greens and the terror of coalitions" of 24 Mar 10 on Online Opinion and related discussion forum.

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