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Downsizing cost trap awaits retirees – five reasons to be wary

Add up all the neglected costs of downsizing and retirees have good reason to be wary of making the move. It’s time to debunk the myth of zero housing costs in retirement if we want to understand why retirees resist downsizing. Retirees have at least five reasons to be wary of the costs of downsizing. [Article first published at https://theconversation.com/downsizing-cost-trap-awaits-retirees-five-reasons-to-be-wary-80895 on 31 July 2017.]

The Liberal Population Task Force Public Forums may yet be useful

The Victorian Liberals have been running public population forums for their "Victorian Population Policy Taskforce." Please read on to get an idea of what is involved and how you might use these forums for good, despite their cynical nature. The article includes a list of the forums still to be held at time of writing this article. As you would expect, the people comprising the Taskforce include some heavy hitters from the extreme growth lobby and, really only one person who has questioned population growth policy - Dr Bob Birrell. We can be sure that the Liberal politicians and other growth lobby activists behind the forums are pushing for extreme population growth to continue despite its awful consequences, just as the Victorian Labor Government is. The purpose of the forums is to manufacture consent by pretending that current immigration numbers cannot be stopped or reduced, however bleak their impact. The message is put in pseudo solidarity as, "Yes, we feel your pain, we wish we could do something, but we cannot." This throws the audiences into a state of helplessness. However, the forums do present the possibility of people who actually know the facts and are concerned about citizens, residents' rights and wildlife needs, to reach the wide spectrum of people who come to the forums and point to the way out of the false dilemma. Those audiences are dying to hear that the political parties (in and out of government) have the capacity to stop the massive population growth and that Australians should and must resist it. Consider taking copies of The Residents' Bill of Rights, which proposes that Australian growth be brought in line with the OECD average. Consider printing out this recent Population Flyer and taking copies. You might also consider taking a copy of recently retired Labor MP Kelvin Thomson's 14 point plan, which is a viable and well-informed plan to stabilise Australia's population. Inside this article there are also recent ABS and OECD graphs and a population doubling time calculator.

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?

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.

Vic Auditor General scrutinises Vic Gov's Environmental Effects Statements in property development

Successive Victorian governments too closely aligned with property development and investment have inflicted continuous rapid population growth on Victorians. This has had a terrible effect on democratic rights to object and protect property and the environment, built and wild. It has seemed that no power could hold the government up to any effective criticism. The Victorian Auditor General has tabled the following reports. We have included an extract from the report which shows a democratic deficit in the public review process. This report may be of use to population and environment activists and they should publicise it.

Open Australia Planning Alert system

The OpenAustralia Foundation, the charity that runs a more accessible Hansard, has made an announcement about the progress of its Planning Alerts service. This is a free and community commons service. It gives citizens some ability to keep up with what the developers and mum and dad subdividers are up to. This, in turn, will give ordinary citizens and residents more insight into the impact of population growth, more information to make political decisions, and more control over its rapid creep.

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.

Whittling away of green wedge in Frankston threatens wildlife

Submission against 11.8 Request for Planning Scheme Amendment Stotts Lane.
by Craig Thomson, wildlife carer
The proposed Amendment seeks to rezone the land from RCZ3 (Rural Conservation Zone Schedule 3) to Neighbourhood Residential Zone, include the site within the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB), remove the Green Wedge and apply a Development Plan Overlay (DPO) to the site. These changes also require consequential changes to the Land Use Framework Plan and the Housing Framework Plan in the Municipal Strategic Statement (MSS).

TODAY at 3PM KURINGAI TOWN HALL Public Forum on Planning Legislation Today

There will be a public forum a Kuringai Town Hall to discuss the problem of overdevelopment, overpopulation, and the crushing of democracy in its wake TODAY. Sunday 7 April 3:00 pm to 5:30 Where: ku-ring-Gai Town Hall, 1186 Pacific Hwy, Pymble.

Planning for overpopulation - do we really need it?

Is the Department of Planning in the Victorian State government vital to our lives or is it just part of endless population growth ? The Planning Department operates with a seemingly remarkable ignorance of the realities of resource (especially oil) depletion, some apprehension of climate change, scant reference to the environment, and no mention of creatures other than humans. Something funny's going on.

Melbourne, Let's Talk about the Future, Oct 2012


Over the next 40 years, Melbourne's is to be projected, or force-fed, to grow geographically and in population.
The discussion paper is how to plan for that growth and miraculously at the same time “ensuring our city remains one of the most diverse, distinctive and liveable cities in the world”. The “discussion” is not about democratically deciding whether we want the growth or not, but propaganda that endorses the benefits of growth, and how to implement it. It's a long term vision, of continuous growth- whether we want it or not!

What's up in Melbourne - by Di Cachinnans

New website for Residents without Rights. Also Docklands, Stonington Mansions, heritage land in St Kilda road. How long will the War Memorial be safe? VCAT review

Forum: How many is too many? Population, Melbourne's Planning Puzzle

7 November 2010 Richmond Town Hall- There will be a public forum about the problems of population and planning in Victoria. It is sponsored by Planning Backlash, which is an umbrella group for groups all over Victoria, but particularly around Melbourne, who are sick and tired of the way that planners and the government are running roughshod over democracy in order to push more people into this city. Please come along and learn and support this important forum.

Doing something to stop roadkill

'It may be tempting to believe our 4WD has bumped over a wombat.' (from an article in a magazine). Tempting? Roadkill is driving some species towards extinction. Too few safe corridors for animals to find more food. Too many cars and trucks on many more roads through their habitats. How about a campaign to stop carelessness about road-kill?

Nightmare on your street - Planning & Democratic Catastrophe for Melbourne as VC 68 passes parliament

This morning Planning Minister Madden’s revised Planning Amendment, now re-badged VC 68, was fast tracked through Parliament with the support of the coalition - Liberals and Nationals – who had, over the past year, held out against inducements to approve this toxic planning amendment. (Only the Greens and DLP MP’s stood firm.) This represents a catastrophe for Melbourne as it will see rezoning of land from rural to residential on the City’s fringe and so extend our notorious urban sprawl.

Vancouver's Greener Pastures Don't Measure Up to Premier Blight's Description

Malcolm Muggeridge once wrote scathingly about the English socialists who praised the achievements of Stalin's Russia after a brief guided tour of the workers' paradise. Pity that he is not alive to write about Anna Bligh's mischaracterization of Vancouver. It is time that foreign growth boosters were called out on their use of the "Vancouver model" as a showcase for "green development". It is goddam lie. Bligh and the growth-management industry of urban planners who parrot this line should be shipped to Vancouver and made to live their on the subsistence income that four in ten Vancouverites struggle to survive on.

Population Inquiry; population numbers risk study; Oz Cities Report

Greens and Libs promote Population Inquiry idea; Dick Smith suggests a population risk study would be better; High-rise buildings don't save energy; recycling is increasing along with total waste

Community Concerns over Minister Gate-Crashing Inquiry (Melbourne Parliament)

When the Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration hearing convened to hear from Peta Duke on 12 March 2010, she did not attend in answer to the summons. She had written the notorious Media Plan proposing a sham public consultation process to earn favour with the electorate. Mr Madden, who had not been summoned, sat in the chair reserved for the witness – his former Ministerial adviser - and said that he would answer questions. This was a blatant attempt to take over the inquiry being carried out by Parliament into his office’s conduct. - Protectors of Public Lands (Victoria)

Melbourne Minister Madden makes planning policy on the run

For a minister who says he wants certainty for developers (but gives not two hoots for making everyone else miserably insecure) Mr Madden must be driving them mad as well. The GAIC tax is subject to endless jerky permutations and increasing secrecy surrounds it. The horror of it all is that this farce is what passes for serious business in Melbourne these days. It is like some faintly similar town, but colonised by alien planners and parliamentarians with agendas that have nothing to do with representative government. Perhaps if we knew what was really going on - something to do with finances perhaps - it would not all be so hard to read.

Vancouver's growth model drove me out of town

This comment, by Canadian Tim Murray, was originally posted to the ABC Background Briefing program, 'Housing for Millions'. In response to statements by a planner which implied that the doubling of Vancouver's population in 15 years had been accomplished without pain, he writes, "Vancouver is a success story only if compared to other major urban failures."

Victoria's new major transport projects laws - What do they mean? Environment Defenders Office public seminar

EDO Seminar Series 2009
New road, rail and port development fast track: Victoria's new major transport projects laws - What do they mean?
Tuesday 29 September 2009
5.45pm for 6pm start
BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL
RSVP: EDO (03) 8341 3100
or edovic@edo.org.au

Draconian Major Transport Projects Facilitation Bill 2009 must be stopped in Upper House - Victoria

Proposed law will exempt the State Government from its own laws and concentrate decision making power into one or two Ministers. A draconian piece of legislation, the Major Transport Projects Facilitation Bill 2009, has been brought into the Parliament . Your help is necessary to have this bill stopped in the upper house. Only the Liberal-National Coalition, by voting with the Greens, can stop this bill in the upper house. Victoria is under almost constant assault from a despotic government, which is seeking more and more power beyond the control of the people. But all is not lost. It is possible to beat them by supporting opposition review in the upper house of the Victorian Parliament. We have done it before.

What can happen to community groups when they brave VCAT


This interesting letter about the experience of a citizen representing a group's appeal at VCAT vindicates the citizen, educates others about the VCAT attitude, and shows VCAT up.

Your history is being erased by your government. What will they do next?

Melbourne:"It is alarming that so many big projects have been permitted by the Victorian State Government through a planning process that does not include an ability to make submissions or lodge appeals." National Trust are mounting a major campaign to persuade the State Government Planning Minister Justin Madden to stop destroying Melbourne's heritage for the sake of allowing developers to build what they want where they want it.
Join With National Trust in their Save Our City campaign.

What ever happened to Royal Park? The destruction of Melbourne's first, most central and most historical park by land-grabs

Whose parks are they?
Alienation of central city parkland and heritage sites by Government and their transfer to developers, commercial organisations and special interest groups? Mismanagement of parkland by the local councils. Exclusion of community groups by local councils from previous long standing co operative involvement in management of parks and gardens. Discrimination by local councils restricting access to funding. Abuses are accumulating and getting worse. Crooked governments and cut-throat developers are very organised and local groups must also organise locally, state-wide and nationally to reinforce democratic rights. Consider joining Protectors of Public Lands Inc. in your state or starting a branch. similar articles and Protectors of Public Land

Ratepayers should resist costly Gympie asset sell-off and development

GYMPIE Regional Council plans to sell off industrial land at Tin Can Bay, Monkland and a home at Kilkivan to raise revenue because council income from ratepayers only funds a $40m budget. Apparently the Council has already committed itself to spend $115m. Surely only a council of half-wits would not have foreseen the need to cut expenditure with the global financial crash and the parlous condition of the state budget? Friends of Rainbow Beach say that, far from saving the ratepayers money, the council's plans to sell off assets will cost residents of Gympie Region even more.

ALP Kelvin Thomson MP says Five Million is too many; Melbourne should control population growth

"Everything that makes our city the great place to live, work and raise a family, is potentially under threat if population growth and urban sprawl continue at the current rate. We must implement a strategy to control population growth, urban expansion and development. Our way of life, open spaces and infrastructure cannot be sacrificed on the altar of ever expanding population. We have a responsibility to secure our city’s future through thorough, thoughtful and detailed planning. This planning should not include an expanding Melbourne waistline." (Kelvin Thomson MP, Federal Member for Wills, "Five Million is too many: Securing the Social and Environmental Future of Melbourne: Submission to the Urban Growth Boundary Review, July 2009)

Video: Taxed Out Michael Hocking's speech on GAIC Tax: Melbourne Rally 14 July 2009

You tube video inside of Michael Hocking's speech about the GAIC tax which Planning Minister Madden wants to inflict on the people who live in the Green Wedges which he wants to rezone for urban development.

Vic Planning Legislative Bill enslaves Victorians to Growth Lobby


"[T]his bill will enable the government, without any further recourse to the Parliament, to declare an area to be a growth area. Following on from that will be the liability of citizens to pay this increased levy" [$95,000 per hectare on land zoned from rural]. Mr Clark MP spoke of the "extraordinary price" of Victorian Labor's Planning Legislative Amendment Bill "in terms of intrusion on local communities, the diminution of the capacity of local communities to have a say in their own destiny, and the undermining of the role of local government councillors." "The bill, whichever way you look at it, is badly flawed. It attacks principles of democracy, of devolution and decentralisation. It attacks principles of accountability to Parliament by government for revenue raising. It is bad in all of those respects, and it is opposed by the coalition."

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