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Independent UN rights expert calls for compassion, not sanctions on Venezuela

The crisis in Venezuela will not be solved by sanctions that “can lead to starvation”, a UN-appointed rights expert said on Thursday. Special Rapporteur Idriss Jazairy, who reports to the Human Rights Council, issued the warning against the background of widespread suffering in the South American country, linked to spiralling economic woes and deep political uncertainty. (Article first published at United Nations site 31 January 2019.)

Betts & Birrell: Australian voters’ views on immigration policy: Full Report

This is the report that Bob Carr referred to in the Q&A "A Big Australia" program on Monday 12 March, 2018. "The survey found that 74 per cent of voters thought that Australia does not need more people, with big majorities believing that that population growth was putting ‘a lot of pressure’ on hospitals, roads, affordable housing and jobs (Figure 4). Most voters were also worried about the consequences of growing ethnic diversity. Forty-eight per cent supported a partial ban on Muslim immigration to Australia, with only 25 per cent in opposition (Figure 3). Despite these demographic pressures and discontents, Australia’s political and economic elites are disdainful of them and have ignored them. They see high immigration as part of their commitment to the globalisation of Australia’s economy and society and thus it is not to be questioned. Elites elsewhere in the developed world hold similar values, but have had to retreat because of public opposition. Across Europe 15 to 20 per cent of voters currently support anti-immigration political parties. Our review of elite opinion in Australia shows that here they think they can ignore public concerns. This is because their main source of information about public opinion on the issue, the Scanlon Foundation, has consistently reported that most Australians support their immigration and cultural diversity policies." [Extract from Executive Summary, The Australian Population Research Institute (TAPRIS)]

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.

Australia is "going backwards" according to new report


Almost half of Australia's terrestrial ecosystems are threatened, 85 per cent of its rivers have been modified and twice as many Australians die from air pollution annually than road accidents, according to a report on the state of the country's environment.

42 environmental growth have cooperated to bring us this damning report, and hopefully will be a wake-up call that we are living beyond our means, and must change.

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