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Video interview of Sandra Kanck, National SPA President

"Media resistance has always been one of the big problems," says Sandra Kanck, who came from a family where there were seven children and she learned early that one wage did not go as far for seven as it might for fewer. From 1994-2009 Sandra served as an Australian Democrats’ Member of the upper house of the South Australian Parliament. Her ‘maiden’ speech in parliament was – predictably for those who know her – about population. For more than nine years Sandra Kanck has been either President or Vice-President of SPA, mostly the former, including reluctantly juggling the role of Acting Treasurer for three months during one of her stints as President.

2018 Victorian election reflections - Article by Sally Pepper

Last night I stayed home and watched as the election results revealed themselves on the television. Quite early in the evening they showed various venues with mature people dressed up in emblematic red t-shirts looking triumphant and trustingly happy. The meaning of this was that the Victorian Labor Government has been returned to power with an increased majority to govern for the next four years.

Letter to ABC's 7.30 Report on its (again) woeful reporting on population growth/immigration.

Dear 7.30.
The statements being made by politicians and commentators re the size and growth of the population/immigration intake are (deliberately) ignorant, seriously uninformed or deliberately politically biased. And the coverage of this issue by your program and ABC journalists more generally also lack quality research, lack of 'joining the dots', failure to question unfounded claims by the above and, in some cases, unquestioned acceptance and repeat of demonstrably untrue statements.
Please consider the following demonstrable facts and follow the inevitable conclusion.

Frankston: Danger for people and nature if kayaking in old mine site goes ahead in Frankston Nature Conservation Reserve

Please see attached pdf call for submissions to kayaking at Frankston Nature Conservation Reserve. "[...] I nor the friends received this directly. It was forwarded to me from the equally outraged Frankston Environmental Friends Network. The Regulations specific for the reserve which were put in place by the Minister for the Environment in 2015 were revoked on 1 February 2018, making the reserve a free-for-all. All of the protection work for the reserve, fought for many years has been ignored and overridden by the Andrews Labor Government. Accordingly, Paul Edbrooke will find his place last on my ballot paper," writes Frankston Councillor, Quinn McCormack.

Latham's 8-Point Plan to stop overpopulation in Sydney

Ex Labor leader, Mark Latham, recently joined Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party and will be running for the NSW legislative council at the next state election. Here is his 8-Point Plan to "save Sydney “suffocating” from overpopulation and overdevelopment."

Latham's 8-Point Plan

1. Our immigration program must be framed in the interest of the people who live here now. This is especially true of policies impacting on an over-crowded, increasingly dysfunctional city like Sydney.

2. Permanent immigration numbers should be slashed, bringing them closer to their 20th Century average of 70,000 per annum (down from 190,000 currently). Temporary visas must also be cut back.

3. NSW should not take any more special refugee intakes, given the mismanagement of Syrian refugee settlement by the Baird Government.

Hong Kong planning rules for Melbourne under Labor - Alert from the Boroondara Residents’ Action Group

BRAG has always tried to remain unaligned politically but the plans the Andrews’ Government has for centralizing planning, if re-elected, require us to take a stand. The plans are being developed in secret by Labor to ensure that massive changes can be rammed through, if re-elected, to push at least 70% of new medium to high density housing into the middle suburbs of Melbourne. What this means is that you can expect multi-storey blocks of flats in your local street and neither you nor your council will be able to do a thing about it. You will have no right to be advised, object or appeal and the first indication will be when construction commences.

Questioning Dr Liz Allen's False Dichotomy - Article by Mark Allen

The latest film clip by Dr Liz Allen via the ABC explains why we apparently shouldn't be worrying about Australia's population size, because the real issue is in fact social inequality. But what Dr Allen is doing here is creating a false dichotomy. In doing so she is attempting to channel all discussion on what is actually a highly nuanced issue into one where those involved are forced to pick a side.

Broken system fails everyone, not just international student and backpacker victims of wage theft

Senior law lecturer at UNSW, Bassina Farbenblum says, "Our study confirms that Australia has a large, silent underclass of underpaid migrant workers,” commenting on a report entitled, "Migrant Worker Justice Initiative." The authors do not question the impact on Australians of this corrupt industrial and academic underbelly, but observe complacently, that if Australia is to "position itself as the destination of choice for international students and backpackers, reforms must be urgently implemented to prevent wage theft and enable migrant workers to report and recover unpaid wages." This report would benefit from wider and more historical context: When most wages in Australia were regulated by state awards, and strong unions defended Federal awards, there was very little illegal labour, hence little motivation to import cheap labour. It was easy to enforce written awards that covered entire industries and occupations, and were regulated by dedicated entities. This changed when Kennett abolished Victorian State Awards in 1993, setting the scene for Howard's Workchoices, and going on to widen the use of the corporations clause in the Australian constitution, which exempted corporations from many employer obligations. (See https://candobetter.net/node/4612.) The privatised for-profit university system gave up on real research in favour of importing students like cash-cows, to pay large fees and rent university owned apartments. Many of these students had to work any conditions in order to survive and pay their fees, fearing that if they failed to retain student status, they would be deported. A win-win situation for exploiters all round, as it drove down wages for everyone. In fact, if 'reforms' were successfully implemented to prevent wage theft from migrant workers' we would soon see a huge reduction in the numbers of migrant workers. It's all slave labour under other names. (Candobetter.net Editor.)

Safety Beach: 2 police rescue & resuss drowning kangaroo, Animalia visit in cell

This is exciting and heartwarming footage to counter the general plague of kangaroo hating. Police rush into the surf to rescue a small kangaroo, who is later visited in its cell by Animalia staff, who are currently taking care of him elsewhere.

ABC 7.30 Report population special (Part 1) - by Leith van Onselen

ABC 7.30 Report last night aired part one of its three-part population special, which included me as the economist. While I will reserve judgement until the final two-parts have been aired, my initial gut reaction is disappointment. The main problem I see with it so far is the ABC has inferred that a population of more than 40-million mid-century is inevitable rather than a direct policy choice. Nowhere did The ABC clearly show how the federal government massively increased Australia’s immigration intake from the early-2000

Claims that DNA from a 350-year-old dingo tooth could save the species in Australia are rubbish, dingo conservationists say

In response to claims that DNA from a 350-year-old dingo tooth could save the species in Australia, National Dingo Preservation and Recovery Program spokesperson Dr Ian Gunn said the reverse was the case. “On past experience, the evidence will be used to justify a continued sheep industry campaign to exterminate the species across Australia. Just because of the introgression of domestic dog genetics in some individuals, or because they are not the dingo variety identified by the genes in this ‘one-tooth’, they then falsely claim the animals they are killing are not real dingoes."

SBS Go back to where you came from: Outrageous war propaganda in Jaqui Lambi episode

This article comments on the Australian war propaganda that was used in a recent episode, involving Jaqui Lambi, of "Go back to where you came from" on SBS. It responds to a recent article (republished here) by Vanessa Beeley about very recent massacres conducted by IS, close to a US Army base, which has allowed IS convoys to pass through open desert, unhindered. On 2 October 2018, Mrs Thoraya Um Ammaar was executed on video by IS over two months after she and about 25 other women and children were kidnapped from the Sweida countryside, south of Damascus on July 25th 2018. US Coalition forces remain camped in Al Tanf, 330km to the East. It is simply intolerable that IS can occupy that part of Syrian territory while aggressively threatening anyone who comes near it.
Report by Vanessa Beeley

Musings from the Cat World - Cicero Speaks


Ever wondered what domesticated cats think? Especially those rescued from the wild? Here are some snippets telepathically transmitted to the human caretaker.

Australian parliamentarian calls for plebiscite on immigration levels

An Australian parliamentarian, Senator Hansen, has called for a plebiscite on immigration levels to this country. "In the decade to 2016 the Australian population increased by 3.5 million, 60% of which was from overseas migration. Given the impact a continuing population growth of this same order will have on already over-stretched infrastructure particularly, in our major cities, a national plebiscite should be held at the time of the next general election to allow the people of Australia to express their opinion.  The plebiscite will ask Australian their views on continuing with the current high rate of migration. The Plebiscite (Future Migration Level)Bill 2018 (the Bill) would establish the legislative framework for a compulsory, in-person vote in a national plebiscite that would ask Australians, in view of the level of population increase from migration in the ten years to 2016: “Do you think the current rate of immigration to Australia is too high?”"

Steve Keen, "Oz economy no more diverse than Uganda's" - Boom Bust interview

Interview begins around 9.40 minutes into the show.Gung-ho interviewer, Bart Chilton, apparently hoping to recommend investing in Australian stocks, found out that Australia's economy is about as diverse as Uganda's and Ethiopia's, that it consists of holes and houses, and that Australian governments have stupidly marketised energy, making costs too high for Australian manufactures. "Energy and telecommunications are both being disastrously mishandled." Banks and mines dominate the Australian stock exchange, which reminds Keen of when they dominated the Japanese stock exchange - just before the 1990 bubble burst, with no important banks situated in Japan anymore. Our stock market is trivial compared to our bond market. Dr Keen also mentions the , which is worth a look.

Vocal Animal interviews Doug Gimesy on Platypus & human populations

As well as discussing the danger of opera house yabby nets for Australia's platypuses, Doug Gimesy talks about the impacts of human population on platypus populations.

Perth Radio: Should Australia's migrant intake increase or decrease?

Australia’s annual permanent migrant intake has fallen to its lowest level in more than a decade after a Federal Government crackdown on dodgy claims. Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said the government had restored integrity to the migration program to make sure the “best possible” migrants were brought into the country through tougher vetting. William Burke from the Sustainable Australia Party spoke to Tim McMillan about the new figures.

Birrell, Healey: Immigration and the Housing Affordability Crisis in Sydney and Melbourne, July 2018

House prices are higher in Sydney and Melbourne than in almost all other developed-nation cities with the result that most young households cannot afford to buy a detached house. Why? Part of the explanation is a combination of generous tax benefits to investors and upgrading home owners. This has prompted massive investment in dwellings, but mostly in established detached housing. This investment drives up prices without adding to supply. New research report, 3 July 2018Bob Birrell and Ernest Healy, Immigration and the Housing Affordability Crisis in Sydney and Melbourne

Speaking out about war crimes - Julian Assange



If you knew that a government routinely covered up soldiers massacring civilians as if they were shooting them in a video game, would you stay silent?

If you knew that 66,081 of the 109,000 recorded deaths in the illegal war on Iraq from US military were civilians, would you stay silent?

If you found out that a government was spying on the citizens of every nation in the world and passing the information onto corporations and the military, would you stay silent?

Julian Assange did not stay silent. Courageously, he published the documents exposing murder and illegal surveillance, passed on to him by US. soldier, Private Manning.

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.

Huge anti- live animal export rally in Melbourne June 9, 2018

Towards 2000 people rallied on the morning of June 9, 2018 at 11.00 a.m to protest against live animal exports. The rally, organised by The Animal Justice Party and Animals Australia, attracted a very united crowd of men women and children horrified by the inevitable and intense pain and suffering inflicted on the hapless cargo of these ships no matter where they are headed.

Campaign for container deposit scheme targets Daniel Andrews tomorrow

On Tuesday May 29 at 10:00am AEST, Boomerang Alliance and a small delegation of supporters in costumes with a 3 metre long Coke bottle will present the Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews at his electorate office in Noble Park with 12 large bags filled with beverage containers collected on tour as a token of the resounding message received from the people of Victoria - "We demand a container deposit scheme now!"

Let's stop the ALP's sham 'Public Housing Renewal Program' Developer Grab

The Public Housing Defence Network is calling for the Opposition parties to support the Greens motion in Parliament on Wednesday 6 June 2018 to block the Andrews Governments Public Housing Renewal Programme (PHRP). The PHRP reduces Public Housing, displaces tenants, sells off public land to private developers and reduces open space and amenity, and will drive up homelessness. If you would like to stop the Andrews Government PHRP, please contact the Opposition MPs from Monday 28 May, by email, phone, or text. (See suggested letter and addresses inside.) Every action counts!

Observations and reflections of a suburban tree

My first memories are of when I was a tiny sapling amongst my contemporaries bordering the fence line of a sprawling four bedroom house, a house which was the height of fashion in architecture back then in 1912. It was a lovely environment for me to grow up in as it was for the children who lived in the house. They used to spend a lot of time with us outside, especially in the warmer months. They had a swing suspended with ropes from a branch of one of the larger trees. Mostly they took it in turns, but occasionally they would quarrel over whose turn it was next. One of the children built a tree house in that same tree and used to sit up on high, higher than I was, reading his favourite books and eating biscuits.

Wildlife Carer sounds alert on Andrews Government signals against wildlife

"In an irresponsible and callous move and buried in the discussion paper of the Authority To Control Wildlife Review, the Daniel Andrews’ Government has signalled interest in adopting a policy that will see ALL sick, injured and orphaned kangaroos, wombats, possums and cockatoos KILLED instead of rescued and rehabilitated. This short-sighted and catastrophic policy may act to drive wildlife carers underground and will see members of the public refusing to hand over animals to vets and shelters in the fear that joeys and saveable animals will be automatically killed, resulting in horrendous and widespread animal suffering." (Helen Round, Wildlife carer, Macedon Ranges, Victoria.)

Vic Gov DELWP Block Seal Protection on the Mornington Peninsula

The Australian Wildlife Protection Council has serious concerns about the protection of seals on Mornington Peninsula beaches. Seals are a fascinating visitor to our beaches all year round, whether a regular inhabitant or the occasional day-tripper, they come to rest during the day after a night of feeding in the bay. But they are increasingly at threat of human interference when they rest on our busy beaches during the holiday season. Our pleas for help have fallen on deaf ears and our state government department the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), authorised to protect wildlife, is failing miserably when it comes to wildlife welfare and seal protection.

Sally Pepper and the Telecommunications Omsbudsman's take on telephones

[Article by Sally Pepper.] The Communications Ombudsman, Judi Jones, said today that nearly one in two Australians have problems with their phone or internet service and that one in four issues were not resolved after four months. For small business, the situation is even worse. I can relate to this, and I bet you can too.

Population, corruption must be addressed to halt biodiversity loss, scientists say

This is the first time, to our knowledge, that the ABC has departed from its growthist mantra, allowing its reporters to describe the problem and really let the public know how bad it is. "We need to focus on corruption, population to halt biodiversity loss." Researchers say targets for biodiversity loss ignore key drivers such as human population and corruption." Article by ABC Science, environment reporter Nick Kilvert. First published here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-03-27/corruption-population-impact-biodiversity-loss/9586556

Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) swings into the ABC population debate

Have you noticed the sudden unexpected coverage about population on the ABC?  On the 12th of March, 4 Corners ran an episode called ‘Big Australia - Are We Ready.’, Directly following this was a panel discussion QandA on ‘A Big Australia’. Since then, population has continued to be one of ‘the’ major topics of discussion in the mainstream media, including ABC radio and the mainstream press such as Fairfax and News Ltd.

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