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Victoria

Time to come clean with the real costs of water


The original case for Labor's controversial $1 billion food bowl upgrade was rejected by state cabinet because the government's promised water savings could not be achieved for the price tag of $1 billion, it has been revealed.
Farmers have slammed an independent report that says Murrumbidgee and Murray irrigators should make big sacrifices to help revive the Murray-Darling Basin. The cut would drain at least $2.7 billion out of the basin's economy.
The north-south pipeline has provided a mere 16.7 billion litres. That translates to a piddling 1% of Melbourne’s current water supply.

Lara's Serendip Wildlife Sanctuary under threat from urban sprawl


A proposed 380 lot subdivision opposite the Serendip Sanctuary in Lara, Victoria, will have devastating consequences on the area by destroying the natural habit, risking the welfare of animal and bird life, increase the chances of flooding and put added pressure on local infrastructure already at breaking point.

Lara's Serendip Sanctuary is under threat from developers

 

Orange Bellied parrot imminent extinction threat


Under the Federal Government plan, captive populations will be boosted and extra feed and nesting options will be provided to encourage the 50 or so parrots left in the wild to breed.
It is easy to blame “drought” when loss of habitat is the surest way to lose a species!

The Victorian Government's War against Wildlife

Late 2008 a school teacher helped worried children in Epping write to the Minister for the Environment, Mr Jennings, asking him to help kangaroos marooned by development and battered by traffic. Why did DSE allow Wildlife Victoria to spend time and money on a plan to relocate the 21 remaining kangaroos to safe territory, but then secretly kill the kangaroos in a unilateral decision in January this year? Why did DSE, which is also responsible for planning, allow development to trap the kangaroos? A memorial protest will be held for these kangaroos on Sunday 28 March at 2pm at Oleander Drive off McDonalds Rd in South Morang.We the People can do more about this - see inside!

Brown Mountain: Case of the century at Sale Court-house Monday March 1st (tomorrow)

NEWSFLASH! Environment East Gippsland v Loggers. Court case begins tomorrow (March 1, 2010) between Environment East Gippsland for Brown Mountain against the Government and logging interests. All welcome. This is a very important test of our environmental and democratic laws. In the preliminary hearings Judge Forrest did not make going ahead with the case dependent on EEG providing a financial bond for costs to the logging interests if EEG lost the case. This public interest decision on his part has made this case possible. The requirement of such a bond was what stopped Blue Wedges from going ahead to represent the public and try to stop the dredging of Port Philip Bay.

Shock Horror - Madden's Press Secretary lets truth slip

The TRUTH comes out of Maddens office. Consultation is faked. This is what we have all know for a long time as we spend hours of our time working away putting in submissions.
Well it is official; they just tick the boxes, as in: "Consulted with the community - tick."
And this is Madden who wants to be Premier?

Originally published on 25 Feb 10. Updated on 28 Feb 10 with embedded videos (thanks to Marvellous Melbourne) showing Madden being grilled by the newsmedia.
See also: "Government email reveals plans to deceive" of 25 Feb 10 by Ryan Sheales on ABC Online, "Consultation with community a sham" of 27 Feb 10 on Marvellous Melbourne.

Incredibly, Premier John Brumby has announced another duck shooting season for Victoria!


(Grey Teal - a "game" target)
The Government says conditions have improved in parts of Victoria and game ducks can be hunted sustainably. Hunters would be permitted to increase their take from last year's two per bag to five. Acting Minister for Environment and Climate Change Tim Holding said the compromise struck a balance between ensuring sustainable duck numbers and the interests of hunters.

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.

Victorian organisations demonstrate against bad taxes and urban expansion - GAIC

Organisations unite to oppose GAIC legislation: Angry landowners and Taxed Out supporters will rally against the Brumby Government’s Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC) bill, currently before Parliament, tomorrow on the steps of Parliament House (Melbourne) at 1.00pm. The rally has been called by Taxed Out and will be supported by Protectors of Public Lands Victoria, Planning Backlash and the Green Wedges Coalition, who have candobetter.org's support. Note however that the Australian Property Institute, the Property Council of Australia, and the HIA are all profiting from and lobbying for the undemocratic population growth that is the cause of these new taxes. I hope some people carry some signs pointing this out and speak out against these profiteers. In this case, lambs might as well unite with wolves. We do not support these latter organisations. See also: GrowthLobby

It was a bad week as the DACs were passed through Parliament (10 Nov 2009)

"My concern is that a DAC is being treated almost like a court, judging from the answers the minister has given -- that is, somehow one can show contempt towards the DAC and this is referred to as 'detriment'. Clearly the DAC is not a court. I would like the minister to elaborate on this point: what constitutes detriment, who makes this decision and will there be guidelines?" (Mrs PEULICH (South Eastern Metropolitan) [Hansard] )
The Libs may defeat the urban growth boundary legislation in the upper house, but the passing of the Development Assessment Committee (DAC) legislation and the introduction of the "New Residential Zones" and the Review of the Planning Act, and the Transport Bill, are bad news for democracy and our quality of life: The Planning department will have almost total control and there residents or councils will have almost no say or rights.

Kelvin Thomson unveils population reform plan at Royal Park Protection Group AGM

The overwhelming focus of the mainstream press has been on a detail of Thomson's overall population numbers reform proposal, which was to cut the automatic entry for New Zealanders to Australia. So far the Canberra Times and The World Today on the ABC stand out for showing public responsibility by looking beyond the New Zealand issue and at what Thomson actually had to say. It will be eerily fascinating to see to what new lengths the Murdoch and Fairfax Press will go to try to destroy this politician and confuse the electorate about his outstanding environmental and democratic courage on behalf of Australians everywhere. Where to from here? Kelvin Thomson will be the guest speaker at a Public meeting run by Sustainable Population Australia (Victorian branch)on Sunday November 29th at 3.00pm. Topic: Population reform- Political challenges, at Meeting Room 1 North Melbourne Library 66 Errol St. North Melbourne - Convenor will be Jill Quirk, President of SPA Victoria.

Tonight 7.15PM: Melbourne's skyrocketing population: Kelvin Thomson speaks out in Melbourne November 11

MP Kelvin Thomson "Melbourne's skyrocketing population and its implications for our environment and our way of life".
Australia's only parliamentary Environment and Population champion, Kelvin Thomson will be speaking at the Royal Park Protection Group AGM on Wednesday 11 November 2009, 7.15pm. If you can't make it on the 11th, there is another speaker meeting with Kelvin Thomson about overpopulation on the 29th of November.

Urban and regional population growth - public forums now in Victoria

These potentially crucial forums have been very poorly publicised by the Victorian Government.
For enquiries -
Nicola McCracken, Communications and Administration Officer
spatialanalysis.research[AT]dpcd.vic.gov.au
Department of Planning and Community Development
Telephone 9208 3699 Fax 9208 3335 (during business hours)

Impact of State Government Decision to Change the Urban Growth Boundary - Victoria

“The whole rationale for extending the Urban Growth Boundary is to accommodate the unprecedented flood of population to Victoria.” “The State Government is devoid of coherence in these planning matters and its approach to endless population growth.” (Protectors of Public Lands Victoria Inc)

Orstrali-bloody-a by Walter Grahame

A political poem by Walter Grahame in the fine old Australian tradition.
"Sure, we are girt by sea and girt by c02 and girt by bloody methane to put into the brew.
We're girt by politicians who won't de bloody bate that overpopulation will be our terminal fate
We've species loss, degraded soils and environmental squalor, and bloody blind self serving bastards in it for a dollar!"

Victoria’s awful new Major Transport Projects Facilitation Laws - Notes from EDO workshop

This article is based on notes taken by a person who attended the Environment Defenders Office workshop on Victoria's new Major Transport Projects Facilitation Legislation - Tuesday 29 September 2009. It is helpful that the EDO has paid attention to this problem, since the problem is created by lawyers in parliament. The keynote speaker at this occasion was Ms Nicola Rivers Law Reform and Policy Director at Environment Defenders Office

Good news for Brown Mountain forest! Court upholds public interest

Court upholds public interest in Brown Mountain forest proceedings
“We feel vindicated by this decision today and look forward to having the case heard for the protection of the forests and rare wildlife on Brown Mountain”, said Ms Redwood of Environment East Gippsland.
But now they have to fight the case - and that means paying lawyers. No question in my mind that this is a battle worth supporting. Please dig deeply in your pockets.
Thank you Environment East Gippsland!

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

The Deceptive Green of "The Age" newspaper

Robert Nelson's "Deceptive green of suburban gardens," is another of those insidious articles that keep on coming out of The Age newspaper. Here we are presented with the false dichotomy of the continued existence of the evil - but green - suburbs OR the necessity of greatly increasing population density by destroying them to 'save the environment'. Neither is true; in the article people's private gardens are quite unfairly blamed for our environmental problems and the cause of those intensifying problems is actually presented as if it were a solution.

DACs 2 Highlights: "The Bill is a very blunt instrument" (Mr Morris, Mornington, Victoria)

This bill is a very blunt instrument. This is not calling in one application and this is not calling in two applications; this is calling in the whole planning process. It is taking the entire planning process away from local government and the local community.

DACs 2: Highlights: Macedon Member Duncan makes bizarre statements about population growth in Victoria

Labor Government member, Ms Joanne Duncan, described Melbourne as having to choose between sprawl or unpopular high density housing. Then she said, "Another option is to somehow put a moratorium on any population increase and have all manner of totalitarian measures to reach that end. All of those are completely unacceptable, so we will continue to have population growth." In fact population growth would slow down of its own accord, with no coertion, if the government simply stopped forcing up the immigration rate and giving out baby bonuses. Democracy is decreasing with population increase, yet Ms Duncan pretends that to allow the population to grow or stabilise or shrink at its natural pace would somehow require totalitarianism. What's the story here?

Judge Forrest: Brown Mountain injunction case in public interest

More detail has come to light in the matter of costs that might be imposed on parties. It seems that the judge, whose name is actually Jack Forrest, recognises biodiversity preservation - which this injunction application is about - to be a matter of public interest, which would mean that the complainants are unlikely to be made to wear harsh costs. This is a development on this story, "Brown Mountain: What price justice?" where it seemed to me that the costs would be high for the complainants. That was probably an error. Let's hope for a very good result here.

Brown Mountain: What price justice?

Today, Monday 14th September, the Victorian Supreme Court found grounds for an injunction to stop the Victorian Government from logging old-growth Brown Mountain forest. In an appalling trend, however, the court asked for the complainant to deposit a huge sum of money as an indemnity for VicForests before it applies the law. The complainant is the small but incredibly brave group of volunteers - Environment East Gippsland (EEG). EEG is all that stands between the reduction of Victoria's remaining old growth forest - our Eden - to below 8 %, heading towards zero. See also: Related articles The Government should be defending our forests, yet we have to defend them against our rogue Victorian government. Please dig deeply into your pockets for EEG and for justice and for Mother Nature.

Desalination problems: ecological, environmental, democratic and production volume


Earth Matters, 31 Aug 2009
On the pristine coast of southern Victoria construction of one of the world’s biggest desalination plants is set to go ahead. Earth Matters talks to local campaigner Stephen Cannon, oceanographer Jochen Kaempf and water expert Peter Coombes about the risks of and alternatives to this ‘silver bullet’ approach to water supply problems. File Download (28:58 min / 13 MB)

Bulldozing freeways through residents' rights

Protectors of Public Lands Victoria Inc have called for the withdrawal of the Major Transport Projects Facilitation Bill 2009. President Brian Walters SC has called it “an affront to democracy as well as to good planning." He says that it will lead to damage to the environment and public assets. It suggests that its proponents are in league with developers instead of upholding the community’s interests.”

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.

MAV [Peak Oil] Transition Community Working Group in Victoria

The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) has recently put out an 'alert' about peak oil and the existence of a group they call the MAV Transition Community Working Group. It talks about the need for local governments to lead the adaptation to peak oil. This will be difficult in a pollity where all the power is being taken from local communities and they are being plugged into state and national systems which have been commercialised and which have no obligation to their 'customers' except to submit to some vague 'competition' in prices rulings. Nonetheless, it is the local councils which have the resources and potential networks to help people reorganise locally, despite the state and federal governments.

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