The Growling Grass Frog, one of the largest frog species in Australia, was previously widespread across Victoria. They are now endangered. Southern Brown Bandicoots once occurred commonly in the wider Frankston area (pre-1970s). They have rapidly declined and are now restricted to isolated remnant habitat patches. They have little chance of long term survival against the economic benefits of population growth. Without robust ecosystems, with each natural species contributing its part to the web of life, we end in a barren, artificial and sterile, wastelands. (First posted
Posted July 13th, 2012; Reposted July 15, 2012.)
The Growling Grass Frog, one of the largest frog species in Australia, was previously widespread across Victoria. They were once so abundant In Victoria that they were used for dissections in universities and to feed the snakes at the Melbourne Zoo.
The now endangered Growling Grass Frog were once so common around parts of Melbourne that they were the only frogs people saw.
Worldwide, amphibian have declined and become extinct at a greater rate over the past fifty years than birds, reptiles and mammals. Australia alone has seen the extinction of eight frog species in recent decades. At least 27% of the 219 Australian frog species are threatened with extinction.
Wildlife species cannot be “saved” in the long term by protecting them solely in captivity in zoos or small reserves. Without the existence of sustainable wild populations interacting with their environment, and evolving, each species will end up hopelessly inbred, and eventually doomed to extinction. Apart from high quality wetlands, they need grassland habitat for foraging, dispersal and shelter, and overwintering sites.
An anthropocentric colonial concept assumes that "vacant" land is a wasted resource unless there is concrete, lawns, landfill, infrastructure and housing on it.
The framework to protect our native species, even endangered ones, can easily be "revised" and made impotent against the lucrative economic momentum of the property development industry.
The expansion of the urban boundary is not really urban planning but a caving into market forces and the greed for growth.
Native species are victims of relentless government efforts to increase the size of our economy. However, each species, even humble native frogs, have intrinsic value and a role to play in maintaining our shared ecological foundation.
Protecting Marvellous Melbourne
Part of the problem of protecting Melbourne's "marvelous" status is that Melbourne's population continues to grow. Those governing and making decisions on planning assume the adage that "growth is good". Population growth has become a synonym for economic-growth.
We are outstripping our ability to provide for the demands of our swelling population. This is a time of job losses, and a decline in our once vibrant manufacturing base. An economy that relies on housing inevitably comes hits the limits of growth with the inability of being able to fund infrastructure, especially for the outer growth suburbs.
We are being strangled by an economy built for failure. The short-term benefits of land taxes, cash flows and stamp duty etc fail to cover the long term costs of urban expansion.
The goal should be to grow the economy until the costs are higher than the benefits. At this stage we need wisdom, and the political willpower to stop growing. Our growth is now uneconomic, counterproductive and destructive.
City planning has become synonymous to the greed for growth at all costs.
Protection for species being wound backwards
Protections for key threatened species in areas added to Victoria's urban growth boundaries by the Baillieu government have been wound back under yet to be released biodiversity plans.
Under the revised plans — which still need approval by the Commonwealth — proposals for wildlife corridors for rare bandicoots have been scrapped and buffer zones for threatened frogs reduced.
The Southern Brown Bandicoot, which is listed as threatened in Victoria, would have set up corridors for the species to move between habitats in Melbourne's south-east, will be re-written by the end of the year – no doubt watered-down to make more ease for developers.
Southeast Melbourne and the Westernport region are home to some of the few remaining populations of Victoria's endangered Southern Brown Bandicoots outside of national parks.
The proposed buffer zones around waterways and wetlands to protect the Growling Frog populations will also be reassessed and weakened. It's an effort to make green wedges and conservation corridors more rubbery and eventually non-existent.
According to the VPNA media release 12 June, Obviously the Victorian Government has been captured by developers and is failing to take into account long-term conservation and community needs.
Prescriptions for strategic assessment
On 16 April 2010, the federal environment minister approved several prescriptions for ecological communities and threatened species associated with the Melbourne strategic assessment. These prescriptions specify requirements for protection of nationally protected matters that must be followed in preparing precinct structure plans and in undertaking individual developments.
The expansion of Melbourne's urban growth boundary will also include the clearing of critically endangered grassland and woodlands, as well as the establishment of large grassland reserves west of the city and 200m wildlife corridors on each side of creeks.
Our slow-evolving species need to adapt to more disturbances, smaller fragments, narrower gene pools and thinner remnant habitats - what the developers and our State government condescends to “save” for them.
Southern Brown Bandicoots once occurred commonly in the wider Frankston area (pre-1970s). They have rapidly declined and are now restricted to isolated remnant habitat patches. Presently there are only two known populations within 15 km of the Pines Flora Fauna Reserve, namely the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne (RBGC) and at Quail Island in Western Port Bay. The population at RBGC is the only population in the greater Melbourne area large enough and managed appropriately to be considered secure. It's the thin-edge of the knife!
Nationally threatened species such as the Southern Brown Bandicoot, Growling Grass Frog and the critically endangered Golden Sun Moth should be protected before final urban growth plans are released. But this hasn't happened as yet! Instead of green landscapes and green policies, they are being based on greed.
"Furry friendly" Peninsula Link?
Peninsula Link's builders are spending $20 million on eco-friendly initiatives including a "furry freeway" for endangered wildlife. A 30m-wide underpass will allow animals including the protected southern brown bandicoot to cross below the freeway. Picketers were attempting to save native bushland from being cleared until the appeal was heard and were keeping a 24-hour vigil at the Frankston South Westerfield property, a pristine pre-settlement biodiversity hot-spot. Bulldozers razed the area anyway, and the “furry freeway” for endangered wildlife is simply tokenism. Property prices in the Peninsula are expected to surge.
Green wedge backlash
Coalition co-ordinator Rosemary West said the inclusion of a Cranbourne South egg farm within the urban growth area could rebound on the government at the next election. Planning Minister Matthew Guy announced the decision to rezone the 104-hectare Brompton Lodge egg farm in June this year following a logical inclusions review. The review committee concluded it was not high-quality agricultural land and the egg farm was not viable in the long term. What is “viable in the long term” now? Nothing in the way of “progress” and urban sprawl!
It also recommended incorporating the adjoining Ranfurlie Golf Course within the urban growth area. Coalition co-ordinator Rosemary West said the rezoning was very poor planning, with Brompton Lodge surrounded by green wedge on two of three sides.
It's beautiful land, it's in the path of a proposed southern brown bandicoot corridor between the Royal Botanic Gardens at Cranbourne and The Pines Flora and Fauna Reserve in Frankston North , and it's a viable egg farm. It's doomed to yield 1100 housing lots!
Native animals, conservation corridors, food production, green wedges and picturesque land and our city's “lungs” can't hold back the spread of concrete, housing and the lucrative profits from population growth.
Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke will have to give environmental approval before the growth plans can proceed. However, with State government having control over biodiversity and with no population policy coming from Burke, also the Minister of Sustainable Population, there is little chance the answer will be “no”!
Sat, 2012-07-14 17:11
Comment removed - Contributors and editors, please take note.
Katie (not verified)
Sat, 2012-07-14 17:53
Strange trap to fall into
Anonymous (not verified)
Sat, 2012-07-14 20:37
Well said John...I fear for
Sun, 2012-07-15 09:22
Ode to Australian ethnicity
Katie (not verified)
Sun, 2012-07-15 10:00
Who are the real parasites?
Mon, 2012-07-16 19:03
'Ode to Australian Ethnicity' withdrawn like Church Bells
Mon, 2012-07-16 18:55
I love an asylum seeking country, a land of...
Anonymous (not verified)
Sun, 2012-07-15 22:54
Racism helps the Big Australia agenda
Racism plays directly into the hands of those driving the Big Australia agenda. It's easy to marginalise opposition if it can be presented as fringe dwelling racists and weirdos.
I've seen activist campaigns ruined because agent provocateurs have pushed activists toward, or presented, extreme positions that alienate the general public. The media zeros in on the ugliest and most extreme examples in any social movement. They don't have to infer untenable political positions if extremists do it for them.
I'm opposed to Big Australia for a wide variety of reasons but none of them are based on racist views. Most people I know who oppose Big Australia feel the same way. Some of the racist comments are just pathetic. If you want to cater to that agenda you will quickly shrivel on the vine and the low lifes will crawl back under their rocks waiting, like ticks, for a new host to parasitise. You need to decide whether you want to be relevant or not. At the moment it looks like you're trying to become the environmental wing of the White Pride movement. That's a one way ticket to political irrelevance and oblivion.
I come here to catch up on environmental campaigns and to follow the fight against Big Australia not to read the rantings of closet racists. I think you'll lose far more people than you can gain if you take this path. But I might be wrong, resistance to Big Australia might only ever be the preserve of a minority of committed, fringe dwelling racists.
Mon, 2012-07-16 09:25
Editor: Racism not helpful for candobetter or small Australia
Anonymous (not verified)
Mon, 2012-07-16 10:04
The changing meaning of racism
Mon, 2012-07-16 16:23
Racism and need for code of Civil Rights in Australia
Mon, 2012-07-16 08:58
Greens candidate supports population growth
Mon, 2012-07-16 17:53
Appearances and brands can be deceptive
Anonymous (not verified)
Mon, 2012-07-16 11:13
Many who add to population growth not "yellow" or "brown"
Thanks for your #comment-8583">reply, Sheila. I too have grave reservations about any form of censorship but in the context of this issue it is weighed against innocent people being victimised on the basis of nothing other than their ethnicity.
I want to see our population stabilised but don't advocate "sending people home" or victimising them for coming here. I don't want to see people being abused and assaulted in the street because their ethnicity profiles them as being responsible for Big Australia. The fact is that you won't even notice many of the people who are adding to our population growth because they're not "yellow" or "brown". I want to see that mythical "egalitarian" Aussie spirit extended to everyone wanting a better life regardless of their race or socio-economic status. We're all here now so let's work on undermining the political and economic forces that steamroll and exploit the many for the benefit of the few.
How about people look at the real issues? Like this piece of mindless and errant propaganda in the corporate media that gives Big Australia a free kick... If our population doesn't grow, the economy stalls of 16 July by Matthew Kidman in the Age... (?) ... would rather focus their dissatisfaction on the most powerless elements of the growth agenda.
Editorial comment: Some of the above may have been lost when I tried to turm the included URL into a clickable link. My apologies. If I have removed any content, could you please please post another comment with what was removed? - Ed
Anonymous (not verified)
Mon, 2012-07-16 20:26
I found your posts offensive
Tue, 2012-07-17 09:12
Gillard funds $50,000 mosque upgrade on Christmas Island
Tue, 2012-07-17 09:47
Fallout of population growth
Tue, 2012-07-17 10:54
Officer signing visas root driver of biodiversity loss
PostGrowthEra (not verified)
Tue, 2012-07-17 12:45
Anti-immigration but not anti-migrant
I think we can be anti-immigration and anti big population growth without being anti-migrant. They are invited here by our governments and end up in far-flung urban sprawl or living in expensive apartments, with a promise of jobs, skills shortages, education and a better life. They are being deceived too. Sourcing immigrants from developing nations means there are less expectations of living standards, non-union workers, easily exploitable employees and compliant to the status quo. It's not their fault that they are being sold a "lemon"! Costs of housing are the highest in the world, and cost of "luxuries" such as water, and power, and increasingly beyond normal pay packets. It's a Ponzi-economic scheme that exploits economic unit - people! We can't assume that migrants want continued population growth! There are some that have come here to live in a "lucky country" but find the same pressures on them that they left their original homelands for.
The Greens without a comprehensive and vague population policy are missing the target and thus failing to gain voter confidence. Green is not necessarily "green". They think that by recycling, re-using resources, renewable energy and planting roof gardens is the solution to the negative environmental impacts of population growth.
The loss of already endangered Growling grass frogs and bandicoots that were once common will be inevitable by continued urban sprawl. The "revision" of protection laws is just weakening them down so they are expected to live in smaller, fragmented and compromised habitats while humans can expand their economic power and numbers. It's nasty, deliberate and avoidable annihilation based on predatory greed and rapacious appetite for growth and profits - with little concern for the outcome.
Warren Hern, the Boulder abortion doctor, believes humans "have become a pathological process — a malignancy — in the planetary ecosystem" and that "if you like what the 20th century brought us in terms of war, famine, pestilence, and ecological destruction, you will love the rest of this one. It will be worse."
Hern deplores the fact that global population reached 7 billion last October and opines, "At this rate, we will reach about 13 billion by 2050 and 25 billion by the end of this century..". He suggest humans — this "malignancy," — will outstrip resources and food supplies when our species' expansion in the past two centuries and especially the past 30 years, even though it has coincided with economic growth and increased health. At what cost to the planet's co-inhabitants?
The deliberate extermination of native animals is a malignancy too!
Read more: Carroll: Warren Hern and the "malignancy" of mankind - The Denver Post at http://www.denverpost.com/carroll/ci_20192469/hern-and-malignancy-mankind#ixzz20qN957IP
Tue, 2012-07-17 10:51
Civil Rights Legal Code needed to define and defend Australia
I am writing this in haste as a comment, although I would rather write a thoughtful article. I agree that Australians have a right to be recognised as a nation of people with a vital interest in and love for their land (whatever their origins). We are being deprived of our rights to self government in this land by the insertion of whole new communities that have been taught by immigration agents and statements from heads of government not to respect those already here. They are taught that the incumbents 'don't want to work', are racist and that this is a big empty country. (This is pretty much what colonial British were taught about the peoples of India and Africa. The ideology of working for a master is deeply entrenched in the culture of power here.) These false truths then justify the taking over of more and more aspects of our economy. We have no code of civil rights to protect us from these manipulations.
But who is to blame? A colonial government aligned with corporate interests that is using immigration to prevent Australians from organising their own lives and economy. They behave as the British colonials did towards the peoples of India. By inserting their own people, they prevented self-government there and by rewriting land-tenure and inheritance laws they dispossessed long stable communities into beggary and overpopulation. The same thing is happening here.
Whilst I can understand your rage about what is happening to our land and our rights, it seems to me counterproductive to personalise it against the immigrants or refugees, although it is okay to be furious about the numbers. We need to send out a concerted message that the government and the press and the migration agents etc are misrepresenting the rest of us and this country.
Note, I am not saying that high immigration is not a big part of the problem. I am not saying that it is not vital to get control over the flow of asylum seekers. We take a big risk with our own insecure rights here however if we don't ensure respectful treatment and a reasonable variety of humane solutions for temporary stays, settlement, resettlement or repatriation, etc.
I am saying that the enemy is the growth lobby and the growth lobby has got us and the incoming migrants (refugees and business) into a big mess that we have to get out of together somehow. We need new Australians to be our allies. We need to educate them to what is really happening.
Rather than rail against the different beliefs and values of certain immigrant streams, why not spend our energies on demanding, writing and creating a code of civil rights which we then can defend. At the moment we have almost no legal rights in this country. When we talk about Australian values we might as well be carving butter, because they have no legal status. Let us identify them and build a code of civil rights for Australians.
With regard to mosques: The treatment should be the same as for churches. One place to start would be that religion should be separate from state. Therefore no state leader should endorse any particular religion. Religious monuments and meeting places should be funded by members of that religion.
Tue, 2012-07-17 17:14
Civil Rights or Australian Values?
Thank you Sheila,
The topic is important enough to breakaway from this biodiversity issue, though respectfully critical as it is; but to explore and debate the root causes of the adverse impacts of human overpopulation on Australian ecology.
Australia is not unique, but is part of the same global human migration and overbreeding problem.
Immigration just facilitates the movement of people, it does not solve the people overpopulation problem. It just moves the problem from one place to another - due to push factors such as civil war and due to pull factors such as Australia's global image of wealth and fortune - which Wayne Swan constantly trumpets, especially overseas it seems.
But your term 'Civil Rights' sounds American, and I am not familar with it and to how it may play out in the Australian context. Australians should not follow Americanism, but Australianism. So define it and explain it please - it deserves an article and I will be keen to contribute.
But, I propose starting at a much deeper socio-psychological level - at 'values', then from there 'attitudes' and then 'behaviours'. What is Australian? What are Australian 'values', 'attitudes' and 'behaviours'. (Hopefully, not what we saw on Channel 10's 'The Shire' last night).
Then within that context, what rights do locals have. Who are 'locals'? What rights do foreigners have? When do 'foreigners' become 'locals' and do they automatically have a right equal to locals or do that have to comply with some social mores? Go to an Arab the nation and discover if you have to comply with the local mores. Australia should not be so politically correct and seek the apex of moral high ground. The whole thing must work in the rough and tumble of Australian society, else it is all focus group utopianism that will only fuel ethnic tensions, xenopohobia and then outright racist violence. Let's not go there!
There is nothing wrong with such a debate. It is mature.
But please let leave the prejudice aside. At no time have I vilified any race. I don't care if people are green with pink spots. What I care most about is when the incumbent people are usurped by foreigners. I suggest a good historical tale is one of the infamous Highland Clearances of Scotland of the 18th Century. Read background. When you read it, compare it to Australia in 1788 and then now. It is a real wake up to passive compacent descendents of colonists.
Now I could have Uzbekistan ancestry but I don't, but it doesn't matter. The issue is one of universal principle. If you can conceive a principle of justice workable ands respectful to both locals and foreigners, then it has to be universally applicable.
I just happen to have Scottish ancestry, but I regard myself as Australian, not a hair mongrel! I have been to Scotland but I yearn setting fooit back in Australia, my home. Anyone who commits when they are honoured with Australian citizenship should feel an Australian passion - that may take time and they can be tuti-fruity for all I care. But if they are here to usurp, then they are not welcome in Australia.
This is a vital debate for all nations, but unfortunately missing from the mainstream media, scared and too immature to touch it.
Thank you for persisting. I feel I was misinterpreted before.
Tue, 2012-07-17 22:14
Civil code (Roman law, Napoleonic law)
No, not American. And not civic; Civil. My reference to a civil code is a reference to Roman Law as revamped by Napoleon in the early 19th Century. Almost all of Europe, even the countries he did not rule, eventually took it up because it works so well. The Germanic and Nordic countries were slower to do so because they had never been under the Roman Empire so did not have that basic identification with Roman law. Britain and, I think, Portugal (which came under British influence, unfortunately) also did not take it up and these countries have similar problems of poor democracy and huge inequalities and poverty. Basically there are two major kinds of legal systems in the European world including among ex-European colonies: Roman and British and they have completely different origins and effects.
Where do Australian values fit in here? Well, once you have identified them, you need to create laws to enshrine and defend them. Examples of important laws are your rights to inherit from your parents vs your parents' rights to leave their assets to whomever. Another important right might be equality of sexes. Another one might be the right to cheap housing. Another one might be the right to an income. Another one might be the right to get out of a commercial agreement that is manifestly unfair. Think of some others. What would you like?
Basically a civil code is a code of rights for citizens that can be enforced at law. The European Civil Codes are comprehensive and constantly reviewed. They are products of the French Revolution (which lasted several generations and post-dated Napoleon's reign).
I know a lot about the antique and modern origins of this code and the differences between Roman and British law. These different law systems have huge impacts on whether or not property gets divided up and becomes concentrated in private or public hands. The British system is the bad one that causes overpopulation. The Roman system is much better. Of course most English speakers don't have any idea of the differences and assume what they have been told that the English legal system is the best is true.
Go to the link to see the subjects covered under the code. These codes are continuously revised but continue to be based on the first French publication of 1804.
Anonymous (not verified)
Tue, 2012-07-17 23:55
Germane immigration quotes
Wed, 2012-07-18 08:42
Bolivia and Equador give Rights to Nature
Wed, 2012-08-15 13:26
Things just got worse in Melbourne
Melbourne today was again declared the world's most "livable" city.  But last night, the Victorian Upper House of Parliament passed a planning amendment to further extend Melbourne's Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) by 6,000 hectares following on from the previous government’s 40,000 hectares extension in 2010. The current government’s extra 6,000 hectares are endearingly called "logical inclusions". Well really, is up to the authors to call their brainchild "logical"?
If Melbourne is the most livable city it is somewhat dispiriting to think of the cities that came 4th 5th and 6th! Melbourne is jammed with traffic; its trains are overcrowded – such that the “solution” is to remove seats. There is practically no public transport at all in the outer suburbs. Houses all through the established suburbs are demolished in random fashion to make way for higher density living and the urban landscape is becoming one of generic non- architecture with non- gardens taking over. Areas of nature on the urban fringe are continually swallowed up with housing, roads and associated commercial use with no respect or provision for wildlife. Expect more of the same – forever.
 See, for example, Radio 3AW's current home page, on which the main embedded image at the top proclaims "MELBOURNE NAMED WORLD'S MOST LIVABLE CITY". The presenter on Radio 3MP just made a weather announcement, "Currently, the world's most livable city is 15 degrees!"- Ed
Wed, 2012-08-15 18:41
The "Livability Index" a tool to suppress dissent
Jenny W. (not verified)
Sun, 2021-11-07 22:39
End of lockdown unleashes hoards on fragile Mornington Peninsula