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Bob Brown on Brown Mountain and Greens Population Policy Wednesday 28 Jan - Report

photos of Bob Brown by Jill Quirk

Vic Government not doing its job for Brown Mountain

Today Bob Brown decried the situation on Brown Mountain, where amateurs are having to do work which is the responsibility of the government, in discovering and documenting endangered wildlife at Brown Mountain.

Brumby Government doing bidding of big end of town

He said that the Brumby Government is failing the people of Victoria by doing the bidding of the big end of town, and not what is in the best interests of most Victorians.

Brown answers questions on population policy for Australia

Towards the end of his press conference, Bob was asked a few questions about population policy and numbers in Australia.

He pointed out very emphatically that the Greens are the only political party with an environmentally based population policy, and that a population policy is needed for Australia.

He fielded questions about humanitarian aspects of immigration and refugees knowledgeably and honestly, pointing out that business migration was the larger component of the immigration program, and that people with money are more welcomed by the government than refugees.

He was asked how many people he feels that Australia can support. His response was to throw the question back at the interviewer.

He illustrated the combined impact of population numbers and lifestyle on our environment by saying that if living standards were to be at Australian levels, we would need four earths - and we do not have four - we only have one.

Brown appeared comfortable and confident with this topic.


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The loggers are saying there is plenty of forest left for the sooty and powerful owls and they claim that the lobster is a common species.

My observation is to say that our society should live within its means, which is to say, we should not be opening new areas to log.

Nothing is becoming less common than a big, old tree in a forest with high biodiversity. Loggers can always find a plantation. That option isn't open for the creatures of the forest or for humans who consider loss of biodiversity the first and the worst kind of impoverishment.

Sheila Newman, population sociologist
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Our Brumby government is guilty of eco-vandalism and breaking pre-election promises that would have East Gippsland's ancient forests included in National Parks. They can't see the value of the forests for the $$$ signs from cheap woodchips for Japan.

We have no system of quality control and integrity checking in our constitution? The Greens should not give their preferences to Labor. Even Senator Bob Brown is being evasive on the population debate. He has rejected suggestions Australia should curb migration for environmental reasons! The lure of income and economic growth is just too powerful for a herd-species like humans to act logically and with common sense! A larger herd give a false sense of security - obviously!

Vivienne, the source I based the report on Browns speech on Wednesday tells me that, congruent with his motion in Parliament a few months ago, he IS prepared to cut migration. We think that the Age has misreported him.

Sheila Newman, population sociologist
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Copyright to the author. Please contact sheila [AT] candobetter org or the editor if you wish to make substantial reproduction or republish.

In all states, except in Queensland, for state elections, the compulsory preferential voting system requires nearly all voters to ultimately make a choice between the two major Parties, that is, except those rare constituencies where minor parties or independents get enough votes to be able to seriously challenge the major party candidates.

So, not giving one's preference to Labor over Liberal, automatically entails giving one's preference to Liberal over Labor.

If one can show conclusively that from a standpoint of democracy and the environment that the Liberal/National parties are preferable to the Labor party then it would be correct to be critical of the Greens.

However given the equivocation on environmental questions by the Victorian opposition, Ted Ballieau's ludicrous support for even higher population growth, the appalling records of both the previous Victorian Kennett Government and the previous Federal Howard Government, there may not be much reason to hope for anything of enduring benefit will be achieved if the Liberal were to be elected in Victoria on Green's preferences.

What is important is that, regardless of how the Greens eventually decide to allocate their preferences they, together with and the rest of us, must be not restrain ourselves from telling the truth about the shortcomings of both the major parties, in particular the current wanton vandalism of the Brumby Government at Brown's Mountain.

That way they can hope to increase their own vote and we can even hope to see a few more Greens MP's elected at the next Victorian state election.

But even if that is not achieved a high vote for partes other than the major parties will still strengthen the hand of the environmental movement.