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MP Matt Guy asks Finance & Public Admin Committee to call Madden & GAA in for questioning on GAIC

Planning Minister, Mr Madden, ALP.

Justin Madden needs to answer questions

Shadow Minister for Planning Matthew Guy has issued a press release declaring that he will today ask the Parliament’s all-powerful Finance and Public Administration Committee to call the Planning Minister, Mr Madden, and the Growth Areas Authority (GAA) to appear before it to urgently explain the proposed Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC) that will have damaging effects on Victorian families."

Matthew Guy says he will ask why taxes not imposed on developers rather than land-owners.

In the press release it says that the Committee has the power to subpoena any Upper House minister or government agency, and that Mr Guy has said the Minister and the GAA should provide full and frank evidence explaining why this tax is being aimed at landholders on the outskirts of Melbourne, and not at those who sought to develop the land.

“The Minister’s public comments to date have been woefully inadequate and have left residents, councils and industry in the dark about this new tax,” committee member Mr Guy said today.

“The only way to make the Minister and the Growth Areas Authority answer in full is to haul them before this Committee and to seek answers under oath,” Mr Guy said.

After eight months, the GAIC is supposedly still in the drafting phase, yet Labor has announced several ‘amendments’ to the tax despite refusing to release any details beyond a handful of information sheets.

“Labor’s failure to keep Victorians informed about this new growth areas tax is atrocious,” Mr Guy said.

“This tax will reap more than $2 billion for the government from residents and the construction industry, yet the government still refuses to tell us the details.

“The GAIC proposal is destroying people’s lives and is creating huge uncertainty in the community.

“The only way to end the uncertainty is to have the Minister and the GAA answer questions in a full public hearing of the Finance and Public Administration Committee, and it must be done as soon as possible.”

To observers it looks like the Victorian government, beleagered by financial problems and massive unpopularity due to its undemocratic, unfair and socially and ecologically harmful land-use planning policies, may be in its last throes and thus susceptible to restraint. But bogeymen often come back just when you least expect it, so let's not hold our breath.

Candobetter Ed. We just hope that Mr Guy and the Liberal Party will join in spirit Federal ALP Member, Mr Thompson, in roundly condemning the growthist population policy which has led to these tragic circumstances and menaces all of Victoria's remaining wildlife habitat in the Green Wedges as well as agricultural land there. It would be very disappointing, to say the least, if the Liberal Party were merely to broker some other carve-up of Melbourne's lungs and wildlife corridors, to keep the ravenous and unsustainable growth lobby supplied.

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Madden tried to excuse his gouging, land-speculation policies by saying that they were necessary to provide infrastructure. He asked Matthew Guy how he intended to pay for the infrastructure: by causing higher charges to home buyers? By making local councils pay the cost? or by not providing the infrastructure?

Never did he admit that this infrastructure is not necessary now; it relies on importing many thousands of immigrants to Victoria. What a misleading speech!

Mr Madden failed to reveal the background of our predicament, which is that the government is entirely responsible for the situation where so many people are coming to Victoria, causing high prices for housing, and destroying green spaces. Mr Madden is leading the bulldozers on all we hold dear.

It was also claimed that all this building was giving Victorians jobs in a recession. What was not said was that the very same excuse was used during the times where Victoria was purportedly booming.
Also not said was that the diversion of much of Victoria and the world's economy into unsustainable growth in housing is why the world economy is in such trouble.

I object to having my taxes go to subsidise more bullying of the public by greedy developers and the banks that finance them. Object is too weak a word. I am absolutely FURIOUS. I want to see an end to this nightmare.

Mr Guy should have lambasted Mr Madden for continuing this cycle. It has to stop somewhere, but Mr Madden is accelerating this downward spiral, with all its terrible social, democratic and environmental damage.

Don't forget that you and I are being forced to contribute taxes to this inexcusable, malignant bungle, which can only make almost every aspect of our current predicament worse.

There was also a speech from a collegue of Madden's to the effect that Victorian home buyers are out there in greater numbers than ever before. Record numbers. Incentivised by Commonwealth and state grants. Vic is one quarter of the pop of Aust [but] has one third of new homes applications. This is important for three reasons: 1. provides homes for people who would otherwise not have homes 2. The pressure comes off rentals (where there is rising pressure) 3. Jobs - a quarter of these new entires are buying newly constructed homes. This is alleged to provide jobs.

The speaker failed to provide the important background - that more and more people are being encouraged to come to this state. He failed completely to acknowledge the costs - social, moral, environmental, democratic - of these pretended pluses.

In the pure theoretical world of economics, 'growth' is considered an increase in output or capacity and is viewed as an ideal aspiration. Growth economics studies factors that explain (justify and promulgate) economic growth.

Economics, not social planning, now dominates politics and so in political decision-making the premise that 'growth is good' has become inculcated and dangerously unquestioned, to the extreme that growth has become worshipped on both sides of politics with untouchable impunity. Economic growth, industrial growth, population growth, housing growth, metro growth all seemedly can do no wrong and politicians pursue it with myopic rashness. Australian politician, Tony Abbott (Liberal Party MP), reflects in his book on the Howard government's "preference for market mechanisms because these are most conducive to maximising choice" [The Australian, 7-Jul-09, p7]. But economics is such a narrow view of our world.

In the world of pathology, 'growth' is defined as 'an abnormal increase in a mass of tissue, as a tumor, tending to recur and to metastasize (transform into a dangerous form) and spread to other sites; or any evil condition or thing that spreads destructively; or simply as a 'blight'. A pathological growth is really a form of cancer - 'when normal cells go haywire and begin reproducing wildly, producing a cancer.'

The growth of cities is 'metro cancer'.

Steve Mouzon, founder of the New Urban Guild in Miami (United States), points out that "disease occurs in a living urbanism just as it does in living creatures. Parts of a city designed by specialists rather than generalists usually act as disease agents to a living urbanism because specialists usually create things for very narrow purposes rather than for the general welfare of the city. Streets designed by transportation engineers are a classic example of a specialist’s solution because they have a single purpose: getting as many cars as quickly as possible from point A to point B. But in doing so, they make no contribution to the overall health of the city: It doesn’t matter if the zooming traffic makes the street a terrifying place to walk, or if nobody in their right mind would even think of shopping there because those things weren’t part of the engineer’s program. A specialist, you see, is someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know absolutely everything about only one thing...they cause disease in the living urbanism of the city."

"But there is something even more deadly to the living urbanism of a city, town, or village than the specialists. Since World War II, the very fabric of the city has gone haywire. Where we once built places that were compact, diverse, and walkable, we now build sprawl instead. Sprawl spreads rapidly, just like a cancer. Its parts, from the house lots to the super centers are all bloated much larger than the parts of living urbanism in a healthy city. They are super-sized just like the cells of many cancers. Sprawl eats up healthy urbanism just like cancer cells eat up a person’s body."

"...And when sprawl isn’t directly attacking the living urbanism, it’s gobbling up the farmland that once fed the city and spreading wildly, sucking up the resources of the city just like cancer sucks up the resources of the body... until the life of the place is sucked out and the living urbanism dies. Sprawl is Cancer of the City."

I recommend a read of 'Sprawl - Cancer_of_the_City' by Steve Mouzon 19-Dec-08 on the website 'Original Green'

A very well-expressed piece on how modern 'planning' is like a cancer. Infill and transit cities are the lymphatic nodes where the metastases start. And the cancer becomes its own raison d'etre, killing the organism it began in by sucking everything into the creation of tumours. "Feed me! Feed me!" cries the Property Council of Australia and its many little metastases in the Victorian parliament, the W.A. Parliament, the NSW parliament, the Queensland parliament, etc., say, "The tumour must grow! We will divert all our taxes to growing that tumour because it is big and impressive and uses all the blood and all the nutrients. If we don't feed it, it will eat us. Let us feed it immigrants and taxpayers and it will love us and spare us." And the tumour has now invaded the brain so that all we hear is that we must have growth! Growth is the politics and religion of cancer. Our ministers for planning sound like so many big talking tumours. The opposition sound like tumour wannabes, squeaking, "We'll do growth better, you'll see. Nothing like our tumours."

Help! It's like the invasion of the body-snatchers.

Is there anyone human left in parliament? Or are they all malignant developers?