You are here

Forum: How many is too many? Population, Melbourne's Planning Puzzle

- There will be a public forum about the problems of population and planning in Victoria. It is sponsored by Planning Backlash, which is an umbrella group for groups all over Victoria, but particularly around Melbourne, who are sick and tired of the way that planners and the government are running roughshod over democracy in order to push more people into this city. Please come along and learn and support this important forum.

How Many Is Too Many ??

Melbourne's population is over 4 million
They are planning for 8 million
Is that too many?
How many is too many?
- Infrastructure, who pays for it ??


Richmond Town Hall
333 Bridge Rd, RICHMOND
4pm, Sunday 7th November 2010
Andrew MacLeod, CEO Committee for Melbourne
Kelvin Thomson MP, Federal Member for Wills
Melina Sehr - Stonnington City Councillor
Rupert Mann - Melbourne Heritage Action Group
David O’Brien - Planning Barrister
Mary Drost - Convenor Planning Backlash
Moderator - David Trenerry


Residents and citizens should decide the fates and direction of their cities. Growth should not be accepted as inevitable, and it isn't. We want good designs and liveable cities made for people, not grown for the sake of growth. The Melbourne@5 million should not be assumed, and should be rejected as being politically decided for us, with community "consultation" to give the ticks! We are not Vancouver, under the heavy weight of uncontrolled immigration.

The IPCC confirms that "the combined effect of increasingly severe climatic events and underlying socio-economic trends (such as population growth and unplanned urbanisation) have the potential to undermine the value of business assets, diminish investment viability and stress insurers, re-insurers, and banks to the point of impaired profitability and even insolvency". We should be down-scaling in light of climate change threats.

We should be preserving the size, but increasing the quality, of our cities.

The Committee of Melbourne is a private organisation with business and financial interests a "big Australia" and "big Victoria"!

Their own "study" argues that we may need more desalination plants out west, paid for by the public, plus a sewerage recycling plant to produce drinking water. This is to cater for their "predicated"- or desirable - surge of population to 8 million people in Melbourne by 2060. Water will become an expensive luxury!

They have hopped onto the pseudo-environmentalism bandwagon by advising us to give serious consideration to building nuclear power stations in Victoria within decade, to cope with power demands and slash greenhouse gas emissions.

The biggest problem with nuclear power is the lack of a long term viable solution to storing the waste safely. Some types of nuclear waste may be take decades to break down, but high level waste will take thousands of years. Where and how would it be stored, and the risks alleviated? Where do they expect to store it? They would all become "nimbys" themselves!

Anthropogenic climate change impacts would be better reduced by stabilising our population numbers and switching to renewable energy sources.

The Committee of Melbourne is not in the position to make newsworthy or objective "reports"! They are merely promoting their own self-serving interests in growth.

It is indeed problematic for a reforming organisation to give any air to these professional growth lobbyists. Unfortunately that is often the only way the feel that they may get coverage by the mainstream press, which only wants to cover elite opinions. (This is why we have which looks at the actions of the elites and invites anyone with an opinion of value to contribute.) I am somewhat consoled however by the fact that Kelvin Thomson will be debating one of their representatives, plus by Mary Drost's presence on the panel. This should make the forum a worthwhile and interesting event. I do sincerely hope also that this forum will not follow the usual poor lines of most forums where people who often know more than the panel and the speakers (as many in the audience will) and have more to contribute, are restricted to asking questions, rather than making statements. I would like to see people in the audience given time to stand up and give their views as well.

In the interests of discussion perhaps listening to an argument before making a judgement would benefit open and honest dialogue.

I am not a 'growth pusher' or a 'lobbyist'. My profile is at .

Absolutely disappointed in the Committee for Melbourne being allowed to speak. I googled this MacLeod guy. Check out Andrew MacLeod on Wikipedia ( Why would we want to hear from him?

If you would rather I not come just let me know.. In the interests of discussion perhaps listening to an argument before making a judgement would benefit open and honest dialogue.

I am not at all interested i being part of a witch hunt. I am interested in open and honest dialogue.

I am not a 'growth pusher' or a 'lobbyist'. My profile is here:

I would be grateful if the organisers would contact me as after reading the comments I have severe reservations about the event.

Subject was: "population growth rates"

The Committee for Melbourne is not promoting ‘fast’ or ‘excessive’ growth. Consider the following:


Melbourne’s growth rate from 1860 (half a million) to now (4 million): Growth rate 1.4%

Melbourne’s growth rate from 1960 (1.85 million) to now 4 million. Growth rate 1.65%

If Melbourne continued historic rates of growth, what would its population be in 2060?

1.4% growth: (200 year average Committee for Melbourne) 8 million
1.5% growth: (Gillard/Abbott) 8.42 million
1.65% growth: (the fifty year average) 9.07 million
1.7% growth: (Brumby/Bailleu option) 9.29 million
2.2% growth: (last year’s spike) 11.87 million

Now here's a good one: Melbourne remains one of the world’s most liveable cities"ranked third in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) latest liveability survey" in February 2010.

"Australian cities dominated the rankings with four cities inside the top ten. Melbourne remains the most liveable city in Australia with a score of 97.5 out of 100, topping Sydney in seventh place and Perth and Adelaide at equal eighth.

Melbourne was also the highest ranked city in the Asia-Pacific, reinforcing why it is a great place to live and do business in the region.

Vancouver, Canada, home of the Winter Olympics, ranked first and Vienna, Austria came in second place. Toronto (4), Calgary (5), Finland (6) and Auckland (10) rounded out the top ten, while Zimbabwe’s capital Harare was ranked last.

The EIU’s Liveability Ranking, part of the Worldwide Cost of Living Survey, assesses living conditions in 140 cities around the world by assigning a rating across five broad categories of stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.

Melbourne achieved perfect scores in the areas of healthcare, education and infrastructure, according to the survey."

[Source: Victorian Government reference to the US Economic Intelligence Unit - a reliable source?]

Andrew, there's plenty of room for more Melbourne immigrants - drain Port Phillip Bay and invite the Israeli bulldozers over to do a bit of land filling and construction!

Swan Island could be the site of a new Westfield to cash in on the new dwellings, but the Queenscliff Golf Course would have to go!

1.4%, 1.65%, 2.2%, even much lower rates under 1%, they all get you to the same place eventually (massive overpopulation), it just takes a little while longer (and not that much longer really). At some point all population growth will cease, in Melbourne and Australia in general. Cease entirely. Not just low growth or "sustainable growth", a complete cessation of population growth followed by a gradual decline in population until stabilization occurs. It is absolutely inevitable and will almost certainly before the end of this century.

I have not heard the Committee for Melbourne advocating or campaigning to cut population growth in order to reach a population of 8 million people rather than 9 or 11 million by 2060 and since, if the real Andrew McLeod is indeed here on this site it appears he knows growth needs to be cut for 8 million to be a correct figure. If this is the real Andrew McLeod he should say this instead of talking about a measly 8 million. At 2% p.a growth Melbourne will be 8 million in fact by 2045 and 16 million by 2080.

I only heard Kevin Rudd once saying that we would need to cut growth rates in order to have a national population of 36 million by mid century. That was in the aftermath of his "Big Australia" gaff. No- we are being softened up with lower numbers than we are really headed for, and then we will be told they all came early just as for Melbourne 2030. Those extra million people will be here a decade early! Surprise surprise!
Not to confuse Committee for Melbourne with government, but when they make an utterance, it makes news as though they were some authority or indeed in charge of the place.

To be frank, I think that we can confuse the media annointed heads of business and commercial think-tanks with the government and with the opposition without getting too blurry at all. Unfortunately the ALP, and probably also the Libs, are so deeply invested in the whole land speculation and property development thing that their funds and party wealth are hopelessly tied to high immigration.

I have written before that I see the ALP and ALP governments as commercial land companies, not real governments anymore. For instance, the way that laws are made by the parliament in Victoria to privilege development over democracy is a clear case of total failure of government to respond to its voting constituents, therefore should be a case to disqualify the ALP from government.

As to whether there is a constitutional or other legal way to do this, I am still looking.

The Green Brand party doesn't seem at all interested in differentiating itself from the government which has lost its way.

Reform for Melbourne should focus on the need to protect the interests of residents and businesses that their suburbs will not be subject to excessive upheaval, and we will be protected from uncontrolled wholesale redevelopment for self-serving reasons, by greedy developers in collusion with our political elites.
The Committee for Melbourne describes an 8 million population for Melbourne as part of ''normal growth''. It is clear that most residents are against our a population blow-out, yet business keeps pressing for more. It's not just a matter of "planning' and adequate infrastructure, which must be funded by the public purse, but protecting our suburbs, our lifestyles, our green wedges, our environment, our water supply and our community. We have everything to lose and nothing to gain by further population growth.

If, as Andrew McLeod would have us believe people love living in dense Melbourne suburbs and highrise apartments, why are they turning up in droves many kilometres from Melbourne in the south east growth corridor seeking accommodation and services which the local council cannot provide fast enough? High rise and high density apartments are not suitable for families, and most prefer outer wastelands without transport or facilities.

The "Committee of Melbourne" is a total misnomer, it should be correctly known as "Committee for big profits for big business in Melbourne". There is not one hint of concern for what the average Melbourne resident thinks or wants, unless it improves the bottom line of the big business members of the Committee For Profits for Big business in Melbourne.

Committee for Melbourne head Andrew MacLeod tells us that this ban on nuclear doesn't make sense if Melbourne is going to grow to 8 million by 2060! Australians don't want nuclear power!

Andrew Macleod believes that can you have a big Australia and a sustainable Australia as well!
You know, if you look at countries that have a similar land mass as Australia - China, United States, Brazil - who are all more or less around about the same size as Australia, their populations are many, many, many times larger than Australia's so we have not really defined what we mean by big.....It is why we are so scared that the no-growth debate will win the public discourse because that is the most dangerous thing for the future for our country.

China, Brazil, United States are all overpopulated and are suffering from poverty. This is what we need to avoid.
The World Today

Laboral* invitation of hoards of foreign populations from contra-cultural societies is directly displacing the lesser numbers of traditional Australians (those born here and with traditional ancestral origins in Australia). It is a repeat of British colonisation of Australia that directly displaced Australia's Aboriginal people.

History regurgitated!

The Laboral policy of immigrant favouritism is Reverse Racism. It is discriminatory against local people and our traditional way of life. It is cultural treason. Then when an immigrant gets into a position of influence (management, politics) favouritism to the immigrant's countrymen and women is ignored by Australia's anti-discrimination laws.

One rule for immigrants, another rule to traditional Australians who are targeted by the these laws as if we are inherently racist. By favouritising and excluding immigrants, Australia's supposed anti-discrimination laws are passive reverse racism.

The tragedy is that the unjust discrimination felt by traditional Australians is causing legitimate disaffection. That disaffection and sense of injustice is steadily converting tolerant easy-going Australians, like myself, into angry resentful protectionists. The vocal outrage is perceived as racist, but it is an early cry for help. Cronulla in 2005 was a warning to governments. Heed it and curb the immigration and listen to us locals!

*'Laboral' is the hybridisation of the Liberal Party and Labor Party, so closely aligned ideologically at the Centre-Right that they factions of the same quasi-coalition, taking alternate turns of governing at Federal and State level.

I went for a job recently, to work in the trade I have been studying for, and the employer said that he prefers to employ only "international students" - from India!

Responding to Committee of Melbourne statements urging the State Government to plan for a Melbourne population of eight million by 2060, Real Estate Agent of Woodent, Mr Keating, said the Macedon Ranges population should double by then to about 80,000. Self-serving "demographer" Bernard Salt also wants the city of Melbourne to expand north and west.

"Anyone who thinks that the Macedon Ranges won’t have to absorb some of those growth pressures is naive and if you look at upgrades to the Calder and the fast rail, you have quality infrastructure which is readying that process,” Mr Keating said. Mr Keating said medium-density housing and the greater provision of public housing were required in the Macedon Ranges. Macedon Ranges had become too "gentrified" and they had to accept people of low income levels. He obviously has self-serving interests!

Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu promised to quicken the time it would take to bring properties to market and a review of the urban growth boundary every two years. Both State Liberals and Labor both want a "big Victoria" and will do so with or without public support!

"Sick of the arrogance, the secrecy, the waste and mismanagement?
Don't like Myki, desal, Windsor planning sham, native forest logging, puppy farms, clearways, high rise towers, north-south pipeline, street violence, duck shooters, Hazelwood, public transport that doesn't work, government spying on individuals, taking water from the country, government advertising and spin, VCA funding cuts?

Rally: 14 November - Make Brumby History."
Sunday 14 November, 2010, Steps of Parliament House (Spring St, Melbourne)
commencing at 2.00pm

We recommend this rally to Macedon Ranges' residents who are unhappy that the State Labor government, over its 11 year life, has never delivered its 1999 promise to provide State level planning protection to Macedon Ranges. Macedon Ranges' residents know that the government has done nothing that stops the awful units, teensy subdivision, houses on rural lots etc. etc.

Macedon Ranges Residents' Association Inc.
In MRRA's view, the government isn't going to do anything either. Now the Brumby government is showing definite signs of wanting make Macedon Ranges a growth corridor, if not include parts of the Shire in the metropolitan area (like an outer 'outer' suburb of Melbourne).


Editorial comment: Whilst candobetter would also dearly love to see the end of this appalling Victorian state 'Labor' government on 27 November, simply replacing this government with another pro-corporate, pro-'growth' government is hardly going to make the situation much less awful than it is today in Victoria.

Where they can, voters must vote first for candidates who offer a real alternative to the mis-rule of the Brumby Government. Please look for candidates who have led campaigns against this Government's trampling on the rights of citizens or the environment. An example is Jan Beer of Plug The Pipe. If such a candidate cannot be found on your ballot form, then at least give your first preference to a Greens candidate should there be one. For all the serious flaws of the Greens Party, at least a high vote for the Greens will give some indication that Victorian voters want substantially better than the abysmal offerings put to them by either of the two major parties. It's important that the preferential voting system be used as effectively as possible. Unfortunately, unlike in Queensland where the more democratic 'optional preferential' voting system is used, all squares must be numbered so every voter must voter must make the unpalatable choice between Labor and Liberal. Be sure to put second last whoever you judge to be the least worst amongst the Labor and Liberal candidate and to put last whoever you judge to be the worst.