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SOS Planning Survey results: Victorian Planning in ‘crisis’ - election candidates and community agree

“Every week, groups like ours receive calls from distressed residents, appalled at the conduct of planning in Victoria. People expect clear planning rules, integrity in governance and decisions in the long term public interest. Instead we have a rampant culture of secrecy and non disclosure, conflicts of interest, a perception of favoured access and undue influence, and a risk and perception of corruption.” - Ann Birrell, Vice President of Save Our Suburbs. SOS conducted a survey of Victoria's election candidates on associated matters and found 90 per cent and more support for planning reform.'s editors note that 54% supported wider population debate for a stable population on ecological grounds. The full questionnaire is to be found at Over 80% of respondents admitted to thinking that Victorians are unhappy about the way Melbourne is developing. Latest update on individual candidate responses can be found on a spreadsheet here:

A survey of Victoria’s election candidates has found overwhelming support for planning reform across the state and across the political spectrum:

- Over 90% support political donations reform
- Over 90% think that the Planning Minister should publish advice relied on and reasons for decisions
- Over 95% say we need to improve transparency, accountability and integrity

The survey was conducted by Save Our Suburbs and supported by 18 other community groups, representing thousands of concerned Victorians. The results were released on the SOS website today.

"The purpose of the survey is to draw candidates' attention to key planning issues and to provide information for voters.” said Ann Birrell, Vice President of Save Our Suburbs.

“Every week, groups like ours receive calls from distressed residents, appalled at the conduct of planning in Victoria. People expect clear planning rules, integrity in governance and decisions in the long term public interest.

“Instead we have a rampant culture of secrecy and non disclosure, conflicts of interest, a perception of favoured access and undue influence, and a risk and perception of corruption.”

“Candidates from all backgrounds share our concern that planning is out of control in Victoria, from urban to rural electorates and from the far left to the far right of politics.“

“Once in Government both the Liberals and the ALP have a track record of continuing to deregulate our planning and governance system, in complete disregard for the long term public interest of Victorians.

"As a result, we are about to see a fourth Victorian Government lose office.” concluded Ann Birrell.

Live trend results:
Latest update of individual responses: Planning Survey of Candidates November 2014 RO
Link to SOS Report and full Results: http://sos.asn.a

Groups supporting the Survey include:

Save Our Suburbs, Green Wedges Coalition, Protectors of Public Lands, Planning Backlash, Public Transport Users Association, Ratepayers Victoria Inc., Save Albert Park, Yarra River keepers Association, Docklands Community Association, Residents Against Inappropriate Development in Doncaster, Fitzroy Residents Association, West of Elgar Residents Association, East Enders, Western Region Environment Centre, Appropriate Development for Boronia Group, Darebin Appropriate Development Association, Citizens for a Liveable Melbourne, Moreland Planning Action Group

Source: Save Our Suburbs Media Release 17 November 2104

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Victoria has the worst performing state economy on the east coast apart from Tasmania's, new figures reveal.

The Australian state accounts, produced by the Bureau of Statistics as a complement to the national accounts show Victoria's economy grew by just 1.7 per cent in 2013-14, not enough to keep pace with population growth, meaning economic output per Victorian actually fell, slipping 0.2 per cent.

The Age: Victoria's economy slipping official figures reveal

The adage that economists and governments keep to justify our rapid population growth, and that it's an indicator of economic growth and prosperity, is wearing a little thin!

There is a time for growth, and there's a time for stability, and the enhancement of what we have! The election issues are overwhelmed by basic shortfalls of services, such as crowded public transport, "inappropriate developments", unemployment, increasing homelessness, crime and anti-social behaviours. There are enormous stresses on the public, and increasing costs of living, but we still see high rise towers, high density developments as if our economy was flourishing!

Both Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory grew even more weakly than Victoria, although Tasmania's weak population growth meant that unlike Victoria it recorded positive growth per person. In Victoria, our per capita wealth has declined because population growth means that what we have must be shared more thinly!

And, what's surprising, despite all the property boom and growth in "developments", the construction industry recorded no real growth during 2013-14, neither adding to nor subtracting from the total.

The growth fetish being imposed on us needs to be grounded by a good dose of reality! Growth is not always "good", but can be a malignancy!

I am very concerned about the forces pushing for growth and the money involved especially from overseas. I am relatedly very concerned about the free trade agreement with respect to selling off land particularly in Tasmania.

This morning the NSW 7.30 program was aired on ABC News. The people being interviewed were speaking with enormous confidence as though they ran the country and that the interviewer did not challenge them.

I particularly noted the loss of council powers and the progressive removal of open space in Sydney for multi- storey /high rise buildings.

If in the Northern Metropolitan Region consider voting for Phil Cleary, opponent of the East West Link and advocate of public transport. When a Federal MP for Wills he saved the Upfield rail line from closure. Where would the northern suburbs be now if this vital line had been closed? For many years Phil has been a great supporter of Protectors of Public Lands Victoria and parks groups in Melbourne.

See Age article 22 November 2014 "Cleary wants apology for provocation defence" This is part of his long standing campaign regarding domestic violence.

Voices of the West have some sound and rational policies, but they support ongoing population growth, "as long as there is enough infrastructure". This is ironical because they seemingly are addressing all the problems cause by over-population and overloaded infrastructure. It's irrational to want to fix the problems, yet also support the cause!

It is great that SOS asked the population question in their survey. However prefacing it with "While ensuring that human rights are protected .." might lead respondents to think that Australia's high immigration is about human rights and that reducing it may run some risk of this being compromised. Australia’s immigration program is not on the whole a matter of altruism. e.g. There is a business immigration visa that requires the applicant to have AU$5 million to bring with them. Most immigration to Australia is planned economic migration. The people whose human rights are at stake are refugees and asylum seekers who get a very thin slice of the cake and if they arrive by boat they can't live here anyway. I would not be surprised if the “No” vote was inflated by prefacing the question with the rider about human rights. I don't know anyone who wants to stabilise the population and reduce economic immigration who would want the humanitarian program to be reduced. Currently the rights of ordinary Australians are being infringed by mass immigration which is necessitating huge, often traumatic changes for the worse in our cities and suburbs and is impacting very badly on the wider environment. It is clear that Victoria and Australia are already overpopulated.

It is great that SOS asked the population question in their survey. However prefacing it with "While ensuring that human rights are protected .."

People hide behind the term "Human Rights" to support demographic and social engineering projects which are immoral and which deny people rights.

I'd like to ask SOS, which rights specifically they fear might be violated, and where in internationally recognised law these rights are defined. And if not defined, how does one figure someone has a "right" of entry? Do I have a "right" to enter someone house if I think it is a better proposition for me? Does that trump the home owners right to refuse entry of they think it is better for themselves and their family?

Odd that in a country like Australia, which greatly values home ownership over renting and values private property, we dump these ideals when it comes to collective ownership over our country.

Where is Human Rights defined as mass migration, economic exploitation of migrants and using human movement as a business scheme? People use "Human Rights" all the time, but in contexts where these rights are not defined, officially recognised or stipulated in international law. The UN Declaration of Human Rights does not seem to include the right of people to impose on other nations due to their own economic preferences. Nor does it include the right of politicians to engage in demographic engineering, and deliberate dilution or 'culture busting' (As UK Labor admitted to doing last decade).

The legal immigration issue has nothing to do with Human Rights of the migrants. Asylum seekers are another issue entirely.

Usually, people who loudly proclaim a virtue, often stand opposite of it. Countries with "Democratic Peoples Republic" in their title can be guaranteed not to be free countries for the people. In a similar vein, many who proclaim human rights, are usually the most vocal in suppressing and denying human rights and limiting a peoples autonomy in determining their own affairs. A good example is those who seek to silence critics of mass migration, by suggesting that this is "racist" and has no place. In reality, they are seeking to deny a people the right to determine their own affairs, and shape their community in freedom of externally applied population policy.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of sloppy thinking about this issue, not just by advocates of continued mass migration, but often by its critics too.

I thought that SOS use of human rights was fine in the context which is one where people have been conditioned by the growth lobby and its political class merchants via the mass media to believe that reducing population growth in Australia means forced sterilisation and walled cities. We are in a climate of paranoia and profound ignorance of numbers and impact, due to the mass media message. There is a conflation of asylum seekers with the much greater planned invited economic immigrant stream. SOS have to deal with those labels, brands and beat-ups. I thought they did it very well. Thank heavens they chose to do something.

I had the opportunity to briefly chat with Paddy Dewan, who is the candidate for Niddrie for "Voice of the West". After a discussion about his primary concern (hospitals, as that is his profession) I mentioned my wife's and my most pressing concerns, over development and ruination of our home, Melbourne and the problems this will cause for our child, who will have to squeeze in somehow. I spoke about Victoria First and its aims, goals and desires.

The discussion didn't last long after that. While he wasn't critical, I didn't get the sense that he considered these pressing problems. Generally any candidate which focuses on roads as an issue, is off the mark.

I note on one of their electoral leaflets, under transport they recognise that there is a transport backlog, and that we need move this to match the increasing population of the west.

While I support voting independent to break the Labor/Liberal duopoly, you have to be careful. These independents could hold balance of power, and if they are pro Growth-Ponzi, this could be just as bad, if not, worse, than voting Labor. ( I don't consider the Liberals an option at all).

There is a link here for those in my electorate (Niddrie).

Independent: Andrew Gunter
Notable quote :
" Like all infrastructure, our home values depend on schools being there, in good condition, providing a good service to the Niddrie community"

Most important thing about schools, is house prices remaining high? This is not only anti-community, it is a fiscally irresponsible mentality.

Independent : Andrea Surace

Quotes development as a strength. Also multiculturalism (This is quite often a placeholder term for population growth).

Australian Christians: John Warner
I'm not keen on religious parties, their environmental policy sounds good.

On housing "Housing is one of the necessities of life. For Australian Christians a family home is more than just a material asset. It is central to family life and the raising of the next generation. It is also essential for the disabled, the poor, the aged and other marginalised groups."

On Media and Censorship, this is concerning

Media, including television, films and the internet, play an increasingly influential role in the formation of public opinion and taste. Children, including teenagers, are especially vulnerable to media influence. Aggressive and pornographic media is now making inroads into mainstream advertising and merchandising.

Society has a moral duty to limit what can be conveyed by the media in order to protect children and the whole community from what is harmful, especially violent and pornographic content.

Independent: Appollo Yianni
His primary issue seems to be radiation from smart meters from leaflets and signs I've seen.

There is a party running for the Senate, title, People Power Victoria - No Smart Meters.

There is a Greens candidate, but my opinion is that the Greens fail miserably in ignoring the entire working and middle class, and only focusing on niche minority issues. For example, reading their housing policies it seems they believe that it is only an issue for the homeless. At least they acknowledge it is an issue (which places them above most other candidates), but without an understanding of the underlying problem (engineered population growth, credit expansion and mass printed money searching for yield to prop up an unsustainable financial system), they can't possibly solve the problem.

BUT, if the Greens can force it as an issue, even if they push their flawed solution, it is better than nothing. Putting housing as an issue, will spark further debate, which will put focus on the issue, and the surrounding issues which cause it will then come to the fore. They may not have a solution, but highlighting the problem is better than nothing.