Thanks to Melbourne’s obesity, urban sprawl keeps stretching out north, causing problems for residents and wildlife. There are more fences, road and houses, causing chaos and causing kangaroos to become trapped in factories, rooftops and school yards. Their habitat is being impinged upon and eaten away by infrastructure and choked by human population growth.
Instead of addressing the problem, and implementing any real plans for the city, the waist-line of Melbourne keeps expanding as 100,000 new people per year keep it engorged.
Wildlife Victoria has received about 6,500 emergency calls about kangaroos this year, double the number they received three years ago.
DELWP, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, is meant to administer the Wildlife Act, and enforce the protection of our native species, is also the State government department responsible for Planning! There are massive and blatant conflicts of interests here.
According to DELWP’s own website, they have control over our population growth! By 2051, there will be a projected 10 million people in Victoria, a “natural increase” of 1.7 million, and a whopping 2.8 million due to net migration.
Wildlife Victoria spokeswoman Amy Amato said “It’s definitely not an increase in the number of kangaroos in Melbourne….we’re just seeing the number of incidents in human conflict with kangaroos rising.” In fact, our government does not know how many kangaroos there are in Victoria.
Victoria’s Department of Environment has engaged independent wildlife management consultant Ian Temby to review the situation. His solution is to kill the kangaroos before development goes ahead, arguing kangaroos are being slowly culled by cars anyway! So, their deaths are inevitable, and shooters don’t kill will be finished off by cars. Then, the housing industry won’t be hampered by obstructed by native animals.
He claimed that “action to resolve conflicts with wildlife does not have to be lethal. Exclusion, repellents, changing human practices and habitat modification are all examples of non-lethal actions”. And, “rather than killing wildlife, our real challenge is to develop and apply methods of problem resolution that are proactive, anticipating where problems may occur and taking action to prevent them from actually happening”.
Now, his solution is CULL, CULL, the easy and lazy way of removing the problem.
There are no interconnecting wildlife corridors in Victoria, so whatever “Planning” happens doesn’t include the fate of our native species. [Candobetter.net Ed.: See here for concerted attempts to create such corridors by the AWPC: /taxonomy/term/73.]
For too long our capitalistic economy has gorged on “growth”, and worshipped the real estate industry, caving into it’s whims for resources. Already our infrastructure is choked and overloaded, and congestion is impeding productivity. We are falling into an abyss of infrastructure deficit.
What values are we promoting and what benefits are there from our city’s explosive growth- except for property developers and real estate investors?
The high immigration that was beneficial in the 1950s, and 60s is now causing our cities to be over-crowded and overpopulated. Our governments are addicted to growth, and our economy is on thin ice if it depends on rising house prices and population growth. It’s admission of being bereft of ideas, innovation, and enlightenment. It’s lazy economics, to just turn up the immigration tap to boost our economy, and expect the public to finance the retro-fitting of our city, endure a crumbling housing market, and all the deprivations of perpetual growth imposed on us!
The lack of innovation and diversity in our economy means that there’s an over-reliance on housing and population growth. It’s a lethal and self-destructive Ponzi scheme, and will not only have a deadly impact on our wildlife, biodiversity and environment, but eventually cause impoverishment, deprivation, eroded living standards, congestion, and spiralling costs of living for human inhabitants.
In place of urban sprawl, urban consolidation is supposed to reduce our environmental footprint, by compacting housing for less car usage, more “affordable housing”, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. On the contrary, it tends to have the opposite effect.
Trees, which provide shade and act as natural air conditioners, play an important role in helping to create cities that are more resilient to extreme temperatures as the climate warms. But, trees are being cleared for the cluttering of cookie-cutter, generic concrete multi-unit blocks, instead of the garden-surrounded an identifiable single houses of a few years ago.
The "heat island effect" results from hard surfaces absorbing and then radiating heat, thus capturing hot city temperatures. Experts say this phenomenon is expected to become more prevalent with increasing urbanisation and will exacerbate climate change impacts.
ANU research shows that some of Canberra’s inner-city suburbs are the most heat-vulnerable in the territory, despite the benefits of their leafy tree-lined streets. It showed Canberra’s mostly-treeless outer suburbs were likely to be up to seven degrees hotter in summer than those with more established trees - such as those inner suburbs.
In that study of 21 Canberra suburbs, researchers found temperatures could vary by as much as 7.5 degrees between treeless postcodes and those with more trees.
ANU Researcher Dr Liz Hanna said: "If we have planning designs and housing designs where there's insufficient front and backyard to plant a tree, and if street trees are not shade trees, we think that's foolish”. We agree it's “foolish”, but with high rates of population growth and increasing urban density, backyards and traditional housing with gardens and trees, are disappearing.
Up to 100,000 Victorian premises were threatened to lose power during the January heatwave as demand crippled the state's electricity grid.
Melbourne is following the lead of Asian cities such as Hong Kong for extreme housing density, with more people living in apartments. The housing affordability squeeze, and the marketing of thousands of tiny apartments to investors, is threatening to undermine Melbourne’s liveability.
Mr Tony Arnel, Victorian Building Commissioner, suggests that buildings above three storeys begin to use more energy due to the need for lighting in common areas, lifts, security and the lifestyle of residents. The Victorian Building Commission has found there is “no conclusive evidence that vertical living was more sustainable than conventional homes.”
A NSW Energy Australia study found that high-rise apartments use 30 per cent more power than a typical detached house. The use of air-conditioners is a mandatory part of the lifestyle.
Climate change is predicted to increase the number and intensity of heatwaves experienced in Melbourne. Along with the densification of our city, and a population that's projected to double by 2060, it means the converging effects of more power being soaked up by a growing number of apartment dwellers, more power outages, higher utility and health costs - and the compounding factor of higher greenhouse gas emissions.
Loss of Vegetation to make way to mobilize more people
To build the East West Link tunnel under Royal Park, the Melbourne City Council estimates that some 5,000 trees, many very old, would be lost. The remnant bushland in West Royal Park, the only area of this kind of vegetation left in Melbourne, would be dug up. By actively cooling the urban landscape, vegetation helps reduce energy use and carbon dioxide emissions, and ultimately lessens the risk of residents suffering heat stress, heatstroke or even death…
Wetlands from storm water, which supplies water for Melbourne's parks and street trees plus the Royal Park Golf course, will be completely destroyed.
The East West Link/tunnel will increase temperatures in Melbourne, and the nibbling away of Green Wedges for urbanisation will compound the problems of power demands, infrastructure break-downs, anti-social behaviours, and deaths/illness from heat stress.
The SEC provided cheap and reliable power to Victoria for 70 years. Selling off Victoria's power supplies and raised some revenue in the short term but in the long term it has resulted in a huge financial burden on the entire population through rapidly increasing prices. Now, unplanned overloads and outages are placing extra stress on the power grid, one that's fine-tuned for profits rather than service.
Privatising state owned assets is a strategy is to reduce employees, and increase remuneration to share holders and owners.
Population growth driven by heavy economic reliance on property development
The population of major Australian cities is expected to double in the next four to five decades, thanks to high rates of net overseas immigration.
The government powers-that-be in Canberra view the economic growth meta-statistics and see our economy is “growing”, without considering democracy, the costs of growth, and the human-environmental fallouts. They simply open up the draw-bridge of our borders and allow the new-comers to flow in from oversea! Planned increases in urban density are likely to result in the removal of a significant number of trees from urban areas.
Canberra’s population could increase to 904,000 by 2061 according to new projections released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This growth means significant challenges for governments and ACT infrastructure. There's no diplomatic, administrative or public service increases to justify this growth, except general population overflow.
Melbourne’s population is swelling by 2 per cent a year, or at a doubling rate of 35 years. The power infrastructure must not only be routinely maintained and upgraded or replaced every 50 years, but must keep expanding at 2% each year - and also cope with outages and heat-waves.
We need a u-turn in our economy from a growth-based, road-dependent, high resource and energy-consuming one that's trapping us in islands of heat - to an alternative model that's bio-centric and human-friendly, and relevant to an age of extreme weather patterns, and the hostilities of climate change.
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.
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”!
Growth, the ultimate dictator: "There seems to be no language that get’s through to our governments in Australia who, it seems are addicted to growth. It’s as though growth is all we can do. We may know of nothing else."
Matthew Guy's plans for Melbourne's Green Wedges
In this land where once many of us enjoyed bushwalking, helping our neighbour, and didn't like pretension, we are now ruled by bodies with surreal names like "Logical Inclusions Advisory Committee" and "Growth Areas Authority," which have replaced the local governments that once answered to residents and citizens. The department of planning and its committee offshoots are peopled by petty privately remunerated bureaucrats, with little apparent loyalty or feeling for this country or its people. Melbourne and Australia are becoming like the movie, Brazil.
It's slash and develop for the foreseeable future if the global economic tidal wave of doom fails to save us from what Matthew Guy announced today in his two press releases, "A logical approach to planning for Melbourne's growth," and "Managing Melbourne's Growth." (on 12th and 13th of June)
"Couched in terms to minimise the full and bloody impact on wildlife and the repressive consequences for democracy, the Minister for Planning's department was keen to portray its planning decisions as politer and more careful than those of its similarly destructive predecessors, the Bracks and Brumby governments. The truth is that, if the Baillieu Government had really been different, it would not be going ahead with plans to massively enlarge Melbourne and to continue unwanted and unsustainably high levels of immigration. It would simply put a cap on building permits and thereby stop permanent moves to Melbourne.
We are to have six more suburbs in places where agriculture or nature currently reside. What is this madness?"
Sustainable Population Activists Australia (SPAA)
How far will this dumbed down developer economy drag us down?
"The Liberal Government, like the Labor Government before them, seems bereft of any policies to enhance quality of life. Victoria needs sustainable economic development based on productive innovation and diversity of economic opportunities. All the Liberal and Labor parties can offer is a dumbed-down economy reliant on evermore short term housing projects that degrade our environment. Where does Mr Guy’s overdevelopment and sprawl end?"
"Planning Minister Matthew Guy in 2 of his Media Releases today (Managing Melbourne’s growth and “Growth Corridor Plans to Manage Long Term Growth) waxes enthusiastic about yet more urban sprawl. This time, it seems it will be “sophisticated” “attractive” with “great town centres” “services” offering employment, and access to local jobs etc. etc. and will see us through “the next 30-40 years”.
The message however is really sad. There is no end to the plans for Melbourne’s growth and because of this there is no guarantee at all of Melbourne’s continuing “livability”. Livability depends on access to open space which is being systematically and inexorably taken from the people of Melbourne both in the established suburban areas and at the fringes where we used to escape on weekends. It’s getting to be a long drive to the edge of our city and set to increase.
Under endless new housing to accommodate a greater and greater population, our precious farmland and wild life habitat will continue to be annihilated.
The continuing growth of our population is presented as an inevitability and that our city will continue to grow. It is presented as though we have no choice in the matter. In fact we could stabilize our population over the next few decades instead of setting in place continuous growth.
Imagine if we were to set that in place! We could see the outer limits of our very large city and have some certainty of its final girth. Conflicts between residents and governments, councils and government authorities would be vastly reduced. There may also be some future for our environment. We may have some hope of coping with oil and other resource depletion. There seems to be no language that get’s through to our governments in Australia who, it seems are addicted to growth. It’s as though growth is all we can do. We may know of nothing else."
Jill Quirk, President, Sustainable Population Australia, Victorian Branch
Asset speculation masquerading as economic development
"This form of asset speculation masquerading as economic development just does not work anymore, not even for its proponents. All it does now is disable genuinely sustainable planning options by creating a herd of white elephants that have permanent common law entitlement. Beyond being further trampled in the final death throes of this zombie herd, how do we annul the entitlement?
When will 'decision-makers' begin serving today and the impending future rather than a part fantasy world that ended with the GFC and which will be kept permanently in the past by the realities of Peak Oil?"
An Australian Farm Institute study provides a comprehensive review of what is currently known about the amount and location of Australian agricultural land, the rate of land use change occurring, and how governments make decisions both in Australia and internationally. Whether or not there will be sufficient good quality land available for agriculture in the future has not been a high priority issue for most of the past two hundred years.
Does Australia need a national policy to preserve agricultural land?
The rate of land use is changing, and it's important how governments make decisions both in Australia and internationally. Australia has the sixth largest land area and the lowest population density of almost any nation on earth, so the question of whether or not there will be sufficient good quality land available for agriculture in the future has not been a high priority issue for most of the past two hundred years. It's assumed that land is an infinite resource.
Our large land mass gives false sense of security, but Australia has only a little more than 6% arable land, irregular water supplies, and Australia features 96 percent desert. It lacks regular water, fertile soils and resources to carry its current population load. Yet, politicians remain bent on adding millions more people to Australia.
Obviously property development is more lucrative than horticulture, and their lobbyists are far more cash-up and powerful. Food security is not high on politicians' priority list.
According to the research report, Australia is being too reckless with its best agricultural land, and future generations might regret decisions that are currently being made about the future use of that land. With urban sprawl, mining, CSG and environmental demands taking more and more land, and foreign investors also purchasing significant areas, it is legitimate to ask whether Australia can realistically plan to become the future "food bowl of Asia". It's also legitimate to ask if our government's drive for perpetual economic growth be justified if it means we pay higher prices for imported food, something that may diminish in future years with global population reaches 9 billion.
While Australia appears to have plenty of land, in reality only about 3% is actually suitable for cropping, and even less of this is considered to be prime agricultural land. Low or high Population density and population size can't be compared to the nations in Europe of Asia with fertile soils, high rainfall and high human "carrying capacity".
The report concludes that Australia currently lacks a consistent and comprehensive understanding of where this land is located, or how much of it is being diverted from agriculture each year.
Australia is now a net importer of horticultural products, whereas it was a net exporter only a few years ago. Wheat, dairy, fishing and sugar production are all down from their previous peaks.
Earlier detailed research by researcher Dr McGovern, lecturer in the Queensland University of Technology’s school of economics and finance, found that Australia exports only around 25 per cent of its agricultural product at second-stage production, not 80 per cent as has often been supposed.
There's a great international market opportunity for a four-fold increase in food production in Australia, but there's no explanation on just this magnificent feat is going to be achieved, especially if climate change scientists are correct. A free-market economy has no parameters for the limitations of Nature, and that the security of domestic food supplies must be a priority over exports.
Once high immigration - the driver of our population growth - created jobs and an economy of scale, now our population growth is threatening our local fresh food supplies, and it must be slashed. We can't rely on imported food as global overpopulation will mean countries will need the food for their own populations. Food is more important than a "healthy" GDP!
Property development and real estate is obviously more lucrative than growing vegetables. It's about short-term profits and cash flows than real planning. What's the use of economic growth - a pseudonym now for population growth - without food security?
We must stabilize our numbers or we will be no better off than bacteria in a petri dish, bemoaning the lack of room for growth, knowing our final demise but being trapped by a leadership vacuum on population and its implications for food security.
The remarks made by prominent Australian businessman and environmentalist, Dick Smith that in 100 years time people in Australia will be starving to death is not implausible.
Minister for Sustainable Population Tony Burke remains silent, while our growth-based economy continues unfettered. . It's a number-free ministerial policy.
A SENIOR Treasury official has sounded the alarm over Australia's property market.
He has warned that the prospect of a sudden and dramatic drop in prices is "the elephant in the room" and should not be ignored by the federal government.
[Source: Treasury warning on home price bubble by Sean Parnell, FOI editor, The Australian, 20th November 2010]
While the government and Reserve Bank insist Australia does not have a housing bubble - as some economists and the International Monetary Fund suggest - it remains such a worrying concept that Treasury has privately sought reassurance from its analysts that prices are not artificially high and that Australia does not face the kind of house price collapse that has hit Britain and the US.
Documents obtained by The Weekend Australian under Freedom of Information laws show the Treasury officials preparing the so-called Red Book of briefs for the incoming government were as divided as private sector economists about the strength of the property market.
Phil Garton, the manager of Treasury's Macro Financial Linkages Unit, sent colleagues a draft paper on the rise in household debt, prospects for further growth in the debt-to-income ratio and the potential implications of slower household debt growth.
His email prompted an exchange with Steve Morling, currently the general manager of the Domestic Economy Division, who argued the paper should "make a bit more about the risks".
"The elephant in the room is house prices or more specifically the risk of a precipitous drop in them, perhaps from an external shock or perhaps from their own internal dynamics when affordability constraints or capacity debt levels see prices and expectations of house prices start to move in the opposite direction," Mr Morling wrote on June 15.
"(I) know there are very supportive fundamentals, but prices rose by 50-60 per cent in three to four years in the early part of this decade, with largely unchanged fundamentals, so they can have a life of their own.
"And given what's happened elsewhere I'm far less sanguine about this - and the interplay with debt - than in the past."
Mr Garton agreed that there would be risks if the fundamentals of low interest rates, unemployment, and financial deregulation "reversed significantly". But he maintained the price growth in the early 2000s was based on a "lagged response" to improvements in the fundamentals, and questioned how Australia could have maintained a bubble for more than six years.
House by house, road by road,
We can see our city grow.
Woodlands, wetlands meet their fate;
Developers, bankers celebrate.
What's a little Nature kill
Compared to money in the till?
Bulldoze the home of duck and turtle?
A minor bureaucratic hurdle!
They just must do an EA first,
Before they dig into the Earth.
That's no great comfort to the frog
Who lost his home that was the bog.
Politicians wring their hands
They say they want to save the land.
They hate to see the greenbelt frayed,
But say that growth cannot be stayed.
So in our parks and nearby counties,
Growth pours cement on nature's bounties.
Now you may think that it's absurd
That no one ever says a word
Against the growth that every hour
Another chunk of land devours.
The greens insist we must conserve,
But won't stop growth: they lack the nerve.
If growth is smart, greens say, we'll manage.
Yes, smart growth will control the damage!
We'll build up high to reach the sky,
We'll in-fill and we'll densify.
It's not the numbers, greens all say,
It's how we live our life each day.
So bankers, builders, and the greens,
Business, leaders, those with means,
Praise "smart growth" in single chorus,
While it consumes another forest.
Perhaps greens can't resist the offers
Of corporate money in their coffers?
To keep the growth of population,
We bring in folks from every nation.
One-quarter million in a year,
Is not enough for us, I hear.
But riches go to just a few,
While gridlock, smog hurt me and you.
So why is pushing growth a mission
For almost every politician?
Big business offers them much more
Than working blokes who mind the store!
Our leaders also want the votes
Of those who come in planes and boats.
Has all this growth improved the lot
Of the average working sod?
Stats Can says that what he got
Amounts to little more than naught.
The truth is that real earnings grew
Only for the richest few.
They saw their yearly earnings rise
Sixteen percent— there's no surprise.
The poorest fifth, alas, not so!
Not only did their funds not grow,
They plunged by a percent of twenty.
Not for the poor—growth's horn of plenty!
They have seen their wages drop
As new competitors take pail and mop.
And ever more people needing room
Turns wilderness to housing boom.
If people need somewhere to live
Field and woodlot have to give.
Environmental laws are but a token
While we keep the floodgates open.
Endangered species make one long list
But surely they will not be missed
By those who benefit the most
From our relentless quest for growth.
So why is it that all we hear
From our media is one loud cheer?
Of growth we never hear them say,
"A few get rich, but we all pay!"
We see growth's damage all around
Yet praises for it still abound.
Just take a mo' to think it through.
Who owns the media? Not me. Not you.
Newspaper ads help tell the story:
Business and banks bask in growth's glory.
So now you can connect the dots
Of why we are in such a spot.
And what will our descendants eat
When farm and field have turned to street?
What do the growth promoters say
About the price our kids will pay?
An old French king once summed it up:
"Après moi—who gives a flip?"
One fine day, we'll hit the wall,
Our growth economy will fall.
It's clear to those not wilfully blind
That nature's bounty has declined.
So have a drink, and drown your sorrow.
Things will be even worse tomorrow.
Point Cook is called "Mumbai Cook". According to the article: one of Melbourne's newest suburbs tells an old migration story that echoes the history of places like Carlton's Little Italy - Lygon Street - or Richmond's mini Saigon - Victoria Street.
Comparing Melbourne's multicultural imprints of Victoria Street and Lygon street and Richmond simplify and hide the real issues here. It is the reluctance of our political leaders to acknowledge the world's global threats, and the impact of on-going and limitless population growth on an already stretched Australia's resources. Our wide and open spaces are being turned into housing estates!
What was stimulating in the past, and helped us create an economy of scale, is now toppling our population over the point no return, and human numbers will keep increasing.
Delhi and Mumbai rank among the world's top most populated cities. Mumbai, with a population of 20.4 million, occupies fourth place behind Sao Paulo in Brazil.
Undoubtedly, like in Australia, urban sprawl will keep continuing and real estate prices keep increasing. Property in Mumbai is already some of the most expensive in the world, and no doubt there are some great positives about the city, and some have become wealthy!
Everybody is searching for good jobs in Mumbai for earning money that can helps them to survive their life. But many of the people are unable to get the job even if they are talented and meritorious. Currently Mumbai stands communally far more polarised in terms of population distribution than ever before, and this is one of the primary reasons for the presence of crime in the society. The burgeoning crime rates to the fact that more and more unemployment has been created after the shutting down of the textile mills in and around the city. In India, religious and caste divisions generally coincide with economic divides, and these give rise to an amplified form of social division.
The city's crime graph, like its burgeoning population, is also rapidly rising: over the last decade the city has witnessed a 52% rise in crime.
Sankar Chatterjee, curator of paleontology at the Museum of Texas Tech University says that a meteorite more than 25 miles wide hurtling toward Earth at 36,000 miles per hour and caused massive destruction. In fact, the exact scenario played out 65 million years ago near present-day Mumbai, India, and could be the smoking gun that ended the dinosaurs’ reign on Earth.
The sixth extinction can't be blamed on meteorites but to human overpopulation!
Bringing Mumbai to Victoria's west is about importing this global threat to Australia. Despite the converging threats of climate change, peak oil, peak soil, extinctions, rising costs of water, power and infrastructure needed to maintain our lifestyles, growth continues!
Urban sprawl means additional infrastructure are needed for power, water, increased transport and health costs, not to mention the increase in greenhouse gas emissions!
The Australian Conservation Foundation has called for clear goals to stabilise our population, saying that a rising population will make it much harder to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, restore our rivers, biodiversity and soils to health and ensure a good quality of life for everyone.
Infrastructure spending will always be inadequate in keeping up with such high growth.
However, the tremendous financial and political power of the growth-lobby is far greater than the threat of anthropogenic climate change, or any global or local environmental or sustainability concerns.
A proposed 380 lot subdivision opposite the Serendip Sanctuary in Lara, Victoria, will have devastating consequences on the area by destroying the natural habit, risking the welfare of animal and bird life, increase the chances of flooding and put added pressure on local infrastructure already at breaking point.
Lara's Serendip Sanctuary is under threat from developers
A proposed 380 lot subdivision opposite the Serendip Sanctuary in Lara, Victoria , will have devastating consequences on the area by destroying the natural habit and risking the well-being of animal and bird life, increase the chances of flooding and put added pressure on local infrastructure already at breaking point.
To be known as Sanctuary Views, the 38ha development area bounded by Caddys Lane, Windemere Rd, Serendip Creek and Flinders Ave, has been earmarked in a City of Greater Geelong plan for rezoning from Rural Living to Residential 1 to make way for the development proposed by L. Bisinella Developments.
Melbourne's malignant urban sprawl is threatening the wildlife sanctuary and the disease of bitumen and concrete to further land speculation profits for developers. The collusion between our State Labor government and land developers has never been so mutually fruitful and so destructive.
Serendip Creek links into Hovells Creek that flows into the RAMSAR listed Limeburners Bay. Urban pollution and increased storm water from this development could also increase the likelihood of downstream flooding to the township of Lara and St Laurence Park.
Former Shire of Corio councillor Brian Faithfull has witnessed flooding first-hand on a number of occasions. Serendip Creek Reserve Lara 2004 Flood Photos YouTube
Serendip Wildlife Sanctuary – history and achievements
This sanctuary supports 171 recorded bird species, with many listed as vulnerable or near-vulnerable. Specially designed bird hides enable you to see some of the 150 species of birds which breed at or visit Serendip Sanctuary. The 227 hectare sanctuary, an excellent example of the open grassy woodlands and wetlands of the volcanic Western Plains, is the perfect place to learn about and experience birdlife and wetlands ecology.
In 1856 the property of Lara, which included the area now occupied by Serendip, was sold by the Crown at auction. Since then, the property has been re-sold numerous times and used for everything from farming and sheep studs to a health resort for alcoholics (from 1907 to 1930). It was utilised as a research station for waterfowl and other native animals by the then Fisheries and Wildlife Department. A bird banding program for ducks conducted by Fisheries and Wildlife was so successful that, in 1959, the State repurchased the property with a view to further developing the site as a Wildlife Research Station.
In 1987, the government decided to re-develop the property into a wetlands education centre, with the aim of bringing the wetlands and wildlife of the Western Plains to the people.
The re-developments included the construction of an information centre, re-furbishment of existing buildings and the display pond, creation of walking trails, building of bird hides and covered walkways, marshland construction and installation of displays and educational material.
(Photo: red neck wallaby - wikimedia commons).
Serendip also provides habitat for a variety of mammal species including Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Red-necked Wallabies, Swamp Wallabies, Echidnas, a limited number of Koala and the Pademelon , now extinct in the wild in Victoria.
(Photo: swamp wallaby - wikimedia commons).
A captive breeding program at Serendip Sanctuary near Geelong from the 1960s to the early 1990s resulted in the successful reintroduction of hundreds of birds to south-western Victoria, and large flocks of spotted magpie geese have been seen in parts of this region, such as near Port Fairy.
(Photo: Pandemelon - wikimedia commons).
Serendip Sanctuary, opened to the public in 1991, is now managed by Parks Victoria and receives support from The Alcoa Landcare Project and Friends groups. Through their cultural traditions, Aboriginal people maintain their connection to their ancestral lands and waters.
Since 1959 Serendip has re-created a range of habitats which has seen the number of animal species increase from 40 (with few breeding) to over 150 today (with over 60 breeding). The Sanctuary has also demonstrated the compatibility of farming and wildlife.
(Photo:Australian Bustard - wikimedia commons).
Australian Bustards and Bush Thick-knees are two rare Victorian birds which were once common on the Western Plains and now find a protected home at Serendip. Brolgas (Grus rubicundus) and Australian Bustards (Ardeotis australis) were chosen for the captive breeding program at Serendip, designed to rehabilitate species that have become rare or extinct on the Western Plains. The success of the captive breeding program has received international recognition.
(Photo: Bush thick-knees - wikimedia commons).
Serendip has many different wetland types, each with their own characteristics.
Residents fear a proposed development at Caddy's Rd, Lara, will endanger animals and the environmental integrity of the sanctuary if it goes ahead.
The group fears that Mr Bisinella’s subdivision would create a dangerous precedent of inappropriate urban sprawl and destroy the town’s rural character.
The 380-lot subdivision of over 38ha is adjacent to Serendip Sanctuary, and this means threats of increased traffic, noises, pollution, dogs, and dangers for kangaroos and other wildlife crossing over to graze. The development will impact on the peace and security of this former farmland that has been lovingly restored close to the pristine condition it would have been before European settlement.
The recreated wetlands may be one of the few that survive as a safe place for our waterbirds, considering their numbers are so low and that shooters are still allowed to kill them for entertainment!
Melbourne's green "lungs" of grasslands, natural vegetation, trees and wildlife are already being threatened by brick and concrete developments, so readily approved by our (Respect Agenda?) planning minister.
Edge effect is used to describe the negative impacts of things like wind, fire, cattle grazing and even insect damage, on vegetation growing at the edges of forests.
Graphical models show that habitat islands of different size have shape-specific ratios of perimeter to area. The high diversity of plants and animals associated with edges (compared to interiors) of remnant vegetation became the edge effect principle, a basic concept of wildlife management ecology (Yahner, 1988), (Angelstam, 1992), although the nature and level of impacts of interactions causing such edge effects were not fully understood.
Habitat fragmentation is a major focus for conservation in Australia due primarily to the increasingly fragmented nature of the landscape. An important aspect of fragmentation is induced or anthropogenic edge effects, which are known to influence ecological function heavily in many systems.
Habitat fragmentation is regarded as one of the greatest threats to biodiversity globally. In the last 200 years the Australian landscape has been altered at exponential rates, and in some regions, less than 10% of original native vegetation cover remains and, generally, these remnants are heavily fragmented (Bennett 2003).
Bird species are likely to be killed while looking for seeds or carrion. Reptiles using the roads for basking cannot be excluded by fences. Other animals are likely to be killed during natural movement patterns.
Many wildlife species rely on the seclusion of undisturbed habitat in order to breed successfully. For example, the Wedge-tailed Eagle has been known to abandon its nest due to disturbance
Human-induced habitat edges have been linked with a number of changes in ecosystem structure, with the most obvious relating to the decline of native species, but often less obvious abiotic changes such as increased daytime temperatures and evaporation rates, increased nutrient loads, greater wind velocities and altered fire regimes.
Fragmented & the edge effect is a big management problem in the Remnant native vegetation in the Port Phillip & Westernport CMA region (VEAC, 2009). Could also cause weed spread. Weed seeds are spread by wind, water, animals, people, vehicles, soil, livestock and in agricultural products.
Edges are prone to many disturbances such as chemical and fertiliser drift from adjacent farmland, trampling and grazing by stock, fire escaping into habitat areas, recreational disturbance and littering.
Toohey Forest in Brisbane, described as ‘An Island in Suburbia’ by Carla Catterall (1987), is a perfect example of how edge effects, due to human induced disturbances, have altered the vegetation, fauna and microclimatic regime of this community. It has been found that species diversity and numbers of individuals in Toohey Forest has steadily declined due to urban encroachment.
Solar radiation, humidity, air temperature, wind speed and soil temperature may all be altered along edges. This can have a dramatic impact on the vegetation and, ultimately, the wildlife. Many birds, such as parrots and cockatoos, will use edges for perching and nesting. Kangaroos and wallabies feed and move out along edges. Because edges are a meeting place between adjacent habitats, they are often rich in species (eg mixing of forest species, edge species and farmland species). Also, edges, especially where there is a scattered open ‘buffer’ type area, are often good places to see and experience wildlife.
This will make them vulnerable from public interference, introduced animals and traffic. Pest animals such as foxes, cats and dogs tend to move and harbour along roads, tracks and cleared areas adjacent to or in bush areas.
Edge effects and other indirect impacts of development on ecological features and processes within or adjacent to the site should be identified, avoided or mitigated by best practice planning and design measures. Acceptable measures include, but are not limited, to:
retaining bushland habitat areas in a compact form, eg. roughly circular or rectangular, to minimise perimeter to area ratios.
creating or retaining a buffer or separation area incorporating ecologically compatible activities adjacent to the habitat area, eg. gardens, parkland, sporting fields or low density housing (large blocks with native vegetation)
40 metres from the maximum water level of a freshwater wetland
a distance from bushland habitat areas which is equal to the distance to which edge effects are known or likely to penetrate ( a large buffer zone preserved)
adequately managing and treating stormwater runoff from the development site to control nutrient and sediment loads and outlet velocities
setting back residential, industrial, commercial or special purpose centre development at least 40 metres from the maximum water level of a freshwater wetland
seeking cooperative management/covenants with adjacent landowners to minimise threats or disturbances.
Human impacts- animal cruelty and vandalism
In 2007, kangaroos were starving and “culled” because they had become trapped in the sanctuary by surrounding residential properties. Proper wildlife corridors could and should be established from the sanctuary so that kangaroos can range between the park and the You Yangs.
Rangers, in June 2009, were being forced to conduct dawn death patrols around Lara's Serendip Sanctuary to clear dead kangaroos from the road. A zoology student believes the deaths can be blamed on inadequate fences at the Parks Victoria sanctuary, but Parks Victoria said increased traffic posed the greatest danger to the animals. Former Lara resident Caroline Ellis, an honours student at Melbourne University, told the Geelong Advertiser that the Department of Sustainability and Environment had guidelines for fencing wildlife. Ms Ellis, said she had recently witnessed an early-morning road kill patrol on the roads around the park and believed it was inevitable a fatal accident would be recorded in the area.
Park rangers labelled as disgraceful the brazen theft of an
endangered chick from Lara's Serendip Sanctuary. (November 2007) The six-week-old bush thick-knee was snatched by a visitor to the sanctuary. Ranger Mick Smith arrived on Saturday morning to find the bird missing and its twin clutch-mate wandering by itself. What would prevent more vandalism and stealing of wildlife?
Four kangaroos were killed after shots were fired through Serendip Sanctuary's fence on Friday night in June 2007. One of the animals was shot in the rear and another in the neck, meaning that they would have suffered before dying.
Mr Helman, Serendip Sanctuary team leader, said the shots were fired through the fence from the road which was foolish because for all the person firing the shots knew, there could have been a sanctuary worker in the firing line on the other side.
Bannockburn locals were left horrified in April 2007 when three kangaroos were found bashed to death.
It's believed the kangaroos had been repeatedly bashed in the head. Two joeys were found alive in two of the marsupials' pouches.
How can our protected wildlife be safe with more people in the area, and more potential intruders and sadistic attacks?
The new proposed subdivision of of the land opposite will only increase the road kill. The roos cross into the Serendip Creek Reserve to feed and also feed in the adjoining paddocks. So more road kills should be expected, and more congestion at the Lara Primary School thanks to Bisenslla Developments.
How is our wildlife supposed to cope with the extra traffic?
Ecological and wildlife costs of population growth
This rezoning from rural to residential land opposite the “sanctuary” is simply madness and will negatively impact on the integrity of the sanctuary and the safety of the wildlife - and drivers. It seems that wildlife losses and fatalities, and ecological systems to preserve them, are simply collateral costs of population growth and urban sprawl.
It is absolutely absurd to subdivide the land opposite Serendip. So much work has been invested in restoring and creating habitats and ecosystems, and so much could be compromised and the integrity of the place destroyed. The area is not suitable for many reasons. Lara was once a rural town, but all council think about is incoming rates and nothing more! It is all about growth for growth's sake, and revenue collection, not about the land's integrity, protecting of even threatened species, or social cohesion and opinion.
Contacts to raise your objections:
Department of Sustainability and Environment [email protected]
City of Greater Geelong Mayor Cr John Mitchell online form
The City of Greater Geelong's postal address is:
PO Box 104, Geelong, Vic 3220
Bennett, A.F., 2003. Habitat fragmentation. In Ecology:
An Australian Perspective, P. Attiwill & B. Wilson, eds, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 444–456.
R.H. Yahner. "Changes in wildlife communities near edges". Conservation Biology, 2(4):333-339, 1988
P. Angelstam. "Conservation of communities - the importance of edges, surroundings and landscape mosaic structure". L. Hansson, editor. Ecological Principles of Nature Conservation Elsevier Applied Science, London and New York, pp. 9-70, 1992.
Victorian Environmental Assessment Council (VEAC) Remnant Native Vegetation Investigation, May 2009
EDGES – THEIR EFFECT ON VEGETATION AND WILDLIFE, Land for Wildlife Note No. 4 November1999, Author: Lyndall Rowley, Robyn Edwards, Paul Kelly
Adapted by: Kaye Cavanagh for the Land for Wildlife program South-east Queensland
An Island in suburbia : the natural and social history of Toohey Forest / edited by C.P. Catterall and C.J. Wallace, 1987
Planning Minister Justin Madden should consult the people of Victoria if he wants a planning strategy with the needs of individuals and Victorian families at its heart. He would discover that a bulging Melbourne population is not in the interests of Victorian families at all, and adding to our urban obesity without considering what the people want is actually snobbery on his part! Why isn’t there a debate?
With 2000 new people entering Victoria each week, "sustainability" has become a throw-away word with no meaning, and “affordability” is something that most families are struggling with!
A burgeoning population will not bring "economic benefits" to the average person. Most people know that the contrary is true. As natural resources become increasingly scarce, they also become more expensive. Land and housing prices have soared, and water prices are set to sky-rocket.
We already have had the fatalities due to people choosing to live in more open outer suburbs, close to Kinglake National Park! Most people don't want to live in sterile and car-dependant outer suburban housing estates, and high density living is not "family friendly". Our parks and reserves are under threat from human impacts and fires due to the urban sprawl, and people seeking more open spaces.
Fertile farming lands closer to Melbourne are being consumed for housing, and vulnerable wildlife and biodiversity habitat will be become more threatened. Our connection with Nature will further diminish, and so will our ecological life-support system!
Adding more people to Victoria will not solve one problem , and the growth will continue to destroy our biodiversity and remaining wildlife habitat. Population growth with not stop at 5 million but will keep blowing-out to 6, 7...10 million!
Marvellous Melbourne, one of the most "liveable places in the world", under our Brumby's [email protected] plan, is under threat! Justin Madden’s accusations of “cultural snobbery” are because he wants to grow Melbourne boundaries, and our suburbs, as resources for land developers and the building industry, guaranteed Labor supporters!