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Problems with Victorian Draft Planning and Environment Bill

The proposals set out in 'Modernising the Act' create a parallel planning system. We should reject this Review in total in the interests of democracy." (Mary Drost)
Inside is an emergency briefing for Victorians about the Victorian Draft Planning Bill.

How thick can a political skin get - Victorian report card on wildlife

The Auditor General's report pointed out numerous inefficiencies, duplications and limits of resources. What it missed was to clearly highlight is that huge amount of time and money is spent on listing endangered species and the production of management plans but no further action is taken or enforced to properly rectify the problems. (Hans Brunner, wildlife ecologist, Victoria)

Damning Auditor General Report on Fauna protection for Victoria

In a press release on April Fools Day 2009, Gavin Jennings interpreted as a 'pat on the back' a terrible report by the Auditor General on the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988.[1] The report said "the government's lack of baseline data or output performance measures means that it is not possible to conclude whether or not the Act has achieved its primary objectives. The available data, which is patchy, indicates that it has not," and notes failure to use the conservation and control measures in the Act, inadequate listing of threatened species, failure to develop action statements, to monitor implementation of these, or to assess their effectiveness, and that penalties for offences under the Act have not been reviewed or updated and therefore are not an effective deterrent." So government has no reliable statistical basis to make statements on wildlife numbers and health or to issue cull-permits in Victoria. Local independent counts are potentially more influential - like this one.

Victorian organisations demonstrate against bad taxes and urban expansion - GAIC

Organisations unite to oppose GAIC legislation: Angry landowners and Taxed Out supporters will rally against the Brumby Government’s Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC) bill, currently before Parliament, tomorrow on the steps of Parliament House (Melbourne) at 1.00pm. The rally has been called by Taxed Out and will be supported by Protectors of Public Lands Victoria, Planning Backlash and the Green Wedges Coalition, who have candobetter.org's support. Note however that the Australian Property Institute, the Property Council of Australia, and the HIA are all profiting from and lobbying for the undemocratic population growth that is the cause of these new taxes. I hope some people carry some signs pointing this out and speak out against these profiteers. In this case, lambs might as well unite with wolves. We do not support these latter organisations. See also: GrowthLobby

It was a bad week as the DACs were passed through Parliament (10 Nov 2009)

"My concern is that a DAC is being treated almost like a court, judging from the answers the minister has given -- that is, somehow one can show contempt towards the DAC and this is referred to as 'detriment'. Clearly the DAC is not a court. I would like the minister to elaborate on this point: what constitutes detriment, who makes this decision and will there be guidelines?" (Mrs PEULICH (South Eastern Metropolitan) [Hansard] )
The Libs may defeat the urban growth boundary legislation in the upper house, but the passing of the Development Assessment Committee (DAC) legislation and the introduction of the "New Residential Zones" and the Review of the Planning Act, and the Transport Bill, are bad news for democracy and our quality of life: The Planning department will have almost total control and there residents or councils will have almost no say or rights.

What part of democracy doesn't the Property Council of Australia understand? - belated response to Ms Cunich

The Development Assessment Committees (DACs) Bill will be represented in Parliament on 10 November. It is therefore a good time to publish a belated response to an article by Jennifer Cunich of the Australian Property Council, canning the community for standing up for their rights against these attempts to pass the undemocratic DACs laws against their property and freedom.

See also: Vic Planning Legislative Bill enslaves Victorians to Growth LobbyNew Vic Planning Legislation Bill "a blatant, naked grab for power

Impact of State Government Decision to Change the Urban Growth Boundary - Victoria

“The whole rationale for extending the Urban Growth Boundary is to accommodate the unprecedented flood of population to Victoria.” “The State Government is devoid of coherence in these planning matters and its approach to endless population growth.” (Protectors of Public Lands Victoria Inc)

Victoria’s awful new Major Transport Projects Facilitation Laws - Notes from EDO workshop

This article is based on notes taken by a person who attended the Environment Defenders Office workshop on Victoria's new Major Transport Projects Facilitation Legislation - Tuesday 29 September 2009. It is helpful that the EDO has paid attention to this problem, since the problem is created by lawyers in parliament. The keynote speaker at this occasion was Ms Nicola Rivers Law Reform and Policy Director at Environment Defenders Office

Victoria's new major transport projects laws - What do they mean? Environment Defenders Office public seminar

EDO Seminar Series 2009
New road, rail and port development fast track: Victoria's new major transport projects laws - What do they mean?
Tuesday 29 September 2009
5.45pm for 6pm start
BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL
RSVP: EDO (03) 8341 3100
or edovic@edo.org.au

Tim Holding, Minister for Water and Tourism, didn't learn much from his brush with death recently!

(Historical Thompson River when full; Wikipedia Commons)
It seems that some of our leaders can't join the dots and draw conclusions! An extra 10 billion litres of water will be drawn out of the Thomson River to supply Melbourne each year until Victoria's desalination plant is up and running.

With friends like DSE and Parks Victoria, who needs wildlife enemies in the Pines (Victoria)?

Through incompetence and neglect 110 ha which was recently added to the Pines Flora and Fauna reserve was mismanaged by Parks Victoria and Department of Sustainability Victoria to the point where nearly all the species it contained have become extinct. Now this land is due to be separated by a huge tollway from the rest of the reserve, despite many bitter protests and submissions from residents and other concerned people, whose hearts are nearly broken. See also related articles

VicForests sued for illegal logging

This is what we are used to reading about Borneo and the Amazon. Now we can read it about Victoria. In fact, it is happening all over the world. Bad governments are simply going ahead doing awful things in a place near by. What makes you think your government is any different? Are you watching them? Are you helping to protect your forests?

Bulk water entitlements: There's a hole in the bucket, Mr Brumby

"It will be interesting to see if the exact matters we have argued through the legislative process end up being argued in a court somewhere, where perhaps some of the facts we have been so desperately trying to expose can for once be tested. Perhaps the people in the community can be offered not just an environmental and social future but some answers to the questions they have been so regularly and constantly asking." Greg Barber, Greens MLC 12-8-09

Parliament disallows Brumby's bulk water entitlement for North-South Pipeline

“The Order clearly breached commitments the government made to the environment, food producers and Victorian communities and shows the Brumby Government is prepared to place the future of farming communities and our rivers in jeopardy for the sake of sending 75 gigalitres of northern Victoria’s water to Melbourne."

Globalisation of Victoria's water supplies will be funded by the users, Victoria's citizens.


Multinational company Suez Environnement estimates the Victorian desal plant will generate more than $2 billion in revenue over the next 30 years. With GDF Suez’ existing record of environmental destruction in the Amazon, their submission to build Wonthaggi's desalination plant should be dismissed.

The Victorian government is further pushing multiculturalism and secularism!

Human rights can conflict with each other. The right to privacy can impinge upon the right of a community to live in safety. Equal opportunity rights in employment can conflict with the need of a faith community to employ people who share beliefs or a common culture.

Victoria: Urban Growth Boundary extension into Green Wedges

The public are finding democratic ways to combat the devastation of all they hold dear and threats to life itself, as Victoria's government closes its eyes and steps as hard on the growth-accelerator as it can. You may already know about the requisitioning of 50,000 ha for residential development and new roads and the government's intention to simply take away our green wedges and get rid of our wildlife and trees. Yes our democracy is being trampled along with everything else, but we have not entirely lost people power.

Justin Madden calls democracy Cultural Snobbery

Referring to Madden's Age article, "Opposition to a bigger Melbourne smacks of Cultural Snobbery", AWPC says, "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. A burgeoning population is not for the benefit of most Victorians and certainly not for our biodiversity." (Vivienne Ortega, Vice President, Australian Wildlife Protection Council)

Melbourne 2008: Life in a destruction zone

Word is that Melbourne is getting its 1 million more ten years early and that the Vic Government is in a panic because it has no idea how many permanent new guests have taken up its foolhardy invitations to come and stay. Who the hell is responsible?

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