Planning Democracy Convenor's Report No. 25 - April 29, 2023
Planning Democracy Convenor's Report No.24 - March 21, 2023
Where To From Here - Victorian Local Government Elections 2024; Save Our Canopy Trees – April 1 Forum; Planning and Heritage Inquiry; Level Crossing Removal FOI; VCAT Protest?; Let There Be Light – Brunswick Residents Have a Win; Planning Scheme Amendment St Phillip St Brunswick East; Guest Speaker at Fitzroy Residents Association; John Curtin Hotel; Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens; Western Port Woodlands Alliance Formed; MAB Attempts to Silence Westmeadows Re
Planning Democracy Convenor's Report No 23
Contents: Page 1 – Heritage Amendment Bill 2023; Victorian Departmental Restructure; Australian Architecture President Bells the Cat; Legislative Council Planning and Heritage Inquiry; Page 2 – Submissions Closing on World Heritage Management Plan for Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens; Speech to CROWAG, and April Forum; Level Crossing Removal FOI; War on Plastic – Clean Up Australia Day; Page 3 – South Australia’s Planning Minister Flags Change
Submission on the Revised Draft of the World Heritage Management Plan for the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens
I appreciate the opportunity for public comment on this important issue. I was the Federal Shadow Minister for Environment and Heritage when the then Federal Minister for Environment and Heritage announced the move to nominate the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens for World Heritage listing. I have followed the history of this site with considerable interest.
Protecting democracy and public amenity
Presentation by The Hon. Kelvin Thomson, Convenor of Planning Democracy, to Combined Residents of Whitehorse Action Groups, (CROWAG) Wednesday 15 February, Blackburn Lake Visitor Centre.
Planning Democracy Convenor's Report No.22 - February 2023
In this issue: Victorian Parliament Resumes; Protecting Democracy and Amenity – 15 February Blackburn Speech; Facebook Page; Save Lake Knox; Ryman Healthcare; Mount Eliza Development; CROWAG April Public Forum – Save Our Canopy Trees; Stop the Great Wall of Frankston; Long Reserve Langwarrin; Concrete coming out of the Moonee Ponds Creek; War on Plastic; Kilmore Land Upda
Planning Democracy Convenor's Report No 21 – January 17, 2023.
In this issue: 1.WELCOME TO 2023; 2.VCAT DELAYS; 3.STOP THE GREAT WALL OF FRANKSTON; 4.SUNBURY HIGH RISE TO GO TO VCAT; 5.KILMORE BUSHFIRE EVACUATION ISSUE; 6.BAD NEWS ON THE MORNINGTON PENINSULA; 7. KINGSWOOD GOLF COURSE; 8.477 SYDNEY RD. COBURG – BIKE SPACES, BUT NO CARS PLEASE; 9. PLANNING DEMOCRACY FACEBOOK PAGE; 10. WORLD HERITAGE MANAGEMENT PLAN OVERVIEW; 11.
About Planning Democracy - Speech by the Hon. Kelvin Thomson to Protectors of Public Lands AGM 19 November 2022
"It is important that we fight. The stakes are high. Urbanisation has become like tobacco and fossil fuels. A lot has been written about the dark arts employed by the tobacco companies and their lobbyists, and the fossil fuel companies and their lobbyists, to muddy the waters and prevent the public from understanding the damage their products do to public health and to the environment.
Planning Democracy Convenor’s Report No. 20, December 19, 2022
In this issue: VICTORIAN ELECTION FOLLOW-UP; HUME COUNCIL APPROVES FIVE STOREY DEVELOPMENT IN SUNBURY; RYMAN HEALTH 6 STOREY APPLICATION NOW BEFORE MOONEE VALLEY COUNCIL; CROWAG 2023 TREE COVER FORUM; CROYDON CONSERVATION SOCIETY UPDATE; GOOD NEWS 1.
Planning Democracy Convenor's Report No 19 – December 4, 2022
In this issue: VICTORIAN ELECTION; CLIFFORD HAYES NOT RE-ELECTED TO LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL; LESSONS FROM THE ELECTION FOR PLANNING DEMOCRACY; SPEECH TO PROTECTORS OF PUBLIC LANDS AGM; SPEECH TO NORTH EAST LINK RALLY; WIN OVER VICSMART CRAZINESS; MIAMI HOTEL WEST MELBOURNE – DEVELOPERS BEHAVING BADLY; RESIDENTS SAY IN PLANNING – MICHAEL BUXTON; RESIDENTS SAY IN PLANNING – CITY OF MELBOURNE CONSULTATION RULES; SAVE WESTERNPORT WOODLANDS; PROTECTING NATIONAL PARKS FROM OVERDEVELOP
Planning Democracy Convenor's Report No.18, November 8, 2022
Planning Democracy Convenor's Report No.17 - October 18 2022
This edition's headlines: Pre-Election forum; State Election Questionnaire Responses; Floods; Queen Victoria Market; A win at Oaklands Junction; Saving Mount Eliza's reservoir as a public wetland; Royal Exhibtion Building and Carlton Gardens; Kilmore's Equine Overlay; Beaumaris Modern Open Day; Kingston Planning Scheme Amendment C203; Hepburn Shire Biodiversity Threat; Toondah Harbour - Walker Corporation; Save Westesrn Port Woodlands; Caring for Western Port Country; Value
Planning Democracy: A pre-election questionnaire for parties and candidates
Planning Democracy has designed this questionnaire to help its network of concerned community groups understand where you and/or your party stand on using the Planning Framework to give communities a genuine say in protecting Victoria’s environment, heritage and natural resources.
Planning Democracy Pre-Election Forum 8 October 2022
Planning Democracy will be holding a Pre-Election Forum for community groups on Saturday 8 October 2pm at the Ashburton Library, 154 High Street Ashburton. Full details are in the attached leaflet. Please feel free to forward the leaflet to your friends, family, and networks, and I hope to see you there.
Planning Democracy Convenor's Report No.13 - July 2, 2022
In this issue - 1. Save Lake Knox!; 2. Moreland votes to refuse development at 38 Harrison St Brunswick; 3. Secret plans for Surrey Hills/Mont Albert Railway Station; 4. Heritage Victoria Decision on Wattle Park; 5. High Rise proposed for central Coburg Heritage Church Site; 6. Melbourne's liveability tanks; 7. Kilmore Residents VCAT win; 8. Plans for Poolman House; 9. Boroondara Cycleway proposals update; 10. National Collections left to languish; 11.
Planning Democracy Convenor's Report No.11 May 26, 2022
[Candobetter Editor: Sorry this report is being published very late, although it arrived on time.] In this issue: Federal Election 2022 - Climate Change, Corruption, Women, Young People; Australian Heritage Advocacy Advice; Royal Historical Society of Victoria Heritage Protection action; Urban consolidation and Housing Affordability; Good News at Kilmore; Wattle Park/The Effect of Night Lighting on Birds; Boroondara proposed Cycleway; VCAT Decision - Baker v.
Planning Democracy Convenor's Report No.10, May 4, 2022
Candobetter Editor apologies for the late publication of this report, which was delivered in time. It is also in a different format.
Planning Democracy Convenor's Report No.9
Report on the Heritage Protection Forum; Where to from here; Federal Elections; Australian Heritage Advocacy Alliance 2022 Campaign; Save Lake Knox; Brunswick - good and bad news; Submissions open for Melbourne Observatory Lighting Works; Wattle Park Update; Kilmore Land update; Queen Victoria Market update; Mt Eliza Village entry way; Elsternwick Structure Plan; Glenlyon; Hawthorn Institute of Education to become apartments; Sprawling cities are over-running global biodiversity; The
Planning Democracy: Heritage Protection Forum 9 April 2022
Heritage Protection Forum. This Saturday 9 April, 10am sharp til 12 Noon. Hawthorne Library, 584 Glenferrie Rd., Hawthorne. Meeting Room 3.
PLANNING DEMOCRACY CONVENOR’S REPORT No. 8 – 17 MARCH 2022
Headlines: Planning Democracy Heritage Protection Forum; Legislative Council Planning and Heritage Committee Inquiry; Windsor Heritage House demolished; Big Win Number 1 - Liddiard Street Carpark gone; Big Win Number 2 - Tullamarine waste dump; Save Westernport woodlands; Kilmore Land update; Kew Cottages Coalition; Wattle Park update; Planning delegations in Moreland and Yarra - a win and a loss; 38 Harrison Street Brunswick; National Trust; Sunbury update; Suburban Rail Loop boo
PLANNING DEMOCRACY – CONVENOR’S REPORT No. 7 - 26 FEBRUARY 2022
Report headlines: Heritage Protection Forum planned; Federal Election; The Committee that ate Melbourne (The Melbourne Committee); Wattle Park Heritage Submissions sought; Curtin Hotel; Kilmore Land Deal; Crowag Green Notices; South East Water Reservoir, Mt Eliza; Heritage Victoria Permit Application for 2022 Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show; Ivanhoe Developer goes direct to Planning Minister; Queen Victoria Market; Big End of Town Complaints Department; High-rise A
Planning Democracy Convenor's Report No.6. 14 February 2022
This report includes: Legislative Council Planning and Heritage Inquiry; Australian Heritage Advocacy Alliance Federal election strategy; Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton Gardens, and St Vincent's Hospital; Concerned Residents of Whitehorse Action Group (CROWAG) – Tree canopy cover; Blackburn Village Residents' Group - Tree Canopy cover; Landscape Plans and potential legal protection for trees within; Liddiard Street Hawthorn multistorey carpark; Kilmore land rezoning; Wattle Park - Artif
Planning Democracy Convenor's Report No. 5.
- INQUIRY INTO THE PROTECTIONS WITHIN THE VICTORIAN PLANNING FRAMEWORK.
As I previously reported, the Environment and Planning Committee of the Victorian Legislative Council is conducting an Inquiry into the adequacy of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 and the Victorian planning framework, in relation to planning and environment protection.
Planning Democracy Convenor's Report. No. 4, January 2022
Kelvin Thomson reports on Kilmore Racing Club; Wattle Park, Fiji monument;N.E. Link; Green Wedges; Richard Wynn overide-VCAT-Stonnington; LG apprehended bias opinion; Melbourne population & housing affordability - and more.
Planning Democracy Convenor's Report. No. 3, 22 Dec 2021
It is great to see how Kelvin Thomson has leapt into action on behalf of Planning Democracy. Here he reports on Fawkner Park; Melbourne tree-canopy; Queen Vic Market; Mary-Lous Howie's letter to Mayor Capp; RESCODE; Buxton on Sub Loop Bill; Blackburn Village Res group; Herald-Sun cover of Planning Democracy...(Candobetter Ed.)
Dear Planning Democracy supporter,
Here is my third Convenor’s Report. As you can see, it’s been a busy couple of weeks.
Planning Backlash becomes Planning Democracy 1 December 2021
Hi to you all, and particularly to those of you who I do not know. As you will have heard from Mary, I have agreed to take over as Convenor from Mary Drost OAM. In 2005 Mary established Planning Backlash as an umbrella organisation and coalition of community and resident action groups.
2GB Interview: Perrottet 2018: 'immigration a lazy and costly economic 'solution''
“Merely adding more people isn’t a sustainable economic strategy. We can’t pretend that high immigration comes without a cost and growth should not impose an unfair burden on those who are already here. Excessively rapid growth puts downward pressure on wages and upward pressure on housing prices, both of which have sorely stung workers and aspiring home-owners in Sydney and other parts of NSW for a decade. When you look at the numbers, it’s no surprise communities in Sydney are feeling the pressure. In 2006, annual net overseas migration to Australia increased to roughly double its pace across the preceding 25 years.” (Dominique Perrottet as Treasurer in 2018)
To the horror of many Australians, Perrottet has recently called for 'explosive immigration' to Australia, purportedly as an economic fix. In this interview we see how shockingly cynical this call really is, in the light of Perrottet's own history.
Dominic Perrottet’s ‘explosive immigration surge’ will be a disaster
Kelvin Thomson, after quoting Dominique Perrottet above, added, “He told your colleague Michael Mclaren, in an interview in 2018, that simply because the treasury bureaucrats might tell you that putting in more people drives economic growth, that is lazy economics. That’s what he should have told your bureaucrats now, instead of apparently falling hook line and sinker for what he was able to recognize as rubbish three years ago.”
Candobetter Editorial comment: It is obvious that immigration adds pressure on politicians too. Was giving the growth lobby 'explosive immigration' the price Perrottet paid to be NSW Premier, causing him to eat his 2018 words? NSW people and the rest of Australia will also pay for this if it goes ahead.
In the podcast we link to above, Luke Grant is joined by The Hon. Kelvin Thomson, Former Federal Member for Wills & spokesman for the Sustainable Australia Party, who advises that NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet rule out proposals for an “explosive” immigration surge which would bring in 2 million extra migrants over the next five years.
Mr Thomson says, “Not only will 2 million extra people be an environmental disaster, it will be a disaster for young Sydney-siders.”
“For the first time in years the Reserve Bank and leading economists have seen signs of wages growth and increasing job opportunities for young people.”
“The “explosive” two million extra people would detonate those opportunities, blowing the chances of young people to have secure full time jobs right out of the water.”
“The “explosive” surge would also be bad for Sydney’s housing affordability, traffic congestion, greenhouse gas emissions, open space and tree canopy cover.”
The Plague by Albert Camus and Lockdown in Victoria, Australia
During Victoria's lockdown(s), I re-read The Plague, by Albert Camus, which was a prescribed text for me and other Higher School Certificate students (Year 12) way back in 1972. The plot concerns the Algerian town of Oran, which is struck down by bubonic plague in the 1940s. The townsfolk are sealed off and isolated from the outside world, as the plague exacts an increasingly terrible and deadly toll. The book depicts their different reactions to their situation. It has immense power in getting to the heart of what things, and what values, are important in life.
The plague in Oran, and the coronavirus pandemic in Australia, have some clear differences. While the people of Oran are cut off from the world, they are not cut off from each other. They mix at restaurants and cafes and the like. Social distancing doesn’t play any noticeable role – whether this was wise from a health perspective is not spelt out.
Another noticeable difference is that the initial reaction of the townsfolk is largely selfish. It is over time that many of them come to the realization that “we are all in this together”, and join the efforts of the medical team to help those who have been infected. By comparison I feel that the initial response of Australians in 2020 to coronavirus was a “Team Australia” approach, but that as the pandemic has worn on that people have tended to become fatigued and less concerned about the welfare of others.
These differences notwithstanding, I think the book rings many bells for our present situation. Camus says the townsfolk initially believed the pestilence wasn’t real, or that it would soon pass. “A pestilence isn’t a thing made to man’s measure, therefore we tell ourselves that pestilence is a mere bogey of the mind, a bad dream that will pass away. But it doesn’t always pass away and, from one bad dream to another, it is men who pass away…”
Camus also says that the town’s leaders and officials were slow to take the plague seriously. He says they had good intentions: “That, in fact, was what struck one most – the excellence of their intentions. But as regards plague their competence was practically nil”. And the epidemic spells the ruin of Oran’s tourist trade.
Then the plague produces a new variant, moving from bubonic to pneumonic. The officials are left “groping, more or less, in the dark”. Camus observes that “Officialdom can never cope with something really catastrophic”. This realization prompts one of the book’s key characters to organize voluntary groups of helpers to help the sick.
Camus also discusses the fatalism in Oran at the time, which is echoed today in the regularly heard observation that “we are going to have to learn to live with COVID”. He wrote “Many fledgling moralists in those days were going about our town proclaiming that there was nothing to be done about it and we should bow to the inevitable”.
But he rejects that fatalism. He goes on to say “And Tarrou, Rieux and their friends might give one answer or another, but its conclusion was always the same, their certitude that a fight must be put up, in this way or that, and there must be no bowing down. The essential thing was to save the greatest possible number of persons from dying”.
Indeed. It is an issue of fundamental humanity. In the last year and a half most people I have talked to have overwhelmingly supported community action to save every possible life. They have not displayed any sympathy for the Darwinian “survival of the fittest” approach. I have been impressed by their basic humanity and concern for those around them.
The Plague is worth a read. It is not an easy book, but then we don’t live in easy times.
Parliament ignored warning about population growth 10 years ago, to our detriment
Tomorrow it will be exactly 10 years since Kelvin Thomson spoke to the Parliament describing increasing population as the underlying cause of the world’s problems. He listed each of them - global warming, food crisis, water shortages, housing affordability, overcrowded cities, traffic congestion, species extinctions, fisheries collapse, increasing prices, waste, terrorism and war - and described the role that population growth was playing in fuelling them.
Sadly in the ten years since he gave that speech population growth has continued unabated, and Kelvin says he can’t claim that the speech has had any effect on it.
But the speech has certainly stood the test of time. Every thing he pointed out ten years ago remains valid and has been vindicated by the growing problems and turmoil that we see around us.
Kelvin Thomson gives the example of water shortages, which are now even more acute than they were in 2009. He cites a New York Times report which appeared 10 days ago (“A Quarter of Humanity Faces Looming Water Crises”) which said that World Resources Institute researchers had found that among cities with more than 3 million people, 33 of them, with a combined population of over 255 million, face extremely high water stress, with repercussions for both public health and social unrest.
Even worse, by 2030 the number of those cities in the extremely high stress category is expected to rise to 45 and include nearly 470 million people. Clearly the World Resources Institute doesn’t believe either the engineering solutions of the technological optimists, or the consume less/waste less exhortations of the social justice warriors, are going to actually prevent this debacle.
He was only wrong about one thing, he says:
"The one area where Australia has taken a different path from the one I predicted has been the question of price rises. Prices have risen less than I expected, largely because our mass migration program has put downward pressure on wages and caused them to be stagnant. Of course the effect on living standards, which was my concern, has been the same. As the ABC economics writer Carrington Clarke observed in 2017, the reason Australians have been concerned that their living standards haven’t been rising is because they haven’t, while migration has enabled Governments to pretend we have been recession free and that the economy is improving."
"We continue to go down a totally unsustainable path and ordinary people have less control over their lives than ever before. It’s time we started to take it back," he concludes.
Kelvin Thomson's Population Speech to the Australian Parliament Monday, 17 August 2009
Mr KELVIN THOMSON (8:40 PM) —We all know that the world has plenty of problems. Let me run out some that come to mind without much effort: global warming, the food crisis, water shortages, housing affordability, overcrowded cities, transport congestion, the fisheries collapse, species extinctions, increasing prices, waste and terrorism. We scratch our heads and try to come up with solutions. It staggers me that so often we ignore the elephant in the room: increasing population. Each of these problems is either caused by or exacerbated by the global population explosion. In the first two million years of human existence, the global human population was only a few million. Up to 1950, it had managed to climb to two billion. In the 50-odd years since, it has trebled to six billion people. And the population is projected to double again.
The consequences of the present population pressure are dramatic. In my belief, it is not plausible that the world’s population could double without the consequences becoming catastrophic. Yet, when it is suggested that the world’s population is a problem, there is zero interest from policy makers. In my view, it is not so much a problem as the problem. Let me return to that list of problems and describe the impact of population on them.
One: global warming. Population plays a critical role in global warming. We have one earth and one atmosphere, and every carbon dioxide molecule we release into it contributes to global warming. The more of us there are, the more carbon dioxide is released—simple and undeniable. Al Gore identifies population growth as one of the big three drivers of the rapid spurt of greenhouse gasses during the past 50 years. People who believe that we can meet serious carbon targets without curbing population growth are kidding themselves; they are delusional. There is no reasonable prospect that Australia will reduce its total level of greenhouse emissions while our population grows by one million every four years as is presently the case. Population stabilisation must be part of the plan to contain greenhouse emissions not merely for Australia but for the rest of the world as well.
Two: the food crisis. The combination of declining arable land and continued population growth has caused the world’s per capita food production to go into decline. We are now in a situation where there is a global shortage of food which is set to get worse. In future, more people will starve—not fewer. Figures released by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation show that the number of people suffering from chronic hunger is rising, not falling. In June last year, the Australian government’s Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation said that world agriculture is experiencing a growing crisis, and its first named demand-side factor was increasing global population.
Three: water shortages. As with agricultural decline, population growth is fuelling water shortages both indirectly through climate change and directly through extraction and pollution. Around the world, one in three people is suffering from water shortage. Assuming modest rates of population growth, we will use 70 per cent of the world’s accessible fresh water by 2025. Already, 400 million children worldwide are drinking dangerously unclean water, and one child dies from a waterborne disease every 15 seconds. According to Melbourne Water, water scarcity in and around Melbourne is being driven by both climate change and population growth.
Four: housing affordability. Housing affordability in Australia has undergone a period of dramatic decline. John Edwards, an economist with HSBC, has noted that Australia’s high level of migration, the highest level in our history, is going to keep upward pressure on house prices. The same goes for rent. The General Manager of Australian Property Monitors, Michael McNamara, has said the shortage of rental properties will continue to worsen because of rising migration.
Five: overcrowded cities. Our cities are too large. They dwarf people. The sheer scale of them is overwhelming for some, who lose the plot and fall victim to mental illness or drug and alcohol abuse. For the rest of us, the madding crowd swells every year, giving us that little bit less room. Every square metre of space is fought over. In Africa and Asia the accumulated urban growth during the whole span of history is in the process of being doubled between the years 2000 and 2030. A United Nations Population Fund report released in June 2007 says that, as a result, a billion people—one-sixth of the world’s population—live in slums. The overcrowding of cities is not merely a Third World phenomenon either. In my home city of Melbourne, a lot of people of goodwill have supported high rise as preferable to urban sprawl. What they do not realise is that it is not halting any urban sprawl at all. Suburbs continue to continue to march out onto the horizon. Property developers are having their cake and eating it too. We are growing upwards and outwards. Melbourne is becoming an obese hardened-artery parody of its former self. There is something intangible but important about the personal space of a backyard. I believe the children who grow up in concrete jungle suburbs are subject to more bullying and harassment and are more vulnerable to traps such as crime and drugs.
Six: traffic congestion. More people equals more cars, and the more cars there are out on the roads the longer it takes us to get anywhere. The time that motorists spend on the roads in and out of Brisbane, for example—to the Sunshine Coast, the Gold Coast or Ipswich—is truly appalling. Each suburb we build out of the city fringes means more traffic coming through the inner suburbs, more congestion, more pollution and more noise. It does nothing for our calm, our quality of life or our sanity. We think we have no choice but to grin and bear it. It is not true.
Seven: species extinctions. The USA based National Academy of Sciences has reported that human activities are leading to a wave of extinctions over 100 times greater than natural rates. Over 12,000 varieties of animal, plant and water life are critically endangered. Thirty per cent of Australia’s 760 bird species are under threat. The world has entered the 21st century with little more than 10 per cent of its original forest cover intact. According to anthropologists Richard Leakey and Roger Lewis, all the forest cover will be largely gone by 2050. Sometimes I think we have declared war on everything else. The more there are of us the less there is of everything else. I consider it a grotesque piece of arrogance on our part as a species that we think that we have a right to destroy everything else on our way to affluence.
Eight: fisheries collapse. One of our favourite old sayings was, ‘There are plenty more fish in the sea.’ Not anymore: 90 per cent of the large fish in the ocean are gone. Australia is in the same boat as everyone else. Our annual catch has steadily gone down, and a Bureau of Rural Sciences fisheries status report says that two-thirds of Australia’s fisheries are either overfished or uncertain.
Nine: increasing prices. Increasing population consumes resources and makes them scarcer, leading to price rises. The rising price of petrol is a clear function of scarcity fuelled by population growth, and the increased cost of basic resources such as water and petrol feeds into everything they contribute to—food costs, transport costs, insurance, housing et cetera. Some economists argue that increasing population will create economies of scale and put downward pressure on prices. In reality, this downward pressure on prices is sighted less frequently than Elvis Presley.
Ten: waste. A vast area of the central Pacific Ocean has become smothered in plastic. It is referred to as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The area affected is estimated to be twice the size of Texas and to a depth of at least 30 metres. What a disgrace!
Eleven: terrorism and war. Analysts spend a great deal of time assessing the political and religious factors leading to the scourge of terrorism and war in the modern world. They spend less time noting the underlying cause: conflict over scarce resources—scarce land, scarce water and scarce oil—brought about by increasing population. A Pentagon report in 2007 detailed a range of scenarios in which population displacement caused by global warming and triggered by extreme weather events would lead to border tensions and armed conflict. An Oxford University study has estimated that 26 million Bangladeshis, 73 million Chinese and 20 million Indians are at risk of displacement from rising sea levels.
In short, it is time for governments and policy makers around the world to come to their senses and take steps to stabilise the world’s population. It needs to happen in every country, including here in Australia—especially here in dry, arid Australia. And it is time people and communities stood up and demanded better of their policy makers than the ‘she’ll be right’ growth fetish which is making an utter mockery of our obligation to give to our children a world in as good a condition as the one our parents gave to us.