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Property Council pushing Doomsday scenario that Growth is Inevitable

Peter Verwer of the Property Council of Australia is publicising a 'campaign' to convince politicians that Australians want a bigger population and cities. It's called "www.makemycitywork." The spin is that the only problem the public perceive with big cities is that the infrastructure hasn't kept up with demand. So the Property Council and its business allies plan to fix that, don't they. The content is thin but it's all part of a blitz on the public from the Growth Lobby, along with Bernard Salt's plans for astroturfing public support for population growth and big business, Elizabeth Prosser's push to abolish local councils in Victoria, Mary Massina's lobbying for council amalgamation in Tasmania... It's yet another relentless campaign by big business to further reduce Australia to a mine and real-estate economy for their own benefit and it requires getting rid of more of Australians' democratic rights, along with anything natural and free that gets in its way.

Citizens Bark While The Growth Caravan Moves On

Tim Murray reports on a recent Canadian census and the public reaction in a voting poll to uncontrolled population growth. He asks why politicians seem to do the opposite of what the Canadian voters actually want.

Ted Trainer questions Uni-dimensional views on Development, Wealth and Progress

Social Scientist and petroleum depletion writer, Ted Trainer, gives his views on a way forward that does not involve growth. Most of you out there are working three times too hard, and going down with depression and obesity, as your social cohesion crumbles. How about trying a different, simpler way? Frederick Trainer is the author of a new book, Transition to a sustainable and just world, Enviro Books.

VicForests must pay up now for its illegal logging

VicForests must this week pay Environment East Gippsland $630,000 in legal costs which it incurred defending its wrong action in planning to destroy wildlife habitat forest in Australia. This, and a pending case also mentioned in this article, is a welcome indication of independence in Victoria's judiciary, despite wide corruption of the democratic system in Victoria and the rest of Australia.

ABC Q&A: adventures in autocracy

The producers of Q and A have their favourites when it comes to “thinktanks”, with the free marketeering IPA topping the list with 4 different panellists and 11 appearances in total (not including appearances by former staff members). Meanwhile, prominent progressive think tank The Australia Institute has never featured on Q&A, despite TAI’s current head Dr Richard Denniss debating Lord Christopher Monckton about climate change at the National Press Club last year and its former head being prominent author and intellectual Professor Clive Hamilton.`````

What's up in Melbourne - by Di Cachinnans

New website for Residents without Rights. Also Docklands, Stonington Mansions, heritage land in St Kilda road. How long will the War Memorial be safe? VCAT review

What's up in Melbourne this week - by Di Cachinnans

Surprise surprise. It is official. Overpopulation has overstretched Melbourne infrastructure. This week, areas of Hawthorn had no water because of the pipes being so old and overloaded. At Camberwell Junction after heavy rain you can smell sewer because the sewer lines are overloaded. Well we know about the hospitals and the schools not to mention the roads and the public transport.

Australia second in world arms importer - did you know?

Australia is the world's second largest arms importer, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Yet there are no armed wars in Australia and our local crime industry could not possibly use $1,677,000,000 worth of military weapons as estimated to be our imported value in 2010. Are we on-selling and who is involved?

Syria -70% vote to end one-party state - why aren't we celebrating?

70 per cent of Syrians voted in referendum to end one party rule and to have elections but have been hit by EU sanctions anyway. Aljazeera reported that no-one would vote, but it seems that a lot did. Basically the world is dividing into an Eastern and Western bloc over this, with Russia and China supporting Syria's right to settle its own affairs and the US and other Anglophone western nations and the EU are looking for a pretext to intervene and threatening crippling sanctions. Further down we might expect EU imposition of a no-fly zone to give them an excuse to invade, as has already happened in Libya. Is the end-objective to isolate Iran for its oil reserves? What's up? Here are some views.

Education Blues

Joe Toscano comments on education in Australia and the Gonski Report. "It’s no accident Australian education outcomes continue to fall behind comparable countries, we need to import specialised skilled labour and many Australian families are burdened with the problems associated with intergenerational social security dependency. The growing private public education chasm has become the single most important barrier to social cohesion in the country."

Mark O'Connor talk: Sustainability versus Australia's growth lobby - Melbourne Feb 17th

Mark O'Connor (famous co-author of Overloading Australia) asks, should environmentalists resist Big Australia - and the densification of Melbourne? "In the long run, unless we can stop the endless growth of population and consumption, all environmental battles will be lost. Yet powerful vested interests distort our news and media to make us think growth is inevitable, and that we should live in ever more crowded cities. Mark O'Connor discusses how environmentalists can identify and defeat these forces." Feb 17th 2012 Sustainable Living Festival, 4 pm Look for the Sustainable Population Australia (Victorian Branch) stall there as well - all weekend and Friday.

Can An Immigrant Logically Oppose Immigration?

It is logically contradictory for pro-immigrationists to argue that immigrants should be afforded all the rights that people in their adopted country enjoy, then to argue that they do not have the same right to insist on a sustainable population. Do people in a theatre forfeit the right to complain that the theatre or restaurant manager has allowed it to become too crowded, that the number of patrons has obviously exceeded safety?

US: Fracking film-maker Josh Fox arrest and money behind US Science subcom on energy and environment

Last Wednesday, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Josh Fox, was arrested after refusing requests from Republican committee members to leave a hearing on hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking." The hearing focused on a recent EPA report that suggested that hydraulic fracturing methods of extracting natural gas most likely caused contamination of drinking water in Wyoming. The filmmaker, a noted critic of hydraulic fracturing, was removed after Republican members of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee asked his camera crew to leave the hearing because they were not accredited. Mr. Fox refused to leave and was arrested for "unlawful entry."

How Ron Paul could win

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, in an article republished from Global Research and his own web site, warns his readers, "Tyranny looms, and Ron Paul is the only candidate who stands against tyranny." However, he argues that Ron Paul's "small government" libertarian policies may not be able to solve America's environmental problems or help the poor and so could make it harder for Paul to win sufficient support. He offers some alternative policy suggestions.

$13,000 Oz home grants going to Kuala Lumpur buyers

This advertisement from Kuala Lumpur shows how development companies are not only selling Australian houses in Asia but are offering Australian taxpayer-funded government grants to further entice Kuala-Lumpurans to buy here. These grants were intended to help young Australians get into the housing market but instead the developers are offering them to foreigners. The ad is for housing in the Whittlesea area of Victoria, but the reality is that the same thing is going on all over Australia.

A Bigger Melbourne is not a better Melbourne - Protectors of Public Lands AGM 28-1-2012 - Kelvin Thomson speaker

The guest speaker at the AGM will be Kelvin Thomson, Federal Member of Parliament for Wills and advocate of sustainable population. He will speak on: "A bigger Melbourne is not a better Melbourne”. All are very welcome to the meeting.

The Ultimate Mechanism of Control is Nature

Resource scarcity is the root of war and terrorism, and liberty is the first casualty of conflict. But as oppressive as state surveillance and detention can be, nature's noose will be even tighter.

A Patriots’ Agenda

Robert Bowman writes about the need to restore the Constitutional rights of American citizens, enhance their national security through a return to Constitutional foreign and military policies, and rebuild their economy by providing financial security to American families. None of these things can be accomplished so long as the giant multinational corporations, the banks and financial service companies, the insurance industry, the fossil fuel conglomerates, the weapons manufacturers, and the billionaires are running the US government. Therefore the first priority of American patriots, he says, has to be separating big money and political power.

Iraq: Who Won, Who Lost, Who Got Screwed?

This article, by Frosty Wooldridge, is simply the best damn summation of the human costs of the Iraq War I have yet read. IMHO, Wooldridge is the best writer in the business. He has three things going for him. A firm grasp of reality, a command of the facts, and the creativity to write about them---- driven by the rocket fuel of rage and passion. Say no more. Tim Murray

Future shock - planners ride roughshod over citizens in Los Angeles too

It is typical of the English speaking world that governments that pretend to be democratic, use planners to ride roughshod over the rights of citizens. Here is something from Los Angeles: "In the name of updating its zoning code, Los Angeles is on the verge of overriding community plans across the city by carving out "overlay" neighborhoods in which city employees can approve — by decree and without a hearing or Environmental Impact Report — residential and commercial projects of far greater density than now allowed."

Resident planning rights should be strengthened, not watered down - Kelvin Thomson MP, Australia

Federal Labor Member for Wills, Kelvin Thomson, has condemned reports (The Age 29/11/11 ‘Push to cut planning appeals’) that the Victorian Liberal Government is seriously considering proposals to further reduce the rights of residents to object to inappropriate developments in their neighbourhoods. Wills is an electorate in Victoria, Australia, with very high population density.

Marie-Antoinette World Government and European debt

The current economic crisis in Europe can be compared to a couple in a street building a three storey mansion in a street made up of one storey dwellings and then forcing the residents of the one storey dwellings to stop paying their electricity and gas bills to meet the mortgage repayments of the couple who built the three storey mansion. Article by Joe Toscano

Protecting Nature While Ignoring Immigration?

Reflecting upon the events of the past year (2011) in Canada, the travesty of our democracy remains salient. Mother Nature was not allowed on the ballot, and none of the five major parties were prepared to support her cause. None of them---not even the Green Party----were prepared to say that Canada's runaway population was killing biodiversity, paving farmland or raising carbon emissions. Why? Quite simply, the environmental movement had failed to create a large constituency of support for population reduction in Canada. Nothing underscores that failure better than a look at Nature Canada and its campaign to encourage supporters to ask the Harper Consevative government what it thought were penetrating questions about protecting the environment.

We are letting our resources luck turn to dust

Paul Cleary’s book Too Much Luck: The Mining Boom and Australia’s Future, is a timely appraisal of the dramatic economic and social impacts, as well as the political ramifications of the current resource boom.

This review of Paul Cleary's book by Professor Kerry Carrington, Head of School of Justice at Queensland University of Technology was originally published on theconversation.edu.au on 25 November. It is being reprinted here with her kind permission. Professor Carrington asked that this review be republished as widely as possible.

Democracy Is Not Panacea

Whenever democracy breaks out from its shackles, we celebrate the event as if the victory has been won. But no sooner is the confetti swept from the pavement when, it seems, the honeymoon is over, and the movement or politician that was hailed as a saviour becomes the subject of disappointment. We suffer the cold realization that some problems defeat us---or those we have elected to solve them. We come to understand that even if King Canute had been a constitutional monarch who commanded the incoming tide to stop in the name of some democratic assembly, his order would still have been to no avail. There are limits to our power, however we consitute it. Especially when we command nature to yield what it can no longer supply what we have been accustomed to expect.

Proposed Variations on Code of practice for forestry - Call for Submissions

Proposed revisions to the Code of Practice for Forestry in Victoria Australia could adversely impact Victoria's threatened species. As many candobetter.net readers know, the Victorian Auditor General found last year that Victoria has utterly failed in its objectives under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act (1986) to measure and protect unique species from threat and endangerment. These changes also follow Environment East Gippsland's historic win in court against VicForests last year, where EEG sought protection under this Act for endangered species. With these changes, loggers could seek exemptions from state environment laws protecting endangered species. Victorians (and people all over the world) need to be aware of these proposed changes and to make comments. You can make a submission via this article.

Ignoring Gen Y While the World Sleepwalks to Catastrophe

On Ockham's Razor on ABC Australia, today, 30 October 2011, hundreds of thousands of people would have heard 24 year old Fiona Heinrichs blast the mainstream media's failure to provide a voice for the younger generation and its promotion of of an ideology of unending growth. Fiona also delivered a blistering critique of Bernard Salt's unscientific promotion of population growth and his failure to respond to her challenge to debate him, which was recently the subject of an article on OnLineOpinion. This is the text of the talk.

Tim Flannery and Australia's coal-seam gas and mining industry

The way The Australian writes him up, Tim Flannery, who once wrote so articulately in defense of our land and its ecology and our place in it, now seems reduced to a quasi-apologist for extreme mining technologies. The Australian writes in such an unbalanced way. See also "Fracking Democracy..."

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