"Today, with little warning and a lot of malice, the Liberal and Labor parties teamed up to pass legislation requiring minor parties to prove they have over 1500 members within the next three months - up from 500 - before the 2022 federal election." (William Bourke, President Sustainable Australia Party, 27 August 2021)
The Sustainable Australia Party (SAP) began as the Stable Population Party of Australia some time ago, but gradually, without losing this orientation, it has developed a more complex democratic and economic platform around this, and a new name.
William Bourke writes:
"SAP had already passed the Australian Electoral Commission's test of 500 members last year and therefore (seemingly) had clearance to contest the upcoming federal election.
Now, we have a massive administrative project dumped on us just when we were selecting candidates and getting on with campaigning.
This is how the major parties make it very difficult for minor parties - through endless compliance and administration requirements.
Join today for $22/$11
While we technically have over 1500 members, it will be a big challenge to get everyone to respond to an upcoming audit.
Put simply, we need more members.
Sustainable Australia Party is an independent community movement with a positive plan for an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable Australia. We support a science and evidence-based approach to policy.
We campaign to protect our environment, stop overdevelopment and stop corruption.
We increasingly understand that systemic political corruption is at the heart of our growing problems including environmental crises, overdevelopment, rapid population growth, the privatisation of our publicly-owned natural monopolies and the de-industrialisation of our previously robust and self-sufficient economy.
Now they are coming for minor parties.
We are Australia's only true sustainability-first political party and we originally formed because no other party included a sensible plan to stabilise Australia's population within an environmental platform.
You may have considered joining us in the past.
Now is the time. It's only $22/$11.
We welcome both active and passive members. You will be under no pressure to do anything other than pay a small joining fee."
"In Victoria, this practice has started with Banyule Council's deal with Woolworths, who approached council to purchase an additional 828sqm of public land that wasn't on the market.
It introduced the influence of private developers over and above transparency to the public, and puts every piece of public land at risk. The Woolworths deal was well over 2 years in the making before it came to light. Imagine if you discovered that our parklands or even a local park was negotiated for sale 2 years ago - now is the time to act before the precedent is set. Public land should stay in public hands." (Excerpt from petition).
Please sign this e-petition to parliament for this very important issue and forward across your networks.
In Victoria, this practice has started with Banyule Council's deal with Woolworths who approached council to purchase an additional 828sqm of public land that wasn't on the market.
It introduced the influence of private developers over and above transparency to the public and puts every piece of public land at risk. The Woolworths deal was well over 2 years in the making before it came to light. Imagine if you discovered that our parklands or even a local park was negotiated for sale 2 years ago - now is the time to act before the precedent is set. Public land should stay in public hands.
If you are not familiar with the term "Unsolicited Proposals" and associated risks, watch this Four Corners episode on Crown Casino, Barangaroo tower....started with an unsolicited proposal. (fascinating, a must watch!): https://www.abc.net.au/4corners/packer%E2%80%99s-crown-casino-gamble/13366976
“That building should stand there and be a warning to us all…we should look at that building and forever know that we should never let that happen again.” Architect
Council are advertising this heavily and will not identify which other councils have contacted them. One example:
The video inside the article is a record of the third ARAG (Ashburton Residents Action Group) public rally over six years in the residential battle to protect Markham Estate and the surrounding streets and environment.
What was once a 56 apartment, two storey public housing community in Ashburton turned into a six year nightmare for residents when the State Government announced it would be replacing the 56 apartments with 240, of which only 60 would be for public housing; the rest to be sold privately for a fortune.
This outrageous proposal galvanised the community and they have been fighting for a fair go and consultation ever since.
Speakers at this rally included ARAG leaders Ian and Rita, David Davis (Shadow Planning Minister), Cr Garry Thompson (Mayor of Boroondara) and Clifford Hayes MP (Sustainable Australia Party).
In attendance was Will Fowles MP (Member for Burwood) who declined to speak.
Advocacy has now resulted in this proposal being reduced to 178 public housing units (non-privatised) however the commercial size of the development in a residential area is what the residents are still battling.
No developer in Melbourne could build this development, however the State Government have exempted themselves from planning laws. In addition, they have recently passed more laws that remove any requirement for consultation or planning application.
This is a dictatorship, and the residents of Ashburton are fighting back alongside every other Victorian community being overridden by this State Government.
These developments must be reduced in size, residents must be treated fairly, and planning must be returned to Local Government who understand their suburbs.
On Jan. 20, 2021, Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States. The Independent and Peaceful Australia Network urges Australians to reflect on our relationship with the US during this inauguration and think deeply about how we may forge an independent and peaceful foreign policy in the coming years.
While President Biden promises to differ from former-President Donald Trump, Australia faces issues that will persist regardless of who sits in the Oval Office.
On-going conflicts in the Middle East, the growing power of China, the ramifications of global warming and many more issues necessitate an intelligent foreign policy informed by the need for peace, science and our national interests.
IPAN has established the People’s Inquiry exploring the costs and consequences of the US alliance and US-led wars to assist in the development of this foreign policy. The Inquiry is already receiving submissions which will result in a report covering the Australian public’s opinion on the US alliance and its alternatives.
Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s admission that Australia is “joined at the hip” to the US is a worrying prospect - a sentiment that has continued under Prime Minister Scott Morrison – and is one not supported by an Australian public that routinely disagrees with US foreign policy.
Australia needs to build a diplomatic and policy apparatus that can not only deviate from Washington but pursue the interests of the Australian people.
This will only happen when a cohesive and informed foreign policy approach is established. The People’s Inquiry will contribute to this through soliciting public submissions and expert opinion.
Details of this Inquiry can be found at the following link: https://www.independentpeacefulaustralia.com.au
Residents were already very concerned about FCC's proposal regarding Seaford Foreshore Activation last year. We were assured by local councillors that this would not lead to development of inappropriate hard surfaces and infrastructure on the Seaford Foreshore, yet this is exactly what is being proposed.
A letter sent to all Frankston Councillors regarding proposed development on Seaford Foreshore:
Residents were already very concerned about FCC's proposal regarding Seaford Foreshore Activation last year. We were assured by local councillors that this would not lead to development of inappropriate hard surfaces and infrastructure on the Seaford Foreshore, yet this is exactly what is being proposed.
As it stands, to get natural walks through Tea Tree and Banksia along the beach like we have at Seaford you must go as far as Wilson's Promontory National Park. People flock to that park to experience those walks, yet we are fortunate enough in Seaford to have such walks on our very own foreshore. However, in recent years Council has been actively undermining the natural beauty of these walks. These are not improvement works as claimed in the Council's letter to residents, but rather vandalism of a unique, natural foreshore environment.
I ask what is behind this? This creeping infrastructure and development on the Seaford Foreshore is not only ruining it, it makes no sense. Where is the push for these developments coming from? Certainly not the community. One can only assume this is a plan being pushed by Council staff.
I am certainly opposed to this proposed development. We have already lost some of our natural tracks along the creek with the rail trail, and in general the level of hard surfacing and development in Seaford is already greatly increased with the rail crossing project. Furthermore, Seaford Foreshore has already been subjected to the installation of a number of hard paths and unnatural lighting.
Can Council please provide a justification for this proposed development that indicates that this not just another project imposed on the community by Frankston Council and/or DELWP?
Frankston Councillor Glenn Aitken was notified on Thursday 12 March that the LXRP 'works' east of the railway line at Seaford will proceed without further consultation. "It is likely they will remove more vegetation immediately.They will flatten pretty much everything on the eastern side of the railway line from Eel Race Rd to Coolibar Ave. There is no right of appeal as it is on their land which...they conveniently forget... is still public land, owned by the State." This is the clear message that authorities need to hear and heed,as expressed by Cr Glenn, "Our natural environment is not negotiable and must be protected."
You can watch more of Cr Glenn's inspirational Proclamation of 24 February here:
Unfortunately the 'authorities' are not listening to the community, but to the population boosters and developers in and close to government.
Please let your protests be heard and voice your opposition to the wilful environmental destruction without delay to Sonya Kilkenny MP for Carrum :
- telephone her office at (03) 9773 2727
- post on her Facebook page :https://www.facebook.com/SonyaKilkennyMP/ and alert others
- post on other social media platforms
- alert your friends and contacts
Whether or not the vegetation is on railway controlled land is irrelevant.
The vegetation is still a vital connection to the coastal corridor.
Birds, native bees, animals or other inhabitants of the coastal corridor don’t look at a tree and choose not to go there because it’s under railway and State governance.
Cr Glenn is arranging a public meeting and further notice will be given when arrangements are finalised.
Today, 24 February 2020, Frankston Councillor, Glen Aitken, led a protest with a proclamation against the destruction of trees in a section of rare bush habitat along Kananook Creek. His speech is transcribed inside this article. The Victorian Railway Level Crossing Removal Authority is the author of what appears to be arrogant and gratuitous removal of precious old trees and bushland. This bushland is part of a several kilometer connected habitat that runs along the banks of Kananook Creek. The purpose of the moonscaping of this area is to construct a concrete bicycle path that no-one here wants. Ironically the State Government and the Greens have been promoting cycling as a healthy 'green' activity, whilst using it to spearhead land-clearing in bushland and parks. Residents feel that this shock and awe approach is to soften them up for the execution of an overall plan to infill and overdevelop this area, as part of the State and Federal Governments' project of engineering population growth and overdevelopment, at the behest of the property development lobby, whom they serve.
Cr Glen Aitken acknowledge the Bunerong people and those attending, including people who had travelled quite a distance. Additionally he acknowledged the people who in the past and the present and into the future have fought so strongly for the environment in Frankston and surrounding municipalities and beyond. We would be lost without their efforts. He aknowledged Cr Steve Toms who also attended.
"Today is a powerful affirmation of our values and determination to guard and cherish our land. Today is an opportunity to send a clear message to parliament and authorities that our natural environment is not negotiable, and must be protected.
This is a proclamation on behalf of our community to stand strong against planning totalitarianism. And to challenge any government or authority that claims to have listened to the community and then turns around summarily to brutalise land and places we all love.
In the beginning, the Aboriginal people gathered on this land, where we stand today. They hunted and fished for survival. They cared for the land and lived with it in harmony. Kananook Creek was once a vital waterway, connected to the vast Carrum Carrum Swamps, part of the huge and extensive ecosystem, which has now largely vanished. The creek and its associated vegetation has long been treasured as it represents an irreplacable reserve that can never be replicated again.
Throughout the years, many people, particularly from the mid-20th century, to this present time, have engaged in heroic labours and struggles to save both Seaford Foreshore and Kananook Creek from degradation and exploitation. They have held high the torch of environmental justice.
Only recently, Frankston Council, creditably, opposed any further development of the Green Wedge, and Council's decision is vindicated. By contrast, the wilful destruction of coastal vegetation here is absolutely shameful, and totally contrary to widely accepted environmental principles and public expectations. How has this happened?
There are numerous ways to 'arrive' with a 'misreading' of public opinion, through surveys and other means, such as methodology. Anyone can get a staged answer according to the style of question that is asked, which in turn can produce the exact result that was wanted and engineered in the first place. Another way to silence anyone who speaks out, is to subject them to public embarassment or political ridicule.
Many people complained throughout the entire consultation process, but information was difficult to pin down, and [they] were not satisfied with answers that lacked substance. Our own council had difficulty in securing detail when we requested information, and were taken by surprise with outcomes.
Given the tree losses that have occurred, it is only reasonable many are now asking, 'how did this happen'? Local MPs should answer to the community for what has been done. A thoroughly detailed and educated approach ought to have been taken. And what is going to be done to ensure that this does not happen again?
In Seaford, with this project, there must be a rethink and proper consultation before any further works are carried out. With a huge population increase planned for Melbourne, we have seen a loss of values we have all cherished, such as local identity and character being bulldozed to make way for towering monoliths and multilevel appartments.
Our history is being lost and the places we identified with are vanishing. Residential overcrowding, loss of green space and canopy trees, with housing prices escalating, far beyond the means of many, who will never be able to purchase, and continue, as they age, in rental, 'til they are forced out through inability to pay. That has changed the social landscape.
Our native reserves, our green wedges, and any other open spaces are consequently more important and more critically needed than ever before.
[Picks up a silver coloured cup full of woodchips.] These remnants are from a tree that was about 80 years old and therefore began its life as a young seedling at the end of the Great Depression and the outbreak of World War Two in 1939. It saw the reconstruction years of the 1950s and it continued to spread its branches, providing shelter and food to native birds and animals. It saw the turn of the millenium and continued to cast welcome shade and held its place with pride in our landscape - until this February, when it was unforgivably dragged to the ground and destroyed. These chips are the body and the spirit of the tree and I now return them to the earth.
In adversity and hardship, we grow stronger and, in the face of environmental brutality, our voice becomes louder. We will never surrender to stupidity.
We urgently seek greater recognition and protection for all native vegetation. We demand that government and all relevant authorities rewrite consultation formulars to guarantee real consultation processes instead of public pantomime. We call upon the State Government and associated authorities to account for what has happened here in Seaford. And Carrum, for that matter.
I'm going to just add one more comment about Carrum. The vaunted proposal was to provide a place with lovely parks and new facilities. When you go through Carrum today, and see what has happened, and that almighty grey monolith of concrete and steel - it has cut the guts right out of Carrum. It has destroyed Carrum as a kind and generous low-key postal destination forever. That is unforgivable!
And, we call for a complete reassessment of state planning policy in order that strong, clear and visionary policies be written and enacted, that are based on the human values that protect the history, environment, and liveability of the greater metropolitan area."
The transcript made by the author of this article from the video.
Frankston's Cr Glenn Aitken is now asking for your support with your attendance this coming Monday near the Seaford Scout Hall next to Seaford Station at 1PM, 24 February 2020, when he will make a proclamation against such vandalism.
To all tree lovers and protectors of the environment,
You may be aware that the crossing removal works at Seaford have led to the terrible destruction of many significant mature trees. This has caused an outcry in the community.
Frankston Council has written this week to LXRA (The Level Crossing Removal Authority ) seeking assurance that further vegetation removal works will be paused pending a more thorough consultation with Council and the community.
Frankston's Cr Glenn Aitken is now asking for your support with your attendance this coming Monday as follows:
"I am making a proclamation at Seaford near the Scout hall next to Seaford station at 1 PM on Monday 24th Feb. 2020. It will be about the vandalism by LXRA. Would you be able to be present and also spread the word to all environment groups and community members that value our history, coast and vegetation?"
Please make every effort to be there to lend your support and let as many others as possible know about this!
The U.N.'s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva has compiled and released a list of companies which operate in the illegal settlements in the West Bank, which is a chunk of land east of Israel, formerly Palestine, of which Israel took military control in 1967. Israel has encouraged property development in the region and for Jewish settlers to move in, but Palestinians (and most of the international community) consider it illegally occupied Palestinian land. The tragic political impasse between Israel and Palestine has recently been highlighted by property developer and US President Donald Trump's so-called "Deal of the century," involving his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who is also a real-estate developer. The 'deal' advocates for Israel further fragmenting what land remains to Palestinians and further reducing their exiguous political rights. Palestinians were not included in the consultation surrounding this 'deal', although they are its object.
"About 600,000 Jews live in about 140 settlements built since Israel's occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967. The settlements are widely considered illegal under international law, though Israel has always disputed this. The Palestinians have long called for the removal of the settlements, arguing that their presence on land they claim for a future independent Palestinian state makes it almost impossible to make such a state a reality." (BBC https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-51477231"
The role that property development plays in this and other land-grab conflicts is striking. The materials used in construction are also excellent vehicles for money laundering. Property developers take over many of the roles of government, driving massive immigration, and birth rates where they can, in order to keep up demand and maintain land-price inflation. Property development is often mistaken for a constructive activity, but the reality is that bulldozers trash both nature and democracy, just like tanks. Planning requires strict control by citizens. Putting it in the hands of vested interests destroys self-determination. Australia is the victim of similar land-grabs and erosion of democracy, although at this point, Australians are still free to move within their continent. Australian state governments, Australian property developers, and Israel have and seek mutual investments in property development and population growth engineering. 
List of Companies operating in the illegal settlements in the West Bank, according to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva
Afikim Public Transportation Ltd.
American Israeli Gas Corporation Ltd.
Amir Marketing and Investments in Agriculture Ltd.
Amos Hadar Properties and Investments Ltd.
Ariel Properties Group
Ashtrom Industries Ltd.
Ashtrom Properties Ltd.
Avgol Industries 1953 Ltd.
Bank Hapoalim B.M.
Bank Leumi Le-Israel B.M.
Bank of Jerusalem Ltd.
Beit Haarchiv Ltd.
Bezeq, the Israel Telecommunication
C Mer Industries Ltd.
Café Café Israel Ltd.
Cellcom Israel Ltd.
Chish Nofei Israel Ltd.
Citadis Israel Ltd.
Darban Investments Ltd.
Delek Group Ltd.
Dor Alon Energy in Israel 1988 Ltd.
Egged, Israel Transportation Cooperative Society Ltd.
Energix Renewable Energies Ltd.
EPR Systems Ltd.
Expedia Group Inc.
Field Produce Ltd.
Field Produce Marketing Ltd.
First International Bank of Israel Ltd.
Galshan Shvakim Ltd.
General Mills Israel Ltd.
Hadiklaim Israel Date Growers Cooperative Ltd.
Hot Mobile Ltd.
Hot Telecommunications Systems Ltd.
Industrial Buildings Corporation Ltd.
Israel Discount Bank Ltd.
Israel Railways Corporation Ltd.
JC Bamford Excavators Ltd.
Jerusalem Economy Ltd.
Kavim Public Transportation Ltd.
Lipski Installation and Sanitation Ltd.
Matrix IT Ltd.
Mayer Davidov Garages Ltd.
Mekorot Water Company Ltd.
Mercantile Discount Bank Ltd.
Merkavim Transportation Technologies Ltd.
Mizrahi Tefahot Bank Ltd.
Modi’in Ezrachi Group Ltd.
Mordechai Aviv Taasiot Beniyah 1973 Ltd.
Motorola Solutions Israel Ltd.
Municipal Bank Ltd.
Naaman Group Ltd.
Nof Yam Security Ltd.
Ofertex Industries 1997 Ltd.
Bank Otsar Ha-Hayal Ltd.
Partner Communications Company Ltd.
Paz Oil Company Ltd.
Pelephone Communications Ltd.
Proffimat S.R. Ltd.
Rami Levy Chain Stores Hashikma Marketing 2006 Ltd.
Rami Levy Hashikma Marketing Communication Ltd.
Shalgal Food Ltd.
Shapir Engineering and Industry Ltd.
Sonol Israel Ltd.
Tahal Group International B.V.
Unikowsky Maoz Ltd.
Zakai Agricultural Know-how and inputs Ltd.
ZF Development and Construction
ZMH Hammermand Ltd.
Zriha Hlavin Industries Ltd.
Alon Blue Square Israel Ltd.
Altice Europe N.V.
Amnon Mesilot Ltd.
Ashtrom Group Ltd.
Booking Holdings Inc.
Brand Industries Ltd.
Delta Galil Industries Ltd.
eDreams ODIGEO S.A.
Export Investment Company Ltd.
General Mills Inc.
Hamat Group Ltd.
Indorama Ventures P.C.L.
Mayer’s Cars and Trucks Co. Ltd.
Motorola Solutions Inc.
Villar International Ltd.
How can Australians unite against the corporate and government forces that are failing to avert ecological catastrophe on Australia? We are an increasingly dispersed and disorganised colonial people, without a talking stick of our own.
The Chair, Mr Andrew Hastie MP, said ‘The Committee has received considerable evidence from submitters and witnesses regarding the media and their ability to operate effectively within Australia’s democratic society. All members are endeavouring to achieve a bipartisan report, which delivers tangible areas for reform and consideration. This will not be possible by the end of November.’
The Deputy Chair, Hon Anthony Byrne MP, said ‘As this inquiry has progressed, the complexity and nuances of the issues raised have become acutely emphasised to the Committee. The ability for the Committee to make targeted recommendations is reliant on time, and the Committee would rather report later to ensure that occurs.’
The Committee has written to the Attorney-General informing him of the later reporting requirement, with the undertaking to present a report in the week before Christmas at the latest.
Further information on the inquiry can be obtained from the Committee’s website.
See also Can do better's earlier article announcing this inquiry here.
Kristinn Hrafnsson - Editor in Chief of WikiLeaks
Suelette Dreyfus - technology researcher, journalist, and writer
Julian Burnside QC - part of Assange's legal team
Lizzie O'Shea - lawyer, writer, broadcaster
Recent raids on broadcasters, journalists and whistleblowers in Australia for precisely the kind of journalism that has cost Julian Assange a decade of his life, has prompted debate about the role of a free press in democracies such as Australia and of investigative journalists doing national security reporting. (Reservations required but event is free.)
What is happening to Journalism & Julian Assange?
ORDER TICKETS HERE
Wed 4 December, 6.30 pm
Victorian State Library - Village Roadshow Theatrette on La Trobe St
Victorian State Library, Village Roadshow Theatrette - enter at La Trobe St
Anti-war lyricist and singer, Roger Waters, who is identified world-wide with Pink Floyd, discusses Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s latest extradition hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court and why it makes him ashamed to be English. The British magistrate is acting like an American puppet, taking advice from the US barrister. He explains why he believes the UK and US are attempting to kill Julian, why the extradition case shouldn’t even be happening and is a mockery of British justice. He talks about the protest that Australian journalist, John Pilger, and he, led recently, before a crowd of a thousand people. No British mainstream media reported it. That is how they control the kind of information people need to know. He compared British head-in-the-sand behaviour with the mass protests in Chile against the neoliberal US-backed President Sebastián Piñera and how the military crackdown is reminiscent of the Pinochet era.
Documents tabled as the Committee proceedings were concluding countenanced a substantial reduction in the area of the Freeway Golf Course which is located near the Yarra River in North Balwyn. The president of the two clubs located at the course attacked the Committee process that left them unable to respond to the material.
That the Freeway Golf Course should be reduced in size sits nicely with the Victorian government's plan to substantially increase the lanes capacity of the Eastern Freeway, and to build a quite massive "spaghetti junction" to cater for the proposed North East Link. It is a threat always posed by major roads projects, which are inherently space inefficient relative to public transport. The Victorian government is not proposing any enhancement of public transport capacity in the corridor to be served by its proposed North East Link. If the North East Link were to be built it would, like all freeway projects that have preceded it, provide no more than temporary relief from current traffic congestion, and eat into a lot more green open space than the golf course in North Balwyn. The public transport services that do exist in the corridor can be truthfully described as no better than miserably inadequate.
The attached photograph is of the Eastern Freeway taken from the Yarra Bend Road bridge in Fairfield, about 10 days ago in the morning peak travel time. This is a delightful part of the world of extensive parkland except for the fact that it has a freeway bisecting it. If the Andrews government gets its way it will deteriorate markedly. The median strip, shown on the left of the photograph, was assigned to a rail service to Doncaster. The Andrews government now threatens to take it over for additional traffic lanes to cater for the North East Link. The photograph also shows four lanes of bumper to bumper traffic. A single train service can cater for about the same number of commuters as a freeway lane carries in an hour. You will also see that the left hand lane was unoccupied at this point. This is the T2 lane which is provided for vehicles with two or more occupants. Most vehicles driven in Melbourne have just one occupant, the driver.
In the last few days two quite significant things have happened. Melbourne City Council signed off on its new 10 year transport strategy, which proposes to remove on-street car parking in central Melbourne and to provide additional space for pedestrians, and active transport generally, as well as to facilitate public transport. The Grattan Institute has called for the introduction of a congestion tax for central Melbourne. These two initiatives demonstrate that central Melbourne is now full (of cars) and the situation is quite intolerable in social, environmental and economic terms.
The Andrews government is out of time. It is living in the 1960's, when the car was king. Things are different now, and the fight to defeat the North East Link, and for sustainable transport, is a necessary one for the present and the future.
If I could tell my father what has happened in the years
Since he departed suddenly, extinguishing his fears
If I could tell my sister, so earnest and concerned
Now lying in her grave near those both ignorant and learned
If I could tell my mother, who confidently expected
That the wealth of generations would not be snatched by those elected...
Would I tell them truthfully that bad guys came and plundered?
They wrecked our streets, our landscape, as with bulldozers they thundered
They ripped through trees, they crashed through walls
Erased our past, it didn't last.
A cry of grief and all lay waste to metronomes, the wrecking balls -
What would I tell them now as I regard the transformation
What happened right in front of me was like a dislocation
"The Shock doctrine" or "Future Shock" was dispensed in spades
To the victims it was judiciously spun and cleverly explained
But lives now taken up with merely trying to stay afloat,
Swallowed it, repeated it, with not an ounce of doubt
A strange and constant war goes on, yes even in the sand belt
Where we walk our dogs, hear the birds, admire the trees that they inhabit
Opportunistically it strikes near my house, yours or others,
No care at all, no sympathy, for the poor folk who it bothers
What would I say to those passed away and don't know it fell apart?
Would I break it gently to let them know? At least it would be a start.
What would they think if I told them how our wildlife struggles gamely
Would they accept that timber trucks remove our forests daily?
Clear fell the dell where creatures charming,
Big eyes, that shine, endearing and alarming
Lose their homes and are left to die if they didn't die at first
No leaves to eat, no place to sleep, they will succumb to thirst
Relentless, it accelerates, leaves us, breathless and in shock,
What new surprise will meet our eyes next time we're taking stock?
Determined it continues and advances without care,
We live in hope that by some vain chance, our own home it will spare.
But inexorably, the monster has a job to do.
It's going there, it's coming here, and it will get you too.
Clifford Hayes, MP., of Sustainable Australia Party, asked Mr Jennings MP (Leader of the Government) to investigate selling public spaces to local governments at a nominal amount, given that population growth is driving ongoing decline in open space per capita in Melbourne. Mr Jennings' 'nothing to see here' response smacks disingenuously of avoiding the obvious context of the government's massive population growth-engineering and overdevelopment, which is driving an accelerated reduction in space and all kinds of ammenities, as well as democracy.
Question without notice - Public Land Use (Wednesday 17 October 2019)
Mr HAYES (Southern Metropolitan) (12:11): My question without notice is to the minister representing the minister for finance. I refer to the report in the Age on 9 October by Noel Towell that the government intends to sell off more than 2600 hectares of publicly owned land from over 150 sites in Melbourne and country Victoria. Given the dramatic ongoing decline in open space per capita in Melbourne as a result of population growth of well over 100 000 per annum and the alarming decline in Melbourne’s vegetation cover, will the government investigate offering these parcels to local councils for a nominal amount subject to an enforceable condition that they are turned into, maintained and retained as public open space?
Mr JENNINGS (South Eastern Metropolitan—Leader of the Government, Special Minister of State, Minister for Priority Precincts, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs) (12:12): For the benefit of the house I will just indicate that the Assistant Treasurer is the minister who is responsible, and I will take the question. There is not a minister for finance in the current government, although the function that Mr Hayes has referred to has been the domain of the minister for finance in previous administrations. So with that clarification, in terms of the issues for which Mr Hayes seeks a response, I am certain that the Assistant Treasurer will provide you with a written response.
But as an immediate response, can I indicate to you that there is absolutely nothing that is unusual about the identification of parcels of land across Victoria that may be sometimes considered by the government of the day in relation to what its appropriate public value may be and what alternative use it may be put to. There is absolutely nothing that is unusual with that circumstance. In fact every government does it. They continue to do it on the basis of being aware of the public land estate—there are millions of hectares of public land estate across the Victorian landscape now and there will be into the future—and of identifying small parcels of land that may be able to be put to a multitude of purposes. Some of them may be appropriate in the circumstances that Mr Hayes refers to. Some of them may be appropriate for some form of housing development, some of them may be appropriate for some degree of civic development and some of them may be appropriate for commercial development. It is incumbent upon the state to use its resources wisely in balancing the public interest. It does so on a continual basis and will continue to do so to assess the appropriate way in which we can maximise the value of public land to benefit the Victorian community.
So Mr Hayes may appreciate that. He is certainly a very clear and consistent advocate for appropriate public land values, environmental values and sustainability, and the government should respect that. I believe we do respect that. I look forward to the answer that the Assistant Treasurer will give you to provide you with overall confidence in that. I am not certain whether he will agree to the specific elements of either the terms of transfer or the ultimate use of any parcel of land prematurely, because that should be considered within the appropriate balance of what greater public benefit should be derived and maintained for the people of Victoria, but the Assistant Treasurer may augment my response to you.
Mr HAYES: I have no supplementary question, but I thank the minister and look forward to a written answer.
Australia's construction industry is corrupt, but protected by government. This has left building consumers in a terrible situation. A current scandal is that they are being forced to pay billions for builders' mistakes in a situation where no building over 3 stories is insured. This video is of an interview with Nerrida Pohl about the dangers of inflammable cladding on skyscrapers, using her own building as an example. The location affords views of similar problems on surrounding skyscrapers in South Yarra. It also illustrates the irony of having one's view built out, even when one lives in a skyscraper, as massive population growth an deregulation accelerate infilling and raise heights. Nerrida was a speaker at the Victorian Building Action Group AGM this year.
VIDEO UNPUBLISHED: Unfortunately the person interviewed in this video has asked me to unpublish it pending her dealing with some pressure she has received in response. Because this was a very educational video, I am regretfully unpublishing it for the time being.
Melbourne lacks open green spaces. Unfinancial golf-courses should be returned to nature, to provide scarce habitat to our native animals and contact with nature for humans. These golf-courses often got by on the pretext that they would preserve open land, as a trade-off for more development. Melbourne is not just overdeveloped, it is overpopulated. Furthermore, our building industry is so incompetent that all its activities should be halted. Below you can read the nonsense being proposed by your government, as an excuse to give more land and free kicks to developers. It's a criminal economy that takes nature and destroys it just for more dollars for Australia's rich and greedy class. Submissions opened on 2 September 2019. Submissions can be made until 5.00pm on 30 September 2019. See example of a submission from Sheila Newman here: "Save 110 golf-courses for birds, not high-rises - Sociologist".
/Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
Golf is one of Australia’s most popular organised
recreational activities. The sport is experiencing big changes in demand.
Overall, traditional golf club membership is in decline and clubs are facing
changing leisure patterns and increasing operating costs. Some golf clubs have
been forced to merge or close. This trend has drawn developer interest in golf
Recognising that golf course land, especially within
Melbourne’s Urban Growth Boundary may be considered for rezoning, the Victorian
Government seeks to ensure new proposals for redevelopment are assessed
according to consistent criteria outlined in a planning decision-making
The Advisory Committee was appointed in August 2019 to
review and provide the Minister for Planning advice on draft Planning
Guidelines for Golf Course Redevelopment and advise on proposals for
redevelopment of golf course land within the Urban Growth Boundary of
The work and scope of the Advisory Committee is guided by
its Terms of Reference, which you can find in the Document Library on the
right-hand side of this page.
The Advisory Committee process will occur in two parts:
Part 1 - Review and provide advice on the draft Planning Guidelines for Golf Course Redevelopment, which includes a decision making framework that will be used to assess proposals for the future redevelopment of surplus golf course land primarily within metropolitan Melbourne and advise how the guidelines can be given effect in the Victorian Planning System.
Part 2 - Advise whether proposals that are referred to the Advisory Committee from the Minister for Planning (or delegate) for the rezoning of golf course land within the Urban Growth Boundary of metropolitan Melbourne, to facilitate redevelopment for urban purposes satisfy the planning guidelines and are consistent with state and local policy.
The Advisory Committee is currently in Part 1 of the process
and submissions on the draft Planning Guidelines for Golf Course Redevelopment
are open. You can find more information about the Advisory Committee process
below, including how to make a submission.
You are invited to make a submission to the Advisory Committee on the draft Planning Guidelines for Golf Course Redevelopment. Submissions may address any matter relevant to the draft Planning Guidelines, including whether the draft Guidelines are supported or objected to or any recommended changes.
Submissions are invited over a 20 business day period.
Make your Submission
Submissions opened on 2 September 2019. Submissions can be made until 5.00pm on 30 September 2019 using the form below.
Please contact Planning Panels Victoria on 8392 5120 if you would like to make a hard-copy submission or have issues with this form.
A public briefing will be held at 10.00am on Thursday 12 September 2019 at Planning Panels Victoria, located on the Ground Floor (just past the security desk) at 1 Spring Street, Melbourne in Hearing Room 1.
The purpose of the briefing will be for DELWP to present an overview of the background and work done on the planning for Golf Strategy and the draft Planning Guidelines for Golf Course Redevelopment.
At the close of exhibition, the Advisory Committee will consider the submissions received and may conduct workshops or forums with submitters to explore issues or other matters. Any workshops or forums held will be public and could be with all or groups of submitters.
If workshops or forums are held these will be informal and will likely take place in the week beginning the 21 October 2019.
The Advisory Committee will advise if any workshops or forums are held and the dates and locations of these, shortly after the close of exhibition.
The Advisory Committee is required to submit its report to the Minister for Planning as soon as practicable but no later than 40 business days from the collection of submissions or 20 business days from the completion of workshop or forums.
Please note that your submission will be treated in accordance with the Privacy Collection Statement (which can be accessed through Document Library) which will include placing your submission on this website, providing it to other parties (the Proponent (if applicable), each relevant council and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning) and displaying it in the workshops or forums. Submissions may also be provided to other submitters upon request. You should not include any other personal information in the body of your submission, such as addresses, email and phone details, unless that information can be made publicly available. You can request access to your personal information held by the Department by contacting the Freedom of Information Unit on (03) 9637 8186 or [email protected]
"Your program and so many on the ABC ignore the real prospect of widespread social, economic and environmental breakdown consequent on a human population having exceeded the long term carrying capacity of Nature. The ABC in its general coverage assumes a continuation of Business as Usual. Climate change, if present trends continue leads to a world 3 – 4 degrees warmer at century’s end. (David Attenborough in his recent TV program on climate change used the figures 3 - 6 degrees.) Together with declines in soil quality, water availability, food shortages and massive biodiversity loss these things have many scientists foreshadowing an imminent reduction in the global human population and a world in chaos."
Your program re infrastructure on [16 August 2019] yesterday's 'Breakfast' program did a great disservice to your audience. It perpetuated myths not supported by facts and failed to mention the real alternative context in which matters like this must be considered.
As a former medical epidemiologist I am very familiar with statistical analysis. Among OECD industrialised countries there is no statistically significant correlation between rates of population growth and per capita growth of GDP. Among poor countries there is a significant and strong negative correlation between population growth and growth of per capita GDP. It is therefore misleading to claim that population growth is causing increases in per capita GDP, i.e. making the average Australian materially better off. This myth serves the interests of those who do benefit from population growth.
GDP and per capita GDP are themselves misleading indicators of real benefit. The costs, yes costs, borne by people as a consequence of growth of population and expenditure on infrastructure are added to GDP. Travel times are reported to have increased by 23% with increases in fuel costs, car maintenance, insurance etc. These are real costs but are added to GDP. The costs of a growing economy have exceeded the benefits for many years for ordinary people explaining why it is that so many feel worse off even while governments and programs like yours keep telling people they have never had it so good.
Your program and so many on the ABC ignore the real prospect of widespread social, economic and environmental breakdown consequent on a human population having exceeded the long term carrying capacity of Nature. The ABC in its general coverage assumes a continuation of Business as Usual. Climate change, if present trends continue leads to a world 3 – 4 degrees warmer at century’s end. (David Attenborough in his recent TV program on climate change used the figures 3 - 6 degrees.) Together with declines in soil quality, water availability, food shortages and massive biodiversity loss these things have many scientists foreshadowing an imminent reduction in the global human population and a world in chaos. Despite this evident danger every government in Australia and most around the world continue to make decisions based on an assumption of business as usual, that they can go on driving both population and economic growth, the two primary causes of our worsening situation. How do you reconcile that prospect with a continuation of unquestioned population growth in Australia. Climate change is likely to impact Australia's ability to grow food quite severely. We may have difficulty even feeding the present population let alone a much larger one before century's end.
Australia's ecological footprint has varied between 4 and 5.6 Earths over the last decade. Do you really think it morally right for us to go on increasing the total size of our demand on Nature by seeking both to increase our population and our per capita demand (growing GDP as our main goal)? I invite you to do the sums which show that we could achieve more human welfare by massively increasing our foreign aid and addressing that aid primarily toward education for girls, family planning and contraception than spend that some money on more infrastructure in Australia for the purpose of accommodating a much larger population.
Here is a much saner voice on the issue of infrastructure from a fellow journalist, Crispin Hull.
"Not only is Geelong now effectively subsumed into the greater growth orbit of the Melbourne conurbation, but there are surprise population surges in some of the state’s remoter provincial cities and communities. I am so excited about this.” (Bernard Salt, "Victoria reimagined from basket case beginnings," The Australian 8 August 2019.)
In a News Limited piece whose title fails to take into account the original careful planning by Robert Hoddle for natural open space and avenues rather than choked alleys for Melbourne, Bernard Salt somewhat maniacally promotes the Federal and Victorian State Government's planned immigration innundation on disenfranchised Victorians.
“The previous set of state projections released in 2016 had Victoria rising to 7.7 million by 2031 whereas the latest iteration has upped this outlook to 8.1 million. That’s another 400,000 Victorians and another 200,000 houses or apartments that must be delivered during the 2020s. That’s important if you’re in the property game.”
Salt lists 15 local government areas with the biggest absolute increase in their 2021 populations according to the 2016 to 2019 projections, and says,
“This is important for big property players. It shows a significant shift in the demand for housing.”
Here’s the line I’d run: “Minister, we need to rezone more land to accommodate the population projections released by your own department.”
“The 2031 outlook for ¬Monash has been upped by 19,000 while for Whitehorse the upward revision is 14,000. More units, I would imagine. And maybe even a touch of high rise or perhaps a more vigorous application of the principles of suburban densification.”
The article also dooms Melton, Whittlesea and Hume to severe growth and Salt predicts that the ‘urban growth boundary’ will need to be pushed out: .
“I can only imagine that all this net additional growth is taking Melbourne’s footprint closer to the edge of the urban growth boundary.
He asks himself:
“I wonder if the really big property players are thinking about where this boundary might next be “adjusted” to accommodate a city not of the five million we have today, but of the eight million projected by mid-century?”
Of course Bernard Salt with KPMG has been a major driver and promoter of such population growth, frequently seen at the various confabs of the ‘big property players’, so this wondering seems very rhetorical.
He discloses the nature of population growth as a ‘burden’. Indeed, it is costing all of us more than money, although the “big property players” probably consider themselves adequately compensated and possibly above suffering from the destruction of community networks, natural spaces and freedom.
“I do think it’s important that the population burden being added to Victoria needs to be fairly distributed, with the inner city taking a higher proportion. It’s a bit like the progressive tax system where the rich pay a higher tax rate. In demographic planning, greater growth should be attached to localities culturally aligned to higher density, and that offer access to jobs and public transport.”
He describes the metastasies of the ghastly tumour that Melbourne is becoming with a pathogist’s delight:
“It’s in rural Victoria where the demographers have done their most riveting work. Yes, riveting. Not only is Geelong now effectively subsumed into the greater growth orbit of the Melbourne conurbation, but there are surprise population surges in some of the state’s remoter provincial cities and communities. I am so excited about this.”
Excited at the loss of control by residents of their city and citizens of their democracy? Excited at the rising costs of living, at water shortages, at pollution, at wildlife extinction?
I think that growthism is an addiction with consequences that cause enormous harm. Like war, which some also consider exciting, it needs to be recognized for the all consuming ill that it is, for the vast majority, with only a tiny few reaping the questionable benefits of cash and power over their increasingly beggared fellows.
Article by Sheila Newman, Demographer and Evolutionary Sociologist.
Here is further explantion of the huge significance of the judgement handed down against the US Democrats' attempt to charge Julian Assange with espionage and somehow prosecute a non-US citizen as if they were a US citizen. That successive Australian governments have allowed the US and the UK to go after Assange in absolute refusal of Assange's human rights is damning of our political class.
In a ruling published late Tuesday, Judge John Koeltl of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York delivered a devastating blow to the US-led conspiracy against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. In his ruling, Judge Koeltl, a Bill Clinton nominee and former assistant special prosecutor for the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, dismissed “with prejudice” a civil lawsuit filed in April 2018 by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) alleging WikiLeaks was civilly liable for conspiring with the Russian government to steal DNC emails and data and leak them to the public. Jennifer Robinson, a leading lawyer for Assange, and other WikiLeaks attorneys welcomed the ruling as “an important win for free speech.” Article by Eric London, first published on 31 July 2019 at https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/07/31/assa-j31.html. Illustrations by candobetter eds
Judge dismisses lawsuit
The decision exposes the Democratic Party in a conspiracy of its own to attack free speech and cover up the crimes of US imperialism and the corrupt activities of the two parties of Wall Street. Judge Koeltl stated:
If WikiLeaks could be held liable for publishing documents concerning the DNC’s political financial and voter-engagement strategies simply because the DNC labels them ‘secret’ and trade secrets, then so could any newspaper or other media outlet. But that would impermissibly elevate a purely private privacy interest to override the First Amendment interest in the publication of matters of the highest public concern. The DNC’s published internal communications allowed the American electorate to look behind the curtain of one of the two major political parties in the United States during a presidential election. This type of information is plainly of the type entitled to the strongest protection that the First Amendment offers.
The ruling exposes the illegality of the conspiracy by the US government, backed by the governments of Britain, Ecuador, Australia and Sweden and the entire corporate media and political establishment, to extradite Assange to the US, where he faces 175 years in federal prison on charges including espionage.
The plaintiff in the civil case—the Democratic Party—has also served as Assange’s chief prosecutor within the state apparatus for over a decade. During the Obama administration, Democratic Party Justice Department officials, as well as career Democratic holdovers under the Trump administration, prepared the criminal case against him.
The dismissal of the civil suit exposes massive unreported conflicts of interest and prosecutorial misconduct and criminal abuse of process by those involved. The criminal prosecution of Assange has nothing to do with facts and is instead aimed at punishing him for telling the truth about the war crimes committed by US imperialism and its allies.
The judge labeled WikiLeaks an “international news organization” and said Assange is a “publisher,” exposing the liars in the corporate press who declare that Assange is not subject to free speech protections. Judge Koeltl continued: “In New York Times Co. v. United States, the landmark ‘Pentagon Papers’ case, the Supreme Court upheld the press’s right to publish information of public concern obtained from documents stolen by a third party.”
As a legal matter, by granting WikiLeaks’ motion to dismiss, the court ruled that the DNC had not put forward a “factually plausible” claim. At the motion to dismiss stage, a judge is required to accept all the facts alleged by the plaintiff as true. Here, the judge ruled that even if all the facts alleged by the DNC were true, no fact-finder could “draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Going a step further, the judge called the DNC’s arguments “threadbare,” adding: “At no point does the DNC allege any facts” showing that Assange or WikiLeaks “participated in the theft of the DNC’s information.”
Judge Koeltl said the DNC’s argument that Assange and WikiLeaks “conspired with the Russian Federation to steal and disseminate the DNC’s materials” is “entirely divorced from the facts.” The judge further ruled that the court “is not required to accept conclusory allegations asserted as facts.”
The judge further dismantled the DNC’s argument that WikiLeaks is guilty-by-association with Russia, calling the alleged connection between Assange and the Russian government “irrelevant,” because “a person is entitled to publish stolen documents that the publisher requested from a source so long as the publisher did not participate in the theft.”
Judge Koeltl also rejected the DNC’s claim “that WikiLeaks can be held liable for the theft as an after-the-fact coconspirator of the stolen documents.” Calling this argument “unpersuasive,” the judge wrote that it would “eviscerate” constitutional protections: “Such a rule would render any journalist who publishes an article based on stolen information a coconspirator in the theft.”
In its April 2018 complaint, the DNC put forward a series of claims that have now been exposed as brazen lies, including that Assange, Trump and Russia “undermined and distorted the DNC’s ability to communicate the party’s values and visions to the American electorate.”
The complaint also alleged: “Russian intelligence services then disseminated the stolen, confidential materials through GRU Operative #1, as well as WikiLeaks and Assange, who were actively supported by the Trump Campaign and Trump Associates as they released and disclosed the information to the American public at a time and in a manner that served their common goals.”
At the time the DNC filed its complaint, the New York Times wrote that the document relies on “publicly-known facts” as well as “information that has been disclosed in news reports and subsequent court proceedings.” The lawsuit “comes amid a swirl of intensifying scrutiny of Mr. Trump, his associates and their interactions with Russia,” the Times wrote.
It is deeply ironic that Judge Koeltl cited the Pentagon Papers case, New York Times Co. v. United States, in his ruling.
The DNC’s baseless complaint cited the New York Times eight times as “proof” of Assange and WikiLeaks’ ties to Russia, including articles by Times reporters Andrew Kramer, Michael Gordon, Niraj Chokshi, Sharon LaFraniere, K.K. Rebecca Lai, Eric Lichtblau, Noah Weiland, Alicia Parlapiano and Ashley Parker, as well as a July 26, 2016 article by Charlie Savage titled “Assange, avowed foe of Clinton, timed email release for Democratic Convention.”
The first of these articles was published just weeks after the New York Times hired James Bennet as its editorial page editor in March 2016. James Bennet’s brother, Michael Bennet, is a presidential candidate, a senator from Colorado and former chair of the DNC’s Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. In 2018, Bennet signed a letter to Vice President Mike Pence noting he was “extremely concerned” that Ecuador had not canceled asylum for Assange, who was then trapped in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
“It is imperative,” the letter read, “that you raise US concerns with [Ecuadorian] President [Lenin] Moreno about Ecuador’s continued support for Mr. Assange at a time when WikiLeaks continues its efforts to undermine democratic processes globally.”
In April 2019, after the Trump administration announced charges against Assange, the New York Times editorial board, under James Bennet’s direction, wrote: “The administration has begun well by charging Mr. Assange with an indisputable crime.” Two weeks later, Michael Bennet announced his presidential run and has since enjoyed favorable coverage in the Times editorial page.
Additionally, the father of James and Michael Bennet, Douglas Bennet, headed the CIA-linked United States Agency for International Development in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
On Wednesday, the Times published a brief, six-paragraph article on page 25 under the headline, “DNC lawsuit against election is dismissed.” In its online edition, the Times prominently featured a link to its special page for the Mueller Report, which is based on the same DNC-instigated threadbare lies that Judge Koeltl kicked out of federal court
The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) has commenced an inquiry into the impact of the exercise of law enforcement and intelligence powers on the freedom of the press. The inquiry was referred by the Attorney-General, The Hon Christian Porter MP, on 4 July 2019, for the PJCIS to inquire into the Terms of Reference. (Details inside.) This is a reaction to public and press reaction over the raid by the Australian federal police of the home of News Corp Australia journalist Annika Smethurst, to find out how she had come by a leaked plan to allow government spying on Australians. A warrant from an ACT magistrate gave police authority to search the home, computer and mobile phone of the journalist. News Corp Australia called this a "dangerous act of intimidation targeted at public interest reporting." Smethurst had authored an article about heads of defence and home affairs ministries in Australia having talked about "draconian new powers to allow the Australian Signals Directorate to spy on Australian citizens for the first time. Under the mooted plan, spies would be allowed to secretly access emails, bank accounts and text messages with approval from the defence and home affairs ministers." See inside for how you can contribute - by 26 July 2019. Consider how Australian governments have failed to protect Julian Assange in the name of a perceived right to conceal war crimes.
The Committee has been requested to report back to both Houses of Parliament by 17 October 2019.
The Chair, Mr Andrew Hastie MP, said ‘the government has referred this inquiry based on concerns raised in relation to recent search warrants executed on members of the press, and the issue of balancing national security with the freedom of the press’.
‘This inquiry will allow the Committee to hear from the media, government agencies and other interested stakeholders as to the direct impact of these powers on civil society and their importance to both national security and the public interest. We will consider these issues closely and carefully.’
The Committee invites written submissions to this inquiry, to be received by Friday, 26 July 2019.
Further information on the inquiry can be obtained from the Committee’s website.
Committee Secretariat, Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security
(02) 6277 2360 [email protected]
For more information about this Committee, you can visit its website. On the site, you can make a submission to an inquiry, read other submissions, and get details for upcoming public hearings. You can also track the Committee and receive email updates by clicking on the blue ‘Track Committee’ button in the bottom right hand corner of the page.
Terms of Reference
The Committee is to inquire and report back to both Houses of Parliament on the following matters:
a) The experiences of journalists and media organisations that have, or could become, subject to the powers of law enforcement or intelligence agencies performing their functions, and the impact of the exercise of those powers on journalists' work, including informing the public.
b) The reasons for which journalists and media organisations have, or could become, subject to those powers in the performance of the functions of law enforcement or intelligence agencies.
c) Whether any and if so, what changes could be made to procedures and thresholds for the exercise of those powers in relation to journalists and media organisations to better balance the need for press freedom with the need for law enforcement and intelligence agencies to investigate serious offending and obtain intelligence on security threats.
d) Without limiting the other matters that the Committee may consider, two issues for specific inquiry are:
whether and in what circumstances there could be contested hearings in relation to warrants authorising investigative action in relation to journalists and media organisations.
the appropriateness of current thresholds for law enforcement and intelligence agencies to access electronic data on devices used by journalists and media organisations.
The Committee is to report back to both Houses of Parliament by 17 October 2019.
An https://science.sciencemag.org/content/364/6443/881international study has revealed extensive removal of legal protection for conservation reserves, at a time when the preservation of these areas is more important than ever to biodiversity. The study, published today in Science, involving a global consortium of researchers led by Conservation International, documents how governments from 73 countries, including Australia, have removed more than 500,000 km2 from protected areas and downgraded protection for an additional 1.65 million km2 to allow greater human impacts.
The research examined losses occurring over a 125 year period. Alarmingly, more than three quarters of these losses occurred since 2000.
Dr Carly Cook, an ARC DECRA Fellow at Monash University’s School of Biological Sciences, led the assessment of changes to Australian protected areas.
She identified more than 1,500 changes, resulting in the removal of 13,000 km2 from conservation areas and undermining protection for an additional 400,000 km2.
“The losses we see in Australia reflect a shift towards the commercialisation and exploitation of conservation areas for human uses,” Dr Cook said.
“We’ve seen governments across the country open up protected areas to commercial developments, such as hotels and marinas, and introduce a string of changes to permit forestry, livestock grazing, hunting and fishing.”
“People think protected areas offer permanent protection for biodiversity, but this isn’t the case.
“The future for protected areas is increasingly uncertain at a time when natural systems face greater threats than ever.”
With an estimated 1 million species now at risk of extinction, what is the future for protected areas? The study shows that no conservation areas are immune to losses, with protection removed from important biodiversity hotspots, such as the Amazon Basin, and iconic areas, such as Yosemite National Park in the US.
Removing protected areas, or allowing activities that are not compatible with biodiversity conservation, will negatively impact the species these areas were designed to protect. Losing protection increases habitat loss and means natural areas become smaller and more fragmented.
The authors are calling for greater transparency to fully understand the scale of the problem and the impacts on biodiversity.
“A single change in legislation can have an alarming impacts,” said Dr Cook.
“For example, a legislative amendment to allow commercial development in NSW impacted 600 national parks and nature reserves.”
The study authors call for international conventions to establish systems to monitor and report on the loss of conservation areas that match current systems for tracking their establishment.
In the absence of systematic monitoring and reporting, studies such as this are critical for increasing awareness of the ways in which protected areas are being undermined.
See inside a videoed discussion on the question of Did the French police use excessive force against the Yellow Vests? Criminologist, Xavier Raufer, one of the guests, describes a situation where the French government allows the same violent saboteurs, known to the police, to continually attend Yellow Vest demonstrations and cause havoc. The police response has caused injuries, maimings and deaths, mostly through the use of rubber bullets. President Macron has been criticised by Human Rights organisations and the United Nations, but he persists in allowing career sociopaths to break shop windows and assault people, using this as an excuse for his own extreme violence. The discussion was on the amazing Frédéric Taddeï's show, Interdit d'interdire [Forbidden to forbid] on RT France.
Jérôme Rodrigues, a Yellow Vest, who lost an eye to one of those rubber bullets, also in the discussion, talked about "15,000 rubber bullets. More than in the last five years. It's pretty enormous." He described the unpleasant faces Macron makes when he is criticised for shooting at his own people, whilst he fancies himself encouraging democracy in lesser countries.
Did the [French] police use excessive force [against the Yellow Vests]?
XAVIER RAUFER, Criminologist : [Translation from French]: "You have asked quite a serious question. Everyone knows that there are violent elements. In sum, 300 young men from the extreme left, called the “Black Block” and about 50 extreme right nationalists. Although measures to stop them could easily have been taken – because they are the violent elements – that is, if ever these individuals were withdrawn from the demonstrations, 90% of the violence would disappear. But never, at any moment, in any of these demonstrations, has anything been done to stop them, as the law permits, to arrest them in their homes, before the demonstrations.
You know, once I spoke to some of the upper management police in Paris. They have the entire list of every Black Block. They know who they are. They come from rotten suburbs full of drug addicts and police informers. Furthermore, the police don’t only know who the French ones are. There is a European police network, and when wide boys come from the Holland Black Block or the German Black Block, a list of their vehicules, with the registration numbers, and the road they are travelling on, are communicated. As for the extreme right nationalists, [at the time of] one of the most violent of all the demonstrations in December, those people gathered in front of their meeting place – the conspirators – in front of their meeting place. From there video-cameras followed them, without interruption, right to Place de l’Etoile [Paris square], where they were able to begin their violence. No-one stopped them. They were followed minute by minute via the police’s urban video cameras. Why were they allowed to go ahead?" 
People may have wondered why I have had almost nothing to say on candobetter about the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) when I have otherwise often commented on and translated French political material. It is not because I am not interested in what is happening; it is because I am too interested. As some people know, I specialise in comparing French and British land-tenure and inheritance systems and the effect they have on political organisation. I was not surprised that France was able to produce a movement like the Yellow Vests (which has many activities besides public demonstrations), when no other European or Anglosphere country has been able to.
For the last two years I have been working on a book about why the French were able to sustain a democratic republican revolution (1789-1871) but the British could not. I began it in 2007, but it was interrupted by dramatic life events, and I am not sure when I will finish it - but I am working hard on it. To my mind, France is probably the only country where ordinary people are still able to self-organise a response to economic liberalism, mass immigration, and constant overseas warring. That is because their land-tenure and planning system means that they are still viscously organised in families and clans in place - at least outside Paris. President Sarkozy made some of the first changes to inheritance law that would break this organic system down. Macron is using a sledge hammer.
The British (Irish, Welsh, Scottish and English) made many attempts to revolt against the system at the time of the French Revolution, but they were so disorganised and divided by constant population movement, that it was easy for the viscous elites to corrupt them with paid spies. This is the system that Australia, Canada and the United States imported.
 Original French, transcribed by Sheila Newman: La Police fait-elle un usage excessif de la force? XAVIER RAUFER, Criminologist : Vous posez une question qui est tout de même grave. Tout le monde sait qui sont les éléments violents. En gros, 300 garçons issue de l'extrême gauche, qu’on appelle les 'Black Blocs', et une cinquantaine issue de l'extrême droite identitaire. A aucun moment, les mesures qu'on pouvait aisément prendre - c'est eux les éléments violents - c'est à dire que si jamais ces individus sont retirés de l'ensemble des manifestations, 90% des violences disparaissent. Et jamais, a aucun moment, dans aucune des manifestations, rien n'a été entreprit, comme la loi de permettait, pour les arrêter le matin chez eux, avant les manifestations. Vous savez, une fois j'ai parlé à des grands patrons de la direction de renseignements de la préfecture de police de Paris. Ils ont la liste intégrale de tous les Black Blocs. Ils savent qui c'est. Ce sont des milieux qui sont pourris de toxicomanes, d'indicateurs de police. Et, non seulement, ils connaissent les français, mais l'Europe de la police existe, et quand des gaillards arrivent d'Hollande ou arrivent d'Allemagne Black Blocs, la liste des véhicules, avec les numéros des véhicules, l'autoroute par laquelle ils vont arriver, est communique. Quant à l'extrême droite identitaire, un des manifestations les plus violentes du mois de décembre, ces gens-là se sont réunis devant leur locale, - les conspirateurs - devant leur locale. De là les cameras les ont suivi, sans discontinuer, jusqu'à la place de l’Etoile, ou ils ont pu commencer à casser. Personne ne les a interrompus. Ils étaient suivis de minute en minute par les cameras urbaines a la préfecture de police. Pourquoi laisse-t-on faire?
 Black Block or Black Bloc refers to violent people who wear black and disguise themselves with scarves etc in political demonstrations.
It is important to hear policies from key MPs before the election. Thanks to Prof Michael Buxton, we have a large lecture hall in Swanston Street, on the west side, called RMIT Building 80, and we have room 7 on the ground floor. Take note - it is 3 weeks today - lets fill the hall. (Mary Drost, Planning Backlash).
State Election Forum
Several Ministers and Shadow Ministers have been invited to present their key policies. You can ask questions about what is important to you
SUNDAY, 28 OCTOBER 2018
IF YOU ARE LOOKING for discord between policies that the major parties offer and what most people actually want, it is hard to beat population policy.
Okay, okay, the major parties don’t actually have population policies, they have immigration policies that, as the Productivity Commission says in its 2016 Migrant intake into Australia report, work as de facto population policies.
But let’s start with what most people actually want.
At the very least these surveys show a clear voter dissatisfaction with our high population trajectory as our major cities become crush-loaded.
Do we have “high” population growth?
The Australian Bureau of Statistics releases a quarterly report that summarises our population numbers.
As you can see, Australia is increasing its population by almost 400,000 a year — natural increase is about 38% of that and net overseas migration is about 62%.
The increase is 1.6% per year. To the non-statistician, that might not sound like much, but it means we would double our population every 44 years at that rate of increase. We are now at 25 million, so that would be 50 million in 2062.
That led to prime minister Kevin Rudd’s baptism of fire when, like a boy scout enthusiastically collecting kindling at his first jamboree, he chortled his enthusiasm for a “big Australia”.
Yes, we could all get nice and cozy around Kev’s big bonfire and toast some marshmallows!
But the public backlash was fierce, with Julia Gillard eventually distinguishing herself from Rudd with the empty phrase “sustainable Australia” rather than big Australia.
Back to reality, comparable countries to Australia have much lower population increases. Japan even has a decrease.
The Federal Government largely determines our population numbers, both through spruiking pronatalism, as former treasurer Peter Costello did in 2004, or through adjusting net overseas migration, with former Prime Minister John Howard turbo-charging it in about 2006.
(Do not confuse our refugee intake with our overall migrant intake — the former tends to be between 3 and 5% of the latter.)
Such high-population increases, mostly through net migration, then allowed successive governments to smugly say the Australian economy was the envy of the world, with a record-breaking run of “economic growth”.
Translation: GDP keeps increasing because you keep adding lots of new people.
Growth sounds good, doesn’t it? It is the opposite of death, decay or stagnation. But growth can also be a cancer, or a “population Ponzi scheme”.
As I have argued elsewhere, there is good evidence that Australia has gone from economic growth up to the decade of the 1970s to uneconomic growth as the costs of expanding the economy become greater than the benefits.
Expanding the economy wouldn’t be so bad if it led to full employment in good jobs and equitable wealth distribution, with reasonable commute times in efficient public transport, but I could sell you a nice big harbour bridge if you believe we are heading in that direction.
Space does not permit an analysis here, other than to say that governments generally ignore those reports that tend to highlight a lack of objective or scientific justification for ever-increasing high population increase in a country with Australia’s limited water resources; limited arable land, unpredictable climate, exposure to natural disasters and sensitive biota with record extinction rates.
Indeed, the Australian Academy of Science has been concerned about our population numbers for decades, although you will rarely, if ever, hear population boosters mention this.
‘The Academy has consistently advocated that a large increase in Australia's population should not take place without a full analysis of the consequences for the environment, in terms of land, water, sustainable agriculture, pressure on native flora and fauna and social issues.’
People advocating business as usual – or even higher rates of population increase – almost never mention the natural environment, probably because they know next-to-nothing about it and its life-support systems.
On the other hand, people who express concern about our population trajectory often have scientific or environmental credentials, or are at least environmentally literate: contributors to the regular Fenner Conference for the Environment are good examples.
No, it is largely the business community, its think tanks and its big accounting firms that push for a big Australia, with the mainstream media being largely complicit in not challenging base assumptions that the growth agenda is built on.
What would be an ecologically sustainable population for Australia?
What would be an optimal population for Australia?
Does expanding the size of the economy always lead to increased well-being?
Who are the winners and losers from the current Neoliberal growth strategy?
What are the costs and benefits of increasing our population and what weight should we give to these costs and benefits?
Why do many successful societies have relatively small populations?
What can Australia realistically do to help an overpopulated planet that is still expanding by 80 million people a year?
The population boosters trot out questionable arguments about the dire consequences of an increase in the proportion of older Australians; alleged skills gaps in the native workforce and fatuous ideas to do with “dynamism”.
What sticks in my craw is the seeming capitulation of both the once-great environmental movement in Australia and the progressive left in general, to the notion of demographic inevitability and Neoliberal orthodoxy.
In fact, we have a choice, if only we would exercise it.
YaleGlobal announces: "Prepare for the 21st Century Exodus of Migrants ... Cross-border immigration accounts for much of the population growth in developed countries with low fertility rates. Such immigration has also become an election issue around the globe." Unfortunately open borders are being promoted in order to maintain constant population growth; the 'developed world' ideas managers are not really trying to avert this disaster. "If those taking steps necessary to migrate were to immigrate to desired destinations, the result would expand UN-projected annual numbers for major migrant-receiving Western countries by more than tenfold," writes Joseph Chamie, (this Yale article). That would mean immigration at about 2.5m every year in Australia, or about 10% of Australia's current population. This would have Australia's population initially doubling in 10 years, but of course it would then grow faster and faster, due to compounding natural increase and an increasing population base! 75% of Australia is rangelands and arid desert, similar to North Africa. Australia's politically engineered immigration-fed population growth rate is already overwhelming its infrastructure. The increased demand means money for developers, but increased prices for most people. Reading Chamie's article makes me again wonder whether modern economics has actually confused people with dollars.
Joseph Chamie first launched these ideas via the UN in 2000, “Replacement Migration: Is it a Solution to declining and Ageing Populations,” 6 January, 2000 and for the final report, released on 22 March 2000. At the time it was received with laughter from demographers in Europe, but taken seriously by absurdist economists in the Anglosphere. The absurd is now becoming reality, constantly promoted in the corporate press. The process promoted is more dangerous than Hitler, because demographic inertia has a life of its own and engineering population age-cohorts to balloon is nuts.
The idea is to constantly increase world population numbers in guise of maintaining youth cohorts at the same unusual proportional levels as they were at the time of the 'Baby-boomers' and cheap oil. This plan would lead to grotesque distortions in demand and individual survival that business people, naive about the numbers, imagine would keep them rich. Indeed, a small number of elites and corporates who control resources, would become even richer than today - for a short time - but at these rates of growth, the world's capacity to feed itself and remove waste would collapse - very quickly.
As French Demographer Henri Leridon wrote in 2000  about Chamie's "Replacement Migration solution", the numbers would be “frankly extravagant”. They would involve 12.7 million immigrants per annum in Europe, amounting to a total of 700 million from 2000 to 2050, “for an initial population of 372 million inhabitants; 1.7 million per annum in France, that is to say, 94 million in 55 years – one and a half times the initial population...”. He added, “As for poor South Korea, which is included in these projections for reasons that remain a mystery, South Korea would have to take in more than five billion immigrants over the period, and the population density there would exceed 62,000 inhabitants per square kilometer in 2050.”
It is never clear to me whether Chamie is advocating this horror-scenario or trying to warn the world. Either way, he is failing, because most people simply have no idea of the numbers and those who suspect the numbers, cannot believe that their 'leaders' would do this to them. As an evolutionary sociologist who writes about human and other species population dynamics (Demography Territory Law: The Rules of animal and human populations), I find it remarkable that the economists and demographers most seen and heard in the mainstream media, think that disproportionate youth cohorts are a good thing. They seem to be operating as if the laws of nature had been entirely suspended by the laws of finance. If anyone wants to read more about Henri Leridon's analysis in English I have republished parts of his texts most recently in an article called, "The plan to flood Europe with migrants - UN 2000 report," at https://www.candobetter.net/node/5579.
With regard to the population growth in the 'developing world', the replacement of traditional economies with cities is the cause of overpopulation and this has been made possible by modern transport. It has brought greatly increased fertility opportunities to peoples and tribes that were previously limited by endogamous restraint in viscous populations. Everyone and every creature once lived in viscous populations. Immigration factors has been magnified by new transport technologies, all over the world. We need to preserve and promote viscosity everywhere we can, not more and more cities and population movement. If turbo-charged capitalism had not got control of world ideation, this might be possible.
Henri Leridon, “Vieillissement démographique et migrations: quand les Nations unies veulent remplir le tonneau des Danaïdes...”, Population & Sociétés, No. 358, Juin 2000.