Labor and Liberal MPs voted to quash a Motion by Clifford Hayes to clean up political donations in Victoria, proving their dependency on the flimsy and corrupt status quo. The Motion was defeated in the Legislative Council in May.
Sustainable Australia MP Clifford Hayes commented,
“Once again, the major parties have shown their true colours and proven they are totally dependent on Victoria’s flimsy and corrupt political donation regime.”
The following is an excerpt from the Guardian, 14/03/2022, pertaining to Premier Daniel Andrews. Andrews also suggested the “great Australian dream” of owning a home was less important to younger generations, especially given the increasing cost of property – the median price of a home in Melbourne is now $1.1m.
It is extremely frustrating and disappointing that the Government has used its numbers on the Committee to suppress this crucial inquiry into Victoria’s planning system and conveniently palm off embarrassing hearings until after the state election. It is obvious that this Government doesn’t want any verbal evidence, which would be heard by the press, presented to the inquiry in an election year because the evidence given will be a dire indictment on their leadership.
Question on notice and response: posed by Clifford Hayes (Sustainable Australia Party) to Richard Wynn, Minister for Planning, about proposed Connex Capital high-rise towers above the train lines between Flinders Street Station and Richmond Station:
The Planning and Heritage Inquiry submissions are up and running and we are hoping you will be able to add something to this, and/or share with other residents. Submissions are due by 31 Jan 22. Anyone who wants to contribute to the adequacy on the Planning and Environment Act 1987 and the Victorian planning framework in relation to planning and heritage protection is welcome to make a contribution. Areas covered include population policy, state and local; housing costs, vegetation protection, height limits, Green Wedges, concerns about VCAT, protecting heritage.
From Clifford Hayes: "Next week in Parliament I am introducing a Bill to amend the Planning and Environment Act of 1987 to give this Act some environmental legitimacy. As it stands, it would be more fitting to call it the Planning and Development Act. That's why I'm fighting for change to ensure that the environment is given a high priority in all planning decisions. It aims to enhance to Act by strengthening the objectives to protect the environment.
For many years, the environmental component of the Planning and Environment Act has been mostly disregarded and ignored. I am contacted daily by residents and community groups who are concerned about the destruction of the environment by relentless concrete pouring and tree removal planning approvals—planning approvals that are failing the environment, destroying tree canopy, and contributing to global warming. We are seeing the destruction of native grasslands, reduction of green wedges, decreasing wildlife corridors and an escalating urban heat island effect. There are more than 700 species facing extinction in Victoria.
My Bill would do the following:
Amends the Act to include the protection of the environment and native species as an objective in the Act
Introduces a requirement for an Environmental Impact Statement to be completed on all planning applications, strengthening the requirements on decision-makers to focus on the environment. The EIS would be lodged with the responsible authority—be it local council or in some cases even government departments.
The proposed EIS would encompass information on the project, including its environmental impacts and mitigation measures, and would be used to inform decisions made by the planning authority and responsible authority.
The application containing the plans and the EIS will be advertised and open for objections and submissions as in the normal application process. It will require the responsible decision-maker to address the environmental impact in the decision-making process and respond to the application either favourably or unfavourably.
Note: where a planning permit is not required or there are no environmental effects, this can simply be stated, reducing red tape for small-scale and no impact projects.
For those of you wanting more detail, I have attached the Explanatory Memorandum and copy of the Bill. Please feel free to contact my office if you have any queries.
Please feel free to contact your local Legislative Council MP’s to let them know you support this Bill. I would appreciate any support on this.
The Bill is to be debated on Wednesday 27 October."
The Victorian Government’s master planning document, Plan Melbourne— which drives high density development throughout our suburbs—assumes continuing rapid population growth over the next decade. The coronavirus pandemic, and the Federal response to it, means this assumption has been overtaken by events, and that Plan Melbourne is out of date. The Morrison Government expects a fall of up to 300,000 people moving to Australia over the next 2 years. The Federal Government expects net overseas migration to fall by 30% in the current financial year, and to crash by 85% in 2020-21 to around 40,000.
Some of the drivers of this fall are outside Australia’s control, such as lockdowns in other countries and a collapse in international air travel. However the Federal Labor Opposition has also signalled a reduction in migration, calling for Australia’s immigration to be overhauled and curtailed in the wake of the pandemic. Opposition
spokesperson, Senator Keneally, has written,
“Do we want migrants to return to Australia in the same numbers and in the same composition as before the crisis? The answer is no”.
Against this background, the Victorian Government needs to quickly reassess Plan Melbourne—which makes high rise and high density housing a planning priority at the cost of any other considerations. Otherwise we risk being caught living in the past. It is likely that businesses that have developed a dependence on rapid population growth will struggle, and the Victorian Government needs to plan for this.
It would also be wrong for the Government to continue to impose rules enforcing denser populations on communities that don’t want them. Plan Melbourne has been a vehicle for Councils to be told they have to accommodate “their share” of Melbourne’s population growth. The Government should revisit its population projections, and not be caught out by a potentially fast changing population landscape.
It certainly should not continue to impose high-rise coronavirus traps, forcing people to live on top of each other, on unwilling communities.
The evidence around the world is clear –a dense population is a vulnerable one. The Victorian Government needs to understand that the game has changed, and move with the times.
Michael McLaren speaks with Clifford Hayes, Member of the Legislative Assembly – Sustainable Australia Party’s Southern Metropolitan region Victoria, about his private members bill which proposes significant changes to the Planning and Environment Act 1987 which will give local councils more control of local planning policy and maximum building heights in their municipal districts. Remember Clifford's important bill will be put to Parliament this Wednesday morning (13 November 2019) about 10 or so. Consider coming to show your support by sitting in the gallery for the vote.
"People have a right to a say in the character of their street, and their neighbourhood. The principle of subsidiarity, of devolving power to the lowest practical level, is important. It is indeed good for people’s mental health if they have a say, and bad for their mental health if they feel powerless. My Bill does two key things – it requires VCAT to follow properly made Council decisions, and it gives Councils, rather than Ministers, the last word on height controls. Hayes says, "At present VCAT is out of control. Its proper role is to ensure that Councils don’t act in an arbitrary or capricious fashion [...]. But VCAT behaves as a Planning Authority in its own right, telling Councils that although the Council wants a height limit of, say, 4 storeys, they think that 6 storeys would be better! Councils should be able to put in place mandatory height controls at a height acceptable to the community. The high rise buildings being approved by Planning Ministers are not in the best interests of residents, overshadowing them and turning Melbourne into a soulless concrete jungle. Communities should have a say in relation to height limits." (MP Clifford Hayes in speech to Protectors of Public Lands Vic. reproduced here.) (Photos by Jill Quirk)
“Protecting Open Space in 21st Century Melbourne” - Speech to Protectors of Public Lands Saturday 26 October 2019 by Clifford Hayes
Thank you for the invitation to speak with you this afternoon and thank you also for the opportunity to represent you in the Victorian Parliament. I am aware that it is a great honour.
I want to congratulate the Protectors of Public Lands on what you do. Protecting the public domain is very selfless, unselfish work. It is also often thankless and difficult work. They’re not making any more land, but we are making many more people, and the resulting clash over the uses to which land should be put are becoming more acute with every passing year.
And of course the increasing price of land in our suburbs has made open space immensely valuable in dollar terms, leading to landowners including Commonwealth and State Governments looking to sell it off and make a real estate killing. Yet the population growth that drives the escalating land price also makes open space more valuable than ever AS open space – keeping our city and suburbs cool, giving us public places to walk, meet or rest, helping our mental health.
Just a fortnight ago the journalist Noel Towell reported in The Age that the State Labor Government is poised to massively ramp up its sales of publicly owned Crown land around Victoria, with more than 2600 hectares set to go under the hammer.
About 150 sites in Melbourne and country Victoria are listed as on the market for future land sales in a sell off that dwarfs the 533 hectares sold in the past 10 years.
Last week I asked a Question without Notice in the Legislative Council about this Report as follows – “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?”
I am well aware that people in this room have spent a lot of time trying to stop the State Government selling off public land, often involving Government agencies offering the land to Councils at inflated prices that amount to duress, and a scam, where the public is being expected to pay for land that we already own. The Minister’s reply was polite, but not very encouraging. That is why your work is so important, keeping Governments and their Departments and agencies honest.
I see the clash over using land for public open space, or for other uses – which are often in themselves good and socially beneficial, such as facilities for women’s sport – played out time and time again in my Electorate. I have the good fortune to represent a significant area of beautiful Port Phillip Bay beachfront, and that is an area of great conflict. We have proposals to add a large restaurant to the Brighton Life Saving Club as part of its redevelopment. We have a proposal from a café lessee to take over and develop an area where public toilets are located at North Point. We have proposals to extend the opening hours for a café/restaurant at Ricketts Point.
Each of these proposals can sound reasonable, and many of us like to eat or drink by the beach or foreshore, but their sum total is to kill off the connection with nature that is the very thing that makes the beach attractive in the first place – to kill the goose that lays the golden egg.
Unfortunately – and I think your late Secretary and driving force, Julianne Bell, grasped this with great clarity – there is hardly a blade of grass or grain of sand that isn’t being eyed off by someone who wants to make a dollar out of it or appropriate it for their own benefit. It’s not just in my part of the world – I know of the battle, for example, in historic Footscray Park, where the well connected Melbourne Victory soccer club is seeking to establish a large stadium in parkland close to the Maribrynong River. And of the Warrnambool Racing Club’s appropriation of the beaches between Warrnambool and Port Fairy to train racehorses, to the detriment of other beach users, particularly the endangered Hooded Plover.
Often when land is appropriated and vegetation bulldozed elaborate promises are made about offsets elsewhere. In my experience these undertakings are seldom honoured. For example 10 years ago when a previous State Labor Government expanded Melbourne’s Urban Growth Boundary to allow for massive development in Melbourne’s west it said developers would have to pay a habitat protection levy which would enable the purchase of areas of grassland which would offset the development. 10 years later it has emerged that at the present rate of progress it will take the Victorian Government 100 years to purchase the amount of grassland it promised to protect at the time!
And just last week it introduced a Bill to amend the levy. For starters I am disappointed to read that the Habitat Compensation fee system is being renamed the Environment Mitigation Levy. It is the loss of habitat that is the core issue here, and we should never lose sight of it. I am also troubled to learn that property developers are talking about how well the Government has consulted with them over this Bill, when I don’t think it has been consulting with environment groups at all!
In my first speech to Parliament in February I set out my vision for Melbourne – to make it a great place to live, not merely a great place in population size to rival such places as Shanghai, New York, London, or Sao Paolo. Such greatness would be mere obesity, with all the disadvantages of such.
Not a city or a state where people are crammed into dogbox apartments, living on crowded and congested streets in an environmentally unfriendly concrete heat island, but a spacious city with open skies, open and tree-filled streets, with gardens.
Unfortunately this is not the direction in which Melbourne is headed. Since Australia’s migration programme was turbocharged and effectively trebled some 15 years ago, Melbourne has been growing at a rate of over 100,000 people each year, and is now growing at around 130,000 people each year. This has had numerous adverse impacts on our quality of life – traffic congestion, housing unaffordability, loss of vegetation, wildlife and open space. One of the consequences of Melbourne’s rapid population growth has been an attack on local democracy. Residents have lost their right to a say in the character of their street, their neighbourhood and their community.
Consistent with my election commitments I moved a Private Members Motion in May, aimed at restoring local democracy in planning issues and curbing the power of the Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). The Motion called on the Government to give more power to local councils to defend their communities from inappropriate developments.
In particular it called on the Government to amend the Planning & Environment Act so that VCAT was required to give effect to local planning policies, rather than just taking planning schemes into account. It also called on the Minister for Planning to implement mandatory height controls, rather than discretionary height controls, where Councils sought them.
I was delighted that this motion was passed in the Legislative Council with the support of the Liberal opposition and my crossbench colleagues. It is very unusual for a Motion to pass in either House without the Government’s support.
I believe there is a real mood for change in the community to fix a planning scheme which is biased against local residents and skewed in favour of property developers. I am now preparing amendments to the Planning & Environment Act which would give legal effect to the sentiments in my Private Member’s Motion. I believe these amendments would help restore the balance and give local residents a genuine say in planning decisions. I am encouraging residents and community groups to support my campaign for greater local democracy in the Planning & Environment Act.
People have a right to a say in the character of their street, and their neighbourhood. The principle of subsidiarity, of devolving power to the lowest practical level, is important. It is indeed good for people’s mental health if they have a say, and bad for their mental health if they feel powerless.
• The Bill does two key things – it requires VCAT to follow properly made Council decisions, and it gives Councils, rather than Ministers, the last word on height controls.
• At present VCAT is out of control. Its proper role is to ensure that Councils don’t act in an arbitrary or capricious fashion, for example by allowing one person to build four units on their property, and refusing to allow a next door neighbour with the same size property to do the same. But VCAT behaves as a Planning Authority in its own right, telling Councils that although the Council wants a height limit of, say, 4 storeys, they think that 6 storeys would be better!
Councils should be able to put in place mandatory height controls at a height acceptable to the community. The high rise buildings being approved by Planning Ministers are not in the best interests of residents, overshadowing them and turning Melbourne into a soulless concrete jungle. Communities should have a say in relation to height limits.
That said, I am absolutely aware that giving Councils more power is not a silver bullet, and that Councils can and do make poor decisions.
• It is not true that people who oppose high rise are NIMBYs, or that they favour urban sprawl. They don’t want the high rise forced in ANYONE’s backyard. What the State Government needs to examine is the premise that Melbourne has to keep increasing by 130,000 people each year. That’s the issue that people are never given a say about.
• Melbourne’s rapid population growth, combined with enforced urban consolidation, has resulted in a paving over of open space and a loss of vegetation and wildlife, when in times of climate change we need our vegetation, front yards and back yards. Urban consolidation has turned suburbs into heat islands. Population growth has driven traffic congestion and road rage. It has driven housing unaffordability and homelessness, and population growth has driven the construction of high rise buildings which are full of defects and even unsafe.
• Property developers have done well out of this government sponsored building boom of the past 15 years, but ordinary residents have not. Their quality of life has declined, and it will continue to decline unless legislation like this puts power back in the hands of ordinary people.
A study in December 2017 found that high-rise living had adverse impacts on mental health. It found that sharing semi-public spaces with strangers can make residents more suspicious and fearful of crime. Many feel an absence of community, despite living alongside tens or even hundreds of other people.
There is a fear of isolation. During ongoing research into social isolation among older people in the English city of Leeds, residents of high-rise buildings reported feeling lonely and isolated – some were afraid to even open their front doors.
Many advocates of high density living claim that it is better for the environment and climate change than suburban sprawl. Studies have shown this to be not the case. One 3 year US study in 2017 found that living in a high-rise tower in Chicago was much less environmentally sustainable than moving to a house in the suburbs. Apartment dwellers consume more energy, spend more of their time travelling, and use their cars more.
In terms of embodied energy in construction high-rise fared even worse. The project found that high-rise buildings required 49% more embodied energy to construct per square metre, and a stunning 72% more on a per person basis.
As has been noted before, the most energy efficient building is the one that already exists. Unfortunately State Governments have paid way too little attention to this and have made it far too easy to demolish existing houses, even those of heritage significance.
The idea that high density apartments, which require more lighting and air conditioning, are more sustainable than detached houses, which can have solar panels, rainwater tanks, and front yards and back yards with trees, shade and open space, is contradicted by the evidence.
So what needs to change? In my view, it’s not complicated. Two words - local democracy. Give the local residents the power in relation to planning. The Planning and Environment Act 1987 was supposed to establish a framework for planning the use, development and protection of land in Victoria in the present and long-term interests of all Victorians. It is my contention that it has been changed by successive governments so that it does not achieve those objectives.
The bill I will present seeks to do this in two ways. First by directing planning authorities and VCAT to consider and give effect to local planning policies which have been approved by the Government. Secondly by allowing Municipal Councils to set real height limits, including mandatory controls, which cannot be undermined by either State Government or VCAT.
Under my bill the Minister for Planning will be required to accept Council proposals for mandatory height limits, rather than arbitrarily raise the limits or make them discretionary and therefore worthless, as he does at present.
The bill will also make VCAT consider Strategic Planning Policies developed by Councils. What’s more, it will instruct VCAT to give effect to such local planning policies as expressed in the Local Planning Policy Framework.
I encourage your members to contact your local Members of Parliament by phone, email, letter, or in person, to encourage them to vote for the Bill. And on Sunday 10 November, in the week before my Bill gets debated in the Legislative Council, there will be a Rally at the Elsternwick Plaza, next to Elsternwick Station, at 2pm. I encourage you to attend, and bring others!
My bill is a modest proposal that is intended to start the process of giving back planning controls to local communities through their elected councils.
I hope it will not only be a shot in the arm for local democracy and genuine community say, I hope it will act as a brake on rampant habitat destruction. The key driver of habitat destruction is population growth. Sadly environment groups seem to lack the courage to stand up and say this. One honourable exception I came across recently was Jeff Davis, Assistant Director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Habitat at a June 2019 meeting of the Southern Resident Killer Whale Task Force, who said “Population Growth is the Top Challenge for Conserving Habitat”.
He was followed by a Task Force Member G.I. James, who works with the Lummi Nation’s Natural Resources Division, who was prepared to tell a few home truths about the threat to the orcas –
“We’re worried about the population that’s going to be here in the next 25 years and we can’t even address the problems that are being created by the people who are here right now. We think we can have it all. We can have the roads, we can have our cars, we can have our businesses and we can still have those natural resources that depend on the very same things all that destroys”.
Indeed. I thank the Protectors of Public Lands for everything you have done, and are doing, to protect the quality of life in Melbourne from overdevelopment. It is often hard, unrewarding work, but it is very important in maintaining our quality of life, and not allowing it to quietly slip away.
I hope you can join my fight for a better, not bigger, Australia, and I and my office are always ready to assist you in any way we can.
Clifford Hayes, MLC,
Sustainable Australia Party
Southern Metropolitan Region.
Direct: (03) 9530 8399 | 0458 750 700
Business Address: 206 Bay Street, Brighton
Rapid population growth has impacted heavily on private and public open space in Melbourne, especially over the last decade. Clifford will discuss some individual case studies and his Private Members' Bill to reintroduce local democracy into Victoria's planning law. Hear him at the Protectors of Public Lands AGM Saturday October 26th, 2019, 2.30pm. Flemington Community Centre, 25 Mt. Alexander Road, Flemington. All welcome!
Protectors of Public Lands, Victoria Inc.
Annual General Meeting
Flemington Community Centre,
25 Mt. Alexander Road, Flemington 3031.
Saturday October 26th, 2019 at 2.30pm
With Guest Speaker, the Hon. Clifford Hayes MP
"Protecting Open Space in 21st Century Melbourne."
Rapid population growth has impacted heavily on private and public open space in Melbourne, especially over the last decade. Clifford will discuss some individual case studies and his Private Members' Bill to reintroduce local democracy into Victoria's planning law.
Please join us for afternoon tea after the meeting!
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.
(Photos by Fiona Bell.) I have strongly supported the RUANELA (Residents United Against North East Link Option A) campaign against the North East Link. I am opposed to the removal of thousands of mature trees and the massive loss of open space particularly in the Koonung Creek Reserve. 12.7 hectares of parkland will be permanently lost.
I am opposed to the overkill which this project is - a 24 lane freeway at one point, rivalling the word's 26 lane widest at a massive cost of $16 billion, which could properly fund mental health, homelessness or indigenous disadvantage if it were directed there instead.
I am opposed to the impact on sporting and recreational pursuits for my constituents. The Boroondara Tennis Centre will go. The Freeway Public Gold Course will have holes removed, threatening its viability."
I am opposed to the way this project destroys the Doncaster Rail Project - for years residents have been promised this Project was on the drawing board.
I supported local residents and the City of Boroondara in a letter to the Transport Infrastructure Minister in March. I supported local residents in the speech I gave during debate on this project in the Legislative Council in May. I supported local residents in asking a Question in the House urging the Government to reconsider the Doncaster Rail Line in June.
And I will be raising this issue in the Legislative Council again today, urging the Government to reconsider Option A in the light of new modelling work commissioned by Councils.
For further information, or to support the campaign against the North East Link please don't hesitate to get in touch with my Electorate Office.
"My objective, with your help, honourable members, is to make Melbourne, and even Victoria, a great place to live. Not merely a great place in population size or area to rival such places as Shanghai, New York, London or Sao Paulo. Such greatness would be mere obesity, with all the disadvantages of such. Not a city or a state where people are crammed into dogbox apartments, living on crowded and congested streets in an environmentally unfriendly concrete heat island. But a spacious city with open skies, open and tree-filled streets, with gardens. An environment where children can play safely, where the car is not king but a servant.
Walkable patchworks of various styles of housing, where one would enjoy walking, cycling or travelling through by public transport. A city of learning, education, the arts and self-supporting industry, where families and communities can thrive. Where the less fortunate who may be living on lower incomes are not segregated into high-rise towers but live in affordable detached or medium-density housing spread throughout the suburbs. Where their children have the same opportunities as other children. Where ghettos of crime and despair are not created. A city where the environment—the living environment—is prized and of prime importance. A sustainable city or cities in a sustainable state. This can only happen when people are proud of their neighbourhoods and where they, as citizens, have control over what they create—the built form, the environment, the infrastructure. This is what, I believe, we as a Parliament can achieve." (Clifford Hayes, Extract from speech.)
[This speech was paragraphed by candobetter.net editor. It was taken from the unproofed Hansard transcript and will be revised if there are changes.]
Mr HAYES (Southern Metropolitan) (16:54:47): President and honourable members, especially new members, congratulations. I grew up in Brighton, the son of a doctor and a school teacher, so in many people’s eyes I had a life of privilege, but my parents had just bought a house, my father was starting his own medical practice from scratch and I was sent to Gardenvale state school. However, I did not like school, particularly getting the strap in my first few days there for playing in the third graders’ playground.
So when I learned to read, quite well, I told my mum I wanted to leave school. She laughed and told me I had to do another 12 years before I could leave.
I was devastated. By grade 3 my parents were able to send me to Brighton Grammar.
But in grade 4 my father suffered a terrible car accident, which affected him and his earning ability for the rest of his life. Mum worked, which was not that common in the early 1960s, and Dad brought in some money, so we got by okay. My two sisters and I managed to finish at private schools, but my father's situation got worse, and he relied on drinking and heavy medication, which by the end of our schooling left him totally incapacitated.
Being a bit of a rebel and not a great student, I decided on a very different course to the academic life so beloved by my parents. I had become interested in photography and filmmaking, and to my parents’ horror I wanted a career in the film industry. So I left home and went to work.
The Australian film industry was almost non-existent then. I found a job in the nascent television industry with Hector Crawford at Crawford Productions in Collins Street. My first job was on Homicide as a music editor, although I only had the vaguest idea of what that job entailed when I started. Over the next few years Crawfords produced the top three or four highest rating TV dramas in Australia at that time.
I went on to become a freelance film editor, and in 1979 I won an Australian Film Institute award for my part in editing Mad Max.
The PRESIDENT: As tempting as it is, can we hold the applause until the end.
Mr HAYES: However, it was my experience working in the Northern Territory on the feature film We of the Never Never that changed my view on how we treated the first inhabitants of this land, and I came home a firm believer in Aboriginal land rights.
My parents, particularly my father, who was a keen advocate to the few who would listen back then for Indigenous recognition and other social issues, were both academic and left wing in political inclination, which was a pretty unusual stand compared to many of my friends’ parents in Brighton. So I was always interested in politics and comparing and arguing various points of view.
However, it was travelling overseas for six months when I was 24 which opened my eyes on how we lived in Australia. I was trying to find my way around the gridlocked streets of Bangkok, and looking over a bridge I saw swarming below a mass of humanity living in shacks on the side of a city canal, which would be no bigger than the Elwood canal down our way. A couple of hundred people were living down there—working, living and laughing.
I realized that there were many ways to live the life that I thought was normal from my little bubble in suburban Melbourne. I also realized that which so many Australian travellers come to see: we are all so enormously privileged to grow up and live in the open spaces and remaining nature of our suburbs and the surrounding countryside.
I lived in Sydney for a while working as an editor. Here I was in the heart of the film industry and lived the life of a continual after-work party—restaurants, bars, parties, picnics, drinking, eating and all that goes with it. It was the 1980s, and Sydney was a beautiful city and definitely the place to be. Few would disagree that most of the beauty around the harbour has now been spoiled by overdevelopment.
I got married and divorced in fairly quick succession. I bought an old farm house in a small town, Deans Marsh—between Geelong and Lorne—as a weekend retreat, and I became more and more interested in small-scale farming, self-sufficiency, agriculture and alternative lifestyles.
I got married again and we had a daughter followed by a son a couple of years later.
Computerisation had swept through the TV industry, enabling me to work from our farm house but often requiring travel back and forth to Melbourne. I studied for a diploma in applied science, farm management, by correspondence through Melbourne University, with a view to starting a small vineyard, which would certainly supplement my growing wine cellar. That was when devastation struck and my life had to change.
My wife wanted out, citing my lifestyle, the working, the drinking, the parties and generally being away from home too much. I was not much use as a father—and what is more, she was taking the kids. My drinking, smoking and party life had to stop.
I realised my health was being affected and my lifestyle was costing me more than money. I was losing friends, my lucrative business and now what I valued most—my family. I sought help and I found it through an organisation which pointed me to a path of spiritual recovery. As a result I no longer drink or smoke, nor do I take any mind-altering substances except caffeine, and have not done so for many years.
However, I did start that small vineyard on the Mornington Peninsula with a business partner. After a while I managed to reconcile with my family, and though my wife and I did not resume our marriage we became good friends and I had the opportunity to be the father I had always wanted to be to my children.
In 2003 I sold the vineyard and I moved back to Brighton again, buying an older style apartment with a backyard, where I still live today.
While I always had a political interest, my real political activity was about to start in the most unlikely way.
My mother, who still lived in the old family home nearby, told me that a developer had plans to build a 5-storey building of more than 100 apartments right behind her house. The whole street was affected, most of the houses being single storey.
All of our neighbours were up in arms: 'They can’t do this here!’. And the reply from our council: 'Oh yes, they can’.
It was Melbourne 2030, and we had been declared, without our knowledge, to be living in an activity centre.
What is more, the council had plans for more 4 and 5-storey buildings scattered around North Brighton.
Our group of residents decided to run someone against the local councillor. I was the only volunteer, and I ran on the issue, opposing high-rise development.
With huge community support, I was elected by a sizeable majority seeking to maintain our village character. Once elected, I had the full support of council in moving for more restrictive height controls in our village-style shopping centres and surrounding residential streets.
The minister, through his department, would not allow the changes, but after much lobbying he did grant so‑called 'discretionary’ height controls but at heights greater than the council’s decision.
The developers were still not happy and took the council to VCAT, where the VCAT member overruled the council’s refusal, saying discretionary controls gave him the discretion to break them. What is more, he and other members over the years took it upon themselves to give council lectures about our housing policy, developed out of widespread community consultation, for being too restrictive.
VCAT continues to grant permits for building heights far in excess of our meaningless discretionary controls as granted by the state government.
So much for the wishes of the community, or democracy, where elected bodies such as municipal councils can be overridden by a bureaucrat and increasingly by the state government.
This is where I discovered the general attitude of the planning bodies.
Senior planners in the government said to me, 'Councillor, if you don’t want high rise, you must want sprawl’.
I said, 'I don’t want either’, to which they replied, 'Well, where will you put the population?’.
Research showed me how population growth had been ramped up in recent years from a long-term average of 70 000 per annum to 200 000 people per annum. Melbourne is now growing by 2500 people, seeking accommodation, every week.
This fact is used by the government to overpower councils on the issue of planning in particular. Most government planners advocate urban consolidation and the destruction of our valued Australian suburban life. They talk of high-rise schools. Where will the children play?
To achieve this so-called consolidation, governments, planners and developers want to bring in more and more people, not from the outer suburbs but from overseas, to densify the inner city.
Who benefits? The developers and the property industry.
After being elected mayor of Bayside I joined an organisation called Planning Backlash. Led by the awesome Mary Drost, OAM, we represented planning groups with similar issues all across Melbourne and regional Victoria.
This group has led the campaign for greater say for residents and councils and has regularly met with all planning ministers, both Liberal and Labor, up until this minister, who no longer consults with us.
Rapid population growth has been connected with our planning problems.
Around this time I saw Dick Smith’s documentary and found the policies of Sustainable Australia. I came to see that global population growth and the corresponding increased pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, species decline and habitat destruction have made population growth the major environmental problem, both globally and locally.
Yet population growth was not even mentioned by the major political parties, including the Greens.
The Greens advocate lowering consumption, and rightly so, but until they realistically tackle the population issue they cannot address the current rate of environmental destruction and greenhouse gas emissions in this state or in this country.
This issue has nothing to do with race or religion, nor should it. For no matter how much we reduce consumption and the ensuing pollution per person, if we increase the population at the same time, we will make zero or even negative progress.
And we in this country are growing at rates far above the world population growth rate, and our greenhouse gas emissions keep on rising.
A similar charge could be made against the major parties, Labor and Liberal, who cry economic ruin if we reduce population growth by returning to 1980s or 1990s levels of immigration, as our party advocates.
They say the current rapid population growth raises gross domestic product. Yet, as we all know, GDP per head of population growth and wages growth have been stagnant over recent years as we have imported more and more workers.
In 2010 I met William Bourke and joined Sustainable Australia. Their policies on local planning, affordable housing, infrastructure, the environment and a more diverse economy appealed to my frustrated desires, particularly at a local level.
As to planning in this beautiful city and this bountiful state, planning should be a good thing, not like here, with our planning system—deregulated, discretionary and encouraging the atrocious.
Then we, the residents, hopefully with the support of our councils, try to make the proposal less bad. Even this process is under attack, with planning bodies such as the Grattan Institute seeking to remove third-party appeal rights. Even less local democracy is being demanded.
Planning, we believe, should be conceived at the local level, initiated by local planning groups or citizen juries. Planning should then set the agenda, set the social and environmental goals, the population density and height controls. Then developers would have to conform to these established local requirements—a democratic process.
Finally, just before I finish, I would like to thank a few people who helped me take this journey to find my way to this most historic and honourable chamber: William Bourke, our hardworking federal president and an invaluable mentor; Mary Drost, of indomitable spirit, and the committee of Planning Backlash; Richard Rozen and my supporters in Brighton Residents for Urban Protection; Derek, Evelyn, Kerrie, David, Beth, David and John of Restore Residents’ Rights; Jill Quirk, who ran in an election with me; Kelvin Thomson, a former MLA and an early advocate on population growth, who is now my fantastic chief of staff; Noel Pullen, a former MLC, who helped us in the planning battle; Alex Del Porto, James Long, Sonia Castelli and Bayside councillors past and present; my family, especially my two children, Alice and Harry.
My objective, with your help, honourable members, is to make Melbourne, and even Victoria, a great place to live. Not merely a great place in population size or area to rival such places as Shanghai, New York, London or Sao Paulo. Such greatness would be mere obesity, with all the disadvantages of such.
Not a city or a state where people are crammed into dogbox apartments, living on crowded and congested streets in an environmentally unfriendly concrete heat island. But a spacious city with open skies, open and tree-filled streets, with gardens. An environment where children can play safely, where the car is not king but a servant.
Walkable patchworks of various styles of housing, where one would enjoy walking, cycling or travelling through by public transport.
A city of learning, education, the arts and self-supporting industry, where families and communities can thrive. Where the less fortunate who may be living on lower incomes are not segregated into high-rise towers but live in affordable detached or medium-density housing spread throughout the suburbs. Where their children have the same opportunities as other children. Where ghettos of crime and despair are not created. A city where the environment—the living environment—is prized and of prime importance. A sustainable city or cities in a sustainable state. This can only happen when people are proud of their neighbourhoods and where they, as citizens, have control over what they create—the built form, the environment, the infrastructure. This is what, I believe, we as a Parliament can achieve.
The Hon. Kelvin Thomson, former Federal Member for Wills, is joining the Sustainable Australia Party. Mr Thomson served as an Australian Labor Party Councillor for the City of Coburg from 1981 to 1988, Member of the Victorian Parliament for Pascoe Vale from 1988 to 1996, and Federal Labor Member for Wills for over 20 years from 1996 until the 2016 Election. Mr Thomson will be advising Sustainable Australia’s first elected Member of Parliament, Mr. Clifford Hayes, who was elected as a Legislative Councillor for the Southern Metropolitan Region at the recent Victorian election.
Mr Hayes said, “Kelvin Thomson’s knowledge of all three levels of government, his campaign experience - he stood for public office 12 times in his career and was successful on each occasion - and his policy development expertise, having been a Shadow Minister for the Environment amongst other Shadow Ministries, Parliamentary Secretary and member of many Parliamentary Committees during his parliamentary service, will make him an invaluable asset to me, my office and to the Sustainable Australia Party.
Mr Thomson said, "I first joined the Labor Party in 1975. It was an honour and privilege to represent the Australian Labor Party in two Parliaments and three levels of government for a total of 35 years. To say the Labor Party has been my life is putting it mildly. So I have submitted my resignation from the Labor Party with a very heavy heart.
“For a decade now I have set out what I believe to be the myopia, greed, vanity and ecological illiteracy that drives Big Australia, Australia's policy of rapid population growth. I have arrived at a point where there are irreconcilable differences between the course I believe Australia and the world needs to chart, and the course that the Australian Labor Party is charting. I set out in my Valedictory Speech my great appreciation of the support I received as an MP from ordinary members of the Labor Party, and those sentiments remain true. I retain a hope that in time the Labor Party will embrace views about Australia's population that are more in keeping with the needs of this generation, the needs of those who will come after us, and the needs of the many other species we have the good fortune to share this ancient, beautiful and fragile country with.
"What this world needs now is not more people, but more courage."
Sustainable Australia Party Founder and President William Bourke said, "Kelvin Thomson played a key role in kick-starting the population debate in Australia 10 years ago, with a speech he gave in Parliament in August 2009, and with a media release he put out in September 2009, in response to Treasury figures showing that Australia's population would be 35 million by 2049, a massive jump from the previous projection of 28 million by 2049, made just a couple of years earlier. He described this as a recipe for environmental disaster and called for population reform."
"The Sustainable Australia Party, formed in the wake of that debate, is a party of the political centre, and Kelvin and other mainstream, like-minded Australians are very welcome here."
Kelvin Thomson's letter of Resignation from the Australian Labor Party 13 January 2019
Victorian Branch Secretary
Australian Labor Party
438 Docklands Drive
DOCKLANDS VIC 3008
This is a very hard letter for me to write. I first joined the Australian Labor Party in 1975.
Within a few years I had become a Branch Secretary, then Branch President, then delegate to the Victorian State Conference and President of the Wills FEA, Policy Committee member, and member of a number of local, State, and Federal Campaign Committees. I was later elected as a member of
the Public Office Selection Panel and served for a time as its President.
In 1981 I was elected as an endorsed Australian Labor Party Councillor for the City of Coburg, and reelected in 1982 and 1985, serving until 1988. In 1988 I was elected as an endorsed Australian Labor Party Member of the Victorian Parliament for the electorate of Pascoe Vale. I represented Pascoe Vale until 1996 and served as a Shadow Minister and Manager of Opposition Business during that time.
In 1996 I was elected to the Federal Parliament as the Labor Member for Wills. I was re-elected in 1998, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2013, serving for over 20 years until I retired from Parliament in 2016. I served as a Labor Shadow Minister from 1998 till 2007. When Labor was elected to Government I became Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties, and later on served as a Parliamentary Secretary under 2 Labor Prime Ministers.
It was an honour and a privilege to represent the Australian Labor Party in 2 Parliaments and 3 levels of government for a total of over 35 years. To say the Labor Party has been my life is putting it mildly. As you know, I received my 40 Year Membership Medallion a couple of years ago. Since retiring from Parliament I have continued to provide assistance and support to Labor MPs and candidates in my area.
So I am writing this letter of resignation with a very heavy heart. There are many things I could talk about, but I accept this is always going to be true of any large political organisation. The one thing I cannot overlook is this. The world is undergoing unsustainable population growth – it has more than doubled in the last 50 years. I can’t do much about that, but Australia is one of the worst offenders. So too Victoria. So too Melbourne. The Australian Labor Party of the 21st Century has embraced Australia’s 21st Century rapid population growth, known by the shorthand expression of Big Australia. The 55,000 annual net overseas migration of the Whitlam years, when I joined, has turned into over 200,000 annual net overseas migration. Here in Victoria we have embraced Big Victoria
and Big Melbourne.
For a decade now I have set out what I believe to be the myopia, greed, vanity and ecological illiteracy that drives Big Australia. I won’t insult your intelligence by repeating my arguments. Suffice to say that I have arrived at a point where there are irreconcilable differences between the course I believe Australia and the world needs to chart, and the course that the Australian Labor Party is charting.
It is true that neither the Liberal nor the Greens Parties have any more enlightened approaches to the issue, but there is a Party – Sustainable Australia – which does get it. As they say in the US, everyone has the right to the pursuit of happiness. It is well established that an important ingredient of happiness is the opportunity to spend your days doing something you believe in. What I believe is that exponential population growth is not merely a problem, but that it is the problem that reinforces all others. I agree with David Attenborough – “I’ve never seen a problem that wouldn’t be easier to solve with fewer people, or harder, and ultimately impossible, with more”.
I have been given an opportunity by the Sustainable Australia Party’s Victorian MLC Cliff Hayes to do something I really believe in. It is an opportunity too good to pass up. Obviously that is not consistent with my remaining a Labor Party member, hence this letter.
I set out in my Valedictory Speech my great appreciation of the support I received as an MP from ordinary members of the Labor Party, and those sentiments remain true. I retain a hope that in time Labor will embrace views about Australia’s population that are more in keeping with the needs of this generation, the needs of those who will come after us, and the needs of the many other species we have the good fortune to share this ancient, beautiful and fragile country with.
Sustainable Australia Party's Southern Metropolitan region Upper House candidate Clifford Hayes appears to be elected to the Victorian Upper House, according to various media reports. For those of you reeling at the thought of a Labor Government, second time round, with the bit between its teeth on immigration, land-clearing and the scent of developer money in its nostrils, this news of a win by SAP, may give some hope. We need more SAPs in government, as fast as possible.
How the preferences worked
A quick look at the flow of preferences for Clifford Hayes Southern Metro Region so far is revealing. (Congratulations Cliff!)
A weight of 15,000 votes (from 148,000 ballot papers) actually comes from the overflow of successful Labor and Liberal candidates. This amounts to 35% of Cliff's vote count and is due solely to the way the two Major's preferenced him - not micros. Just saying this as it might help counter any complaints there might be about preferencing.
The difference in 'votes' vs 'ballot papers' in the above counts is of course because overflow ballot papers are reduced in weight each time they have already served to elect someone. Here reduced 90% in weight on average by the time Cliff got them.
Looking at the Group Tickets: Labour preferences for SAParty started at 12th of 45 candidates, Liberal at 22 of 45. ( Greens had us at 14 of 45). These are all pretty good for us. Anyone using above the line voting for these majors dictated their preferences would go according to these Major's tickets (not SAParty's of course).
The runner up here is the Greens. Cliff is ahead of the Greens by 4,000 votes. or some 8%. (No Green was elected in this Region)
Clifford Hayes speaking on developers and planners June 2017, when people tried to avert Labor dictatorship on planning
Some quotes from Clifford Hayes' speech: "We residents must have a say. The whole process has been corrupted." "It's a problem of culture: developers and planners sing from the same songbook. More housing, more consolidation, more appartments, more units, more highrise - all on existing infrastructure. And this forces the price of land and existing housing up. Bad news for our kids, bad news for our suburbs, bad news for us. Good news for investors, good for speculators, dramatic profits to be made. So this pressure makes property speculation and property development a government protected industry. And it's backed up by planners, VCAT, the government, the department: The whole problem has been left to market forces to sort out. This is great for people who see housing as a way for people to make profits, but for a community it's bad news. We lose all the things we value. As communities we need to get things right. Housing should be for families, not just for investors."
#FFFF66;line-height:120%;"> Mr Hayes, who is a past mayor of Bayside, talks about how the minister has absolute power to give permission for the building of apartments so miniscule that no-one else would give permission. How our 'planning system' is completely market driven and only really exists to facilitate a 'financial motivation in planning'. Clifford also talks about environment and embodied energy with respect to planning and construction. This is a great talk, well delivered. Video inside.
#FFEB46;line-height:120%;">Videos of KELVIN THOMSON and all panel speakers have been added to this article. Open mic part now published here too. Today, June 14, 2014, a packed hall with people standing at the back in the Hawthorn Arts Centre voted for a national plebiscite to ask the people what size population they wanted. The forum interacted with a panel of four speakers: Kelvin Thomson, MP for Wills; Sheila Newman, Evolutionary Sociologist and Candobetter.net editor and writer; Clifford Hayes, former Bayside Council Mayor and planning activist; and William Bourke, Leader of the Sustainable Population Party. There was a queue for the open microphone and the meeting closed later than expected. All motions passed with an overwhelming show of hands.
Packed meeting in Hawthorn backs vote on Victoria’s population
We will probably replace this film with another from another angle which recorded the size of the audience, the applause and the show of hand on the motions. In the meantime this gives the content of the Open Microphone session.
The Hawthorn Arts Centre was the venue for a large public meeting today asking the question “Must Melbourne keep growing?” Speakers, Hon. Kelvin Thomson MP, Ms. Sheila Newman, evolutionary sociologist, Mr. Clifford Hayes, former Bayside mayor and Planning activist and Mr. William Bourke president of “ Sustainable Population Party” all addressed the meeting with the ultimate message that Melbourne does not have to keep growing. The audience was given the floor for the open mic second hour of the program and took full advantage of this. The meeting voted unanimously for the federal government to hold a national vote on Australia’s population aiming to stabilise by 2040:
''That, on the basis of State of the Environment reports and in the interests of democracy, the meeting calls on the federal government to hold a national vote on population at or before the next federal election, with a proposal to allow Australia to stabilise its population by 2040. A working group will be formed by concerned citizens in order to draft an appropriate question."
Meeting voted for Gov to have scientific conference re long-term sustainable population
Additionally the meeting voted unanimously for the Victorian Government to convene a scientifically based conference to establish the long term sustainable population for the state, on a motion proposed by Ms Julianne Bell, of Protectors of Public Land:
"That this meeting calls on the Victorian government to convene a scientifically based Victorian conference on what constitutes a long term environmentally sustainable population for Victoria, with reference to the Victorian State of the environment reports of 2008 and 2013 indicating environmental damage from current population levels."
According to the President of Sustainable Population Australia’s Victorian and Tasmanian branch, Ms. Jill Quirk, ”The first resolution is to give the Australian people the right to determine their own quality of life and quality of the environment for the present and future. The second is asking the government to undertake its absolute responsibility and to stop the reckless, irreversible destruction caused by needless rapid population growth and over development happening now.”
Saturday June 14th at 2.00pm Hawthorn Arts Centre, 360 Burwood Rd Hawthorn, Chandelier Room (Melways 45 D10)
Public forum with Kelvin Thomson, William Burke, Sheila Newman, Clifford Hayes and numerous community groups. Sustainable Population Australia & Victoria First are hosting a panel discussion and open mike on Melbourne's population future. The event will be filmed to use as a document to show how Melbourne people feel about overpopulation. "Melbourne's population growth is treated by the media, by governments and by planners as though it is inevitable, giving the impression that the fate of Melbourne is to be a city of 7 to 8 million by mid-century. What the public seldom hears is that Melbourne's huge growth rate is not inevitable, nor that growth of the population does not magically stop at mid-century unless changes to existing trends are made. If present growth rates continued, Melbourne would be a city of about 20 million by the end of the century. The truth is that Melbourne's future could be largely in our own hands. This meeting is a chance for the people of Melbourne to question the ideology that "Melbourne must keep growing"" (Jill Quirk, President SPA Vic & Tas)."Melbourne has been growing by 200 people a day, 1,500 a week and 75,000 each year for some time now. The latest projections are that this rapid growth will escalate still further. But Melbournians are not asked whether this is what we really want for our city." (Kelvin Thomson, President, Victoria First)
Federal MP and President of Victoria First, Hon. Kelvin Thomson;
Clifford Hayes, former Bayside Mayor
Planning activist, Sheila Newman, population author and editor of candobetter.net
William Bourke, President of Sustainable Population Party.
Please come and have your say!
Contact: Jill Quirk, President, Sustainable Population Australia,VicTas branch
vic [ AT ] population.org.au ph. 0409742927 or Julianne Bell, Secretary, Victoria
First jbell5 [ AT ] bigpond.com ph. 0408022408
This article features videos of the four Victorian based candidates for the Stable Population Party - Jill Quirk, Clifford Hayes, Michael Bayliss, Steven Armstrong and Jonathan Page - not necessarily in that order. It is very interesting to see what the candidates have to say and how they present. Australians have a chance of making a crucial difference by voting for these candidates in the Senate and in the lower house for the next Federal Election. Candidates are also running in other states. Check this website for details: http://www.populationparty.org.au/templates/pop/page/page_html_standard.php?secID=210
The first video is of senate candidate Jill Quirk, who gives quite a rundown of Victoria's population problems. Many candobetter net readers will know of Jill. It is good to see that the Stable Population Party is running a woman with such experience in population matters. Jill has been particularly active in campaigning for a sustainable population over the last 10 years after a lifelong interest and concern for the environment especially our native fauna. She approaches this issue as a writer and artist as well as leading and educating on the issue within an environmental population organisation. She is convinced that for future survival not only of Australia’s wildlife but ultimately for its people, we must plan towards a stable population living within the severe environmental constraints of our land.
Clifford Hayes has more than five years experience as a councillor at Bayside City Council in Melbourne. He held the position of Mayor and Deputy Mayor. Clifford was elected by the community on a platform of planning reform, opposing high rise over-development in Bayside (100,000 residents). Clifford also has significant experience in the film and television industry and farm management (viticulture). He enjoys swimming and the arts.
Michael Bayliss is running for Melbourne. Michael has post graduate degrees in both economics and sport science and has developed inclusive sports programs for people with disabilities in capital cities across Australia (was finalist in the WA support worker awards in 2012). He has also been an advocate and campaigner for disability inclusion, animal rights and sustainable town planning. Michael strongly believes that a stable population will help address Australia's housing crisis, environmental toll and infrastructure debt.
Steven Armstrong is an electronics contractor and a surfer. Steven became interested in the population issue 25 years ago when he was astounded to hear Bob Hawke urging us all on to 50 million. Having waited patiently for the major parties to come to their senses, Steven now realises this is not going to happen. In order to offer a democratic choice to the people of Melbourne Ports, and challenge 'big Australia' advocate Michael Danby MP, Steven has decided to act.
Jonathan Page is running for the seat of Lalor.
Jonathan has a professional background in science and a strong connection with the Australian environment, having spent much of his formative years bushwalking. He treasures the beauty of many other species on this planet and is pained when hearing about the next Australian species under threat due to land clearing or other human activity. Jonathan is also particularly concerned about the housing affordability crisis, which of course, is exacerbated by rapidly growing demand for a finite resource (habitable land in well serviced areas).
The last video is of NSW-based William Bourke, who is the leader of the party. I have featured this video in another article on candobetter.net. William gives a very clear idea of what the Stable Population Party is offering.
A better quality of life
SPPA calls for "A better quality of life" and articulates six reasons to vote for a stable population:
to Relieve overstretched infrastructure, incluidng hospitals, schools, roads and public transport;
to Ease cost of living pressures, including housing, energy, water and transport;
to Protect our environment, including food, water and energy resources, native bushland and animal habitats;
to Promote education and training to increase job opportunities for all Australians;
to Minimise overdevelopment, including high-rise and sprawl;
to Create a more resilient economy, to sustain and enhance prosperity.