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Can Australia's government learn from COVID-19?

Covid-19 is a warning. We can take it as such or ignore it if we get through it and come out the other side.

High density, high population, high throughput, globalised manufacturing, global high mobility, are not working for us now. When we first learned in January of the outbreak of Covid -19 in Wuhan my first thought was that "This will be in Melbourne soon." Thirty years ago, I would not have had such a thought because China was so distant and separate. I was right, within a few days it was in Melbourne. On January 25th Australia had its first four cases, the first in Melbourne and another three in Sydney. At this time the city of Wuhan in China was in "lockdown".

COVID-19: Time the unsafe Australian Construction industry stopped demanding special consideration

On 27 March 2020, the AWU and Master Builders Australia jointly called on governments to ensure the continued operation of the building and construction industry, claiming that without it the economic knock-on effects would be devastating on a scale that would dwarf what we have seen to date.

There is no question that many dependencies on this very costly and demanding industry would cause more economic disruption, but what about safety with regard to COVID-19? Although the industry argues that it can be safe, we will argue that the industry is not suited to workers keeping safe distances. On the principle that a stitch in time saves nine, it would be better to shut down sooner rather than later because the later action is taken, the worse the grip of COVID-19 will be on the economy. Since the virus has caused the government to cease the mass migration that has driven huge expansion in the construction industry, demand has dropped, and now is the perfect time to massively curtail construction industry activity. In the meantime, will the industry take responsibility for the return home of the many temporary migrant construction workers from China and Indonesia who, unlike international cruise-ship passengers, are already onshore, virtually invisible, but numerous? And an industry worker argues that the industry is not capable of adapting to safe distance practice.

Urbanisation and Natural contaminant threat to drinking water from groundwater

The 'densification' that planners push to accommodate overpopulation drives increasing water pollution risks, along with climate change. “Generally, we expect urbanisation to increase groundwater DOC (dissolved organic carbon) concentrations by up to 19 per cent, compared to agricultural or natural land use, likely as the result of contamination – for example, through leaking septic and sewer systems.” (Research paper.)

New Land Tax Act changes really a tax on Mother Nature

People should know about the state government’s amendments to the Land Tax Act. An interesting article was written about it by Michael Flynn QC in The Age of February 17th 2020. regarding the amendment to the Land Tax Act to restrict land tax exemptions on contiguously rated properties only to regional Victoria. See: https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/home-owners-could-be-slugged-with-an-unfair-tax-20200213-p540jq.html. These changes have resulted in charging land tax for anyone in metropolitan Melbourne with vacant land contiguous with their place of residence. Until now, land adjacent to your home was exempt from Land Tax if the property was rated by Council as contiguous (i.e. house and land rated as one parcel of land) The new amendment has changed this to now levy the tax on any properties in metropolitan Melbourne which have contiguous vacant land next to a place of residence. (For the purposes of this exercise, Mornington Peninsula also is considered to be metropolitan by the way). A paltry $43 million revenue is anticipated.

Complaint of ABC bias in 7.30 Report on Housing - Article by Bob Couch

Why, once again, does the ABC avoid the issue of population growth, the primary cause of housing affordability. It is simply a fantasy to believe that adding another 400,000 people to Australia's population every year is not relevant

Paul Kelly Song: Sleep,Australia, Sleep - Ecological catastrophe

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.

Protest Melbourne Friday 6:30pm to stop extradition of Julian Assange by outlaw Trump regime

Title was: "Australian action to help Assange as extradition hearing approaches". Donations can be made to: gofundme.com/f/melbourne4wikileaks-bringassangehome.

Julian Assange’s extradition hearing starts on Monday 24th of this month. To mark the occasion and to help increase awareness in his hometown of Melbourne, Melbourne4WikiLeaks is holding a rally at the State Library of Victoria at 6:30pm on the evening of Friday 21st February.

We feel that it is important to keep pressure on the Australian Government to intervene with both the UK and US in order to stop the extradition and bring Julian home.

Uralla has no potable water - Resident asks fellow Australians to help - What future for dry overpopulated Australia?

Is this how our politicians and economists deal with water shortage?
Oliver Trymble of Uralla writes: "Dear All, I have just emailed the Premier and Barnaby Joyce to tell them that I am starting a social media campaign. (I don’t actually know how to do this, being the wrong generation...). Perhaps you can help.

We have no drinking water in Uralla. [Uralla is an inland town in NSW.] We have to fetch bottled water from out the back of our local shop. For the house-bound and the elderly, this is inadequate.
The state government is building sporting facilities in the city. They are intent on spending millions moving the Powerhouse Museum. Why is drinking water for NSW citizens not a burning priority?

We have no water.
WE HAVE NO WATER.
How can I make my voice heard? And the voices of Merle and Phyllis and Maggie and all the older people of this town?
Please help us."

Dead matter taking over Melbourne

In the Beginning …
Earth’s atmosphere was unbreathable to humans. But that was okay, since there were no humans. Photosynthesising cyanobacteria used sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water into food, incidentally producing oxygen. The many microbially-mediated rocks (stromatolites) the bacteria left behind from their halcyon days indicate a cyanobacteria population explosion so vast that it seems likely that simple metabolism accidentally transformed the atmosphere to the one we love and overuse today. This ‘oxygen holocaust’ probably also brought about the fossil status of our inadvertent benefactors around 2.5 billion years ago.

Australia alight on New Year's Eve

Our city was alight last night as was the countryside
the first, an exhibition the latter ecocide.

IPAN: Bushfires a National Security Threat

Bushfires in Australia a real national security issue in contrast to talked up threats of hostile nations in our region. Climate change a significant cause of the fires. [Illustrations by Sheila Newman.]

Bushfires in Australia are a real national security issue in contrast to talked up threats of an alleged hostile nations in our region, according to the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN).

Australians are heading into a Christmas day of smoke, fires, death and devastation, with no significant rain projected for weeks, anxiety is rising about when this catastrophe will end.

Flying Scales - Story of a family of Ospreys

Very early on I made a decision that I wanted to understand a few birds rather than know a little about a lot. In my area, the three birds I loved were the Little Egrets, Spoonbills, and the Osprey. This focus stayed with me till the last photo taken. Any other photo of any other bird came about due to the fact they were in the area of these three birds.

IPAN Statement on interference in the internal affairs of Australia

The escalating tensions between US and China are directly impacting on Australia militarily, economically and politically and threaten to drag Australia into another imperialist war, according to the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network. IPAN calls for an independent foreign policy from all big powers, and that includes independence from both China and US; an independent foreign policy that promotes friendship with people from all countries.

Rethinking how to deal with animal cruelty in Australia

If the Minister for Agriculture were to endorse at least one officer from each local council under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (POCTA) provisions (section 18), this would add at least 120 new animal welfare officers/inspectors to combat animal cruelty within their area. This would alleviate the workload of authorised enforcement agencies i.e.( RSPCA/VicPol) in the town or city in which an alleged offence has occurred. A section should also be added into POCTA as it was back in the 80’s before it was repealed, that half of the fines from a successful prosecution be paid to council and the other half to state revenue. This would also give council an incentive to work toward costs as RSPCA now do subsequently no out of pocket expenses.

Tony Kevin, "Russia & the West" - Book Launch, Readings - Nov 25, 2019

The Melbourne launch of Tony’s latest book, being held at Readings in Hawthorn Monday, 25 November 2019, is likely to attract an interesting and critical audience. This book looks at the “last two action-packed years” – which is to say “false-flag packed” years, because it’s about the way Australian media and the Australian commentariat has enabled Imperial lies to spread and take hold in the population. The key ones Tony considers are the Syrian chemical weapons stories, the Skripal poisoning hoax, and Ukraine/Crimea. He centers his study around the disinformation operations of the Institute for Statecraft and the way he thinks it is operating in Australia to counter the “Russian point of view”.

Queensland: 19 Nov 2019 - First public hearing for 5G inquiry

The Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts is holding a public hearing at Southport, Queensland on Tuesday, 19 November 2019 for its inquiry into the deployment, adoption and application of 5G in Australia. This will be the first public hearing for the inquiry, and will begin a series of public hearings and site visits to gather evidence about the challenges and benefits of 5G in Australia. Information about the inquiry, including the public hearing program, may be found on the Committee’s webpage. See inside for details. There is also a facebook page of the Australian activist group: "We say no to 5G in Australia, which has a lot of information.

Good horse welfare initiative in Campaspe Council Echuca & District Livestock Exchange

Campaspe Shire has introduced a great new horse welfare change to its Echuca and District Livestock Exchange. It will no longer accept horses that do not have clear origins and destinations. Let us hope that other shires will follow this example. As you may read in Horses need an identity urgently, Victorian laws are extremely irresponsible towards horses, and many horses suffer greatly in this state.

When the Wheels fell Off

The 100 years from 1870 is described as the innovation century in which there more more inventions, starting coincidentally with the light bulb, than in the rest of mankind's history. For the most part their roll-out into society was slow enough to dampen the impact of the invention. Electricity, for instance, wasn't connected fully in Australia until 1989. But for me, one event stood out, and that occurred on the 4th of October 1957, just before my birthday.

IPAN calls for volunteers to help with its Remember Vietnam moritorium

This is a call for volunteers to help with organising committees for 50th Anniversary of Vietnam Moratorium Campaign towards the celebration of 50 years on from the Vietnam Moratorium Campaign or offers of memorabilia from that campaign for display.
Please pass this on to your members or friends who might be interested.
To make it national, committees are needed in each state/territory to mirror that historical and successful national political campaign
Contact: bevanlramsden@gmail.com
This is an IPAN supported activity
The Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN)
Remember Vietnam and Keep Australia out of U.S. wars

3 billion birds lost in America - same trends in Australia

This short documentary shows the problems that birds face in the US, but they face the same problems in Australia. The current push by powerful property developers, niched in our government, will remove more habitat for the birds where most of us live. Birds Australia's report, The State of Australia's Birds 2015, showed shorebirds in steep decline, and that our familiar friends, magpies, kookaburras, and willy-wagtails, are now struggling.

Video: Property off the plan - Residents' rights hijacked in an unregulated industry

This is the second in a series of interviews with Nerrida Pohl about lack of proper regulation of the construction and development industry in Australia. Nerrida talks about the 30 story appartment building in Victoria, where she bought two appartments 'off the plan'. The building is a shared commercial/private one, that is meant to share one plan, but Nerrida has discovered with some amazement that there are actually two different plans. Although the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) ruled, in a dispute between the developer and Stonington Council, that residents would share the building's loading bay with commercial occupants, this right was sold off by a member of the building management for $1.00 per annum peppercorn rent. This has meant that moving vans park at the front entrance, causing traffic problems in a very busy area. The front doors are propped open so that furniture etc can be brought into the building, creating a security risk. Furthermore, the ''Residents Meeting Room' specified in the plan, has been occupied by a real-estate agency. This means that residents have no formal or designated place to meet, communicate, and organise for their own benefit. It is especially hard because many appartment owners dwell overseas and cannot easily be contacted by other owners who, when they ask, are only given overseas mailing addresses, which might be PO boxes or legal firms in distant cities.

If Waleed Ali wants to be part of the solution, he cannot be part of the problem.

Waleed Aly ("A Rhetorical State of Emergency," Sydney Morning Herald, 12 September 2019,) has dressed up banality as insight and has been very long-winded about it. His focus is climate change and he laments the fact that we have so "engineered a lack of [political] consensus" that Australia is never likely to successfully address it.

MP Clifford Hayes supports residents against the North East Link

(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.

Sydney shelters for homeless at capacity - but don't stop mass immigration

Lord Mayor Clover Moore has nothing to congratulate herself on with regard to homelessness in Sydney. The City of Sydney’s most recent street count has revealed that homelessness has risen and crisis shelters are at capacity. Although the City has been collecting levies from developers to create affordable housing since 2004, it has only created 835 new affordable housing dwellings in that time. Whilst the *official* number of homeless in Sydney reached 592 in August 2019 (with so many more couch-surfing and living on credit), Australia has continued to import approximately one million immigrants every two years, pushing up the price of housing and causing pressure on Sydney's very scarce land, to the extent that NSW State Premier, Gladys Berejiklian asked the Federal Government to halve the immigration numbers - to no avail. Lendlease private developments is forcing new suburbs into koala territory despite years of organised protests from nearby residents. It is clear that property development is disorganising human communities, extinguishing wildlife, and over-riding every democratic measure in our society. It is ironic that the City of Sydney, in a country run by property developers for their own enrichment through population growth, should give the biggest private landowner in Australia (the Catholic Church) $100,000 to pay various humble workers to telephone between services looking for empty beds each night for the homeless. The same Catholic Church is a notable property developer, owner of the oldest bank in the world, and a chronic promoter of mass immigration.

IPAN says No to sending Australian military to Straits of Homuz

Australia shows contempt for an international rules-based order, agreeing to join the US and UK with a naval, air and ADF personel presence in the Persian Gulf without any national debate or UN resolution.

Letter to Geraldine Doogue re her incompetent treatment of the infrastructure problem

"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."

Parliament ignored warning about population growth 10 years ago, to our detriment

Tomorrow it will be exactly 10 years since Kelvin Thomson spoke to the Parliament describing increasing population as the underlying cause of the world’s problems. He listed each of them - global warming, food crisis, water shortages, housing affordability, overcrowded cities, traffic congestion, species extinctions, fisheries collapse, increasing prices, waste, terrorism and war - and described the role that population growth was playing in fuelling them.

How apartment owners got hooked to pick up the massive bill for dodgy cladding

Victoria’s Planning Minister, Richard Wynne recently dropped a bombshell on thousands of apartment owners whose buildings are covered in flammable cladding.New loan laws likely to be passed by Parliament have been billed as a kindly gesture to help owners of apartments covered in the flammable cladding to fund the rectification costs. This news might seem a worthy initiative, except that the most iniquitous elements in this scandalous swindle are unspecified. Principally, Wynne’s decree provides that owners who bear no blame for this combustible catastrophe are to be burdened with a debt that could run into billions of dollars. [Article first published at https://www.thefifthestate.com.au/innovation/materials/apartment-owners-dodgy-cladding/ on 13 September 2018.]

The Endless Growth Paradigm

Script by Mark Allen of Population, Permaculture and Planning and Michael Bayliss of Sustainable Population Australia.

One giant leap for mankind - but since? - Article by Kelvin Thomson

It has been great to re-live the Apollo 11 Moon Landing’s 50 th Anniversary. What a monumental achievement and tribute to human intellectual candlepower, endeavour and above all courage. I was a Year 9 student at the time; like other classes we downed tools to watch it unfold. Our teachers were just as astonished by the audacity and precision of the Landing as we were. I – and I think most of the people who I talked with or heard from at that time – had a very rosy view of the future. Yes we were involved in a stupid war in Vietnam, but I thought the Second World War and the Holocaust were so wicked and so evil that we’d learned from that, and that there was a very strong worldwide appetite for peace. I thought that war and conflict would become a thing of the past.

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