Marvellous Melbourne aims to encourage people to be informed about issues related to urban development in Melbourne.

Protesters hail Mary

IT WAS a surprise to many at the "Save the Windsor" rally that planning campaigner Mary Drost spoke in Indonesian, her message directed to the hotel's developer, Adi Halim. She said: "You developers have wrecked Jakarta, don't come here and wreck Melbourne." The formidable Mary may be synonymous with Camberwell but she lived in Indonesia for 21 years, considers it her second home and received an award in the 1970s for her volunteer work in aiding Jakarta's development. After the Windsor rally, she picked up the phone and arranged a meeting with Halim. She's savi ng her terse words for when a wrecking ball swings into town again.

Suzanne Carbono
The AGE 
27 April 2010


The minister for what? Madden again shows no Respect.


Madden chose the day before Anzac Day to announce that the building over the road from the Shrine can be as high as 60 metres.   

Of course it is not high enough for the developer, who wanted 117 metres, and Madden has set it back 20 metres from St Kilda Road. However, it still exceeds the original height limit for that area which was 36 metres.

Why on earth couldn't he get it right?

OK this developer is knocked out but the next one will come up with a 60 metre building.

Stocklands and Madden do it to Point Lonsdale now

Madden has just signed off on another huge and inappropiate development.

This time it is the Stocklands Development at Point  Lonsdale.

When Hulls was Minister, this was refused and Stocklands were given Tooronga on a silver platter.

Now Madden has handed over Point Lonsdale, at odds with this State Government's  OWN 2008 coastal strategy, which prohibits 'the development of new residential canal estates to ensure the protection of coastal and estuary environments'.

 So here we are again - the government breaking the "rules".  

Is Melbourne carrying more than its load?

Can Melbourne's infrastructure, transport and road network etc cope with the increasing demands and has the government planned adequately for the growth? 

AUSTRALIA - 42 million by 2050

Modelling by Australia's Centre for Population and Urban Research warned of a doubling of the population in 40 years.

Melbourne and Sydney would evolve into mega high-rise metropolises on the scale of Hong Kong, with a drastic deterioration in quality of life for its inhabitants, the centre warned.

The research by Monash University's Prof Bob Birrell, one of the country's leading demographers, said Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's target of 36 million people would be overshot based on the current net migration rate of 298,000 a year.

Dick Smith, Steve Keen and Tony Bourke speak out on Population Growth.

Here are  3 snippets from a snowstorm of news about the population debate that is now raging in Australia.

1. Entrepreneur and anti-population growth campaigner Dick Smith writes:

I am disappointed at the shallowness of much of what is passing for the so-called population debate. I expected the Murdoch press to push the big growth agenda, but I hoped for clearer thinking from Crikey and the so-called government and strategic decision-makers you say you've been talking to.

You say our policy makers are trapped in the gulf between public concerns about rapid population growth and Australia's "moral responsibility" to take more immigrants from our Asian neighbours. Well, not for the first time the public has a better grasp of the situation than your experts.

Well worth a listen. . .

ABC Radio discussion on Population size in Australia.

One of the speakers is Mark O'Connor, author of Overloading Australia

He really makes sense. 

Who is in control?

Again the advisers are summoned to the Parliamentary Committee -  April 29.

If they don't come, it will go to the Upper House who can order arrest for contempt of Parliament. 

In the end it comes down to just who is in control - MPs  or Parliament (ie the people)?    

Serious times.


Just who should appear before the Parliamentary Committee???

In Canada - also a Westminster system country - it is now commonplace for staffers to appear before parliamentary committees, as this rather racy account illustrates:

And then there is something known as:-


Windsor renovation 'rescue' is more like a demolition job

The Age
March 26, 2010

Melbourne has plenty of glass towers, but only one Windsor Hotel.

Here's a grand idea for Melbourne. Why don't we knock down the rear section of the Parliament building at the top of Bourke Street and replace it with a 26-storey, 91-metre-high glass tower?

While we're at it, we could get Planning Minister Justin Madden to put his signature on a terrific little plan to pull down a wing of the Royal Exhibition Building and erect a glass and steel tower there, too. And maybe make this one 40 storeys high, just to be sure that it completely overwhelms what's left of the original building.

Ridiculous? Of course. Impossible? Don't be too sure - just look at what's about to be done to another precious heritage-listed Melbourne landmark, the 127-year-old Windsor Hotel in Spring Street.

Don't make the Windsor our Dresden, pleads Rush

March 26, 2010

The Age

David Rood


OSCAR winning actor Geoffrey Rush has weighed into the fight over the Windsor Hotel, comparing the proposed redevelopment to the bombing of Dresden during World War II.

Hundreds of protesters who rallied against the $260 million project on the steps of Parliament House yesterday were read a statement from the Australian actor, who was not at the rally.

''Dresden was bombed out during a war, we don't need a war to bomb out our city, we've got a government who is bombing it out for us,'' he wrote.

The redevelopment will result in part of the rear of the 1883 hotel being demolished to make way for a 91-metre tower. The state architect has backed the project as a ''distinctive and memorable design''.

Planning Alerts

Info from BRAG

Planning Alerts

You will no doubt be aware that the government is changing the planning act and putting in place fast tracking

processes to keep resident objectors in the dark until it is too late to do much about it.

Is Australia growing too fast - YES ! The Age

Even the readers of the fiercely pro-growth pro-immigration newspaper, The Age, agree that Australia is growing too fast.

The ONLY people in favour are those that personally gain from growth through income or power….. Think about it !

DEBATE ! : Are our migration numbers right or wrong. Kelvin Thomson vs Michael Danby

Wednesday May 5, 2010
Cora Graves Centre
38 Blessington Street ST. KILDA

Saint Kilda and South Melbourne ALP Branches present POPULATE AND/OR PERISH: Are our migration numbers right or wrong.

A debate and discussion with
Michael Danby MP
Federal Member for Melbourne Ports
Kelvin Thomson MP
Federal Member for Wills
Chair of the joint Standing Committee on Treaties

Yes, its the event that had to happen: a debate on population between two senior Labor Figures who have featured heavily in the media in recent years with opposing opinions on this important topic.

Come along and see DANBY and THOMSON slog it out, ask them questions, grapple with this enormous policy question.

National Trust appeals to VCAT

National Trust appeals to VCAT to have the Minister's decision on the Windsor Hotel overturned.
The Minister's decision and the approval of Heritage Victoria were against what the heritage control stipulated for this area and against what the owner knew clearly when he purchased the Hotel from Oberoi who also knew the controls.
One has to wonder about the chain of events that brought those approvals?
If the grand old hotels of Europe can survive without putting on towers, no reason why the Windsor can't.

Melbourne IS growing too fast !! The Age

Even the readers of the fiercely pro-growth pro-immigration newspaper, The Age agree that Melbourne is growing too fast.

The ONLY people in favour are those that personally gain from growth through income or power….. Think about it !

Fake Consultation on Windsor - Why Peta Duke didn't turn up.

The reason for Peta Duke's failure to appear before parliament re Mr Madden's memo.


 Of course the Minister could have given her permission to do so, but must not have:

A few years ago Victorian Public servants received a little booklet of rules, "Code of Conduct for Victorian Public Sector employees", created under the Public Administration Act 2004, s.63.

"The code is binding upon any person to whom it applies, and contravention of a code is capable of constituting misconduct." (p.iii)

"2.2 Remaining apolitical

Public sector employees conduct themselves in an apolitical manner. They implement and administer the policies and programs of the elected government. They avoid in the course of their work, any participation in activities which support a political party or independent candidates including attendance at fund raising or similar events.

Development Disaster for Camberwell.

The Station that has been fought for these last 7  years has been lost and a terrible development has been approved.   This is the middle of a heritage area.   It can now happen at any station    -  be warned
We Camberwell people are in deep mourning

The Windsor Story continues - Drost

Letter to the Editor
Ruth William's article (Age 28) 'Halims' high-tea controversy' provides  insight into the giant Halim empire in Indonesia.     As an Australian who has lived as an expat in Jakarta Indonesia for 21 years I found it very interesting.

'Ghost' immigrants - out of control

But it is a reminder that in both countries there are powerful vested interests that profit from uncontrolled immigration, and are forever finding ways to prop a door open. See for example Michael Pascoe's article "Population policy clock ticking" from The Age, March 22nd 2010   with its frank admission that the purpose of immigration is to depress wages (" to help keep a lid on wages that would otherwise be bid higher by competition") and thus shift money from workers to employers.  In an amazingly simple scam, employers who don't want to pay competitive wages claim to have a labour shortage, the Australian Department of Immigration uncritically accepts their claim and brings in hundred or thousands of immigrants who claim to have that skill.

Why Has Our Population Grown So Fast?

It wasn’t so long ago that population growth was a taboo subject and if you mentioned the rate of growth must have something to do with the increase in immigration you were labelled a racist.
But now the general public recognize there is a connection and that our overcrowded public transport, overloaded infrastructure, traffic problems, etc are the result. There is also acceptance that the rate of growth is putting pressure on Australia’s fragile and depleted land causing further decline on our biodiversity.
We know that there is a housing shortage which keeps pushing up the price of housing (Australia has now become one of the countries with the most un-affordable housing rates in the world - we commit up to 50% of income to buy our first home against the US which commits only around 16%).

Are we heading for an Age of Famine?

Here's a thoroughly alarming vision of future famines by professional writer Peter Goodchild, author of Survival Skills of the North American Indians.  Another recent piece of his, "Food and Population" (February 2010) is equally interesting.
It opens
Farmers are invisible people, and middle-class city dwellers choose to pretend that the long lines of trucks bringing food into the city at dawn every day have nothing to do with the white-collar world. Perhaps it is a mark of the civilized person to believe that the essentials of food, clothing, and shelter have no relevance to daily life.
Yet if the farmers stopped sending food into the great vacuum of the metropolis, the great maw of urbanity, the city would soon start to crumble, as Britain discovered in the year 2000 [5]. The next question, then, is: Where does all this food come from?

Madden approves a 91 mt tower at the Windsor Hotel

Madden approves a 91 mt tower at the Windsor Hotel, an important Heritage building and it will dominate Parliament House. 
Madden should resign.    He is a disgrace.
Read this media release  - just out   will be on the news tonight.
The reason Madden gives for approving this 91 mt tower is because the owner needs it extended to make it financial.
What!    We have to wreck an important Heritage Building for the sake of a rich Indonesian  company  that made a bad business decision.  (Actually,truth is they  probably just want to
 get richer)


Speech by Kelvin Thomson, Federal Member for Wills, to Sustainable Population Australia (South Australia), 7 March, 2010  and (Queensland), 13 March, 2010


The Resurrection of the Growth Area Tax

Remember when this Bill was killed in the Upper House?    We wondered when  the Resurrection  would be.    Well, it did not take long, it is being resurrected now., according to this Media Release put out by Matthew Guy Shadow Planning Minister  
Suggest you start talking to the Upper House Opposition MPs to make sure it gets thrown out again

Ageing Population - A poor excuse for overpopulation


Ageing population as often used as an excuse to keep adding ever yet more people - the growthist lobby argument.    
Below are excerpts from two studies which disagree with this excuse.


Syndicate content