13 July 2017


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Australia's population should be just 15 million

Should Australia have a population of 15 million?
AUSTRALIA’S population should be far lower, academics say. They claim although our economy is growing, our wellbeing peaked 40 years ago.

Three academics have suggested Australia’s population is too big. Picture: Chris Hyde Source: Getty Images

THE optimal population size for Australia is just 15 million people.

That’s the opinion of environmental experts Peter Martin and James Ward from the University of South Australia, and Paul Sutton from the University of Denver.

In an article published in The Conversation, they suggest genuine progress in Australia peaked 40 years ago, and that while our population and economy have grown considerably in recent decades, our level of wellbeing has actually declined.

“In Australia, the stall point appears to be about 1974,” they wrote.

Australia has the highest growth rate of the medium and large OECD countries. Picture: Eugene Hyland

Australia has the highest growth rate of the medium and large OECD countries. Picture: Eugene HylandSource:News Corp Australia

Rather than looking at Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is commonly used to gauge economic health, they opted to use a more alternative measure known as the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI).

It factors in a range of things excluded from GDP calculations, like carbon dioxide emissions and water pollution to the value of household work and parenting, the quality of education, and even the prevalence of car crashes.

Based on their research, they said our “unnecessary, ideologically-driven growth” has come at “an immense and unjustifiable cost to our natural and social capital”.

Martin, Ward and Sutton argue it’s reaching a crunch point.

“(People) are often quick to say that it’s our consumption patterns, and not our population size, that really matter when we talk about environmental impact.

“But common sense, not to mention the laws of physics, says that size and scale matter, especially on a finite planet.”

If growth continues, there will be far fewer empty seats at sporting events. Picture: Mark Kolbe

If growth continues, there will be far fewer empty seats at sporting events. Picture: Mark KolbeSource:Getty Images

Australia is currently home to about 24.1 million people.

It has the highest rate of population growth of all the medium and large OECD countries, at a rate of about 1.7 per cent a year, and more than three quarters of the growth is in four cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

Australia’s growth is such Liz Allen, a demographer from the Australian National University, believes a formal population policy should be introduced.

“With birth rates low and deaths increasing, natural increase is no longer driving Australia’s population,” she said.

Immigration is increasingly relied on to offset the ageing of the workforce, and more than half of Australia’s population growth is from net overseas migration.

In fact, Australia has one of the highest proportions of overseas-born people in the world, about 26 per cent according to the last census.

Rapid growth puts a lot of strain on infrastructure and urban environments. Picture: Nathan Dyer

Rapid growth puts a lot of strain on infrastructure and urban environments. Picture: Nathan DyerSource:News Corp Australia

Planning expert Glen Searle said Australia is “hostage to the growth machine” because developers and property owners have a vested interest in continued rapid population growth.

He said “urban planning for this rate of growth is often inadequate”, because it’s failing to protect high-value environments from development.

“Despite their expanding area, Australian cities have less green open space. In attempts to reduce the costs of new infrastructure to meet the needs of increasing populations, [the] average housing block size has been reduced,” he said.

He believes this is causing “heat islands” in cities that lack greenery and recreation space, and also expressed the poorer quality of new housing developments.

“Perhaps the shortcomings of planning resulting from the need to accommodate fast-growing populations could be mended with reduced growth,” he said.

Growth gives many sectors a never-ending supply of new customers, which is good for the economy.

Growth gives many sectors a never-ending supply of new customers, which is good for the economy.Source:News Corp Australia

Australia’s ageing population will cause a significant burden on the health system in coming years, but Santosh Jatrana from Swinburne University of Technology argues this will be offset if it continues to welcome healthy workers.

Skilled migrants and their dependants typically go through a medical screening to ensure they meet minimum health requirements, and as such, she suggests they are often healthier than the average Australian.

“While an ageing population adds to the burden on the health system, an intake of migrants who are generally young and healthier than the average Australian, due to their selectivity, might help balance this out,” she says.

“So, in fact, increasing migration would be of benefit to Australia’s health.”

Some of Australia’s planning woes could be eased by more regional migration. Picture: Jason Edwards

Some of Australia’s planning woes could be eased by more regional migration. Picture: Jason EdwardsSource:News Corp Australia

Ever since the end of World War II, people moving to Australia from overseas have overwhelmingly focused on large metropolitan centres.

It’s easy to see why — they have better access to employment, education and health services, and a better chance of finding communities of compatriots.

Emily Longstaff, who is currently studying a Ph.D at the Australian National University, says migrants can help stabilise declining regional populations.

Often, that means a corresponding economic boost — like the Victorian town of Nhill, which has employed more than 160 refugees to work in a local poultry farm.

Australia can learn from the experiences of densely-populated countries like Japan. Picture: iStock

Australia can learn from the experiences of densely-populated countries like Japan. Picture: iStockSource:Supplied

Australia’s population is still tiny compared to the rest of the world, and considering we have a lot of space to fill, we have plenty of time to plan ahead.

Brendan Barrett and Marco Amati, from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, say Australia can learn from cities like Tokyo to smooth the process.

Tokyo has a population of 38 million — almost 160 per cent of the entire population of Australia — but it’s consistently ranked one of the world’s most liveable cities.

The key, according to Barrett and Amati, is to plan early to minimises negatives like environmental pollution and disorganised urban sprawl as the population grows, and commit early to world-class public transport.

Victoria's new road rules 'interesting' but are not law

The buffoons in government have apparently had a brainstorm and implemented new rules on Victorian roads.

The good people of Australia are told that laws are to be made for "peace, order, and good government" (from a law called the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act).

Thankfully road rules do not fall into any of the above mentioned categories (i.e peace, order or even a law).

The very next day after alleged implementing a road 'rule' that drivers must slow down to 40km/h when passing emergency vehicles a collision occurred on the Western Highway.

So how is that for "peace, order, and good government"?

Well it's not.

It (a road rule) is not even a 'law', i.e. something that you must abide by.

Failure to abide by these road rules apparently carries a fine.

It seems like it's a cash grab from the struggling population.

We recommend any lawful / natural 'person' that obtains a fine from any of the new rules in place to challenge them in a court

See article from 12th of July 2017 by the Fairfax publication of the headline:

The changes to the road rules you might not know about

For the first time in eight years, Victoria has a new set of road rules.

And while most of the do's and don'ts remain the same, there have been a few nips, tucks and tweaks.

Some of the changes have been widely publicised, such as the 40km/h speed limit for driving past emergency vehicles and the new $476 on-the-spot fine for cyclists who use a mobile phone while riding.

Other alterations are a little harder to spot.

At 547 pages long, the full book of traffic regulations is a hefty read. However, the eager beavers at the RACV have helpfully gone through all 408 rules to find what others might have missed.
Here's what they found:

Road rule 300 - Use of mobile phones

As mentioned earlier, bicycle riders and those mounted astride a wheeled recreational device (such as a skateboard or scooter) are now not allowed to use a mobile phone.

This rule even applies when the bike/device is "stationary but not parked".

That point has prompted riders to get in touch with the RACV to ask how they can be sure they have parked their bike, scooter or skateboard under the new rule.

"If they're standing with one foot on the skateboard are they riding it or is it parked?," said RACV roads and traffic manager Dave Jones.

"People are asking these questions, they don't want to be booked."

For cars, a recent clause clarifying that drivers could use their mobile phone with their keys in the ignition or the vehicle running if it was legally parked has been removed.

The RACV got in touch with VicRoads to clarify the situation and was told it was a mistake which would be corrected as soon as possible.

Road rule 270 - Wearing motor bike helmets

Motorcycle riders are now allowed to move their bike without a helmet, as long as the engine is off or they are pushing it.

The rule states that it has to be safe in the circumstances not to wear a helmet.

Road rule 271 - Riding on motorbikes and motorcycles

A modification to this rule makes it legal for riders to stretch their legs.

It's now legal to stand up on a bike while it's moving, as long as both feet are on the foot pegs.

Riders can also lift one leg up, as long as their bum remains on the seat.

Road rule 179 - Stopping in a loading zone

The previous version of this rule didn't require courier or delivery vehicles to be dropping off or picking up goods while parked in a loading zone.

Now they have to, which is bad news for the lovers of a loophole who had a magnetised "courier" sign ready to stick on their car door.

Road rule 213 - Making a vehicle secure

A plus for food safety as refrigerated trucks are now permitted to be left running while unattended.
Road Rule 154 - Bus lanes

Bike riders are now allowed to use bus lanes, as are the drivers of private coaches. Previously they were solely for public buses.

More broadly, Mr Jones said that it was important for the state government to introduce a mandatory minimum consultation period for any changes to the road rules.

He said this would help, particularly in situations such as the 40km/h emergency vehicle rule or the mistake regarding use of mobile phones while parked.

"The public should be notified of changes in advance for education purposes but also so we have the opportunity to consider the rule," he said.

12 July 2017

Tax office now involved in hacking your phone?

It seems there are no boundaries when it comes to the monitoring of the corporate slaves or the inhabitants of a penal colony.

Not too long ago the people have been told that Centrelink hacks into their phones;

Now, even a non legal entity in Australia can (legally?) hack into your phone?

The Australian Tax Office is involved in developing / using software to ILLEGALLY hack into your phone.

Many people may not even contemplate the nefarious reason why Australia's authorities are pushing / mandating people to use smart phones in their communications.

Because they are easily hackable.

It is truly a shame that the herd population are not only compliant, but so eagerly possessing smartphones in order to be monitored, which also includes in their own private dwelling.

We do not recommend the use of smart phones (in particular Android / Apple) for communications purposes.

See article from 12th of July 2017 by news.com.au of the headline;

New scandal hits the Australian Taxation Office

A NEW crisis is engulfing the Australian Taxation Office, just weeks after police smashed an alleged $144m fraud and a big computer systems outage.
ATO leaders have been forced to speak with a staff member after it emerged they has published a step-by-step guide to hack mobile phones online, revealing fraud investigation tactics.
The post was published on LinkedIn, and revealed how to bypass passwords, and retrieve data — even when the phone is flat or without a SIM card installed, the ABC reported.
The post was removed in under an hour after the Australian Taxation Office was alerted to it. It also included claims the staff member was involved in developing security capabilities it has previously not been thought to be involved in.
An ATO spokeswoman told the ABC the staff member had been spoken to but not suspended or fired. News.com.au has contacted the ATO for comment.
Phones were only accessed under a warrant under the Crimes Act, or with written consent from the owner, she said, but declined to say what “tools” the agency used as part of its work.
“For operational reasons, we do not disclose information about when different tools are used as part of our operations,” she said.
Adam Cranston’s case is due back in court today. Picture: AAPSource:AAP
Michael Cranston resigned as deputy commissioner of the ATO after his son Adam and daughter Lauren were among nine people charged over an alleged $144 million tax-evasion scheme. There is no suggestion Michael Cranston, 57, was part of the scheme, but he has been charged with using information and exercising his influence as a public officer to benefit his son.
Adam Cranston lived a lavish lifestyle until his arrest, with authorities seizing some of his assets under proceeds of crime laws. Last week it was revealed he spent $200,000 on two Italian racing cars just weeks before he was arrested.
The ATO has defended its ability to deliver during the peak tax return period after a big systems outage.
ATO portals, my Tax and other online services went down as staff attempted to resolve “some intermittent system issues”. The website has been dogged by system issues in recent months, with major outages in December, February and as recently as last week.
The problems were not related to recent hardware issues and no data had been lost, it said, nor were the systems compromised or subject to a cyber attack. “We identified intermittent system issues early this afternoon affecting our mainframe and impacting on our services to the community,” the ATO said in a statement.
“This was caused by applications running incorrectly.”