Aussie towns lash Coalition’s regional visa farce–

MANY of Australia’s regional areas are devoid of water ….

SYDNEY’s water supply is rapidly depleting … with more Vibrants flying in by the day …

China, India, across Asia, the United States, Europe …. all have many rivers crossing their continents

WHY come here? … Housing is too expensive … we are enduring a very long drought … with no end in sight!

A man walks along a long stretch of city beach.

The Gold Coast has several hospitals, universities and a population of more than 500,000 people, but it’s considered regional.


Aussie towns lash Coalition’s regional visa farce

By Unconventional Economist in Australian Economy

November 28, 2019 | 3 comments

Predictably, Australia’s towns are unhappy about the Morrison Government’s farcical deeming of Perth and the Gold Coast as “regional” despite being bonafide metropolitan areas:

Small regional towns like Swan Hill in Victoria are now competing for migrant workers against cities like Perth and the Gold Coast…

Jason King’s business needs workers with skills, but it’s a tough job to convince them to move to Swan Hill in regional Victoria.

Until now, he’s been able to offer migrant workers a regional visa, but that competitive advantage over many major centres has now gone.

The local council and employers are frustrated about a Federal Government declaration that anywhere outside of Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney is now a “regional” area for migration.

That means skilled migrants who come to Australia on regional visas can work in places such as Perth and the Gold Coast, bypassing country towns, and still apply for permanent residency after three years.

“I can’t see how they’re regional at all,” said Jason King…

“It will be very hard for us to compete. I think Swan Hill won’t stand a chance, to be honest,” Mr King said.

“We struggle to source skilled labour here. We are so regionally based”…

Adelaide, Darwin and Hobart have been listed as regional for a while, but Perth, the Gold Coast and some other large urban centres are recent additions.

“It’s going to make it a lot more difficult to convince people to come to what is still outer regional, because migrants tend to want to go to things they’ve heard about and cities that resonate more for them,” said Muriel Scholz, the council’s economic development officer…

*Mr Versoza [from the Philippines] said guaranteed residency was a very important factor for him “because when you’ve got permanent residency the government offers to get your family and bring them back here to Australia, and it’s a very good place here”.

Let’s be frank: classifying places like Perth (2.1 million people), Adelaide (1.3 million people), the Gold Coast (600,000 people), and Canberra (420,000 people) regional was always ridiculous. They are unambiguously metropolitan, and employers in smaller towns like Swan Hill have been placed at an extraordinary disadvantage.

The Morrison Government’s new ‘regional’ visas are little more than a policy smokescreen to appease concerns surrounding the population crush in Sydney and Melbourne.

They do not fix the underlying problems with Australia’s immigration system: 1) that it is far too big, at roughly triple the historical average:

And 2) the small minority of migrants that initially go to the regions typically move to the big cities once they gain permanent residency, as explained by recent ANU research:

Australia cities are more attractive for new migrants.

An Australian National University study released Thursday found more than 60 per cent of migrants move to a capital city after about five years of living in a regional or remote location.

ANU material went as far as saying new migrants were “fleeing” regional Australia for better opportunities in the cities.

Australia has a number of visas that are designed to entice migrants to regional areas but the research suggests more needs to be done to keep them there.

ANU demographer Bernard Baffour told SBS News, “you can move migrants to areas, but you can’t force them to stay there”…

The study found Chinese-born migrants are more likely to settle in Sydney. Erin Chew of the Asian Australian Alliance said, “a lot of the Chinese people are city dwellers, so they want to live in [places] where there’s a huge concentration of their community”…

Elsewhere, Melbourne is the city of choice for most Indian-born migrants.

Short of placing electronic tags on migrants, how can decentralisation be achieved in practice when it has failed repeatedly in the past, with the visa system systematically gamed?

Let’s also remember that many of Australia’s regional areas are devoid of water. So how can they possibly accommodate many thousands of additional migrants?

The whole regional visa policy is a giant farce.

A facade of a traditional Australian town hall is seen among gardens.

PHOTO Swan Hill is a small town in regional Victoria.


Unconventional Economist

Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.





Bathurst’s Chifley Dam is down to 39 per cent of its capacity – the lowest level since the wall was raised in 2003 – and slipping by a further 1 per cent every week

-if there is no rain … raising a dam wall makes no difference

BATHURST losing its water to Sydney’s high population Housing Ponzi Scheme!

Tensions rise as Bathurst loses bid for water allocation to Sydney

Harriet Alexander
By Harriet Alexander

November 27, 2019

A government decision to divert the water allocation from a mothballed power station to the Sydney catchment instead of nearby Bathurst has inflamed tensions in the thirsty town, where the mayor has been blamed for not lobbying hard enough for water security and irrigators accused of taking more than their share.

Bathurst’s Chifley Dam is down to 39 per cent of its capacity – the lowest level since the wall was raised in 2003 – and slipping by a further 1 per cent every week.

Bathurst Regional Council wanted to buy Energy Australia’s annual water allocation for Oberon Dam, which supplied Wallerawang Power Station until it closed in 2014, and has since been used by Sydney Water.

Bathurst Regional Council wanted to buy Energy Australia's annual water allocation for Oberon Dam.
Bathurst Regional Council wanted to buy Energy Australia’s annual water allocation for Oberon Dam.CREDIT:WOLTER PEETERS

After the state government knocked back this proposal last month, the town moved to extreme water restrictions and local irrigators agreed to take just 20 per cent of their water allocation.

WaterNSW systems operations manager Adrian Langdon said Oberon Dam supplied Lithgow, Oberon, storages for the Blue Mountains and Energy Australia, which still operates Mt Piper Power Station.

If three gigalitres of water were to be diverted to Bathurst as its council proposed, there would be additional transmission losses of up to 1.5 gigalitres and the dam would be left with just eight gigalitres, he said

“Under a worst-case scenario of zero inflows, Oberon Dam holds enough water in storage to provide supply until April 2021. The loss of three gigalitres would change that date to November 2020.”

But Councillor Jess Jennings last week attempted to have a water emergency declared for the region to send a signal to the government that this decision should be overturned. If water from Oberon Dam were to be secured, progression to level five water restrictions would be avoided and irrigators would have kept 40 per cent of their allocation, he said.

Raised dust in the central west town of Bathurst on Tuesday.
Raised dust in the central west town of Bathurst on Tuesday.CREDIT:WOLTER PEETERS

“We’ve had absolutely zero political leadership from our mayor to lobby on behalf of our irrigators,” Dr Jennings said. “Local government matters for the first time in decades because if we don’t get our message right, we will miss out on fundamental measures like water security.”

Mayor Bobby Bourke said council had secured $15 million from the government since he became mayor, but he suspected the irrigators were pumping more water than their allocation allowed.

“I just hope it rains so the irrigators can get a bit more, but it’s not metered so they’re probably doing what they want to do,” Mr Bourke said. “If I had crops in there I’d be trying to get away with it, I suppose. What can you do?”

Council summoned local farmers last week and reminded them of the fines that could be incurred for drawing more than their allocation. Irrigator Jeff McSpedden, who attended the meeting, said they had been “read the riot act”.

“That struck the fear of God into people,” Mr McSpedden said. “There might be a few people pinching a bit, but it might be that they’re taking it now and they’re not going to take it later.”

Bathurst resident Peter Varman in his garden at home.
Bathurst resident Peter Varman in his garden at home. CREDIT:WOLTER PEETERS

Town water restrictions have proved a challenge for home gardeners in Bathurst, with watering reduced to two half-hour periods per week.


Dusty and dry conditions in regional NSW, where some of the state's biggest towns are trying to work out how they can keep their residents supplied with drinking water.

Scrapping over puddles: the desperate battle for water in NSW’s towns

Peter Varman, a former horticulturalist and current member of the local gardening club, is running workshops on water efficiency with methods such as mulching, choosing drought resistant plants and the use of seaweed extract.

His innovations include cutting small holes into plastic containers, filling them with grey water and placing them next to individual plants to ensure every drop goes through to the roots and not deflected off the leaves.

“None of us are bothering with grass because we’re not allowed to water lawn anyway, but it’s for the plants we want to save,” Mr Varman said. “You only have to look around the streets to see some of the trees are starting to die because there’s just no water. People are very much affected by this.”

Bathurst resident Peter Varman in his garden at home.

Harriet Alexander

Harriet Alexander is a reporter for the Herald.




IPART … Community Views Sought on WATER PRICES!


It might be a very good idea to get along to this ‘customer drop-in session’ this coming TUESDAY 26 November and ‘having your say’

BECAUSE … Sydney Water is proposing to increase its capital expenditure by 71% and WaterNSW by about 150%

IF unable to ‘get along’ please email your objections/concerns to your local NSW and Federal MPs!!

PERHAPS this related article has had some bearing on this proposal?

Israel and NSW sign water deal

IPART is holding a public hearing and an informal ‘customer drop-in session’ at the SMC Conference & Function Centre in Sydney on Tuesday 26 November. READ MORE!

Sydneysiders are facing water restrictions until at least 2024.

Sydneysiders are facing water restrictions until at least 2024. CREDIT:LOUISE KENNERLEY


Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal

New South Wales

Media release

Thursday, 14 November 2019


The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) is seeking community views about Sydney Water and WaterNSW’s proposals to increase expenditure in their delivery of water services to Greater Sydney over the next four years.

IPART is holding a public hearing and an informal ‘customer drop-in session’ at the SMC Conference & Function Centre in Sydney on Tuesday 26 November.

The public hearing will commence at 10am, and customers can attend the drop-in session between 4pm-6pm.

Issues to be discussed at the public hearing include:

 Sydney Water’s and WaterNSW’s proposed expenditure and prices.

Sydney Water is proposing to increase its capital expenditure by 71% and WaterNSW by about 150%;

 How the water utilities are planning to address drought and supply uncertainty; and

 Customer preferences for potential changes to the service and usage charges on their bills.

Acting IPART Chair Ms Deborah Cope said this would also be an opportunity to provide feedback on an updated expenditure and price proposal that Sydney Water submitted to IPART on 12 November 2019.

This is available on IPART’s website here.

IPART’s website provides information on Sydney Water’s and WaterNSW’s proposed prices from 1 July 2020, and our Issues Papers highlight the key issues for these reviews.

“The public forum is an opportunity for IPART to hear first-hand customer and community views about Sydney Water’s and WaterNSW’s proposals so we can consider these views when making our decisions on prices,” Ms Deborah Cope Acting Chair of IPART said.

Attending the Public Hearing – 10am to 3:30pm, Tuesday 26 November

SMC Conference & Function Centre, 66 Goulburn Street, Sydney NSW 2000.

Register to attend: for Sydney Water (click here)

and for WaterNSW Greater Sydney (click here).

An informal drop-in session with IPART staff will follow the public hearing, providing customers another opportunity to ask questions and have their say.

No registration is required.

Attending the customer drop-in session – 4pm to 6pm, Tuesday 26 November SMC Conference & Function Centre, 66 Goulburn Street, Sydney NSW 2000.

Media note: Any media wishing to attend the public hearing are requested to register online. To avoid interrupting proceedings, cameras are permitted at the back of the room only. Media questions will not be taken as part of the forum to enable as many customers as possible to have their say.

Please contact Julie Sheather on 0409 514 643 in advance to arrange a time to interview Ms Deborah Cope. Media Contact: Julie Sheather  02 9290 8403  0409 514 643

More information is available at




Israel and NSW sign water deal

WONDER how this MOU with Israel came about? Cough … cough …

At a time their president is being charged for corruption.

NSW is enduring its worst drought yet … exacerbated by the Growth of 100,000 Precinct slums … rapidly depleting our WATER Supply with having to quench the thirst and wash ever more vibrants …

More costly water rates due to the Housing Ponzi Scheme … from whence did that come about? Cough … cough … Costs in the $Thousands more for annual water rates …

How come they had to seek expertise from overseas … when we have leading scientists and engineers in Australia? The CSIRO?

NOTE …  ‘Circa. 40 years ago, Israel’s farmers used Australian drip feed technology to water orchards and fields.’

MIKE BAIRD former NSW Premier in 2016 visited Israel … the envoy, the emissary for who/what?

‘The NSW Government has confirmed that while in Israel, the Premier signed an agreement committing NSW and Israel to invest $2 million into co-operative start-up and innovation projects, including those focused on “agribusiness and water management”.


Related Article:


Israel and NSW sign water deal

A ‘historic’ memorandum of understanding on water cooperation was signed this week between Israel and New South Wales.


November 7, 2019

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Yuval Steinitz and Melinda Pavey. Photo: Yossi Zamir

Yuval Steinitz and Melinda Pavey. Photo: Yossi Zamir

ISRAEL will help to solve Australia’s water woes, as part of a new agreement signed in Jerusalem this week.

NSW Water, Property and Housing Minister Melinda Pavey ratified a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with her Israeli counterpart Yuval Steinitz, and hailed Israel as “the world leader” in water recycling and reuse, desalinating water, and in water efficiency. Her office called the agreement “historic”. 

Yechezkel Lifshitz, deputy director general of water resources at Israel’s Energy Ministry, told The AJN that while the agreement was signed with NSW, he hopes it will lead to Israel helping Australia’s water management nationally.

Mark Sofer@MarkSofer

The Min. of Energy and Water of Israel and the Min. of Water Resources of New South Wales signed in Jerusalem an MOU on water cooperation. As a world leader in water technologies,we are indeed excited to share our experience with Australia, further cementing our bilateral ties.

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237:33 AM – Nov 5, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacySee Mark Sofer’s other Tweets

The agreement is expected to thrust Israeli ideas and innovation to the centre of efforts to get NSW through the drought, and prevent future water crises. Pavey said that NSW has much to learn from Israel, which shares the experience of severe drought and faces “very similar challenges”. 

She marvelled that Israel “has virtually drought-proofed its cities and continues to provide farmers with water”.

“In NSW, we’re improving water security and efficiency, and this ongoing relationship with Israel will provide us with invaluable insights into how we can improve this.” 

Israeli drip irrigation is “probably one of the most water-efficient irrigation methods available”, she said, adding that innovation in all areas of Israel’s water management can help inform future water planning and infrastructure in NSW.


It was our pleasure and honor to host Hon Melinda Pavey, NSW Minister for Water, Property and Housing and her delegation in TaKaDu offices in Israel yesterday.

TaKaDu is proud to help our customers in NSW @SydneyWaterNews and @HunterWater in their water efficiency efforts

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710:03 PM – Nov 4, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacySee TaKaDu’s other Tweets

Pavey was in Israel for two days, and toured with the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce, visiting water recycling facilities and the offices of high-tech companies that work with water. “She loved it and wants to come back,” said Paul Israel, the chamber’s CEO.

Lifshitz said, “Australia faces severe drought now, and since Israel has also faced droughts in the past, including recently for five years in a row, we have lots of expertise that we are happy to share.”

The MOU doesn’t specify what form cooperation will take, but Lifshitz said that it is expected to start with experts from the two states meeting. Israeli water technology is expected to become more common in Australia. 

Entrepreneur Amir Peleg hosted Pavey at his company TaKaDu, which provides systems that cut down leakage, and already sells to Australian corporations including Sydney Water and Hunter Water. He said he had “no doubt there will be an increase in cooperation”.

Lifshitz said that his ministry outlined three main areas in which Israeli water management can provide ideas for Australia: reuse of water, making desalination commonplace, and reducing waste of water. 

Meanwhile, the spokesperson of the Israeli Water Authority, Uri Schor, was in Sydney this week for a series of meetings with Sydney Water.

View image on Twitter




‘Rapid decline’ forces Sydney to Level 2 water restrictions

HOW COME? What brought this on?

IS this due to the extra 1 MILLION that have flown in on real estate tours to pay cash for apartments in the high-rise Precincts … that are energy and water intensive? And gain a Permanent Resident Visa?

SO our governments push ahead with the second Sydney airport to fly them in … to move this diaspora around on the expanding MTR Hong Kong Consortium Metro .. and to build even more …as Sydney’s water supply rapidly drains all thanks to this overdevelopment … and they want to keep building more …

WHAT are you going to do Sydney?  We have an extra 1 MILLION more people … NOW!

-that is 200 MILLION Litres of extra water consumption every day!

-by 2068 Sydney’s population will double by mass immigration

DESPITE droughts becoming more common and evapotranspiration rates to accelerate

-the proposed solution very expensive and enviro damaging desalination plants


‘Rapid decline’ forces Sydney to Level 2 water restrictions

By Lisa Visentin and Peter Hannam

November 21, 2019

View all comments

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has fast-tracked the implementation of Level 2 water restrictions in Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra regions as dam levels deplete faster than expected.

The new restrictions take effect from December 10 and apply to water use outside the home, with people required to use buckets when watering their gardens and washing their cars.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian announces the new rules on Thursday.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian announces the new rules on Thursday. CREDIT:CHRISTOPHER PEARCE

Ms Berejiklian said the “rapid rate of decline of our dam levels” had prompted the government to bring forward the Level 2 restrictions, which are typically enacted when dam levels drop to 40 per cent.

“We are in uncharted territory in terms of the rate at which [water] has been declining. In fact, in the last 12 months we only received 10 per cent of the water in our dams that we ordinarily would,” Ms Berejiklian said on Thursday.Advertisement


An employee of the Sydney Desalination plant walks past some of its 36,000 polymer membranes used to filter salt and other impurities from seawater so that it is suitable for drinking.

‘Game on’: What happens when Sydney’s desalination plant gets turned on

The Greater Sydney dam levels are 46.1 per cent full and are expected to hit 45 per cent next month as they sink by about 1 percentage point a week, even with the desalination plant operating at full tilt.

The reservoirs have not been this low in about 12 years, since the Millennium drought, and are falling at a faster pace.

More than 85 per cent of Greater Sydney’s water is supplied by captured rainfall.

Under Level 2 restrictions, people can only water their gardens before 10am or after 4pm with a watering can or bucket, and cars can only be washed with a bucket or taken to a commercial car wash.

Smart and drip irrigation systems may only be used for 15 minutes before 10am or after 4pm, while hosing of hard surfaces is not permitted, unless in an emergency.

People wanting to fill up their pools will need to obtain a permit, while those topping up pools and spas are limited to 15 minutes a day and even then with a trigger nozzle.

Sydneysiders will face fines of $220 for breaching the restrictions, while businesses will face fines of $550.

Water Minister Melinda Pavey said the government would work “hand in glove” with businesses particularly affected by the restrictions, such as nurseries, “to ensure they can keep their businesses afloat”.


Sydneysiders are facing water restrictions until at least 2024.

Premier to announce toughest water restrictions in a decade

Businesses that rely on outdoor water use as part of their operations can apply to get an exemption.

However, Ms Berejiklian said no final decision had been made on when Sydney’s desalination plant would be expanded.

The desalination plant now produces 250 million litres a day, or about 15 per cent of Greater Sydney’s water use. The existing plant can be doubled in size, however, Sydney Water will need to make further investments to cope with the doubling of water production.

Meanwhile, up the coast, the government has started taking public comment on a plan for a desalination plant to supply water for the Newcastle region. The project, costing about $100 milion, would provide about 10 per cent of the Lower Hunter region’s needs.

So far, Sydney Water has issued 135 official warnings for water misuse.

“The objective of our Community Water Officers is about education to ensure people follow water restrictions,” a spokeswoman said.  “Where breaches of water restrictions are found, warnings or fines will be issued.”

Sydney’s move to Level 2 restrictions is ahead of the schedule set by the 2017 Sydney Metropolitan Water Plan. According to that strategy, these curbs were to kick in when dam levels dropped to 45 per cent.

Lisa Visentin

Lisa Visentin is a state political reporter at The Sydney Morning Herald.

Peter Hannam

Peter Hannam writes on environment issues for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian announces the new rules on Thursday.




SYDNEY WATER STORAGES FACE ‘DAY ZERO’ … lowest ever Water Levels!

Warragamba Dam levels were at 54 per cent in May (pictured).

Photo: Daily Telegraph: Warragamba Dam May 2019


Those enticed by the lure of real estate tourism and permanent residency may well be leaving behind a country with many rivers to quench their thirst!

To come downunder to Sydney for “day zero’’ — the day we run dry … most settle in Western Sydney … far from the coast where desalination plants will be prohibitively expensive to run!

Sydney water storages face “day zero” as migrants flood in

By Unconventional Economist in Australian Economy

November 14, 2019 | 45 comments

Sydney’s water storages are plumetting at a faster rate than was experienced during the 2000s Millennial Drought, which was said to be the worst drought in Australia’s recorded history:

This has authorities concerned that Sydney could soon face “day zero” – a time when the city runs out of drinking water:

Sydney’s water storage levels are on track to be at their lowest in history by next year as authorities grapple with how to stave off the looming prospect of a Sydney “day zero’’ — the day we run dry.

The current decline in water reserves has been so swift that Greater Sydney’s combined water storage is set to be smaller than what was recorded in the millennial drought by late next year. And it is understood that a planned expansion of the city’s desalination plant will only temporarily hasten the decline in water ­levels when the plant is forced offline for a month…

Current forecasts say Sydney has enough water to last only until May 2022.

Asked about the crisis, Water Minister Melinda Pavey said “Sydney is not immune to the drought” and added that the decline in water since ­August 2017 was the biggest drop in storage ever recorded. “NSW is in the worst drought on record, city and country,’’ she said.

“We all need to be doing our bit to conserve as much water as we can”…

Ms Pavey said Sydney faced “the biggest decline in water storage on record”.

The key difference between now and the 2006 water storage low is that Sydney’s population has grown by around one million people (~20%) over that period, which has dramatically increased water demand.

As we know, Sydney is the nation’s prime immigration gateway, importing an extra 77,100 people in 2017-18:

Sydney’s population is also projected by the ABS to balloon by 94,000 people a year for the next 48 years, effectively doubling the city’s population to 9.75 million people. And all of this growth will come from net overseas migration (NOM):

Even as droughts become more common and severe and evapotranspiration rates skyrocket:

The Sydney Desalination Plant in Kurnell, which was reactivated in January after dam levels dropped below 60 per cent. Picture: Getty

Photo: Daily Telegraph: Sydney Desalination plant

A ballooning population alongside water-draining climate change is obviously a dangerous combination that will inevitably lead to chronic water shortages and the need to construct an entire battery of energy-hungry desalination plants up and down the coast.

This situation is made worse by the fact that most new migrants locate in Sydney’s West, which is farthest away from the ocean and makes desalination less viable (and more expensive).

This planning lunacy will mean Sydneysiders will die of thirst long before its population targets are met.

Or we can, you know, cut immigration now.

Unconventional Economist

Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith is an economist and has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.

Warragamba Dam pictured at 54 per cent in May.

Photo: Daily Telegraph




Menangle transformation edges closer despite council opposition

The sleepy unspoilt rural village of Menangle must feel it is ‘under siege’ by Chinese deve-loper Dahua with its plans for 3400 dwellings plus a proposal for another 1850 dwellings …. including high-rise towers!

NOW MIRVAC has a major subdivision endorsed for the transformation of the iconic Rotolactor site for another 350 homesa minute’s drive from Dahua!

THIS is despite the NSW DROUGHT!

IN September 2019 the Cataract Dam which supplies the Wollondilly Shire … its water supply was so low it was not considered suitable to drink!

In October 2019 Warragamba Dam’s storage had fallen below 50 per cent!

*The Desalination Plant does not supply the Wollondilly Shire! *

MEANWHILE overdevelopment is underway across Macarthur too … across Greater Sydney!


Menangle transformation edges closer despite council opposition

The transformation of rural Menangle edges closer by the day with ‘independent planning experts’ endorsing a major subdivision on the site of the iconic Rotolactor.

Daniel McGookin, Macarthur Chronicle

November 7, 2019

DAILYTELEGRAPH.COM.AU3:05The Menangle Rotolactor

A birds-eye view of the Menangle Rotolactor

The transformation of rural Menangle continues to edge closer with a major subdivision receiving the green light by the Wollondilly Local Planning Panel today.

The 40ha home of the iconic Menangle Rotolactor and Creamery, bordering Menangle Rd, Station St and the Nepean River, has been subdivided into five lots despite opposition from Wollondilly Council and the community. Bulk earthworks and the demolition of three sheds were also approved.

An artist impression of the restored Menangle Creamery.
An artist impression of the restored Menangle Creamery.

Deputy mayor Matthew Gould’s pleas for the planning experts to defer the decision after recent changes to development controls in Menangle were unsuccessful.

“I know there is significant concerns from the councillors around this table about the wisdom of putting residential land within a one in 100 flood zone,” Mr Gould said at a recent council meeting. “That is not going to end with anyone involved.”

Developer Mirvac, currently working on a masterplanned community in Gledswood Hills, has already lodged plans for 97 residential lots on the site, ranging in size from 500sq m to 800sq m. About 350 homes are expected on the site in total.

Site owners Ernest Dupere and Cameron Halfpenny in the iconic Menangle Rotolactor. Picture: Matthew Vasilescu
Site owners Ernest Dupere and Cameron Halfpenny in the iconic Menangle Rotolactor. Picture: Matthew Vasilescu

The iconic Rotolactor and Creamery site is one step closer to being revitalised into a tourist mecca with a new neighbourhood centre zoning.

Ambitious plans lodged to council would see the derelict buildings be restored, complete with a boutique brewery and distillery, museum, hotel, restaurant and function centre.

Aerial image of the famous Menangle Rotolactor.
Aerial image of the famous Menangle Rotolactor.

The approved subdivision is only a minute drive from the site being flagged by Chinese-based developer Dahua Group for bold plans in Menangle Park which include eight-storey apartment towers and 5000 dwellings.




JUNE 2019 … Cuts to Emergency Services …

AS fires are lashing NSW …

Back in June 2019 the NSW Coalition attempted to sneak through cuts to Emergency Services in the State Budget!

Capital budgets of both Fire and Rescue NSW and the Rural Fire Service have been cut by 35.4 per cent and 75.2 per cent respectively

equivalent to axing the jobs of at least 100 firefighters and 50 new firefighting trucks




Published on 19/06/2019  in General News  by ttteditor

A fire in Harden’s CBD shut Neill Street in 2016 while crews attended the scene.

The NSW Labor Opposition today slammed the NSW Liberals and Nationals for their swingeing cuts to emergency services which they tried to sneak through in yesterday’s state budget.

*Under this Liberal and National Government, the capital budgets of both Fire and Rescue NSW and the Rural Fire Service have been cut by 35.4 per cent and 75.2 per cent respectively – the equivalent to axing the jobs of at least 100 firefighters and 50 new firefighting trucks.

*The Government’s massive cut to emergency services is made worse by its refusal to pay for desperately needed workers compensation for firefighters out of consolidated revenue, instead passing the $160 million cost on to ordinary families and to local councils by way of a new tax.

*NSW’s population has grown by between 80,000 and 120,000 each year over the past 8 years. This continual growth has placed an ever increasing demand on our frontline emergency services agencies and on the workers who put themselves in danger to protect the public

NSW Shadow Minister for Emergency Services Guy Zangari said: “Firefighters across the state have been sold short by the Berejiklian Governments heinous cuts in this budget. Minister David Elliott must explain why he has allowed for budget cuts to occur to our frontline firefighters”

*“In lieu of increases to council rates and insurance premiums under the Liberals/Nationals Government, they have had the audacity to cut funding to NSW Fire & Rescue and the Rural Fire Service.

“Firefighters deserve the best possible resources at their disposal to keep communities safe. Even so, the Liberals and Nationals have cut funding at the expense of this vital frontline emergency service.

*“Despite the surpluses the Treasurer and this Government have spruiked, both Fire and Rescue and the RFS have been left exposed as our frontline firefighters are let down once again.”




11,000 scientists: Population Pressure is behind the Climate Crisis

Image may contain: tree, sky, outdoor and nature

IN AUSTRALIA the first National Report on the state of our environment was delivered back in 1996 … with 18.3 MILLION People

-it stated that Australians were not living sustainably … back in 1996

-that all of the country’s environmental problems are more or less proportional to the number of residents

-plus distribution, lifestyles, technologies and demands on natural resources over the last 200 years and more

FAST FORWARD to 2019 … to more than 25 MILLION

WHY is it that some politicians … their supporters … and others remain silent on the current high immigration program so obviously driven by the ‘economic growth’ of The Top End of Town … to ensure their coffers overflow … ?

ESPECIALLY when one of their main Party pillars is about sustainability … with so many of High Net Worth parking their money in our Real Estate to gain Permanent Residency … and who come from a land of many rivers … and in so doing are locking out those whose Pacific Islands are sinking ...

11,000 scientists: Over-population behind climate crisis

By Unconventional Economist in Carbon Economy

November 7, 2019 | 34 comments

Last year, a team of scientists published their recommendations for slowing current rates of biodiversity loss in a paper in Nature Ecology and Evolution, which will include limiting human population growth:

*Although key threats to biodiversity include habitat clearing for cattle, mining, and urban sprawl, these are all consequences of population pressure and high rates of resource consumption, according to Deakin University researcher Euan Ritchie.

*“It’s often a taboo topic to talk about human population size and family planning and how much we consume as individuals,” Dr Ritchie said.

*“But if we don’t address these issues in the context of biodiversity conservation and sustainability then we’re largely kidding ourselves”…

Now, more than 11,000 experts from around the world are calling for the human population to be at least “stabilized” or preferably “reduced” to avoid a climate emergency. From Bloomberg:

More than 11,000 experts from around the world are calling for a critical addition to the main strategy of dumping fossil fuels for renewable energy: there needs to be far fewer humans on the planet

The scientists make specific calls for policymakers to quickly implement systemic change to energy, food, and economic policies. But they go one step further, into the politically fraught territory of population control. It “must be stabilized—and, ideally, gradually reduced—within a framework that ensures social integrity,” they write.

Scientists across Australia have been making similar claims for years.

*The first national report on the State of the Environment was delivered in 1996 and stated that Australians are not living sustainably, and that all of the country’s environmental problems are more or less proportional to the number of residents, as well as the material standard in which we live:

The problems are the cumulative consequences of population growth and distribution, lifestyles, technologies and demands on natural resources over the last 200 years and more.

*The latest State of the Environment report, also prepared by independent scientific experts, was published in 2016 and similarly found that population growth is a key driver of Australia’s environmental problems:

The key contemporary drivers of Australian environmental change considered in state of the environment (SoE) 2016 are population (demographic change) and economic activity…

Continued growth in Australia’s population and economy, including to meet demand for exports, is likely to increase pressures on the Australian environment…

The concentration of Australia’s population near the coast, mostly in urban areas, creates substantial pressure on coastal ecosystems and environments in the east, south-east and south-west of the country.

Whereas in 2010, the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACFcalled for Australia’s population to be stabilised and nominated human population growth as a “key threatening process” to Australia’s biodiversity.

Since the first State of the Environment report was delivered in 1996, Australia’s population has ballooned from 18.3 million to more than 25 million. Moreover, the ABS’ medium projection is for Australia’s population to balloon to nearly 43 million by 2066, all coming from net overseas migration (NOM):

Such massive growth in people (consumers) will inevitably have devastating impacts for Australia’s environment, even if consumption per head is reduced.

The above does highlight the complete and utter negligence of The Australian Greens. Despite their purported concerns for the environment, The Greens have remained deathly silent on Australia’s world-beating immigration program and have refused to argue the case publicly for a smaller and more sustainable population for Australia.

There are few better policy solutions to help protect Australia’s environment than abandoning plans for a ‘Big Australia’.




Please don’t think about climate change and the economy. It may upset you

THOUGH our elected government may be in denial, the Reserve Bank – like other central banks – isn’t. Nor are the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.


Please don’t think about climate change and the economy. It may upset you

Ross Gittins
Ross Gittins

Economics Editor November 2, 2019

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It’s coming to something when we get so little leadership from the bloke we pay to lead us that the unelected have to fill the vacuum. Now 10 business organisations have united to urge Scott Morrison either to set out the climate policy rules to drive action by the private sector, or end up spending a shedload of taxpayers’ money fixing the problem himself.

It’s not just business that’s dissatisfied. The Morrison government may be dominated by climate-change deniers, but almost all economists accept the science of global warming and believe we should be doing our bit to help limit it.

Scott Morrison seems to be in denial about climate change and its effects.
Scott Morrison seems to be in denial about climate change and its effects.CREDIT:AAP

And though our elected government may be in denial, the Reserve Bank – like other central banks – isn’t. Nor are the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

The Queensland Treasurer, Jackie Trad, asked federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg if the Reserve’s deputy governor, Dr Guy Debelle, could be invited to talk about climate change and the economy at the recent meeting of treasurers, but Frydenberg declined.

Climate change will lead to lasting change in the structure of the economy. Illustration: Dionne Gain
Climate change will lead to lasting change in the structure of the economy. Illustration: Dionne GainCREDIT:

So what was it Frydenberg didn’t want his fellow treasurers thinking about? Well, we can get a fair idea of what Debelle would have said from a speech he gave earlier this year.

But first, why do so many economists accept the science? Because they know very little about the science and so accept the advice of the experts, especially since there’s so much agreement between them.

And there’s another reason. Economists believe they can use their expertise to help the community make the changes we need to make with the least amount of cost and disruption to the economy.

As Debelle reminds us, “the economics profession has examined the effects of climate change at least since Nobel Prize winner William Nordhaus in 1977. Since then it has become an area of considerably more active research in the profession. There has been a large body of work around the appropriate design of policies to address climate change (such as the design of carbon pricing mechanisms), but not that much in terms of what it might imply for macro-economic policies” – that is, for efforts to stabilise the macro economy as it moves through the ups and downs of the business cycle.

Debelle says the economy is changing all the time in response to a large number of forces, but few of them have the scale, persistence and risk to the system that climate change has.

Macro economists like to classify the various “shocks” that hit the economy as either positive or negative and as hitting the demand side of the economy or the supply side. For instance, they know a positive demand shock increases production (gross domestic product) and prices. The monetary policy response to such a shock is obvious: you raise interest rates to ensure inflation doesn’t get out of hand.


Power station

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Shocks involving the climate affect the supply (output) side and are common. An unusually good growing season would be a positive supply shock, whereas a drought or cyclone or flood would be a negative supply shock, reducing output but increasing prices.

This is a trickier shock for monetary policy to respond to because it’s both contractionary (suggesting a cut in interest rates) and inflationary (suggesting higher rates). The Reserve’s usual response is to “look through” (ignore) the price increase, assuming its effect on inflation will be temporary.

Historically, the Reserve has assumed all climate events are temporary, with things soon returning to where they were. That is, they’re cyclical. It’s clear from the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, however, that climate change is a trend – a lasting change in the structure of the economy, which will build up over many years.

Of course, though climate change’s impact on agriculture continues to be great, it presents significant risks and opportunities for a much broader part of the economy than agriculture.

Debelle says we need to reassess the frequency of climate events and our assumptions about the severity of those events. For example, the insurance industry has recognised that the frequency and severity of tropical cyclones has changed. It has “repriced” how it insures against such events.

Most of us are focused on “mitigating” – reducing – future climate change. But Debelle says we also need to think about how the economy is adapting to the climate change that’s already happened and how we’ll adapt to the further warming that’s coming, even if we do manage to get to zero net emissions before too long.

“The transition path to a less carbon-intensive world is clearly quite different depending on whether it is managed as a gradual process or is abrupt,” he says euphemistically. “The trend changes aren’t likely to be smooth. There is likely to be volatility around the trend, with the potential for damaging outcomes from spikes above the trend.”

Both the physical impact of climate change and the adjustment to a warmer world are likely to have significant economic effects, he says.


Suncorp chairman Christine McLoughlin.

‘Makes really good business sense’: Climate change a priority for Suncorp

Economists know from their experience with reducing protection that the change from the old arrangements to the new involves adjustment costs to some people (workers who have to find jobs in other industries, for instance) even if most people (consumers of the now-cheaper imports, for instance) are left better off.

Economists press on with advocating such painful changes provided they believe the gains to the winners are sufficient to allow them to compensate the losers and still be ahead. But Debelle admits that, in practice, the compensation to the losers doesn’t always happen, leaving those losers very dissatisfied.

That’s bad enough. But Debelle fears that, with climate change and the move to renewables, the distribution of benefits and costs may be such that the gains to the winners in new renewables industries aren’t great enough to cover the losses to the losers even in principle, let alone in practice.

*Nah, all too hard. Let’s just ignore it and hope it goes away.

Ross Gittins is the Herald’s economics editor.

Ross Gittins

Ross Gittins is the Economics Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald.

Scott Morrison seems to be in denial about climate change and its effects.