Sprawling Solutions

Karl FitzgeraldCommentaryLeave a Comment

Creative Commons License photo credit: optimal tweezers

Renegade Economists Podcast 94

As broadcast on www.3cr.org.au on Wed June 17th, 2009

Subscribe to the podcast by searching for ‘Renegade Economists’ in the Itunes Store. Please note that last weeks notes weren’t included as it was a radiothon special. We still owe $200 if you can pls pls support us.

Show Notes:
Sprawling Solutions – Rob Adams from Melb City Council discusses his report Transforming Australian Cities with some nifty policy angles to
curtail NIMBY’s. Dont forget Speed Renting June 23rd

Rob Adams Interview:
Listen to the interview
Transforming Australian Cities report

***In an extraordinary twist of fate, as we were interviewing Rob, Premier Brumby expanded Melbourne’s footprint by the size of Canberra, in effect snubbing Mr Adams highly practical report. To make matters maddening, Madden taglined the expansion as ‘Developing Melbourne’s newest sustainable communities’. Read our commentary and attached press release.

We did comment on earlier expansions during the show as per:
Brumby’s Sprawl-athon Unravels
PLANS to contain Melbourne’s urban sprawl are “stone dead” and the city’s cherished green wedge zones are in danger, according to a leading planner who has worked closely with the State Government.

Corporatisation of the Commons
Paul Hawken:What you have in place world wide is a huge number of very wealthy powerful companies who are driven to grow and penalised if they don’t. So they’re hungry and looking for a new market, and one of the things we’re seeing right now, particularly over the last decade, although we’ve seen it before, but it’s accelerating, is what I call the corporatisation of the commons, that is to say areas which we have for hundreds and really thousands of years, taken as common property, what we call the common wealth in traditional political terms, is now being privatised.

De-Dollarization and the Ending of America’s Financial-Military Hegemony
Michael Hudson

****These governments face a hard choice: Either they recycle these dollars back to the United States by purchasing US Treasury bills, or they let the “free market” force up their currency relative to the dollar – thereby pricing their exports out of world markets, creating domestic unemployment and business insolvency. “Free markets” American-style hook them into a system that forces them to accept dollars without limit. And now they want out.

The US is now the world’s largest debtor nation, yet has avoided the pain of “structural adjustments” imposed on other debtor nations. US interest-rate and tax reductions in the face of exploding trade and budget deficits are seen as the height of hypocrisy in view of the austerity programs that the Washington Consensus has forced on other countries via the IMF and other vehicles. The US tells debtor economies to sell off their public utilities and natural resources, raise their interest rates and increase taxes while gutting their social safety nets to squeeze out money to pay creditors.

The Goyder’s Line & Climate Change

With the lack of rainfall already showing signs of increasing the amount of marginal (barely arable) land, Charles Gent raises the prospect of South Australia’s farming land decreasing by approximately 20 – 30% within 60 years.

How will this effect wage earners?

With less land to farm on
With less overall productive land, there will be greater competition between workers.

This double edged sword will reveal itself in lower wages and higher land (and thus housing) costs.


The Orb – The Forest of Lyonesse
Dak – Gobetween
Sage Francis – Strange Fame

Material We Couldn’t Get To:

Common Ground re Community Land Trusts

Like many, Reed feels attitudes towards ownership of land, and buildings, are changing dramatically in the wake of the credit crunch and the global financial meltdown. “The old idea that speculators own property to make money has gone,” he maintains. “People’s mindsets are changing. There’s been a complete shift in the way they’re thinking.”
At Stonesfield, on the edge of the Cotswolds, they are starting to do just that, and others around the country are following suit. In an area where many local people are priced out of the housing market by second-home owners, three Stonesfield villagers set up a land trust in 1983. Seven years later, they had completed six affordable homes on a quarter-acre site. The trick was simple: planning approval raised the value of the site from £3,250 to £150,000, providing security for a bank loan. People who invested in the trust were offered a 3% annual return, and donations rolled in.

Floating wind turbine launched – Jorn Madslien

“Taking wind turbines to sea presents new opportunities,” said Ms Gjorv, of Statoil’s new energy division.
“The wind is stronger and more consistent [and] areas are large.”
…In a similar way to how large parts of icebergs are hidden below the sea surface, the turbine has a 100 metre draft that is anchored to the seabed with cables, that can be up to 700 metres long.

The Gentrification Game: The War On Creativity
Speed Renting June 23 – the Comfortable Chair on Lygon St, Brunswick

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