'Bligh's a puppet': growth protest

ABOUT 100 Sunshine Coast residents have protested outside a growth summit in Brisbane, demanding Premier Anna Bligh "listen to the voice of the people''.

As the Premier and federal treasurer Wayne Swan argued the pro-growth case inside the summit, a crowd outside chanted “Grow our health, not developer wealth”, and called “Listen to the Voice of the People, Anna”.

The chant of “Anna Bligh’s a puppet, developers love it” rose up through the central atrium resonating through the library’s five floors.

The summit opened to the voice of Aboriginal mezzo-soprano Maroochy Barambah.

Maroochy is a Gubbi Gubbi and a member of the Stolen Generations who considers herself a beneficiary of her removal.

However, those protesting outside the summit from community organisations across South-East Queensland see no benefit coming from the growth being forced upon them.

Sunshine Coast Environment Council manager Narelle McCarthy said yesterday a big turnout was expected outside the summit venue at 11am to ensure neither the Premier nor any of those attending were left in any doubt “as to how the people of South-East Queensland feel about unsustainable population growth and its detrimental impacts''.

Ms McCarthy said the two-day summit failed to consider the fundamental question of whether continued population growth was sustainable.

Instead, Ms McCarthy said the assumption appeared to be that the current projected growth was a given and there was nothing to be done other than to manage the consequences.

“The Premier must heed the will of a community experiencing the detrimental effects of population growth daily, not those with vested interests in a pro-growth agenda,'' she said.

According to another Sunshine Coast organisation, Ms Bligh must also sack Planning Minister Stirling Hinchliffe.

Development Watch has accused the Premier of compromising the government's integrity by appointing someone who “was so closely associated with the development industry”. Mr Hinchliffe was an advisor to the Property Council before entering politics.

It also wants the government to scrap present planning for development at Caloundra South, central Maroochydore and Palmview and to allow the council to determine population limits for those areas.

Development Watch also wants a state population policy with equal emphasis on economic, social and environmental sustainability and for the removal of the mandatory 2031 dwelling targets from the SEQ regional plan.

Read more...

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