Fireside 2.1 ( Post-Growth Australia Podcast Blog Tue, 22 Nov 2022 16:00:00 +1100 Post-Growth Australia Podcast Blog en-us Asbestos: our legacy and our future Tue, 22 Nov 2022 16:00:00 +1100 d9a6eb3c-1290-4e9a-b6e2-100372c1cad1 Asbestos awareness week (November 22-28) is currently upon us and it serves as a potent reminder that this all-pervasive substance will continue to have a major impact upon us all for years to come. It has certainly had an impact upon both Michael and I and you can read about it in our previous blog entry: A Year in Asbestosville: A Farcical Tale of Systemic Failure.

Firstly, our experience taught us that there is currently not enough legislation in place to protect the health and safety of tenants within the private rental market. It should not have to be reiterated that a duty of care towards occupants must always take priority over everything else. For example, forcing a new tenant to sign a form that acknowledges the presence of asbestos, only to later use it as an excuse to ignore any concerns around friable asbestos exposure, should be illegal. For this reason, it is imperative that we increase funding for tenant advocacy and for legal support services.

Looking back, no one should feel that they must sign a lease knowing that there are cracked and unsealed walls that contain asbestos (on top of all of the other issues that are discussed in the blog). However, under the current paradigm, it is very difficult to make Real Estate agents address such concerns, especially as people are being increasingly forced to accept lower standards of housing in order to get a roof over their heads.

The public housing sector has policies in place to register and monitor asbestos and a similar approach is required in the private housing rental sector too. This would include property managers being trained in asbestos awareness so that they know what to look out for, especially as asbestos can be found in so many places.

It is also crucial that legislation is introduced which makes it compulsory for all houses built before 1990 to be fully assessed by an asbestos professional prior to any lease being signed. This would be followed-up by an asbestos management plan that would have to be made available to both the property manager and tenant. That way, everyone would have peace of mind knowing that all asbestos on the property is being properly maintained and if need be, removed. This would be one component of a broader approach by society as a whole towards gradually phasing all asbestos out of circulation.

While this may seem like a daunting task, it is all the more reason why we should start now as it will likely take generations. In the United Kingdom, a Parliamentary Group on Occupational Safety and Health declared: “the time has come to put in place regulations requiring the safe, phased and planned removal of all the asbestos that still remains in place across Britain.” Such an approach is also required in Australia.

To make this work it will need to be a multi-pronged approach that includes making government grants available to assist with the safe removal of asbestos. For the same reason, we need to make appropriate asbestos disposal a free publicly funded service. This would have the knock-on effect of reducing the amount of illegal asbestos that is dumped every year which, despite being a serious crime, happens all too often.

Financial support should especially be provided to first home owners who often enter into the housing market on a shoe-string budget in order to purchase a run-down property with the intention of doing most of the renovations themselves. This is concerning because we can expect many of the future deaths from asbestos to be as a result of people having done home renovations without adequate knowledge of what they were handling.

This is why there needs to be more education and awareness on the issue in general, starting in schools, because if you live in Australia and especially in WA you will inevitably come across asbestos on and off throughout your life. It is the younger generations who (together with all of the other bad legacies that we have left them) will have to deal with the sheer weight of ageing asbestos material.

Therefore, all three levels of government will need to work together to put together a comprehensive asbestos management and removal strategy. It would be the role of local councils to oversee the auditing of all asbestos within their jurisdiction that is friable, close to becoming friable and subject to weathering (such as asbestos containing roofs and fences). This would result in management plans being put into place for all affected properties, not just the ones that are being rented out.

Real estate agents would have to declare the presence of asbestos in any home that they are selling (as is already the case in some other countries), including a requirement that a copy of any asbestos management plan is shared with prospective owners. In turn, this would give prospective sellers an added incentive to remove and properly make safe asbestos within their home.

asbestos fence
(Landlords must have a greater obligation to properly manage and remove asbestos products over time as part of a professionally sanctioned management plan)

It is not just roofs, fences, outbuildings and various fixtures and fittings that we need to be concerned about. A large amount of WA's housing stock (especially the post war housing) is mostly built out of asbestos containing fibrous cement sheet (fibro) and many of these structures are ageing and degraded. They are also very energy intensive to heat and cool.

However, this provides us with an opportunity to replace our most run-down fibro housing stock with much needed, thoughtfully designed medium-density housing. That way we can engage in some decent precinct planning, especially if groups of two or three fibro houses can be purchased together by cooperative housing groups or public housing providers, for the purpose of redeveloping an entire section of streetscape. This will provide us with some much-needed housing diversity in areas that are too often dominated by single-storey post war bungalows. Furthermore, if we do this for the purpose of providing much needed affordable housing, we can preserve and renovate our brick housing stock, as there is so much embodied carbon in these buildings.

Sadly, this goes against our current approach to housing, planning, development and residential living in general. Thanks to current zoning laws, many decent robust houses are demolished while thousands of post war fibro houses continue to degrade, often as private rentals. Therefore, wide-scale changes to our town planning system are required, hence the emergence of groups such as Town Planning Rebellion (TPR).

Asbestos continues to kill thousands of people every year and with huge amounts of ageing asbestos in and around our homes, coupled with a general ignorance regarding how to manage it, we can expect asbestos related death to be with us for some time. However, with the right attitude, we can alter this trajectory and instead positively reframe our asbestos legacy as an opportunity. That is to help steer our construction economy towards one that is built around retrofitting, improving, diversifying and regenerating our existing neighbourhoods, while ensuring that the risks to our health are greatly minimised.

Some other points to consider:

  • When I was staying in the Perth Hills, I noticed that many ageing fibro garages, outbuildings and badly damaged fences remain in what is essentially a high fire risk area. It should be an obligation to consider the safety of firefighters by reducing the asbestos load in these areas as much as possible. This will also reduce the contamination and clean-up costs in the event that outbuildings, roofs and fences are lost to extreme weather.

  • Not all asbestos structures and fences need to be replaced. For example, hedges that consist of fire-retardant shrubs can sometimes be planted instead.

shed gone
_(Not all asbestos outbuildings need to be replaced. This was the site of an ageing fibro shed. Its removal has enabled access to the rear of the dwelling and space for an air conditioning unit.) _

  • Many old fibro houses have good bones that are often made out of jarrah, so sometimes there is the option of replacing the fibro cladding with something that is safe, sustainable and preferably much better insulated.

rennovated asbestos house
(Many fibro houses are built around robust frames often made out of jarrah and can be reclad)

  • We must prioritise the recycling and repurposing of building materials as much as possible in a post growth society. This will need to be coupled with stricter regulations to ensure that only quality new building products are used. Special care will need to be given to check that asbestos containing products are not being imported. The very last thing that we need to be doing is adding to the huge amount of asbestos that is already in Australia at a time when we are endeavouring to phase it out.

  • It is also crucial that we learn from our tragic past and the legacy that it has left us, by putting an end to activities that cause diseases such as silicosis. For example, our demand for imported manufactured stone must stop. Instead, we can pursue locally produced innovations such as kitchen worktops that are made out of recycled glass bottles, recycled concrete and good old-fashioned wood.

Thanks for reading!

Your PGAP co-hosts, Mark Allen and Michael Bayliss

A Year in Asbestosville: A Farcical Tale of Systemic Failure Mon, 24 Oct 2022 16:00:00 +1100 1958a65a-8fb3-455f-a9a4-fa9eaf19c10e One would think that Western Australia - a state that takes much pride in how wealthy it is - might pay a little more attention to enduring legacy of asbestos, which continues to claim thousands of WA lives each year. But not so much luck for the private renters out there. Come with me on a journey of kafkaesque proportions against a system which is completely inept to deal with the problem that keeps giving. secondattempt
(This is the look of a man who no longer has to rent an asbestos shithole. Many Albany residents aren't so lucky. Much system change needed!)

Asbestos has a dramatic history in Western Australia. So much so that the town of Wittenoom is the site of one of the world’s worst industrial disasters where 2000 people have lost their lives to date. It remains to this day the largest contamination site in the southern hemisphere. This tragedy is covered in the famous Midnight Oil song ‘Blue Sky Mine.’ At least 4000 Australians continue to lose their lives every year from asbestos related diseases.

One would hope that our society might be together enough to learn from the tragedies of the past. In WA, our collective psyche seems to believe that asbestos was a disaster from another era and that we have moved on. Instead, we seem to be sweeping our past under the rug, out of sight out of mind. I mean this both figuratively and literally.

Several years ago, I was shocked to discover that, far from being a thing of the past, many new developments in our major cities are inadvertently being built with materials containing asbestos, often made in China and slipped under the radar of our deregulated building codes. The Perth children’s hospital development was an infamous example. Since moving to WA, asbestos has followed me around like a persistent ghost. At every point, my attempt to address this issue has encountered ineptitude, apathy and downright hostility from our broken and deteriorating social systems.

(What do you mean this aint pretty? WA was BUILT on this stuff. So what if it is an eyesore. Or a courtesy of Shutterstock).

Below is an account of my past year dealing with asbestos in Albany, Western Australia. It is actually hilarious in a grim, Kafkaesque kind of way. Enjoy the ride!

It began in September 2021 when I moved quickly from Adelaide to Albany in a narrow gap between lockdowns and had to find a rental as quickly as possible. Bracing myself, I did a tour of the local real estate offices where they took great joy in telling me that "Albany is up-and-coming. That there is UNPRECEDENTED demand and little supply and that there may be a couple of places available BUT it won’t be easy and it won’t be cheap!" They love it, don’t they?

(You say dilapidation? I say INVESTMENT. There's a wait list for beauties like this in Albany. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock).

There happened to be a fibro box with a garden within walking distance from town going for $310 a week, which apparently was good value in this saturated market (consider the fact that the national housing market is so broken that even a regional town 5 hours south of the most isolated capital city in the world is still unaffordable). It obviously needed re-stumping as the bedroom wall was dropping and the floor was sloping so much in the front room there was a danger that I could roll out of bed. But it would have to do. So, I filled out a number of forms and in amongst it all there was a discrete, unassuming disclosure form which acknowledged that it was an asbestos structure. I knew that both the outside and inside asbestos walls were painted so I didn’t make much of it, so I moved in and dealt with all of the challenges of living in a house that had for the most part, been allowed to run itself down for many years.

Need restumping
('Might need a restumping'. My rental was at such an angle that the walls were shearing apart. My property 'manager' was more interested in me keeping the grass cut. Priorities y'know.)

So, I was very happy when just before Christmas 2021, I was involved in the private purchase of a unit in Albany. This came as a huge relief as it finally enabled me to step away from Australia’s insidious rental industry. Finally, there was an opportunity to spend my hard-earned money in order to help build a place up, as opposed to parting with my money in order to finance a landlord’s mortgage (who in too many cases has little interest in maintaining it beyond the most basic levels of liveability).

Of course, bringing the unit - built in 1978- into the 21st Century, involved auditing the property for any asbestos that may have been used in its construction. _Asbestos was not phased out from housing construction in Australia until 1990. _

The first project was to remove an old asbestos shed that was attached to the side of the property. The second was to paint the decades old asbestos fences within close proximity to the property. It was too expensive in this instance to have the fences replaced, especially as it involved getting multiple neighbours involved. In order to audit a property, you need to know what you are looking for and it was while doing this research that I stumbled upon two little known facts. One is that old vinyl sheet flooring often has a backing that consists of 100 percent compressed asbestos fibres and that if disturbed, they can become instantly friable. At the same time, I discovered that asbestos was often added to the putty around windows.

(like this one!)

What is friable asbestos I hear you ask? It is that which can be crumbled, pulverised or reduced to a powder by hand pressure. Much easier to get into air passages and wreak havoc, in other words.

While this wasn’t an issue in the house that I was involved in renovating, this research led me to discover (to my horror) that the house that I was renting, had an old ripped vinyl sheet floor with mysterious white powder oozing out of it in the bedroom. In addition, there was crumbling putty around the windows in multiple rooms that was leaving a fine greyish powder on the window ledges and floor. This sent alarm bells ringing, especially as I had been sweeping and vacuuming these powdery substances up for some months.

Floor tiles
(Yes, the floor titles had seen better days).

Naturally my first reaction was to curse to high heaven. My second reaction was to take stock of circumstances. So, I wrote a fairly detailed email to the Property Manager outlining the issues and suggested that samples be taken from the vinyl in the front room as well as the crumbling putty in the windows. I stated that -

“If they both come out negative for asbestos, I will happily pay the remaining rent until the end of the lease and also pay to have the house cleaned. But obviously if you refuse to do the testing, I shouldn’t be expected to pay any more rent as it wouldn’t feel safe to return without a negative result.”

Up to this stage this issue had not been personal, it had been an obvious failure of the system, but the response from my property manager felt both brutal and personal. Not only was my request for testing ignored, she referred me to the asbestos disclosure that I had signed at the start of the lease. At the time of signing, I assumed that this disclosure was in reference to the landlord or agent not being liable if I (for example) drilled into the asbestos walls. I did not expect it to be used as an excuse to ignore the presence of potentially friable asbestos prior to the lease being signed. In other words, it could be used to override a landlord’s duty of care.

The property manager did agree to end the lease three weeks early but demanded that I continue to pay rent for the following two weeks without any testing being undertaken. So, I had to endure the double whammy of not knowing whether I had been exposed to asbestos while also being forced to pay a further 620 dollars in rent on a house that I no longer felt safe to live in.

So, I decided to seek legal advice. Surely, I thought, given the persisting legacy of asbestos in WA and given that this stuff, you know – kills, that the system would be perfectly geared to providing the advice that I needed quickly. How naïve was I? But seriously folks, there is where it gets ridiculous.

Tenancy WA referred me to a third-party legal advice organisation. In order to get someone to phone me, I had to fill out many forms, pay $40 and wait a whole week for the phone call, as they rescheduled and protracted. I was provided some very broad advice around needing to leave the house immediately (which by then I already had done), and some legal clauses that I could use as a tenant (which didn’t work in the end). The lawyer on the phone was not allowed to put anything into writing, which meant that I had to memorise a lot of complex legal jargon from a single phone call. Nor was I allowed to send through any draft correspondence that I was writing to the real estate agent in order to get advice on whether I was framing things correctly. Hence, it was a lot of busywork to get nowhere slowly, with the onus of responsibility thrust back onto yours truly.

I also contacted a community legal aid centre in Albany who would only accept my application AFTER I had had the discussion with Tenancy WA and after I summarised the conversation for them in writing. I also had to fill in a bunch of paperwork and documents for them. It then it took another month before I finally received one phone call from them. This was due to multiple factors, including the ONE tenancy lawyer being off sick with COVID, or unexpected emergencies in the office. Their automated appointment system was also inaccurate, giving me wrong dates and times, which meant that I had to call reception on many occasions to problem solve the issues with them. By the time they finally contacted me, it was well and truly after the fact.

In the meantime, I had vacated myself and my possessions out of the house. Because no testing had been done, I had no choice but to take the mattress that had been exposed to powder from the floor and the windows to the tip. I just couldn’t risk keeping it. Fortunately, I have an uncle with a holiday house in the Perth Hills which was vacant and where he said that I could stay for as long as necessary. Unfortunately, it was a five hour drive up the road. For all my displacement, I was thankful to have a stable job that allowed me to work from home (wherever home happened to be that month). It became apparent at that stage that I wouldn’t get any legal support any time soon so I begrudgingly paid the remaining two weeks rent, knowing that if I didn’t, I would lose my bond. But I couldn’t live with the uncertainty of whether or not I had been exposed to asbestos, so I ended up forking out to pay for the tests myself. So not only had I had to pay rent on a house that I did not feel safe living in, I also had to pay for the testing too.

Upon arriving at my uncles, I dared a deep sigh of relief that I was away from potential danger. Ironically as I drew in a nice big breath, I noticed bits of broken asbestos fencing scattered around his garden, some of which was mixed in with the gravel pathways where people regularly walk. So, I stopped breathing so freely as I embarked on a project to clean this up and have it taken away. I also noticed piles of it dumped in the adjoining bushland, which is something that I will have to tackle at a future date. This was in all likelihood a legacy from an asbestos house that was demolished on the site back in 1992. It seemed that there was no escaping from it.

In the meantime, I continued to call around for advice. Albany Council said that they ‘couldn’t intervene in real estate/tenancy relationships’ and my contact at Worksafe was reluctant to review a draft email that I had prepared in response to the real estate agent. The most absurd conversation was with the asbestos expert for a State health department. When I suggested to him that Real Estate organisations need to take a more proactive approach towards asbestos management, his response was ‘we live in a prosperous and affluent state and we can’t get in the way of business by forcing more legislation onto real estate agents.’ I couldn’t believe my ears.

There is a positive outcome to this story, at least for me. The asbestos results actually came back negative, much to the surprise of the asbestos professional who thought that at the very least, the vinyl floor sample would come back positive. On the same day he had tested another very similar vinyl floor in another house that turned out to be positive. It was the luck of the draw. He did say that I did the right thing by leaving the house immediately as it was the safe thing to do. Also, the real estate agent did return most of the bond in the end – although all of this amount and much more was consumed by the asbestos test fees, short term accommodation fees, the cost of relocation, driving to Perth, a new mattress and having to pay two weeks rent on an empty house.

Vinyl test
(The sample taken of the vinyl sheet flooring under the microscope showed to my relief that the white fibres were synthetic and not asbestos.)

I was so relieved with the outcome, if only for the fact that it took every ounce of my energy and capacity just to reach this point. Had results come back positive, the ensuing battle with the estate agent risked being long, protracted and nasty. I knew this because the asbestos professional who did the testing informed me that tenants have in the past spent years and in one case at least, tens of thousands of thousand dollars (as well as having to teach themselves law) in order to win cases against landlords.

Sadly, there is no solace to be found in the hope that the risk of exposure to asbestos in WA will recede any time soon. It is probable that Albany won’t even have the luxury of professionals who test for and remove asbestos in the medium-term future. Paying for someone to come down from Perth will be expensive, so many people won’t do it. Instead, they will take risks and cut corners. This is because the WA government is passing laws that make it even more costly to remove asbestos legally. When I had the small asbestos shed removed it cost two and a half thousand dollars. If I were doing that today it would likely cost three and half thousand.

Government agencies justify this because it is costing them a lot of money to remove illegally dumped asbestos in public areas. Of course people are in part illegally dumping asbestos because they don’t want to pay to do it properly. So, the state government have dim wittingly dug themselves into a positive feedback loop. This however is no excuse. The illegal dumping of asbestos is a serious offence and it should receive serious penalties. Nevertheless, we can only expect illegal asbestos dumping to get worse as costs become more prohibitive.

Of course, this is also indicative of a larger scale issue whereby too much power has been siphoned towards landlords and real estate companies, who get to write their own rules, are not held to account and are generally regarded as being too big to topple. I was lucky in the sense that I got to escape from the insidious rental ‘market’. Many others are not as fortunate as myself and are locked in for life. If the only place that becomes available is an asbestos shit hole, then it seems that you have to fork out the money and be “grateful”. If that means that you get mesothelioma or lung cancer or asbestosis, then it is clear that neither Albany’s largest real estate agent, nor the state government, care if you die.

If you still think that society is capable of learning from its past mistakes, I have one more shock for you. The dust from cutting manufactured stone, which is the standard for most kitchens in new homes, exposes workers to the risk of silicosis and this is a growing epidemic that is cutting the lives short of up to one in three people who work with manufactured stone. I have tried to promote a safe and ecological alternative to manufactured stone made out of recycled glass bottles to builders but this has fallen mostly on deaf ears. So, the cycle continues…

Ultimately, this article is not to incite despair and indifference, but rather to incite change. We need to make this into a political issue, especially as it feeds into a wide range of other issues around our dire housing situation. Too many have died. Too many more will die.

Given that both major parties have made careers out of sticking their heads in the sand, it is worth considering voting for a viable minor party. Don’t give (un)Real Estate Agents any more oxygen than is necessary for your survival. If you own your home or are renovating, please choose an alternative to stone kitchen bench tops. Also, If you get the opportunity to get asbestos professionally removed, please do, as you are doing the whole community a service. We want to phase out what is behind an enduring systemic industrial cancer inducing disaster.

As a footnote, I am currently building a house in outer Albany and have had to deal with exposed asbestos piping on-site on two occasions (and counting). This is a reminder that we have a long way to go before WA can truly put to rest the ghosts of Wittenoom.

lower king asbestos
(Asbestos: the gift that keeps giving)

I will be co-writing a sequel to this article with Mark Allen from Town Planning Rebellion which will be looking at the policy directions that we should be taking in terms of handling our asbestos legacy as the rental crisis continues to bite. Also, how does this fit in with the wider approach that we need to be taking towards sustainable planning in WA?

Kate Raworth on Doughnut Economics Sat, 26 Sep 2020 14:00:00 +1000 9a7b4115-d652-48fa-8259-5fa40a00609e Kate Raworth at TED conference - a healthy economy should be designed to thrive, not grow What would a sustainable, universally beneficial economy look like? "Like a doughnut," says Oxford economist Kate Raworth. In a stellar, eye-opening talk, she explains how we can move countries out of the hole -- where people are falling short on life's essentials -- and create regenerative, distributive economies that work within the planet's ecological limits.

(Kate Waworth)

Link to the talk can be found here

World Contraception Day - Why 26th September Matters Sat, 26 Sep 2020 12:00:00 +1000 2dd7c372-0540-4c7b-baf9-2ffa3c22754f PGAP Host Michael Bayliss wrote an article detailing why family planning an contraception services are more critical than ever as the world braces for further waves of COVID and recession. Since the pandemic hit, 2 million fewer women received essential family planning services across 37 countries. This means 900 000 unintended pregnancies, 1.5 million unsafe abortions and more than 3,000 maternal deaths.

Meanwhile, populist right wing governments such as the Trump administration have declared war on family planning and sexual health services. Year by year, Australia's foreign aid budget dwindles


This simply cannot continue.

Please feel free to read the article in full here. If, like me, you just cannot bear to see this trend worsen, then consider giving generously to organisatins such as CHASE Africa, IPPF, Marie Stopes, WPF, UNFPA or Plan International.

Post Growth Institute Free Money Day Media Release Tue, 15 Sep 2020 21:00:00 +1000 692af8dc-7bf7-4b39-8f2f-0c6924fc591f Free Money Day 2020 - A global social experiment aims to show that a more generous world is possible. (This media release courtesy of Post Growth Institute - to find out more visit the media release website here

This September 15th, a unique social experiment aims to show that a more generous world is possible. On Free Money Day, now in its 10th year, people around the world hand out money, virtually or in person, asking recipients to pass half on to someone else.

Organized by the Post Growth Institute, the global event encourages conversations about the benefits of economies based on sharing. It offers an opportunity to inspire more critical and creative thinking about our relationships with money and how we can have new types of economic activity.

“Free Money Day is a chance to get money flowing more readily in our society and to inspire greater generosity, rather than shaming people into action. It’s a chance for people to experience how good it can feel to give, and a moving reminder that we’re all in this together,” said Donnie Maclurcan, Executive Director of the Post Growth Institute and Global Organizer of Free Money Day.

“It is time we asked ourselves again: how much is enough? Do we really need to grow on like this? This event is about much more than money, it is about co-creating the futures we truly desire by building on what we know works: sharing.

“Free Money Day is designed to help people connect with the complex issue of monetary circulation in a simple way, and inspire them to take action. It is a gateway to thinking about wider issues like the power of moving money to credit unions, the problems of for-profit banking, and the importance of debt forgiveness and universal basic income in creating a more fair world.“

With the Covid-19 situation varying across regions, people have three options to take part in Free Money Day 2020: 1) leave two banknotes as a surprise for someone in a public space, with a note asking the finder to pass one on, 2) share money in person by giving out two coins or notes at a time (while observing local health and safety measures), and 3) send money to someone via a digital payment platform.

Participants are encouraged to share their stories, photos, and videos online using the hashtag #freemoneyday, tag Free Money Day on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and share their experiences with the media and the Free Money Day team.

Free Money Day is an annual, global event held since 2011 to promote sharing and alternative economic ideas. The day is held each year on September 15th, the anniversary of the Lehman Brothers’ 2008 filing for bankruptcy. Since its inception, 324 events have been organised in 218 locations in 35 countries.

The Post Growth Institute (PGI) is an international, not-for-profit organisation facilitating the shift to a world where people, companies, and nature thrive together within ecological limits. The world’s first group to integrate macro, micro, and community economy perspectives into a holistic vision for a sustainable future, the PGI strives to reimagine economics, from extractive accumulation to regenerative circulation; reorient organisations, from bloated, profit-maximisation to lean, purpose-driven approaches; and reconnect communities, from systemic isolation to strengths-based belonging.

For more information about Free Money Day 2020, visit

For more information about the Post Growth Institute, visit

For media enquiries about Free Money Day 2020 or the Post Growth Institute, contact Natalie Holmes (+491601439827) and Donnie Maclurcan (+15416318680) on

A media kit with images, logo, and a ‘How to Participate’ one-pager are available to download here. Quotes and further media info are available here.

5 Existential Songs Art Rockers Shock Octopus Love Thu, 06 Aug 2020 15:00:00 +1000 846bf34f-1916-496a-b50a-1323c4edd14f In the 04th episode of PGAP, we played 'Life on a Pier' from Shock Octopus The song was penned by your ever faithful host, Michael Bayliss.

Shock Octopus have released a new EP 'Enter The Exit' that explores the themes of existentialism and environmental/climate grief.

The publication Scenstr recently interviewed Michael on his favourite 5 existential environmnetal themed songs.

Although it was tempting to include hoary chestnuts like 'Big Yellow Taxi' and 'Little Boxes' (both of which deal with overdevlopment and population - sort of), Michael dug some of the more obscure depths to include numbers from Lou Reed, Pixies, Bruce Cockburn, Martha Wainwright and Anohni

The full interview can be found here

Find Our More about the New Economy Network Australia (NENA) Thu, 06 Aug 2020 15:00:00 +1000 ee9e4fa6-a530-4e95-b692-9ec04af4ea97 Would you like to find out more about Australia’s largest, multi-sectoral network of innovators, change makers and advocates working for an ecologically sound and socially just economy? We know you want to.

Whether you just want to browse the website, say hello, find out about the hubs, campaigns and webinars, and to become a MEMBER -

do visit NENA's website. They are doing many, many promosing things!

Find out more at their website here and be part of a brave new post-growth world.

The Chase behind CHASE Africa Sat, 18 Jul 2020 14:00:00 +1000 ff31b65c-9769-4042-ae52-85d149b54b33 Want to find out more about CHASE Africa? *As someone who has lived in Kenya, I have personally witnessed the impact of rapid population growth not only on the beautiful local environment but also the compounding struggles to the lives of women, children, local communities and public health.

When I was living near Kisumu on the shores of Lake Victoria, I noticed such a difference between villages that had empowered women's cooperatives, accessible healthcare, and family planning services compared to the communities that did not. When these were not in place, people had only their local church groups to turn to. Unfortunately, in many cases, religion was not an adequate substitue, particularly in traditionally patriachal communities. Poverty, mental health issues, substance abuse and HIV were just some of the unfortunate outcomes.

This is why it is so crticial that organisations such as CHASE Africa exist. One can see, hear, feel the difference in the air when women have agency and control over their reproductive lives and the size of their families. The feeling is that of a weight being lifted in the air, a feeling of levity accross the whole community - it is really palpable!

Of all the charities out there, CHASE Africa is one of the most important (outside of Sustainable Population Australia - of course!) I'm going to be so bold as to put a link directly to their donation site here. Please visit - right now if possible, and consider donating generously. You really will make a difference.

Also, this (very) short video introduced me to the work of CHASE and I thoroughly recommend giving it a gander.

Counting Backwards - The End Of History Sat, 04 Jul 2020 13:00:00 +1000 bd8a3ba4-9e9a-4cb0-8df0-3c40dfd47068 The track that we played on episode 1 was a single released by the Melbourne group in January 2020 as a fundraiser for Extinction Rebellion According to their bandcamp page:

"Counting Backwards was formed in Melbourne and Adelaide in 2018 to bring together like minded musicians to collaborate and raise awareness on the climate and ecological emergency. We are about rocking out to the revolution..."

About the song 'The End Of History':

"_A song about about impermanence, the repetition of history, being bogged down in the matrix and the need to dance.

Come the post-growth revolution, we will still need music in our lives! So it is important to get in the habit of supporting local bands and artists - we won't have Spotify and stadium nostalgica concerts forever you know!

To find our more about Counting Backwards, click here

Jonathan Miller interviewed as part of a short video on small families Sat, 04 Jul 2020 12:00:00 +1000 9b2ba803-a7a1-4a18-a777-8ad810929d1e In 2019, Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) undertook a project to find out why people decide to have small or child free families. SPA interviewed people from all around Australia with diverse backgrounds, ages, occupations and countries of birth. What united them all was their love of the natural environment and a sense of responsibility to the planet when deciding on whether or not to have children.

They were also united on their challenges in discussing population sustainability in wider society, which still remains a controversial and misunderstood subject matter.

Here is a talking heads compilation of six of our favourite interviews

This video is part of SPA's Stop At 2 Campaign. We are encouraging a more open discussing around normalising choice around small or child free families. We are supporting a global movement that empowers people worldwide to be empowered and make informed decisions around family planning.

A link to the video can be found here

The CASSE petition for a steady state economy Sat, 04 Jul 2020 12:00:00 +1000 1431a640-0bae-4aab-93a1-8bac1a37b203 If there is only one thing we ask you to do after listening to our first episode, sign the CASSE petition... Our special guest Martin Tye discussed the CASSE petition for a steady state economy in his interview.

In our - hopefully not too biased opinion - this is perhaps one of the most important petitions you could ever sign.

A link to the petition can be found here

In the words of CASSE itself:

The CASSE position sets the record straight on the conflict between economic growth and environmental protection. Climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution are just three powerful examples. And how will the next generation find jobs when the planet can’t support our overgrown economy? The CASSE position calls for a desirable solution – a steady state economy with stabilized population and consumption – beginning in the wealthiest nations and not with extremist tactics. Join the likes of E. O. Wilson, Jane Goodall, and David Suzuki; fill in the information below to sign the position and support a healthy, sustainable economy.