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PMC Articles Tagged 'Australia'

Australia does not need to grow its population

April 12th, 2012 by joe | Add a Comment

Thanks to Jenny Goldie for sending me this article, written by John Coulter and printed in the Canberra Times. Coulter is a former leader of the Australian Democrats, one-time VP of the Australian Conservation Foundation and presently National VP of Sustainable Population Australia. See: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/opinion/evidence-behind-queenslands-cost-of-living-fears-20120409-1wl8d.html#ixzz1rbE6uAdz

Evidence behind Queensland’s cost of living fears

April 10, 2012

The Canberra Times — Opinion

Few commentators have spoken sensibly about the election result, JOHN COULTER writes.

Queenslanders’ perception that living costs have been rising is supported by objective evidence; these rising costs apply across Australia and have been evident for some time.

Ross Garnaut’s climate change update published in March 2011 pointed out that electricity prices had risen by 32 per cent in real terms between 2007 and 2010 ”well ahead of the general increase in prices and faster than growth in the average wage”.

Household electricity prices have been rising faster than those in other advanced economies since 2007. Most surveys and commentaries have identified cost of living pressures as one of the main factors leading to the collapse in Labor support in Queensland.

But few commentators have sensibly analysed the reasons for rising living costs and some have mistakenly dismissed the clear link to federal government policy. Many Liberal commentators have wrongly tried to blame rising living costs on taxes which have not yet been implemented.

Garnaut identified the cost of upgrading the electricity network as the ”single largest cause of price rises” accounting for about 68 per cent.

His report recognised especially the low voltage distribution network which was requiring enormous expansion in order to service a rapidly increasing number of consumers. Thus Garnaut established that population growth was a major factor driving up electricity prices. He predicted that these costs would continue to rise, presumably because governments continue to pursue polices of high population growth.

To read the full article, please click here:  http://www.canberratimes.com.au/opinion/evidence-behind-queenslands-cost-of-living-fears-20120409-1wl8d.html#ixzz1rbE6uAdz

Population gain will offset emissions cuts

October 28th, 2011 by joe | Add a Comment

Thanks to Joe Bish for this article. Please see: http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/8271479/population-gain-will-offset-emissions-cuts

Population gain will offset emissions cuts

12:49 AEST Mon Jul 11 2011

Cuts in greenhouse gas emissions achieved through the carbon tax and other measures will be negated by Australia’s growing population, a sustainable population advocacy group says.

Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) says even if the federal government’s emissions targets are met, the benefits will be wiped out before 2020 based on current population growth.

A larger population would have to reduce emissions by 20 per cent, instead of the five per cent required in 2011, to bring the nation’s total emissions back to 2011 targets.

“Reining in population growth is essential if any impact is to be made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” SPA national president Sandra Kanck said.

“While the opponents of a carbon tax will make much of the fact that our electricity prices will rise by around 10 per cent, a much bigger contributor already to electricity prices is population increase.”

To read the full article, please click here: http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/8271479/population-gain-will-offset-emissions-cuts

Sleepwalking to Catastrophe

October 27th, 2011 by joe | 3 Comments

Since October 31 is the Day of Seven Billion, now would be an excellent time for you to submit a letter to the editor to your local paper, linking global growth to a local growth issue that is currently in the news.

Thanks to Fiona Heinrichs for this link to her new book, Sleepwalking to Catastrophe.  The book can be found at www.sleepwalking-to-catastrophe.com.  Following is a review of the book by Frosty Wooldridge, published at http://members.beforeitsnews.com/story/740/504/Australian_immigration:_unsustainable_on_a_desert_continent.html

Honors graduate Fiona Heinrichs understands Australia’s unsustainable future in her latest piece, “Collapseology: why this should be shaping Australian public policy.”

She is an honors graduate from Sydney who is very concerned about population growth and environmental sustainability.

She has recently authored a book titled, Sleepwalking to Catastrophe: ‘Big Australia’, Immigration, Population Expansion and the Impossibility of Endless Economic Growth in a Finite World. It can be found at Sleepwalking-to-Catastrophe.

Australia’s landmass equals America’s lower 48 states, but with one big exception. Australia features 96 percent desert.  It lacks water, arable land and resources to carry its current population load.  Yet, politicians remain bent on adding 10 million more people to Australia.  What does Australia face with the projected 10 million added humans?

To read the full article, please click here: http://beforeitsnews.com/story/740/504/Australian_immigration:_unsustainable_on_a_desert_continent.html

Post Growth Institute’s Submission to the Australian government for a Sustainable Population Policy

September 22nd, 2011 by joe | 1 Comment

Thanks to Dave Gardner for this link to the Post Growth Institute’s submission to the Australian government when it was formulating its new population “policy.” It’s a thorough collection of reasons to stop pursuing both population and economic growth.


Population Strategy – A Missed Opportunity

August 5th, 2011 by joe | Add a Comment

Thanks to Australian MP Kelvin Thomson for his response to the government’s population strategy.  You can see the comments on Kelvin’s statement at http://kelvinthomson.blogspot.com/2011/05/population-strategy-missed-opportunity.html

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Population Strategy – A Missed Opportunity


The Government’s population strategy represents a missed opportunity to put Australia’s population on a sustainable basis and curb our rapid population growth.

The failure to set targets means we are still on our way to Big Australia, with net overseas migration tracking at 180,000 per annum, the number Treasury says will see Australia’s population rise to 36 million by 2050.

I remain concerned that the present rate of population growth – a 60% increase in our population over the next 40 years – will put upward pressure on the cost of housing, electricity, water, food, council rates, and upward pressure on interest rates.

The impact of a 60% increase in Australia’s population on our native wildlife will be catastrophic. Then there is the issue of carbon emissions. The government has promised to cut carbon emissions by 60% over the next 40 years. How are we supposed to cut emissions by 60% if our population is rising by 60% at the same time? It’s pretty hard to reduce your carbon footprint when your keep adding more feet.

I am pleased that the strategy acknowledges the challenges faced by our major cities, such as declining housing affordability and increasing traffic congestion.

I hope that all levels of government – federal, state and local – and all political parties – Labor, Liberal and Greens – will acknowledge the reality of life for people living in the big cities, and abandon plans to grow these cities still bigger. If all levels of government now work together to stabilise the populations of Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, this strategy will have achieved something worthwhile.

But I continue to be convinced that another 13 million people will not give us a richer country, it will spread our mineral wealth more thinly and give us a poorer one.

Our aim to lift the participation rate and find work for people who are presently on Job Search Allowance or Disability Support Payments would be much more easily realised if we reduced skilled migration to the level of the mid 90s to give us a net overseas migration level of 70,000.


Member for Wills


Dick Smith on Why Australia Should Stop Pursuit of Population Growth

June 9th, 2011 by joe | Add a Comment

Thanks to Jenny Goldie and Mark O’Connor for this powerful statement against pursuing further population growth by Australian businessman, Dick Smith.  See http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=11928&page=0.  Also thanks to David Simcox for his article, “Australia Considers a Population Policy: Any Lessons for a Drifting USA?” which you can download at http://npg.org/forum_series/AUSTRALIA_CONSIDERS_A_POPULATION_POLICY.pdf

Much More Than A ‘Thought Bubble’.

ONLINE opinion
By Dick Smith

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

I read with interest and not a little dismay the recent On Line Opinion article by Ross Elliott. Mr Elliott is a property developer and his views are consistent with those few who stand to benefit from ever-increasing population growth in Australia: developers, media companies and of course retailers. But for most Australians, the advantages would be few and the negative effects would be many.

I don’t mean to be unkind to the developers. In fact, I suspect secretly many of them agree with me that our headlong rush for crude population growth is undermining the quality of life of many Australians and doing nothing to help the rest of the world either. Recently I addressed a gathering of the Property Council of Australia, and privately many of the attendees said they agreed with me. We simply haven’t thought through the negative consequences of population growth for Australia or the world.

Far from being a mere ‘Thought Bubble’ as Mr Elliot suggests, I have given the question a great deal of thought in recent times, and will be expanding on them at length in a book, The Population Crisis, to be published next month. Let me give you a hint of what it contains. But first, I would like to dispel a myth or two.

Firstly, Mr Elliot repeats a whopper first put out by the Murdoch Press which deliberately misreported my recent comments on the subject. I have never called for a ‘two-child policy’ as if there should be some kind of government edict setting a limit on the number of children Australian families should have.

Quite the contrary. I believe that once they are well-informed, Australians will make up their own minds about what they believe to be the right number of kids they have. What I do believe however is that it is high time we dump the wasteful baby bonus and other tax measures which currently cost us well in excess of $1 billion annually in artificially encouraging Australians to have three or more children. There are many good reasons to drop this silly scheme, not least of which is that it disadvantages those who choose to have small families, or none at all. Governments should get out of people’s bedrooms full stop.

Again and again as I tour Australia discussing our failure to have a sensible plan for population, I ask simple questions: Why would we want to rapidly increase our population? What’s so great about constant growth? What are the advantages for average Australians? I fail to ever get a convincing answer. The best the “pro-growthers” come up with is “because we can”, and that of course, is no answer at all.

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The spin-doctors are at it again

April 19th, 2011 by joe | Add a Comment

Many thanks to Mark O’Connor for this submission.  It reminds one of the statement: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair (1935).  This posting can also be found on Mark’s Blog, at http://markoconnor-australianpoet.blogspot.com/

The spin-doctors of the BCA (Business Council of Australia) are at it again, demanding rampant population growth for Australia — “to around 30 million in 2030 and 36 million in 2050″. And they are trying to present this selfish demand as reasonable and “moderate”.

In the world of the Gruen Transfer this is known as the “suit” ploy.  (The male business suit is designed to create an image of maturity, discipline, and sobriety, even if it sometimes covers a pot-bellied snake-oil salesman.) So the BCA’s tactic is that the more extreme, selfish, and short-sighted their position becomes, the more it is necessary to keep telling people how reasonable,moderate and far-sighted it is.

You can find these tactics on display in the BCA’s Media Release “Moderate Population Growth the Best Path to Prosperity” where they assure us that

“The projected growth in the Intergenerational Report that would see our population increase to around 30 million in 2030 and 36 million in 2050 is a moderate and sensible guide to what is likely to be needed to meet Australia’s long-term goals.”

The BCA claims it “has thought long and hard about the best population strategy for Australia.” Its conclusion: grow like hell for short term gratification and business profits, don’t worry about the long-term future, but keep saying that you are looking to it and what’s best for Australia’s interests.  Oh, and talk about “leadership”. The BCA promises “leadership to inspire people about the future rather than populist debates that seek to scare people about the present.”

This Media Release follows the BCA’s submission  to Tony Burke, the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities on how to achieve a sustainable population for Australia. Its tenor can be guessed from this graceful rubric on its cover-page:

Improving the quality of life of all Australians within prosperous, secure and liveable communities requires well-managed population growth over the first half of this century.
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Doctors in population push

March 9th, 2011 by joe | 2 Comments

Thanks to Jenny Goldie for this article.  See http://www.theage.com.au/national/doctors-in-population-push-20110207-1ak63.html

Doctors In Population Push

February 8, 2011 The Age

AUSTRALIAN doctors have joined entrepeneur Dick Smith’s fight against population growth with a new health campaign targeting general practitioners and their patients.

The Doctors for the Environment Australia group has sent a poster titled ”Advancing Australia Fairly!?” to about 24,000 GPs this week to outline the health impacts of the nation’s increasing population.

The poster shows an oversized boot crushing a tree. On the sole of the boot is the statement ”Population growth, more of us, less for all”. The poster asserts that ”population pressure impacts on cost of living, food and water security, traffic congestion, productive farmland, social cohesion and quality of life”.

A spokesman for the group, Dr George Crisp, said the campaign came as Australia’s population growth rate exceeded that of India and Cambodia and was ”harming our quest for liveable communities”.

It also coincides with the federal government seeking feedback on the challenges and opportunities stemming from Australia’s growing population.

Dr Crisp said his group, which has about 500 members, was particularly annoyed that the federal government’s issues paper on a sustainable population strategy for Australia did not include a scientific review of what an ideal population for a healthy Australia would be in the future.

To read the full article, click here: http://www.theage.com.au/national/doctors-in-population-push-20110207-1ak63.html

Population: How much is too much?

March 4th, 2011 by joe | Add a Comment

Thanks to Jenny Goldie for this article from Australian Geographic.  See http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/journal/population-how-much-is-too-much.htm

Population: How much is too much?

Peter Meredith
The human race keeps multiplying and environmental impact will continue to grow as a result, writes Peter Meredith.

NEAR WHERE I LIVE in the NSW Southern Tablelands, there’s a 400-ha rainforest reserve tucked away in a gorge. On weekends its four car parks are often chock-full and a stream of visitors make the hour-long pilgrimage from the visitor centre along a sturdy boardwalk to a waterfall.
Rainforest like this once covered nearly 23,000 ha in the area. Then cedar-getters and cattlemen arrived in the 1800s. Now three-quarters of it is gone and, outside reserves, much of what’s left is in poor shape. I recall what former NSW premier Bob Carr wrote 10 years ago in a Sydney Morning Herald article. His topic was population and its impact on wild places. “Over the next 100 years treasures like these will be erased from the planet, outside a few struggling game parks or tourist-trampled reserves,” he wrote. “Forests [will be] torn out, grasslands ploughed under, to meet the demands of this vastly expanded human presence.”

Humanity’s presence on this planet is a story of ceaseless growth. From the time our forebears took up farming, more than 10,000 years ago, population expansion has been unstoppable. Whenever we came up with an innovation, such as domestication, new crop varieties or irrigation, the numbers jumped; each advance made our food more abundant, its supply more dependable and our lives more secure.

To read the full story, click here: http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/journal/population-how-much-is-too-much.htm

A sustainable population strategy for Australia

January 22nd, 2011 by Chantelle Routhier | Add a Comment

Thanks to Mark O’Connor for this latest update on the population debate in Australia. See a related article below. Here is the text of an email from Mark.

Kelvin Thomson has sent out a superb response to Minister Tony Burke’s woeful Issues Paper on Sustainable Population for Australia.

The issues paper is called ‘A sustainable population strategy for Australia’ and is available at
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