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
COMMENTS ON SUSTAINABLE POPULATION STRATEGY
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.
KELVIN THOMSON, MP
Member for Wills
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