Population growth is bad for business
We are often told that we need population growth for the economy. We are also told that the small business sector is the engine room of Australian business.
But like many small business owners, I find that Australia’s high population growth hurts my business by increasing my costs.
It is not just working families and first home buyers who are suffering in our cities from unaffordable house prices and rents. The small business sector is also a victim of the rising rents that flow from a growing population’s ever-increasing demand for land.
High population growth also places enormous pressure on other critical resources like water and energy. Major price hikes are the direct result.
According to the New South Wales Government, a key factor in the recent massive rises in the price of energy is the need to “keep up with a growing population and increased electricity use”. Starting from July 1 this year, bills for those on standard tariffs rise by a total of up to 64 per cent to 2013.
It’s a similar story with water. We used to have enough water for the population, even in times of drought. But a bigger population needs more water, so we built a desalination plant in NSW. Its $2 billion cost is a big factor behind the predicted 30 per cent increase in water rates by mid-2012.
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