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Kevin Rudd’s population policy already decided? SPA

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What took the Prime Minister so long?

National environment group, Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) says that comments made by the Prime Minister in announcing the creation of a Population Ministry all but guarantee a skewed outcome for the government’s population policy inquiry.

“While welcoming the creation of the new portfolio, SPA wonders why it took the government so long to recognise that it was needed,” says Sandra Kanck, President of SPA.

“But as a consequence of other comments made at the time of the announcement SPA has concerns about the policy that will be developed.

Australians want to stop population growth

“Opinion polls show that a majority of Australians want to stop wanton population growth and believe we have neither the water or infrastructure to support Kevin Rudd’s ‘big Australia’.

“The Prime Minister has become a mite sensitive to this sort of feedback and is now attempting to show that he is listening, but who is he listening to?

“Kevin Rudd said on Saturday that the new Minister, Tony Burke, must be ‘acutely mindful’ of the positive implications of growth on the economy.

What about biodiversity, water, and infrastructure

“There are many other things Mr Burke could have been told to mind, such as the impact of increased population on biodiversity, or water, or shortage of infrastructure.

“The PM’s marching orders unfortunately tell Mr Burke to come out on the side of the development lobby, which has immediately skewed the whole debate.

Blinkered economic approach

“The new portfolio being based in Treasury, rather than, for instance, Environment, further shows that the PM’s views on the matter are blinkered.

“The new Minister was formerly a Shadow Immigration Minister and, given the Rudd Government’s shocking record of increasing immigration without telling the Australian public in the 2007 election that this was their intention, Mr Burke will be carrying a lot of baggage.

“The former Shadow Environment Minister, Kelvin Thomson, has shown himself to be the only Federal Labor MP who understands that without an environmentally sustainable future there is no future. That Kevin Rudd has picked Tony Burke over Kelvin Thomson says far more about the PM's politicking on this vital issue than about Kelvin Thomson's deep understanding and commitment to a sustainable Australia” said Ms Kanck.

Further comment: Sandra Kanck

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The Candobetter message about the growth lobby is getting to the mainstream media! Congratulations Sheila N.

""Lobby for developers wary of curb on population"

URBAN developers are warning the federal government against arbitrary caps on population after Tony Burke was named the country's first population minister.

Urban Taskforce Australia, which represents 85 companies, urged the government to resist pressure from "anti-growth political forces" when it draws up Australia's first population plan, reviewing immigration levels against the strains on infrastructure and the environment.

"Any effort by the Australian government to try to lock in immigration or population numbers more than a few years in advance is unlikely to be successful," said the taskforce's chief executive, Aaron Gadiel.

"I hope the government doesn't succumb to pressure and try to limit population growth.""

At our present rate of growth, we will be over 50 million by 2050, and to keep our numbers “down” to that level, there must be some control over population increases. Without a population policy, Kevin Rudd has been allowed to inflict his own personal agenda of a “big Australia” onto the nation.

According to Aaron Gadiel, “the growth of a human society should never be equated with the problems caused by feral cats, cane toads and gamba grass.” No matter the economic, social and intrinsic value of the human species, over-population will make us into a destructive pest species. We are all part of nature and must fit into our finite ecological systems. When demand outstretches supply, then we end up being a destructive force on the planet.

Our ageing population is the result of the post war baby boom and our massive immigration program in the following decades. Continuing to add more people, no matter how skilled, will not keep our population young.

Once our environment goes into meltdown, all the skills and economics won’t compensate for the downturn in living standards, the extinction of wildlife, or the loss of viable ecological systems that provide our livelihoods.