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Swan’s growth fetish belies the LibLab's stale 20th Century baby-boomer ideology

Today Treasurer Wayne Swan has tried to justify another rise in interest rates by claiming in true polly-speak that such an impost is a sign of a stronger Australian economy. Swan’s growth fettish belies the LibLab's stale 20th Century baby-boomer ideology. Last month Swan's fettish for strong economic growth and strong population growth for Australia was reaffirmed at the Population Summit in Brisbane held 30th March 2010.

But Swan's growth fettish and consequential rising costs of living do not augur well for most Australians with mortgages.

Swan on the issue of Australia’s current record population growth claims:

“a population cap would compound, not solve, the growth challenges Australia faces.”

“Capping growth over the next 40 years at 0.8 per cent instead of the 1.2 per cent projected would wipe 17 per cent off the nation's gross domestic product by 2050.”

“Restricting population growth in fast-growing southeast Queensland would result in regional product on a per capita basis dropping by 5 per cent.”

“Australia faced a steep decline in workforce participation due to ageing, which would hit growth and government revenue while dramatically pushing up health spending. Boosting productivity would be critical in coping with the ageing trend.”

Swan premised that economic and population growth can only be good for Australia and the task is for Australia to learn how to "grow smarter".

But Swan only sees the economic data yet has no broader social plan. Swan promises to protect national living standards and environmental sustainability, without saying how he can do this.

This is on the back of Prime Minister Rudd infamous October 2009 pronoucement:

"I actually believe in a big Australia I make no apology for that. I actually think it's good news that our population is growing."

It made Australians reel in fear.

On uttering that dire portent, Rudd cast the demise of Australian lifestyle, inviting hoards of legalised arrivals. And neither Rudd nor Swan offers any plans for coping with this enlarged population – no plans for sustainability, infrastructure and maintaining the Australian quality of life. Both are blinkered to the narrow economic interpretations and have lost sight of the social and environmental consequences of high population growth. Rudd’s response on the run is:

"That is why we're taking a leading position on climate change but also the long-term sustainability of the Murray-Darling and the proper provision of water supplies for the future. "This Government is building for the future - we call it nation-building for the future.”

What crap. Some future. Interests rates have just gone up again and are set to continue only exacerbating house unaffordability, the cost of living and degrading Australian living standards. Australian cities have run out of potable water, so billions in taxes are going into desalination plants. Utility charges are going up. Energy Australia is set to raise electricity prices by 60% over the next three years in order to fund Sydney’s massive electricity infrastructure to catch up with the growing urban sprawl. Roads are congested in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney. Public transport is old and overloaded.

Swan's and Rudd’s Hong Kong vision for Australia does a not sit well with most Australians. Neither Labor or Liberal have no mandate to impose a growth fettish on Australians. Most Australians already feel that our environment can not cope with a larger population. Treasury’s projection of a population of 35 million by 2050 is obscene.

Back in October 2009, even Federal Treasury head Ken Henry expressed concern that Australia would not be able to sustain a predicted 60 per cent growth in population over the next four decades.

Prosperity is not aggregate GDP figures. It is maintaining and improving the quality of life and standard of living per capita. Swan being a numbers man hasn’t worked out how to measure that so he ignores it. Rudd’s Labor Government has run out of ideas and ideology relevant to Australians.

Rudd’s initiating the role of Minister for Population this month doesn’t change his 'Big Australia' vision, but just wastes more taxpayer money to find a way to justify and spread the 35 million. hardly a priority, population features in Mr Burke's mixed bucked portfolio of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. his only mandate is to deliver some population strategy in 12 months, after the election. Clearly, this is purely electioneering appeasement to disaffected Labor voters. Rudd has responded tokenly to Greens leader, Senator Bob Brown’s proposal for a Senate inquiry into Australia's population. Rudd's population minister appointment effectively hijacks what ought to be an independent review process.

And NSW Labor puppet, Premier Keneally expectedly tows the Labor line: ''I believe Sydney can grow and can grow sustainably, economically and environmentally...Cities can either grow or they can shrink. Shrinking is not an option for Sydney.'' While NSW Liberal planning spokesman, Brad Hazzard, ducked the migration issue saying it was being discussed in the community as Sydney became more crowded.

The Liberal-National Coalition are little different in their ideological response. They listen to Howard’s old Productivity Commission which strangely enough advocates for more productivity and with that more population. The Opposition wants an independent specialist body to inquire into future policies dealing with Australia's population growth – just like the Productivity Commission. Otherwise these listen to self-serving growth fettish extremists the Urban Taskforce.

Not surprisingly, Urban Taskforce chief executive Aaron Gadiel argues for no cap on immigration and says:

"One of the reasons that we don't have the infrastructure that we all want and expect is that in many cases our population in our urban centres is just not large enough," he said. "The larger the population, the more the Government is getting the tax revenue in and has the labour force available to build up the infrastructure."

More people, more urban development, more profits for Urban Taskforce members.

Swan argues that countering pressures of immigration can be addressed by Rudd Labor Government’s education revolution, health reform, welfare reform and the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. How so? Population fueled mainly by immigration drives pressures on water scarcity, urban planning and infrastructure. Population growth is pushing up interest rates, making housing even more unaffordable for Australians. Swan makes no mention of addressing the direct cost of immigration – employment opportunities, housing affordability, cost of living, congestion, inadequate hospital beds, inadequate child care places, utility costs up – electricity set to rise by 60 % in NSW.

"We're determined to make sure that this government and subsequent governments stay dedicated to that task...if it doesn't, we'll all be poorer and we won't necessarily be socially cohesive or environmentally sustainable."

What a vague uncommitted statement!

Australia's Big Picture

According to former NSW Premier Bob Carr, I think we've got to recognise that our cities don't get better economically or in terms of liveability if we force feed population growth into them with this surging level of immigration, that when it comes to skills shortages for example, any new trades person brought into this country to fill a skills shortage also brings dependants. Nor does high immigration solve the problem of an aging population We've got to look at nurturing workers to stay in the workforce longer.

Australian businesman, Dick Smith, says Australia should cut population by slashing immigration and encouraging women to have only two babies. Mr Smith said Australia did not have enough water or food to support millions more people. It was crazy that seawater was being desalinated for drinking water to supply a booming population. "I feel they're going to spend most of their time working out how we can cope with 36 million, rather than looking at whether we really want 36 million."

But currently the facts are that Australia’s population growth rate (September 2009) according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics is 2.1%. The preliminary estimated resident population (ERP) of Australia at 30 September 2009 was 22,066,000 persons. This was an increase of 451,900 persons (2.1%) since 30 September 2008 and 110,400 persons since 30 June 2009.

Compounding at 2.1%, Australia’s population will not be 35 million by 2050, but 35 million by 2030, less than a generation away. [Refer table below]

Sep-08 21,614,100
Sep-09 22,066,000
Sep-10 22,529,000
Sep-11 23,002,000
Sep-12 23,485,000
Sep-13 23,978,000
Sep-14 24,482,000
Sep-15 24,996,000
Sep-16 25,521,000
Sep-17 26,057,000
Sep-18 26,604,000
Sep-19 27,163,000
Sep-20 27,733,000
Sep-21 28,315,000
Sep-22 28,910,000
Sep-23 29,517,000
Sep-24 30,137,000
Sep-25 30,770,000
Sep-26 31,416,000
Sep-27 32,076,000
Sep-28 32,750,000
Sep-29 33,438,000
Sep-30 34,140,000
Sep-31 34,859,000
Sep-32 35,591,000
Sep-33 36,338,000
Sep-34 37,101,000
Sep-35 37,880,000
Sep-36 38,675,000
Sep-37 39,487,000
Sep-38 40,316,000
Sep-39 41,163,000
Sep-40 42,027,000
Sep-41 42,910,000
Sep-42 43,811,000
Sep-43 44,731,000
Sep-44 45,670,000
Sep-45 46,629,000
Sep-46 47,608,000
Sep-47 48,608,000
Sep-48 49,629,000
Sep-49 50,671,000
Sep-50 51,735,000

MESSAGES:

This Rudd-Swan trend for Australia is:

1. 35 million by 2030, not by 2050
2. 50 million by 2050!
3. A million per year (1/4 of Melbourne every year)

Lib/Lab politics have run out of ideology relevant for Australia in the 21st Century. Both are stagnated in 20th Century ideals of economic rationalism, economic growth and globalisation. Neither have workable long term answers to Australia’s entrenched triple bottom line (TBL) dilemmas.

Three simple and effective decisions to stem Australia’s population blowout and give Australia room to explore capacity ready options are:

1. End the Baby Bonus

2. End the Subclass 457 – Business (Long Stay) Visa Scheme

3. Restrict all work visas to Employer Nomination Scheme Occupation List (ENSOL), which requires each applicant to be nominated by an Australian employer to fill a position in an occupation that appears in the ENSOL and for the applicant to demonstrate that they have the necessary skills (including conversational English skills).

But, if economic growth and population growth are causing unacceptable social costs, then what is the alternative?

Clive Hamilton in his 2003 book Growth Fetish argues that our politicans and media are smitten with growth and have an obsession with economic growth (growth fetishism) and the marketing society lie at the heart of our social ills. For decades our political leaders and opinion makers have touted higher incomes as the way to a better future. Economic growth means better lives for us all.

Hamilton points out that 'despite many years of sustained economic growth and increased personal incomes Australia has large social divisions and we don’t seem to be any happier. Economic growth and the marketing society have corrupted our social priorities and political structures, and have created a profound sense of alienation among young and old. lies at the heart of our current political, social and environmental ills - and offers a thought-provoking alternative.’

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References:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/10/23/2721924.htm

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/politics/wayne-swan-goes-for-growth-in-population-debate/story-e6frgczf-1225847691025

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/cap-no-solution-to-australias-population-challenge-swan-20100330-r994.html

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/cut-population-now-by-slashing-immigration-and-encouraging-women-to-have-only-two-babies-dick-smith/story-e6frf7l6-1225823124407

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/04/04/2863763.htm

http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/connectasia/stories/201004/s2866051.htm

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/wayne-swan-down-on-growth-for-its-own-sake/story-e6frg6nf-1225825707741

http://www.familyassist.gov.au/Payments/familyassistance/baby_bonus/Pages/default.aspx

http://www.clivehamilton.net.au/cms/index.php?page=growth_fetish

http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/skilled-workers/sbs/how-the-visa-works.htm

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Comments

I say that GDP - Gross Domestic Product is a notional value

Wiki defines it thus:

'...the measure of an economy adopted by the United States in 1991; the total market values of goods and services produced by workers and capital ...

Rank, worthless accountant's dross, if you ask me - a mythical, hyperthetical measurement, designed to manipulate statistics - a tool for politicians - who use it to toss off and legitimize their agendas.

'...nation's gross domestic product by 2050.”

As John Marlowe above says: "Swan only sees the economic data yet has no broader social plan.."

'...Swan promises to protect national living standards and environmental sustainability, without saying how he can do this.'

A pity we can't send the proponents of POPulation gRoWtH off in a slow boat to China - as the saying goes.

Agent Provocateur, re: 'GDP ... A NOTIONAL Value & POP Growth - like a Cancer!'

Yes, you're on to it.

GDP is a blunt one dimensional metric, indeed never intended by its inventor to be a single metric, bit one of many. American economist Simon Kuznets in the 1930s in the wake of the Great Depression, devised Gross Domestic Product as just a single indicator of economic performance for the government of the day.

Swan is a simple person using simple measures and delivering simple messages trying to cope in a complex integrated market system and society. Read Swan's speeches. It is always a good insight to read a minister's first speech to gauge what to expect. Wayne Swan's First Speech where he condemns laissez-faire economics and champions the 'economic importance of sport'.

The following article from online news agency Der Spiegel is instructive:

'Economists Search for New Definition of Well-Being'

'GDP may be an extremely useful economic indicator, but it ignores many factors important to the well-being of a society, such as health care or life expectancy. Economists like the Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz are now trying to come up with a new, broader definition of prosperity.

It was an astonishing confession for a politician to make, particularly one like French President Nicolas Sarkozy. "The world over, citizens think we are lying to them," the French president admitted last week to a stunned audience at the Sorbonne in Paris. "And they have reasons to think like that."

Sarkozy was referring to the way in which government statistics measure economic growth. He believes that the current method is extremely questionable, perhaps even manipulative. This realization prompted the French president in 2008 to commission a number of prominent academics, including Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, to come up with a new definition of prosperity.

"GDP has increasingly become used as a measure of societal well-being and changes in the structure of the economy and our society have made it an increasingly poor one," Stiglitz told the news agency Bloomberg in a recent interview. "So many things that are important to individuals are not included in GDP." In the model they unveiled last week in Paris, the academics recommend including other factors, such as sustainability and education.

Significant Shortcomings

Even the inventor of the gross domestic product measure, the late Russian-American economist Simon Kuznets, was aware that the classic method of computing GDP had significant shortcomings. "The welfare of a nation can scarcely be inferred from a measure of national income," he said in 1934.

This is because the growth rate says nothing about the distribution of wealth in a country, the state of health of its citizens or their life expectancy. The number provides no information about the cleanliness of rivers or the amount of air pollution. There is also no mention in the statistic of voluntary work or of domestic work like cooking, cleaning, washing and ironing -- all things that are considered economically irrelevant.

When a nursing service attends to someone's sick mother, the cost of that service is included in GDP. But if a daughter takes care of her sick mother, her work is not reflected in the GDP calculation. And when a mother nurses her baby, it may be beneficial for the child, but it would of course be more "valuable" economically if the mother bought milk and bottles for the baby in the supermarket.

The growth rate even increases when things are destroyed -- that is, when natural disasters or wars plunge people into ruin -- because construction firms and pharmaceutical companies profit from such events. In other words, the misfortunes of some create wealth for others.

Footprints and Backpacks

In the past few years, many academics have sought alternative definitions of wealth and have even come up with a few catchy metaphors. For instance, Swiss-born sustainability advocate Mathis Wackernagel devised the concept of the ecological footprint, according to which 2.1 hectares (5.2 acres) of arable ground are available for each human being. However, the average citizen's consumption requires 2.7 hectares, while the average American needs close to 10 hectares to sustain his or her way of life.

The influential German environmental researcher Friedrich Schmidt-Bleek invented the concept of the invisible "ecological backpack" that everyone carries around. According to Schmidt-Bleek's calculations, a bulldozer has to move about five tons of earth to produce a 10-gram gold wedding ring. From an environmental perspective, says Schmidt-Bleek, the gold ring on a husband's finger weighs more "than the minivan he uses to take his children for a drive."

Other researchers take a more conventional approach. Since 1996, the German Federal Statistical Office -- which also computes the country's GDP -- has published comprehensive statistics regarding environmental issues related to the economy, which features 21 indicators ranging from species diversity to government debt. However the statisticians soon abandoned their original idea of expressing all the parameters in a single value. Even Sarkozy's illustrious team has not produced a global formula, but rather a kind of instrument panel showing various parameters.

Not Better, Just Different

Very few researchers have been brave enough to attempt to synthesize the variables and compute a sort of green GDP. One of them is Heidelberg economist Hans Diefenbacher, who has developed a "national welfare index."

Diefenbacher begins with private consumption, and then adds the value of domestic work and voluntary work. Then he deducts factors he considers harmful, such as the costs of polluting air and water, as well as the costs incurred by traffic accidents or resulting from crime. The outcome is expressed in the form of a curve, which has been declining relative to GDP since the beginning of the decade.

Of course, Diefenbacher concedes, the concept has its weaknesses. One is the difficulty involved in determining the costs of environmental damage or expressing the disappearance of a species in terms of euros and cents. Diefenbacher has also been accused of being arbitrary in his choice of which indicators to use. He defends his approach by saying: "Our calculation isn't better, just different."

In other words, there is no lack of ideas on how to define well-being. It is precisely because of the large number of possible approaches that the dominance of the classic growth concept is so hard to break. So far, at any rate, no alternative model has prevailed.

Diefenbacher also has no intention of eliminating the concept of GDP. For him, it would be enough if his index could attract a similar amount of attention -- and if people became less obsessed with a single indicator."



Another reference worth reading:

'Gross Inaccuracies – The Flawed GDP'

"The groundswell of criticism is now yielding some high-level results.

Soon the OECD–the group of rich countries–will introduce a series of new measurements aimed at going beyond GDP...

More significantly, Stiglitz and Sen argue that a real measure of national well-being requires assessment of the quality of life, the degree to which individuals have opportunities to develop their own talents, and the environmental sustainability of the system — all of which are ignored by the GDP and may or may not increase as it grows."

http://www.reboottherepublic.com/blog/economics/gross-inaccuracies-the-flawed-gdp/

I regard the misuse of the GDP measure as just another of many devices employed to deliberately conceal the truth.

It seems likely that, on average, at the moment, whilst we still have non-renewable resources we are able to consume, we are 'better off' than we were one or two generations ago in terms of how much of those resources each of us is able to consume.

One of the most obvious examples would be familes with a second or third car instead of only one.

Any family able to afford the second or third car could easily be depicted as having the order of double the real income of a family in the 1960's according to the GDP measure, but, obviously, if that car is bought out of absolute necessity and not out of choice that conclusion would be inaccurate.

When we consider so many other factors and the fact that two, rather than only one income is necessary for most families, it seems far more likely that living standards have declined massively rather than improved, adn that would be even before taking into account factors like crowding, less access to recreational areas, noise, alienation, the crime rate, etc.

The access to a myriad of gizmos and computer technology and the Internet, largely made cheap by third world slave labor and relatively cheap petroleum, may make this less obvious to many, but I would personally happily give all that back to be able to re-establish the lifestyle we once had, for all its flaws and limitiations and I don't think I would be alone in that view.

For further information, please see my article "Living standards and our material prosperity" of 6 Jun 07 on Online Opinion and the forum discussion.

To Recap John Marlow's Comments - for new readers:

In regard to: Swan’s growth fetish belies the LibLab's stale 20th Century baby-boomer ideology Posted April 7th, 2010 by John Marlowe -AND- 'Economists Search for New Definition of Well-Being'
On April 10th, 2010 John Marlowe

‘Treasurer Wayne Swan has tried to justify another rise in interest rates by claiming ...that such an impost is a sign of stronger Australian economy.’

Wayne Swan claimed: “Capping growth over the next 40 years at 0.8 per cent instead of the 1.2 per cent projected would wipe 17 per cent off the nation's gross domestic product by 2050.”

and from Rudd ...

"I actually believe in a big Australia I make no apology for that. I actually think it's good news that our population is growing."

'It made Australians reel in fear.

'On uttering that dire portent, Rudd cast the demise of Australian lifestyle, inviting hoards of legalised arrivals.

And neither Rudd nor Swan offers any plans for coping with this enlarged population – no plans for sustainability, infrastructure and maintaining the Australian quality of life.

Both are blinkered to the narrow economic interpretations and have lost sight of the social and environmental consequences of high population growth.

* Interests rates have just gone up again and are set to continue only exacerbating house unaffordability, the cost of living and degrading Australian living standards.

* Australian cities have run out of potable water, so billions in taxes are going into desalination plants.

* Utility charges are going up. Energy Australia is set to raise electricity prices by 60% over the next three years in order to fund Sydney’s massive electricity infrastructure to catch up with the growing urban sprawl.

* Roads are congested in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney. Public transport is old and overloaded.

Something to remember when considering the pros & cons of population growth in relation to GDP- (Wayne Swan's argument) - is that GDP (Gross Domestic Product) - is an inaccurate, one-dimensional-metric - used to gauge societal developments.

GDP does not assimilate all the relevant facts such as these, included by John Marlow in other information provided to readers on this page, for better understanding.

‘... (GDP) says nothing about the distribution of wealth in a country, the state of health of its citizens or their life expectancy.

* The number provides no information about the cleanliness of rivers or the amount of air pollution.

* There is also no mention in the statistic of voluntary work or of domestic work like cooking, cleaning, washing and ironing -- all things that are considered economically irrelevant.

* When a nursing service attends to someone's sick mother, the cost of that service is included in GDP.

* But if a daughter takes care of her sick mother, her work is not reflected in the GDP calculation.

* And when a mother nurses her baby, it may be beneficial for the child, but it would of course be more "valuable" economically if the mother bought milk and bottles for the baby in the supermarket.

* The growth rate even increases when things are destroyed -- that is, when natural disasters or wars plunge people into ruin -- because construction firms and pharmaceutical companies profit from such events. In other words, the misfortunes of some create wealth for others.

I urge all readers, when thinking about Population Growth to consider all the facts - but totally disregard argument which includes GDP - GDP is accountant dross - accountant speak for profit and loss, which does not take into account the human costs - and it's humans who are actually paying for it all!

Sustainable Population - well regulated, providing quality infrastructure - is what we should be aiming for!

According to Wikipedia, the economy of Peru is the 47th largest in the world. Peru is an emerging, market-oriented economy characterized by a high level of foreign trade. In 2010 Peru's per capita income (PPP) is bordering $10,000. Peru has a Human Development Index score of 78. (HDI measures people’s well-being by combining measures of health, education and wealth. Since its inception, the HDI has become a prominent global measure of well-being. Australia is 2 and Peru is 78, Nigeria is 158).

According to the US Department of State, GDP (2008): $127.8 billion.
Annual growth rate (2008): 9.8%.
Per capita GDP (2008): $4,477.
Natural resources: Copper, gold, silver, zinc, lead, iron ore, fish, petroleum, natural gas, and forestry.

Sounds impressive? Peru has been wracked by political instability with military dictatorship 1968-1980, then a succession of corrupt "democratically" elected dictators.

President Toledo's economic management (2001-2006) led to an impressive economic boom in Peru that remains strong. Poverty reduction was uneven, however, and former president Fujimori was sent to prison.

Peru is the world's top producer of silver, second in zinc, third in copper and tin, fourth in lead, and sixth in gold. Mineral exports have consistently accounted for the most significant portion of Peru's export revenue, comprising 63% in 2008.
The $3.8 billion Peru LNG project, currently under construction, will liquefy natural gas for export to Mexico and possibly the west coast of the United States, converting Peru into a net energy exporter in 2010.

The International Monetary Fund reaffirmed this month its forecast that Peru’s economy should expand 6.5 percent in 2010. The wealth is not distributed to the public, but kept by the president and the elite.

Despite the GDP and strong natural resources and exports, most Peruvians live in abject poverty, disease and lack of infrastructure. The level of poverty remains extremely high among the rural population. It is increasing in the inner cities as well.

Human rights abuses abound. Human Rights Watch has urged the Peruvian government to conduct a full investigation into the deaths of six civilians during a demonstration.

They died during a protest by some 6,000 unlicensed miners in the south of the country. Indigenous peoples land rights are being violated and poisoned by mining companies.

The GDP is not a good indicator of a nation's liveability, justice system, democracy, public spending, human rights or environmental status.

We hear lots about planning for population growth, but very little about why we would want our population to be rapidly growing. The merits of little population growth, or stability, are not mentioned. It is as if it were inevitable, and as Tony Burke said, it can't be capped!

According to the ACF, "The Rudd government has committed to reduce Australia’s pollution levels to 60% below 2000 levels by 2050. If our population stabilises at 27 million in 2050, that means a per capita reduction of about 72%. That’s tough enough already. But if our population is 36 million by 2050, a 79% per capita reduction is required to meet the same goal, with even more ambitious reductions thereafter as our population continues to grow."

Also, "The Victorian government has set Melburnians a water use target of 155 litres per person, per day. If the city grows from its present population of 3.8 million to 5 million, Melburnians will have to cut their water use to 118 litres per person per day. If Melbourne goes to 6 million, the daily target should be 98 litres." If we have more desalination plants, our water bills will continue to double!

Restoring ecosystem health is much more than just protecting what’s left. Re-connecting fragmented habitats through biodiversity corridors is a centrepiece of many state environmental strategies.

Finally, "advocates for rapid growth must be prepared to spell out their plans for 79% per capita cuts in emissions, water use of below 100 litres per person per day and housing densities that allow for the reversion of currently developed land to biodiversity corridors. And that’s just to be consistent with current government environmental policies". Why wait until 2050 then to make population growth officially an "threatening process" under the ECPB Act?

Vivienne, re: comment 'Australian Conservation Foundation on population growth'

Yes, the Rudd's red herring of Minister for Population chronically fails to recognise the underlying cause. Tony Burke is another Rudd puppet there to appease. His role is a gross abuse of political power and taxpayer funds. It is another Rudd politburo.

'Population can't be capped' is Rudd propaganda. Is Rudd's preference for Chinese methods only his Mandarin?

But please go back and read the statistical trend that Australia's current compound 2.1% population growth threatens. It is not 35 million but 50 million by 2050, or 1 million a year. I have updated the article accordingly.

The Kyoto Protocol recommended pollution levels be capped to 1990 levels.
It is wholly appropriate that the same baseline year apply to population.

Australia's population in 1990 was 17 million.
Source