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Stable Population Party Australia in Murdoch Press

The article about SPPA in today's Australian (20 April 2010) is an indication of the profile public dissatisfaction is giving the population issue. The Australian is a self-admittedly big population advocate, and so it is interesting to see how the new party, Stable Population Party of Australia, has been reported.

Predictable but unacceptable slurring

The online version is quite acceptable, but a printed edition this morning uses the headline 'New party slams immigrants'. See, Stephen Lunn, "New Party slams immigrants," (April 20, 2010).

William Bourke says that this in no way represents either the article or his lengthy discussion with Stephen Lunn yesterday.

It looks like that Mr Murdoch's editors are trying to paint him in a certain way.

The Australian got the Party's name completely wrong

The Australian did not get the name of his party correct either. The name of the party is not the 'Sustainable Population Party', but the Stable Population Party of Australia. The newspaper apparently cleared this up later in the online edition, but all those people who only read print media will not be able to find the party which they may desperately wish to find. And a lot of people who otherwise might join may not because of the way the Australian has represented the party.

The article itself covers the basic facts about the party, notably the population stabilising policy of balancing emigration with immigration. It also quotes William's factual statement that "population growth might be a single issue, but it cuts across national policy agendas from health, housing and education to water, climate change..." but over-emphasises the fact that it also cuts across immigration.

Why can't the Australian be more positive about what the people want?

In fact the article could be saying so many positive things, such as how the Stable Population Party, by trying to stabilise our population at as low a level as possible, offers hope of an amnesty on starving out and breaking indigenous animal populations, of mortgage martyrdom, of anxiety about old age and rising costs, of a consolidation of community and democracy, and ultimately, as the baby boomers begin to die off in 20 or 30 years, of green space and freedom becoming available to Australia's growing population of cage-reared children, sedated and bloated with fast food.

The Australian is - unfortunately for Australians - interested in marketing Australian property to the world, through its property dot com, realestate.com.au, so positive reporting here would conflict with their business policy.

Dick Smith, FOKE, and Stable Population Party of Australia in Sydney last week

The Party leader encountered a very positive reception at a venue last week.

On the night of the 15th of April 2010, population campaigner Dick Smith spoke to the Friends of Ku-ring-gai Environment (FOKE) group where they had gathered at an environmental event on Sydney's North Shore.

FOKE's main concern is inappropriate development in their suburbs (high rise etc).

The event was packed with 170 seated attendees and a similar number standing.
Dick spoke well and introduced William Bourke of Stable Population Party of Australia to the crowd near the end.

Mainstream media were in attendance including 60 Minutes (who had been with Dick Smith all day), SBS TV, and North Shore Times (News Ltd).

William Bourke was interviewed by SBS TV and around 50 people came up to him after the event for a chat. Most of them departed after getting a SPPA membership form.

Looks like Dick Smith is leading the democratic population policy campaign and helping Australia find political alternatives to the growth lobby.

Makes a good counterpoint to Murdoch's mammoth Australia campaign.

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Abbott wants more babies, fewer people

[Lenore Tayor, Sydney Morning Herald, 10th April 2010]

Liberal Opposition leader 'Tony Abbott hopes a Coalition government's family-friendly policies will boost Australia's birth rate but at the same time says projected population increases - fuelled by a baby boom and high immigration - are not sustainable.

Over the past five years Australia's fertility rate has jumped from 1.7 births each woman to 1.9 births, but Mr Abbott told the Herald that raising the birth rate even higher was "a desirable goal" and getting it above two births each woman "would be a very good thing".

Mr Abbott has promised more assistance for families with children, who he describes as "the new poor", on top of his generous policy of offering six months' parental leave.'

Labor and Liberal are different factions of the same growthist ideology.
Both ignore local social downgrades of Australian standards of living because they are both 20th Century in thinking and aloof from the social problems.

Mr Abbott is a Catholic.

Many new migrants are having babies and retaining their culture of origin - language, religion, customs, laws, food, way of life, values and attitudes.

'Figures from demographic consultants Macroplan Australia show record overseas migration and an ageing population mean migrant families will overtake the number of locally born residents by 2025 - far sooner than previously imagined. The Australian-born family will become a minority group within 15 years - outnumbered by a surging wave of migrants from Europe and Asia.'

Read We'll be a nation of new migrants

In this article, our omnipotent Bernard Salt materialises again justifying: "It all adds to the cosmopolitan nature of modern Australia," KPMG demographer Bernard Salt said. "It means our views become less blinkered, and we become more tolerant, confident, engaged, opportunistic and optimistic because we are open to new ideas, not obsessed with keeping things the same."

----------------

Statistics show that Belgium could be a muslim majority in 20 years? Could Australia follow?
Brussels: A Muslim majority in 20 years

Are Australian-borns feeling 'more tolerant, confident, engaged, opportunistic and optimistic' about becoming a minority and swamped by 50 million by 2050? Mmmm, Cronulla rising.

Yesterday, apparently, the Australian said it would print the following in the Letters section:

"New party embraces migrants

The Stable Population Party of Australia welcomes both continued immigration and the migrants who have joined our party. It was therefore disappointing to see The Australian misrepresent our position with its ‘New party slams immigrants’ headline on April 20.

It not only misrepresented our philosophy of an open and tolerant Australia, but it bore no resemblance to the article. It is undisputed that Australia has a rich history in migration, but there are limits to growth and we now have a small margin for error.

The evidence is overwhelming. We have major population-driven problems around housing, water, health, traffic, carbon emissions, infrastructure, biodiversity, urban planning, trade deficits and foreign debt, to name a few.

The most recent research shows that around seven out of ten Australians support a stable population, and it seems most immigrant Australians agree.

On current evidence, the only democratic and sustainable choice for Australia is to rapidly stabilise at around 23 million. A flexible migration program with around 50-80,000 immigrants per annum and the predicted natural increase of one to two million would land us around this level at 2050.

William Bourke

Convenor

Stable Population Party of Australia
Sydney"

This morning, from a cave somewhere in Pakistan, Taliban Minister of Emigration, Mohammed Omar warned Australia that if military action against Iraq & Afghanistan continues, Taliban authorities will cut off Australia's supply of Convenience Store managers, and if this action does not yield results, Cab Drivers will be next, followed by Telstra Customer Service Representatives, Telemarketers and finally Queensland Doctors.

THIS IS GETTING UGLY, FOLKS !!!!!!

Thanks Daniel,

While your warning is tongue in cheek, the examples you provide underscore the truth of what is happening.

As for Telstra Customer 'Care', try phoning Telstra's national fault number 13 22 03 as I have recently done. It's Russian Roulette you get an Australian, but the blanks are a Philippino operator with a strict spiel and poor English.

Row erupts over Telstra's 'outsourcing' to Indian companies
[2nd April 2003]

This very day back on 22nd April 2003, the ABC 730 Report reported as follows:

Australia opens exam centres in India to recruit doctors
"No one is surprised these days if a telephone inquiry to a big company takes them to a call centre in some other part of the world. But revelations today that Telstra is importing IT contractors from India to work in Australia has given the globalisation debate here a renewed intensity. The union movement quickly condemned the practice, claiming that cheaper Indian workers were taking jobs from Australians and undercutting hard-won wage gains. Telstra, which has shed thousands of jobs in the past few years, maintains it is just doing business in a world economy and the best advice from the experts is "get used to it".

Since 2008, the Rudd Government has been actively recruiting doctors from India:

"Sydney, Oct 21 (IANS) Australia is set to open five examination centres in India to recruit overseas trained doctors, desperately needed to meet the acute shortage of medical professionals in the country.Indian doctors, who have applied for migration to Australia, will be able to sit for a multiple-choice exam that will test their medical knowledge at one of the five centres in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai, The Australian newspaper reported Tuesday.

The first exams are scheduled to be held as early as Nov 17-19.

Until now, Indian doctors had to sit for the exam in testing centres set up for the past few years in Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai or London.

The Australian government, under the MedicarePlus reforms introduced five years ago, had pledged not to actively recruit or in other words poach doctors from developing countries such as India.

“There has been a very careful review of the situation in India, and we have been given instruction that they are no longer part of these sensitive areas,” Australian Medical Council Chief Executive Ian Frank told The Australian.

“We are permitted to go back in there now. We don’t think it’s going to make a significant difference to the number recruited, it will just make it a bit easier for the candidates,” Frank told The Australian.

India is perhaps the biggest single source of overseas trained doctors migrating to Australia. About 6,500 foreign doctors come to work in Australia each year, most of them from the Indian subcontinent, Britain and South Africa.

However, in the aftermath of the much publicised botched terrorism case of Indian doctor Muhammad Haneef, the number of overseas trained doctors coming from India had plummeted.

The Australian health system relies heavily on foreign doctors, particularly in regional and remote areas where Australians don’t want to work. Forty percent of all doctors in Australia were overseas trained and a large proportion of these doctors hail from the Indian subcontinent. Almost 15 percent of overseas trained doctors in Australia are Indians.

The Patel Lesson

In recent years, there has been lot of talk about making tests more stringent for overseas trained doctors and also formally assessing knowledge and skills of medical professionals before they arrive on the shores of Australia, especially after India-born US doctor Jayant Patel’s case came to light few years ago.

Patel has been charged with 14 offences, including three counts of manslaughter, two counts of grievous bodily harm, and fraud, relating to his employment as director of surgery at regional Bundaberg Base Hospital in Queensland between 2003 and 2005. He will face court for a committal hearing in February next year. It is said to be probably the worst medical-negligence scandal in the country."

Australian standards - what are they?

Rudd's a rotten traitor.

India needs 600,000 more doctors: Plan Panel
April 07, 2008 11:29 IST

"Painting a grim picture on the healthcare sector, the Planning Commission has blamed the shortage of medical professionals for the dismal scenario. There was a requirement of at least 600,000 more doctors, it said.

The situation is particularly bad in the public healthcare sector [...] has been on a serious decline during the last two or three decades because of non- availability of medical and paramedical staff, diagnostic services and medicines."

In Community Health Centers something like 59% of positions for surgeons, 45% of positions for gynecologists and obstetricians, 61% of positions for physicians and 53 % of positions for pediatricians remained vacant.

"The number of doctors registered by different state councils stood at 6,68,131 during the year 2006 giving a doctor to population ratio of 60:100000. [...] If the targeted doctor population norm is taken as 1:1000, there is a requirement of at least 600,000 doctors. [...]"

About 282,130 dental surgeons were needed but there were only 23,271.

"While the ideal population of nurses should have been 2,188,890 in 2007, currently only 1,156,372 nurses were available."
[...]

Read more here:
India needs 600,000 more doctors: Plan Panel
in Rediff India Abroad.

The discussion is interesting and ressembles some of Australia's. Both countries have governments which don't provide what is necessary.

How does our government justify head-hunting the educated from overseas, especially doctors where they are needed? It is cheaper to import professionals than to subsidise those educated in Australia. We should be training doctors of our own. We don't lack skills in Australia. Education is prohibitively expensive, and with the costs of housing out of reach of even professionals, young people are burdened very early in life with long-term debts. It is wrong to lure doctors away from their own countries, for more income, when they are needed where they are.

My cynical but pragmatic answer to Milly's question above: How does our government justify head-hunting the educated from overseas, especially doctors where they are needed?

Vocational training benefits are ouside the timeframe of election cycles. Our current Labor Government is currently only interested in getting its health deal to win voter brownie points in time for the next election.

But it takes ten years to train a medical doctor through internship to being a GP. Australian governments typically marginally in power are so desperate for the swinging vote that they focus on election sweetening programmes in four year cycles. But Labor, Liberal, Nationals or Greens lack any long term policy or funding programme that matches the employment needs of the health industry to targeted vocational training of Australians to fill GP, nursing and health care worker positions in Australia in say ten years time.

It takes about five years to build a new hospital as the new West Australian example suggests: Nedlands Children's hospital built by 2015 We are behind building new hospitals in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, where the Federal Government forecast millions more people to be living over the next few decades. Brisbane is planing to merge the Royal Children's Hospital and the Mater Children's Hospital but this is not adding a new hospital to the mix. The Liberals in Victoria claim they are considering a new children's hospital in Melbourne's southeast, but has stopped short of fully backing the plan. Sydney is doing nothing.

Australian government culture at all levels is short sighted and immature and the Australian mainstream media are part of the problem.

In Australia, successive Liberal and Labor governments have allowed a chronic disconnect between growing employment needs in both the private and public sectors, and targeted vocational education. Employers have reneged on training their workforce. Workplace training has been abandoned because employers have been allowed to adopt the habit of recruiting skilled people rather than train their existing people.

Eventually, the local talent pool dries up, so employers look overseas and governments help them. It is a short sighted bandaid solution that ignores the vocational training needs of Australians.

In my industry, IT, Australians are being left behind in technology skills. Indians and Chinese dominate IT because language and cultural fit is deemed less vital than other fields and so many thousands of them are qualified in software - read to 'plug and play'.

It amounts to job invasion.

I think the election cycle argument is far too kind to our political rulers.

The real reason is that this policy helps the powerful vested interests to whom they are beholden.

Whether we had three year, four year or five year electoral electoral cycles, is unlikely to alter their fundamental behaviour.

The only difference, if anything, would be that if there were longer terms of office, the behaviour of our political rulers would be even worse.

If we were a healthy democracy, the remedy would be to boot out all the politicians from both major parties out at the next elections, but we are not a healthy democracy so that may prove to be a little harder, although, hopefully not altogether impossible.

Significantly, this report is tagged for the Real-estate section in this Financial news outlet):
"Housing shortage makes Australia ask if it is full," by Meraiah Foley, Apr 29 2010 , SYDNEY
Tags: Australia, Real estate, News

Meraiah Folely has done a good report though.

An excerpt:

"‘‘Australia is a small market, so you don’t need too many more people coming into the market to push up prices,’’ said David Airey, the president of the Real Estate Institute of Australia, an industry group, which blames a tangle of local, state and national building regulations for the failure of housing supply to keep up with demand.

The government keeps no statistics on foreign investment in real estate, so the true effect of overseas buyers is impossible to measure. But Mr. Airey said agents had seen a noticeable increase in foreign buyers, particularly from China and Russia, over the past year.

Australia is roughly the size of the continental United States, and land hardly seems scarce. But this giant landmass is dominated by vast, inhospitable deserts that push all but the hardiest residents to the coastal fringes.

Just 6 percent of the country is considered arable.

Many people are beginning to wonder how big the population can, or should, get.""

Meraiah Foley concludes her article with the following statement:

"Both the Stable Population Party of Australia and the Stop Population Growth Now party say they would restrict immigration from English and non-English speaking countries alike.

‘‘This is not a question of where from,’’ said Mr. Bourke, a marketing executive from Sydney. ‘‘It’s a question of how many, and what is sustainable for our future.’’"

Candobetter.org is hoping for a report soon on the Stop Population Growth Now party in South Australia.