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Victoria's population growth causing hardship and crippling our State

Sustainable Population Australia: Victorian and Tasmanian Branch

P.O. Box 240, West Heidelberg Victoria 3081

Patrons: Senator the Hon. Bob Carr, Dr Paul Collins, Prof Tim Flannery, Prof Ian Lowe, Dr Mary E White

www.population.org.au

21st December, 2012

Media Release: Victoria's population growth causing hardship and crippling our State

Our state's population grew by almost 90,000 in 2011-12, compared to Queensland (86,000) , NSW (79,000) and WA (78,000), according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data
The Victorian/Tasmanian President of SPA, Jill Quirk, said she was unsurprised but not impressed, to read that Victoria 'leads nations population growth’ with a population increase of nearly 90,000 over the last 12 months.

“Apart from the decline in the natural environment due to population pressures, closer to most people’s lives are the struggles of the hospital system not coping with population growth, overcrowded schools, traffic congestion, housing unaffordability, increased rental stress for home and business and cost of living hikes ultimately due to pressure on land and land prices”.

“Victoria is in the grip of numerous shortages”, said Ms Quirk. “Charity food distributor Foodbank Victoria faces a shortage of staple foods ahead of Christmas. Anglicare Victoria chief executive Paul McDonald says demand from welfare agencies is up about 25 per cent compared to the same time last year.

“A critical shortage of diesel fuel in Victoria threatens to halt the state's buses and taxis. People increases worsen shortages like this. Fruit and vegetable prices are to rise by 30%-50% because developers and associated roads are taking over inner-city market sites in response to population growth.

Overall, Victoria topped Australia with the highest number of people using homeless services, 76,590, followed by NSW (53,532) and Queensland (42,930) in the last financial year.

Ms Quirk says health care funding is in crisis. Moreover the needs of the 20 per cent of the State's population living below, or just above the poverty line are stressing VCOSS to the limit.
Although population growth is officially deemed necessary for our economy, says Ms Quirk, the state budget is obviously over-stretched by this expansion.
“Natural increase in the population changes little year to year compared to the rising immigration rate, which the government encourages, against the interests and protests of the current population”.

“The Baillieu government pretends it is all up to the federal government, but someone needs to take responsibility and recognise the signs that Victoria is exceeding the limits of sustainable population and the situation is becoming unmanageable”.

Further information: contact President Jill Quirk phone: 0409742927 vic@population.org.au