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Video: Melbourne Mayor Robert Doyle supports Referendum on Population Growth

I must start by extending a vote of appreciation to the Mayor for agreeing to debate population growth with Kelvin Thomson. Both debaters and the Moderator respectfully acknowledged the original owners of the land upon which the debate took place, the Wurundjeri.

Mayor Doyle took the position that would guarantee that the ongoing dispossession of the Wurundjeri should continue at an ever escalating rate because it was "inevitable". Kelvin Thomson's position was more respectful of the Wurundjeri and took the opposite view.

The great disappointment for many of us was the Mayor's premise that, in his opinion, population growth was inevitable and that his job was to respond to that inevitability in his role as Mayor. So he would not provide a frank opinion on whether he agreed that endless extreme population growth was unreasonable. He avoided the issue and would not concede his responsibility to the people of Melbourne who are being subjected to this ongoing process of dispossession.

The Mayor highlighted that we live in a free society where public policy debate allows this issue to be fully aired. He also explained the difference between his versions of dumb growth and smart growth. He didn't mention that a key issue is the RATE of growth - which is what concerns most people.

He praised the virtues of modern Melbourne compared to the Melbourne of the 70s and effectively claimed that we could not live in the halcyon days of the past.

He made no mention of:

  • We would not be able to "live in the future" either if Australia continued its autocratically imposed self-colonisation policy indefinitely
  • At 2.5% per annum, Melbourne's population growth is comparable to those of the most underdeveloped parts of Africa
  • Unlike such underdeveloped countries where growth is "natural", Australia's extreme rate of growth is due to an autocratic policy of extreme self-colonisation without the consent of the Australian people
  • The ABC does not support open public policy debate of this issue
  • Australian homelessness is escalating at a compound rate of 3.2% per annum (doubling time 22 years)
  • Australian unemployment is escalating at a compound rate of 2.3% per annum (doubling time 30 years)
  • The above rates, if directly influenced by population growth, are likely to be far higher in Melbourne than the Australian averages
  • There is significant evidence that population growth is directly implicated in the deterioration of the Australian economy, and that this is directly related to Australia's reduction in philanthropic aid both at home and abroad

The Mayor's (and the ABC's) approach to the issue is analogous to a public figure regarding homicide using semi-automatic weapons as "inevitable" and then proposing that nothing should be done to investigate ways to reduce this rate of homicide.

The Mayor's claim that population growth is inevitable is contrary to his policy of reducing the speed limit in the CBD to 40 kph. He claimed that this was done because nobody dies when hit by a car travelling at 40 kph or less.

The Mayor is the epitomy of what is wrong with the Australian ruling class. He appears genuinely motivated by the desire to do good, yet excludes rational, analytical, "limits to growth" thinking from his zone of responsibility. It was as if he was saying: "I was only obeying orders. The Feds told me it is inevitable. I am innocent. It's not my responsibility." I disagree. I think it is all our responsibilities.

The question is, what right have politicians and public figures to deny reality in this way? Well you might ask.

The Moderator chipped in to say there was no lack of food (in the world) because millions of tonnes of excess food was being distributed to the needy by SecondBite. SecondBite is a good cause that both the Mayor and the Moderator personally support.

So there you have it. By doing good do these two somehow justify denial of a reality that "inevitably" will do far more harm than any limited good they can otherwise do?

Infinite food in an infinite world with infinite population. Such is the nature of the illogical ruling (and moderating) class. Innumeracy does a lot to cripple analytical thinking. Australia's population will continue to double every 40 years or less, and the Mayor effectively advocates this.

On this basis, in 200 years Australia's population will be 736 million if it compounds at 1.8% per year. In 200 years Melbourne's population would be 628 million if it compounds at 2.5% per year. These are the numbers that will dictate Australia's future.

However, after infuriating many in the audience with avoidance of the real issue, the Mayor fully supported a referendum on population growth at the end of question time after the debate. For that glimmer of reasonableness we extend our thanks.

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