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Counter-growth-Symposium: An ageing population: is there really a problem? Adelaide, this weekend.

Weekend of 7-8 March 2015: Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) - Australia’s only environment group campaigning on the impact of human population - will examine the question “Population and Ageing: Disaster or Triumph?” in a half-day symposium to be held in Adelaide. “Population and Ageing: Disaster or Triumph” will be held on Saturday, 7th March at 1 pm, at the Hawke Centre, UniSA West Campus, 55 North Terrace, Adelaide. The public is welcome to attend and admission is free.

The SA-NT Branch President of SPA, Dr Michael Lardelli, says development lobby arguments for increased immigration to reduce the so-called problem of an ageing population will be taken apart. “For instance, the government likes to proclaim that the elderly will put huge pressures on the health system, but the truth is that whether a person lives to 50 or to 100 the last few months of their lives are likely to require more health resources. It really has little to do with age – the problem lies in treating chronic health problems for people of any age.”

“On Saturday SPA will have three specialist thinkers who will tell us that any apparent problems associated with ageing are all manageable”.

Dr Katharine Betts, Adjunct Professor of Sociology at Swinburne University, will be speaking on The Challenges and Benefits of an Ageing Population. She agrees that ageing presents some challenges but compared with the problems created by continual growth these are trivial. “The core benefit of an ageing population is that more human resources will be not tied up in the unavoidable labour of caring for the young. In the more mature age structure that is currently blossoming there will be many more real human resources available creating huge opportunities for work, for caring and for building strong communities”.

Dr Betts’ conclusion is that

“the ageing of the population is one of the best things to have happened to the human race in the last 10,000 years”.

Another of the speakers, Associate-Professor Phil Lawn from the Business School of Flinders University, whose topic will be Myths about Superannuation and the Intergenerational Debate says that an ageing population poses no fiscal problem for the Federal Government.

“The secret to providing for future retirees is boosting the productivity of the working population which requires adequate investment in education, training, health, natural capital and low-emissions and energy-efficient critical infrastructure” says Professor Lawn.

Dr Jane O’Sullivan, from the University of Queensland, will present to the symposium on the topic A Sustainable Future Cannot be Reached Through the Pursuit of Youthfulness. She says that the Intergenerational Report released yesterday by the government should be recognised as political spin and that it is deeply flawed.

“We have every reason to expect that future Australian workers will be more productive for longer, provided they are not shut out of the workforce by a flood of imported job-seekers. Population growth, the government’s preferred solution to ageing, is hugely expensive and detrimental to productivity”.

State President of SPA, Dr Lardelli, says that the public is welcome to attend and admission is free.

“Population and Ageing: Disaster or Triumph” will be held on Saturday, 7th March at 1 pm, at the Hawke Centre, UniSA West Campus, 55 North Terrace, Adelaide

Sustainable Population Australia
South Australian Branch


So, future generations will live longer, depite less spending on health care, and be poorer. Immigration will continue, towards "big Australia", in an effort to keep the proportion of age groups similar to a few decades ago, but the "pie" will be much bigger!

If our future, as set out by this report, is to be a reality for future generations, it's a concession of economic failure, and poor management of our once prosperous nation! How are we to pass on Australia to future generations with such bleak futures for them? There will be crowding, and massive costs. Productivity will decline, because of lack of jobs. We are heading towards the new third world country, and reckless "growth".

Population growth now is inter-generational theft! The "economic growth" model is deeply flawed and reckless. The focus on our Economy should be high living standards, jobs, affordable housing, and environmental integrity - and lastly- a healthy economy! After nearly 25 years of "economic growth", why are we to get poorer and poorer, and worse off each generation? The "projected" population growth of about 40 million by mid century is being treated as inevitable, when it's not! People are being scammed, and ripped off, by politicians with myopic vision and lack of integrity.

Our present human and natural resources should be protected and optimized, rather than relying on immigration to artificially tweak or demographics, and GDP.

After releasing the government’s intergenerational report last week, Mr Hockey said Australians should be given flexibility to use their superannuation in new ways. He went so far to suggest that younger people could be allowed to dip into their super savings to buy their first home.

The IGR says that we will be poorer in the future and have to work harder because of the high cost of an "ageing population" and their health care and pensions. Now, Joe Hockey is saying that people now should access their superannuation to help buy a house! That means more pensions down the track. If Hockey really wanted to make housing affordable, he's tone down the demands that keep outstripping supply. Tax breaks, high population growth, foreign investors, and negative gearing!

If governments stopped tweaking our demographics, we may find a way to have affordable housing, and stop pandering to the wealthy property investors. Housing has little to do with affordability, and all to do with satisfying investors. They thrive on demands not meeting supply!

Most of our growth is due to immigration, so the immigration tap should be turned down to 1990s levels, and not the full thrust we have now!