#10;<p><em>Almost all seats were taken for the population reform breakfast at the Hilton in Adelaide on 7 April 2010. Among the audience were several members of the Liberal opposition, including their leader, Isobel Redmond. Greens MLC, Mark Parnell, was also in attendance. No members of the Labor government appeared to be present.</em></p> <h3>John Coulter: Baby bulge reflects immigrant bulge</h3> <p>John Coulter, retired senator and former leader of the Australian Democrats, thanked Australian philanthropist, businessman and Australian National Geographics founder, Dick Smith, for funding the breakfasts. Coulter then showed a population pyramid figure based on ABS statistics which demonstrated that the baby boomer bulge in Australia" s="" ageing="" demograph="" is="" due="" to="" previous="" high="" immigration="" periods.="" />
Average wealth per person diminished by population growth
Dr Coulter next made a comparison of population growth and "gross state
product per capita" GSP/capita for Australia's states and showed how those states with the fastest population growth have negative GSP/capita. That is, -individuals within Australia's rapidly growing states, are becoming poorer while those with the lowest population growth rates show positive GSP/capita - i.e. they are becoming more wealthy.
Bob Such: Rural land should not be sacrificed for suburbs
Independent member of the House of Assembly, Bob Such, reminded us that, (as someone representing a partially rural electorate) people with livestock were well aware of the idea of carrying capacity and that we should not be building on our best agricultural land to sustain population growth.
Former Finance Minister Minchin states opposition to rapid growth:
Former Special Minister of State, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister 1997-98, and Minister for Industry, Science and Resources 1998-2001, and Minister for Finance and Administration from, Nick Minchin described his economics credentials and drew the attention of those present to his long history of opposing rapid population growth.
Michael Lardelli: Food, phosphates and fossil fuel trends won't sustain bigger population
Michael Lardelli looked at Australia's current food production and trends in world phosphate and oil production and questioned whether we will even be able to maintain our current population in 40 years if we do not complete a transition to localised, low energy food production with nutrient recycling.
Comments from the floor
Isobel Redmond was asked to comment during the questions period and stated that she supported the TOD idea to avoid building on agricultural land.
One of the younger members of the audience, who was a reporter from the Adelaide Advertiser newspaper, posed the general question to those present about what life would be like in a much larger city. Would there still be room to park at the beach, he asked. John Coulter replied that there were already other cities in the world where she could experience our possible future, e.g. LA.
One speaker commented that it was encouraging to see SA state Liberal MLAs at the Forum in force, but that it was disappointing that no-one from the governing Labor Part seemed to have turned up.
The event was useful because it showed political representatives that there is little to support rapid population growth and there are many negative effects.