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Australia's population problem

Demographer slams overdevelopment in Melbourne - Video and text

Professor Bob Birrell [1] calls for better planning to stop over-development, sustainable population policy reform at a Sustainable Australia Party event. "Net overseas immigration is completely dominating the figures." The politicians tell us, "We just have to get used to it, and the way we're going to deal with it is to throw literally billions at it ... and ... eliminate suburbia." "That's what they say. But rezoning and high density doesn't actually work. The houses are too expensive. The reason is site costs. The more people the more demand for housing. If you increase the opportunity for housing on the same site, the site values go up higher.... It doesn't work." "Nor does the high rise 'solution'. You know there are tens of thousands of these being completed. When we checked the 2016 census, what we found was, that in the two areas of greatest density, CBD and South bank, only 5% of all those appartments were occupied by families with children. Well, what are we going to do about it? We have to deal with high NOM (Net Overseas Migration), it's not inevitable - and this is the key point. The high levels of NOM at present are due to government policy or government non-policy. They are a deliberate consequence of government policy. Not inevitable. For example, overseas students. It is a fact that the biggest source of growth in Net Overseas Migration in Melbourne is overseas students. There are more overseas students coming in on a student's visa each year than are leaving holding a student's visa. Okay, we don't object to students coming here for an education. the problem is that, once they get here and complete their education, they can stay on, more or less forever. Our governments have deliberately encouraged them to do so. By providing, as of right, a two year stay here, with full work rights - even if your degree is in cultural studies - and, when you've done that, you can get another student visa. Or you can become a tourist, or you can get a working holiday visa, or you can apply for a 457 temporary visa. Or you can apply for a permanent entry visa. And, as a consequence, a big chunk of overseas students are just spinning out ... over the years. So, we can change that and that would have a major impact. There are many other areas we could change. I'll just give you one or two to finish, which you may not know about. You've probably heard a lot about 'regional policy' - 'maybe we'll put people in the bush, rather than let them stay in Melbourne or Sydney. Well, currently, there's a program near 30,000 visas strong for state and regional sponsorship. The problem is that these visas do not require people to actually stay in the states or regions that sponsor them. They very quickly move off and they end up in Sydney or Melbourne. Or, consider this, and I'll finish on this note, consider the policy on spouses. [...] what happens in Australia is that you can sponsor a spouse at the age of 18 and you do not have to show that you have a job or an income which will enable you to sustain that spouse. I'm not kidding you. This is the situation. Compare that with Europe. Most countries now, you've got to be at least 22 before you sponsor a spouse, and you've got to prove that you have the funds to support that spouse. I could go on. There is massive potential to bring down the numbers. [...] We have to get the numbers down if we are really coming to grips with Melbourne's crisis of overdevelopment. I'll just leave you with one final thought, and that is that at least public opinion is moving in the right direction. [refers to TAPRIS study] Some 54 % of voters now believe that immigration should be reduced. The polls this year are putting the numbers in the 60%, so the potential is there. May I wish [Sustainable Australia Party] the best in mobilising it."

Liz Allen and demographers who ignore population doublings at our peril

Dr Liz Allen of the ANU, who describes herself as a demographer, has written another mass immigration promotion article within the disappearing post-war paradigm of jobs and growth. In ”Here’s what a population policy for Australia could look like,” she pays no attention to the diminishing prospects offered under that model by Australia’s shallow economy of holes and houses.

Melbourne bursts its seams as Australia's population hits 25m - aerial photos

The Victorian branch of Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) expresses deep concern that Australia will reach 25 million people this week. In anticipation of this milestone, SPA literally took to the sky on the issue by flying a small plane over Melbourne to see first hand whether bigger means better.

Vocal Animal interviews Michael Bayliss on Australia's overpopulation problem

Michael Bayliss, spokesperson for Sustainable Population Australia, speaks up for wildlife and for a sustainable population policy in Australia on Vocal Animal. Note that Michael also advocates a vegan diet for humans, but we do not, even though we publish pro-vegan articles from time to time. A major reason we do not advocate such a diet is that it does not satisfy requirements for animal-sourced vitamins, and can be fatal and disabling. See Incurable Alzheimers or curable B12 deficiency? An epidemic of wilful medical ignorance. (Sorry, Michael, but thanks for a really great interview on population, sticking up for animals. Also, feel free to comment and argue this point.)

Statement on population numbers by Jack Roach, Boroondara Residents' Action Group (BRAG)

We have noticed many more letters to the local newspapers raising the issue of high population growth mainly due to immigration. A recent survey conducted by The Australian Population Research Institute (TAPRIS) has reported that “74% of voters thought that Australia does not need more people”. The following points set out some of the reasons why we should be demanding better immigration controls by our governments:

Sustainable Population Australia comments on Tony Abbott and Peter Dutton on migration

Australia has no coherent population plan other than to inundate the major cities with people. Instead of a well though-out population policy, the strategy has been to stoke overall economic growth to support big business. This suits the property industry and retailers but GDP per capita growth is stagnating while ordinary Australians are worse off.

Dick Smith to ABC: Don't shoot the messenger on population numbers

Dick Smith has started a campaign supporting the ABC TV news and current affairs as his favourite network, but wants them to show more balance when it comes to reporting population issues.

Bullying on the Australian Independent Media Network "AIM"

Michael Taylor, co-owner of The AIM Network, and his on-line associate, Kate Lee, have wrongly and publicly accused me of promoting on the AIM Network site the argument that Martin Bryant was unfairly convicted of the 1996 Port Arthur Massacre, using this to characterise me as a 'conspiracy theorist'. My commenting ability was terminated as Taylor was publicly accusing me of lying and insisting on a response. To me, this was clearly an attempt to shout down views that were against their preferred argument and, when that failed, they cut me off. Even if I had written a piece about Martin Bryant and even if it it had been proven to be rubbish, this should not come into an argument about something entirely unrelated - population numbers. For this reason I am publishing this abreviated record of our exchanges, and commenting on the behaviour others have also encountered on this so-called 'alternative media' site. I think it is important to warn people of how they may be treated on the AIM Network, because of the importance of providing respectful true alternatives to the Mainstream Media (msm). The AIM Network purports to be independent media, but many of its articles seem to mirror the propaganda attitudes of the mainstream news. The AIM site seems to be dominated by a socialist alliance brigade that has attempted to take over every indymedia site in Australia.

The Carbon Footprint of Australia’s Construction Sector

Josh Frydenburgh, the minister for Energy and the Environment has belatedly released the greenhouse gas pollution data for the period up till the end of 2016. According to the report there has been a considerable improvement in the way the data is recorded allowing them to give more accurate estimates from individual sectors. The data show a total increase of GHG emissions of 0.7% for the last 2 quarters of that year but a considerable drop in emissions from the electricity sector. This could be due to more solar, hydro and wind use, the closure of big users like smelters but also the impact of high energy prices causing more restrained use.

Sustainable Australia Party fights the population ponzi

“The big issues we feel are job security, housing affordability, planning in our suburbs and our environment. And all of those major indicators are going backwards with this onslaught of rapid population growth. So, it’s changing our daily lives. It’s gone beyond some big number into the future. It’s actually hitting us in the face when we drive out of our driveway in the morning and we try and get to work. Or when we try to look up a job when we try to get our next opportunity. Or when we look at our green space in our suburb that’s disappearing. Or looking at our urban heritage… that’s just being bulldozed for this highrise development”. (William Bourke, Sustainable Australia Party, speaking on 3AW to Neil Mitchell)

Why is Labor pushing a Big Australia? - Letter to ALP from Peter Cook

"Strong population growth is boosting aggregate demand and therefore the growth rate of the economy. But measures of per capita outcomes are more sobering and suggest that not enough emphasis is being placed on them in the policy debate. A brief look at income per capita, dwelling prices to income, infrastructure spend per capita and traffic congestion points to the need for a comprehensive and open discussion around the policy direction Australia is taking. ... The pressures of very high immigration are contributing to social, environmental and economic stress in Australia. There appears to be a tri-party (coalition, Labor and Greens) agreement to keep this off the agenda, despite high levels of public concern."

SPA Seminar: Attitudes and communication in population and the environment

Saturday April 23 rd at 1.00pm to 4.00 pm. Venue: Hawthorn Arts Centre, 360 Burwood Rd. Hawthorn Vic 3122. Members and non-members are welcome to attend. Speakers are: Mark Allen, Founder, Population, Permaculture and Planning; Dr Katharine Betts, Population Sociologist, Swinburne University; Hon Kelvin Thomson MP, Environmentalist and high profile sustainable population advocate; Rod Quantock, Environmental activist, Much loved comedian. M.C. SPAVicTas President Michael Bayliss. Audience Q&A and discussion will follow (Free parking behind venue or at nearby Glenferrie Station).

Video: Mark O'connor Environmentalism and Population at the SLF 2016

Mark O'Connor, co-author of Overloading Australia talks on population fallacies and the IPAT equation and touches on Greens politics at the Sustainable Living Festival in a Sustainable Population Australia event.

Is ‘POPULATION’ a dirty word in the sustainability movement in Australia?

Population is a big issue happening in the world today, with our numbers having increased massively from around 1 billion in 1850 to what now looks like 11 billion at the end of the century. Right now, the numbers of the world’s poor increase by 80 million each year and the number of unwanted pregnancies are 210 million per annum. Considering that human population predicts 88% of impact to other animal and plant species (according to the International Union for the Conversation of Nature) human population remains a huge, yet very controversial concern.

Who really won the North Sydney by-election? Article by Andrew McNamara

Andrew McNamara is former Minister for Sustainability, Climate Change and Innovation in Queensland. He argues here that the Sustainable Population Party (soon to become the Sustainable Party) was the real winner of the North Sydney by-election; that all other participants showed diminishing or one-off results.

Evaluating Surveys that find Australians want higher immigration and a bigger population

What gives with surveys that tell us that most of us want more immigrants and a bigger population when, all around us, we suffer the effects of faster and faster population growth in groaning infrastructure, costly housing, road congestion, and rising costs for power and water? If we examine such studies, we will find that they pose their questions in the abstract and do not prompt people to make concrete associations about the effects of immigration and population growth. This is a bit like asking people how they feel about war compared to asking how they feel about war in their suburb. These polls also focus on ethnicity of immigrants rather than environment and planning impacts of mass migration. This article looks at recent polls by the Australian Institute of Progress, Roy Morgan Research, the Australian Election Study and Queensland Growth Management Summit 2010, Social Research on Population Growth and Liveability in South East Queensland". The Queensland survey is the most detailed and valid and has been discussed in its own article, "Poll shows most hate population growth: Lessons from Queensland in polling reliability and interpretation."

Sheila Newman: Kennett population policy, numbers and flow-ons: Regional migration and industrial law under Kennett

Video inside: This article is the text of a speech by Sheila Newman about how Kennett Government policies pushed up population growth in Victoria and Australia. Whilst many people remained for a long time under the impression that immigration numbers were a Federal domain, he began the practise of using regional migration definitions to attract people to urban Melbourne. He also de-toothed Victorian industrial law, affecting wages, condition and enforcement. The new interpretation of regional migration was adapted by other States and territories. Kennett's attack on Victorian industrial laws would ultimately pave the way for Workchoices and a much less effective system for ensuring that imported workers were not paid less than Australians, creating a new pull-factor in Australia.

Flat GDP shows folly of free trade, rapid population growth agenda - Kelvin Thomson

"Australia's GDP per capita went backwards in the June quarter, sliding by 0.2 per cent. Reports that it increased depend on the use of "population creep". GDP increased by 0.2 per cent, but that was only due to population growth, and GDP per capita, which is a far more accurate guide to living standards than GDP, declined.

Not surprisingly, then, real net national disposable income per head, which is the best measure of living standards, slid by 1.2 per cent in the three months to June. The Fairfax economist Peter Martin says this is the fifth consecutive slide in real net disposable income per head, which is now 5 per cent below its peak in 2011." (The Hon. Kelvin Thomson, Federal Member for Wills, 3rd September 2015).

ABC's brash exclusion of political alternatives from view

This short article around a letter from Bob Couch, records how the ABC spontaneously contacted a candidate for an alternative political party to tell him that the ABC would not give him any time to talk about his policies. The candidate had not approached the ABC, they approached him. Candobetter.net has run a few articles about how the ABC excludes candidates outside the major parties and we are running this story because the issue is so important. The ABC should be informing Australians of all the political alternatives out there so that we can really choose people who will represent us on issues of concern. See also and http://candobetter.net/node/1159.

Migrant Intake into Australia - Productivity Commission Submission by John Roles, Queensland

The policy and position of Australian government with respect to population issues is the most influential factor likely to impact on Australia’s future sustainability and hence the prosperity of current and future citizens. Because of the bipartisan government position on population/immigration numbers it is all but impossible to engender an effective public debate on these issues. I therefore welcome this opportunity created by the Productivity Commission to have this debate in a manner that is untarnished by vested interests and scaremongering about perceived xenophobia.

Suppression of matriarchal societies and population stability in Papua New Guinea 1960-1974

Inside is a video and transcript of an interview with Glen Marshall about indigenous population growth and self government before and after his time with the Australian government of Papua New Guinea. In it Mr Marshall describes the destruction of a matriarchal society in which population numbers were kept well under control, in part due to the fact that men and women lived within their own separate territories. The material totally contradicts much that is assumed about Papua New Guinea tribes - peoples who have lived in the area perhaps 60,000 years. Unfortunately it is a short interview edited from longer and unrelated discussions, but I hope it will inspire others to learn more from unusual sources about this extraordinary island and its struggle to conserve traditional land-tenure and self-government. See also "Glen Marshall, population and indigenous rights activist - obituary."

Kelvin Thomson: Intergenerational equity - How we are failing future generations - Speech to Protectors of Public Lands Vic

Video and text inside: Recently the Federal Government released another Intergenerational Report. It would be easy to dismiss it as a political stunt. After all the well-known scientist they got to spruik it, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, has now done just that, correctly lambasting it for its failure to talk about climate change. Any discussion about the future which leaves out climate change is farcical.

And these Reports, first commissioned by Peter Costello, are absolutely a Trojan Horse for the right wing agenda of winding back the social contract, dismantling the benefits achieved in Australia with a lot of blood, sweat and tears over many years, in health, education, and retirement incomes, which make Australia one of the best countries in the world to live in. They run a scare campaign about population ageing designed to convince us that our health, education and retirement incomes systems are not sustainable. Speech by the Hon. Kelvin Thomson, Federal Member for Wills, to the Protectors of Public Lands Annual General Meeting Saturday 18 April 2015

Fed up!

The function of Australian mass media seems to be to inveigle listeners into complicity in the terrible transformation that is being visited on us in Australia (turning what were once pleasant capital cities where most of us now live, into dystopian megalopolises) by inviting them to 'choose' between distasteful solution A or unpleasant solution B.

Collapse, conspiracies, and three ideas for environmentalists to genuinely save the planet

On Friday the 13th of February I attended the “Great Debate: To Collapse or Not to Collapse,” hosted by the Sustainable Living Festival at the Deakin Auditorium. The following Wednesday I attended a screening on the movie Cowspiracy, hosted by Animal Liberation Victoria, which explored the impact of industrial animal agriculture on the environment and the resistance from environmental groups to address the issue in a meaningful way.

Both events painted a grim picture of the environment and society if we don’t make considerable changes, however as in most events that prescribe change, they did a good job of focusing on particular issues whilst ignoring others. I have reflected considerably over the past week, and after summarising the two events I will share three points that I feel get overlooked by the environmental and social change movements. I believe these points must be acknowledged if we are to sustain the planet for successive generations.

Napthine thumbs nose at Victorians over East West link - mainstream media complicit?

Everyone knows that that the Coalition Government (now in caretaker mode) led by Denis Napthine has already signed the contracts for the infamous East West Link Toll Road in advance of the election this Saturday. What the public may not appreciate is that the East West Connect, a consortium contracted to carry out the construction of the biggest infrastructure project ever seen in Victoria, has already commenced work on the project in Royal Park. Last week teams of EWC surveyors moved in and commenced marking trees for removal in the vicinity of the planned tunnel entrance over the Ross Straw Field in Royal Park West as well marking what appears to be a construction road up Brens Drive, through the State Netball and Hockey Centre carpark and north on to the area of Royal Park designated by Linking Melbourne Authority for a construction camp and carpark.

Victorian Candidates who support wider public debate on stable population - per SOS survey

Save our Suburb's Planning Survey exposes some fascinating trends among independents and small parties on population policy. I have put together some data on Victorian candidates for this coming election with regard to the population question on the poll plus any remarks. This was a late night operation and some candidates' remarks were partly obscured in the copy I made. Some Greens said they were in favour of such a policy, but I note that their own policy has for years avoided mentioning immigration and places the issue at a vague global level. It is well-known that this is a contentious issue with the Greens and that members and candidates tend to get punished for mentioning it and every attempt at workable local policy is suffocated from the top. Two Labor candidates - amazingly - said they were in favour of the policy. Note that the responses to the whole questionnaire are available here: http://sos.asn.au/vic/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/141117-Planning-Survey-of-Candidates-RO.xlsx UPDATE: As the survey is updated every 48 hours to include candidate responses, It might be best to use these links: Trend results and Individual candidate responses

Time for a complete review of immigration - Sustainable Population Australia

Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) today called on the Federal Government to undertake a complete review of immigration into Australia in light of claims of widespread rorting of the system.

ABC bias in conduct of Carbon Tax Debate: Lest we forget

"This article highlights how the ABC misled the Australian public, and Australian politicians, about the Carbon Tax in the lead up to passing of the legislation in November 2011. Tony Jones shows clear understanding that net emissions growth is the real issue (in China) but doesn't question Julia Gillard when she says a Carbon Tax will "cut carbon pollution" when facts prove a net increase will occur in Australia. QANDA bias is proven. Has the ABC done such a good job omitting the primary cause of emissions growth that nobody even understands it has happened?"

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