There is his huge gap between what the people want and what politicians and their masters want.
(Cartoon by Jill Quirk.)
I attended a Population Task Force meeting yesterday inMacLeod (for region Ivanhoe and Eltham). There were about 30 in attendance, all but one ‘oldies’, mainly from Ivanhoe/Eaglemont, a couple (myself included) from Eltham.
The convenor was Richard Della Riva who just sat there and looked bored. His electoral office is in Vermont, so he would not know too many people in MacLeod.
The moderator and keynote speaker was a youngish Tim Smith. The presentation lasted less than 15 mins, then it was over to Q&A. I kick-started Q&A by stating that I got the impression this was not about stabilisation of population growth but rather accept growth as a given and then see how it can be managed. I wanted to know what environmental impact study had been done (approving murmurs from the floor ) and was asked to make a submission (which I will asap).
Many objected to population growth
Tim Smith was then hammered by the rest who all complained each in their own way about the population growth, some gave mini-speeches from their seats. He used the excuse – not convincingly - that many of these questions were of a federal nature, again and again he asked people to make a written submission. You can make one at http://vicpopulation.com.au/.
At the end Tim Smith asked by show of hands who thought immigration was too high. Up shot the arms. He re-phrased it: Who thought it was right or not enough? 2 arms out of 30 went up – one woman who spruiked for hemp growing and the one next to me, sent by a church group, who was just interested in getting more refugees. (She stormed out of meeting after closure).
Surely, 30 is not a representative sample, but I thought it very interesting that 28 out of 30 wanted less immigration, and they were all Third Agers plus one young woman in her mid 20s who was very anti-immigration. I gave her a copy of Peter North’s book Growing for Broke, which she very much appreciated.