Melbourne lord mayor Robert Doyle has called for an end to “dumb growth”, saying the Victorian capital needs to “stop spreading at the edges like some sort of stain”. The former Victorian opposition leader told a seminar on future visions for Melbourne that he was alarmed by new communities springing up in the outer suburbs, marooned from jobs and public transport.
Cr Doyle said the only “smart” way to achieve a “big Melbourne” was to inject new homes into established suburbs and the city's extensive urban renewal areas, such as E-Gate and Fisherman's Bend. He said the City of Melbourne believed an extra 3 million people could comfortably be housed within the current boundaries of the city.
The embedded Table shows that Melbourne, Queensland and Western Australia have achieved Developing World status in the rapid population growth stakes.
With the exception of Singapore and the UAE, which are wealthy City States with limited cost of infrastructure expansion; only Developing World states have higher rates of population growth than some parts of Australia. Hallmarks of such states include:
- GDP per Capita roughly 4% that of Australia's
- Extreme rates of population growth due to chaotic rates of childbirth
- Autocratic regimes
- Extreme wealth in the hands of a few
- Lack of human rights
- Lack of social welfare
- Lack of health care
- Rapidly degrading environments
It doesn't take a lot of imagination to see some conceptual similarities between Australia and these states. It is all a matter of degree. A common factor, of course, being extreme population growth. Australia's is autocratically imposed on us all by the Federal Government.
The Mayor doesn't control the rate of population growth. However limits to growth do exist. He says the "City of Melbourne" viewed an extra 3 million as feasible, but did not mention a time span; when the expansion would slow or stop; or who has the right to impose that kind of growth on Melbournians. That all seems to be part of the "Vision" which is accepted without question; like subservience to an autocratic rule by "High Priests of Growth". No worries mate; we can just keep building more housing, on less land,............forever. And if the building industry slows down we can get jobs digging holes, in Western Australia, Queensland and NSW.............forever.
Housing might be crammed into the Greater Melbourne area; but with an economy geared towards this kind of development in the short term; where will the next 3 million people be housed? And the next 3 million after that?
In the long run, endless plans for massive population growth simply don't work. It's not sustainable. So why not admit it now and plan for slowing down?
Any form of rapid population growth, without questioning its long term feasibility, is "dumb growth", because it is a form of procrastination-in-denial. Ultimately the responsibility for change lies with the Federal Government.
Please review and consider signing this petition and forwarding it to as many people as possible: Australia requires a public inquiry to determine a basis for the optimum rate of population growth