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Selfish power of the growth lobby

For too long the immigration program has been out of public control and run purely for the interests of an elite number of business groups and portions of a pro-ethnic lobby who are both quick to throw the term "racist" or "nimby" when their their interests aren't pandered to.

Housing prices are at levels that can only be called unaffordable, cruel and family hostile. We used to be a country famously known for our rate of home-ownership! Now we have rising homelessness, mortgage stress and "shortage" of land and housing.

Companies no longer bother to run traineeships and apprenticeship programs because they prefer to import skills. Universities aren't training sufficient Australian doctors, so we have "skills shortages". They are poached from overseas to save on education costs, and create another justification for immigration.

Universities aren't funded sufficiently, so they must rely on foreign students.

Roads are congested, water and electricity costs are accelerating as fresh food prices inflate due to market becoming high density housing and as water is rationed to farms. Freeways costing billions must be built, in denial of peak oil, to keep up with traffic demands.

The growth lobby never admit that their population growth doesn't improve GDP per capita but only the overall size of the economy, or that the infrastructure shortfall makes everything more expensive.

You don't have to know that 35 per cent of Sydney's population was born overseas. Some areas are even higher. The ethnic diversity is overwhelming!

The elite business interests, the ethnic lobby, and the pampered property developers have their own selfish interests at heart not that of the general population.

There appears to be another group of people that just enjoy screaming "racist" as a way of feeling superior! Secular humanitarian ideologies have become a major force, and keep promoting "equality" and a "one world" approach to everyone instead of patriotism.

Racism is more prevalent in poorer areas, and where third- and fourth-generation Australians live in ethnic enclaves, feeling like minorities. All this "diversity" and "multiculturalism" that we are supposed to embrace is the result of mass immigration, something we have no say about.

Immigration lobbies' selfish arguments have created their own myths for too long to justify our ongoing population growth. However, ideologies, economies and ideals are infinite, but not our land, our ecosystems, our limited fertile "green belt", our natural resources, our water, energy and our hip-pockets.

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A sensible population policy for Australia would be to aim at stabilising the population within a generation or so and that this was quite feasible if we limited immigration. Population should more-or-less stabilise somewhere between 19 and 23 million sometime before 2050.

If we maintained an immigration policy of up to 50,000 a year, this could be possible. However, business basically wants strong population growth because they see bigger markets as being good for immediate profits. Short-term gain is being given preference over long term sustainability, and many converging environmental threats are becoming more obvious.

Last year we grew our population by almost 500,000?—?the equivalent of the entire state of Tasmania. How can our governments be addressing climate change, our environment, "working families" and housing affordability at this rate? The cost of infrastructure for all these people would be massive. We, the tax payers, must pay for this growth.

According to Dick Smith: "I’ve made more money out of Sydney real estate in the past 20 years than I ever did from electronics and publishing. Why grow a real business that employs people when you can sit back and let population growth make profits for you? " Less reliance on manufacturing, commerce, simply keep adding people to prop up economic growth until the costs outweigh the benefits, and then repairing the ecological damage may bet too late.

Vast numbers of young people and the underprivileged will never be able to raise a family within the security of their own home. Australian urban areas, especially Sydney, have emerged as perhaps the most aggressive examples of high-density policies in the world.

The Australian Conservation Foundation's Consumption Atlas calculation shows that greenhouse gas emissions of those living in high-density areas are greater than for those living in low-density areas. Household electricity and heating fuel are about twice as much as transport and the amortised emissions from the construction of the dwelling are more. With regard to building and transport usage per person, apartment living uses more overall energy. Operational energy use per person for electricity and heating fuel is nearly twice as much in Sydney apartments as in single-family dwellings. Consideration of elevators, clothes dryers, air-conditioners and common lighted areas such as parking garages and foyers make these findings readily explicable. What is more, the per resident energy required to construct high-rise is much more than the energy needed to build single-residential dwellings. Also, high-density hardly reduces per person travel intensity at all. The overwhelming evidence that high-density is less sustainable than low-density does not prevent high-density proponents from unashamedly making misleading claims.

Melbourne, which is growing by 1700 people a week, is home to almost 4 million and has one of the largest urban sprawls in the world. Opponents to the urban growth boundary extention say greenhouse emissions and the cost of building new power, water, education, transport and health infrastructure will cost Victorians $40 billion.

The Australian Conservation Foundation has called for cuts to immigration, saying that a rising population will make it much harder to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, restore our rivers to health and ensure a good quality of life for everyone. However, the tremendous $$$ power of the growth-economists is much greater that the powers of the environmental and climate change lobby, and have much more sway over government policies.

It seems to me, looking back over my life - I was born in the late 1950s - that Australia in the 1960s and 1970s was a decent, if not altogether perfect, place for workers to live. Ordinary workers had good wages, career and training opportunities, and the major costs of living, particularly shelter, were cheap. Such a standard of living and quality of life would be regarded by many of today's ordinary Australians as paradise on earth, compared to what they endure now. All this has been lost in little more than a generation. How?

In part this has been lost because the supposedly dissident counter-cultural political movements of the time refused to acknowledge what was good about this country. Unfortunately I participated in these movements myself, in my gullible youth. Their leaders spent a lot of energy convincing ordinary people that they were exploited and that all would be better once we got rid of the exploiters. In reality, the most ruthless of exploiters used this period as a stepping stone for their project of stealing the wealth back from ordinary people and the supposed left-wing helped this to happen.

The project began from the mid-eighties, most notably during the years of the supposed Labor governments of Bob Hawke and Paul Keating.

Those governments implemented the initial stages of the agenda, also known as neo-liberalism. This agenda included the corporatisation of many public services, the privatisation of our retirement funding, the destruction of job opportunities offered by the public service, the deregulation of Australia's financial system and the initial steps to privatise government-owned assets, including QANTAS and the Commonwealth Bank.

Much of what occurred in this period shows remarkable similarity to more dramatic examples given in Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine, as occurred in, for example, Chile, Poland, the former USSR, Iraq, etc.

Unless this is stopped and a substantial democracy restored in Australia, then there is nothing that will stop us from reaching the grinding poverty of countries like Bangladesh, as our population grows and as our environment is destroyed. That the so-called Left is silent about this is for me confirmation that they are corrupt and actually the tools of Australian and overseas ruling elites, contrary to what they would have us believe.

See, also, Bandicoot's article "The failed promises of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights" of 18 Sep 2010 and comment "So, why isn't decent affordable secure shelter a human right?" (19 Sep 2010)

Why do we need more immigration? Because we have a "skills shortage".

Why do we have a skills shortage? Because of rapid population growth driven by immigration.

Editorial comment: The subject was just "Catch-22". I changed it to '"Skills shortage" Catch-22' to make it more descriptive,

The unstated implication behind the "skills shortage" excuse for high immigration is that Australian people aren't themselves smart enough to acquire the skills necessary to keep their society functioning. All properly managed human societies should be capable of creating, from amongst their own ranks, a sufficient number of workers with the necessary skills. Australia's relative shortage of skilled workers is the predictable and avoidable (and, more than likely, planned) consequence of the failure of our elected governments and private employers to train Australia's workforce in recent decades.