Some of you may have heard a segment in 'Blueprint for Living' program last Saturday which dealt with water (identified as a finite resource) and in which population growth was mentioned but then went on to discuss several technical solutions and the economics of selling rural/agricultural water to cities where it could command a higher price. The issue of increased demand being within government control through limiting immigration was not discussed. As we have come to expect from the ABC, population growth was a given, an immutable fact. Accordingly I have made a complaint to the ABC as follows:
The segment complained about concerns [over] water supply. Jonathan Green interviewed Erin O'Donnell and Chris Chesterfield. While a growing population was identified along with water being a finite resource the program then dealt exclusively with technological 'solutions' to increasing demand and probably a worsening situation due to climate change).
Population growth is a policy direction for all our political parties. It is a deliberate political decision in which over 60% of population growth is due to very high immigration. Australia has one of the driest climates and one which is very likely to become drier. Water, a finite resource, is likely to become more limited even while government, opposition and The Greens pursue a policy which gives Australia one of the highest rates of population growth among OECD countries. But your program nowhere suggested that one of the directions that Australia could pursue in managing future water demand is to cut its immigration program and limit those policies which encourage Australians to have children. This is not to 'blame' migrants in any way for Australia's water problems; it is to blame the policy of high population growth pursued by our political parties. Prior to the last few years of the Howard Government Australia's immigration program was a great deal smaller. Returning to this smaller intake would help relieve not just a serious water shortage but a number of other infrastructure deficiencies as well.
I recently complained about a 'Breakfast' program dealing with water in which the interviewee mentioned population growth several times but in which Fran never took up the issue or discussed it.
Many of my colleagues join me in a view that the ABC has a persistent and pervasive bias against dealing with the issue of population growth as population growth relates to so many everyday issues. It is not sufficient to run an occasional program on population; population growth pervades so much of Australia's current life and future that it should also pervade the ABC programs which deal with a wide variety of important issues."
You can listen to the ABC program and write your own complaint. See the last line in my complaint and see why the latter is important.