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OVERPOPULATION AUSTRALIA 2008 - Surprising admissions in McDonald & Withers latest beat-up for mass worker immigration

OVERPOPULATION AUSTRALIA 2008 - Surprising admissions in McDonald & Withers' latest beat-up for mass worker immigration

“Workforce needs more migrants!” screamed the headlines on the front page of “The Age” (Sarah Smiles, “Workforce 'needs more migrants,' “The Age,” February 6, 2008).

Hardly news, when the Age is always going on about this purported ‘need’ – and ABC radio, and just about every news organ now for years.

But the real news about Peter McDonald's and Glenn Withers', “Population and Australia’s Future Labour Force,” went entirely unreported.

Amazingly, these two veteran population boosters, McDonald the coffin-demographer, (famous for implying the demise of populations not growing explosively), and Withers, the growth-mad economist, state:

“…the Australian experience has been that significant environmental degradation and some resource shortages have arisen from the failure to plan adequately for population growth."

And, they add that "the absence of government policies to coordinate population growth with energy and the environment [among other considerations] would be a sufficient reason for restricting immigration increases.”

The full paragraph and recommendations are below, plus some concluding comments:

“… the Australian experience has been that significant environmental degradation and some resource shortages have arisen from the failure to plan adequately for population growth. This stems largely from a failure on the part of governments to acknowledge the reality of population growth, accommodate that and plan ahead in a coordinated way. A ‘headin-the-sand’ approach that pretends that future population growth will be curtailed presents far greater dangers of future environmental degradation than does future growth with adequate planning. Hence, an explicit population/migration policy should be adopted that acknowledges the global environmental issue and gives weight to the argument that greenhouse gas emissions in Australia must be limited. It must also address the infrastructure issues related to congestion in cities, sewerage and waste disposal, and the provision of water and energy. In this respect, good environmental and infrastructure policies are a necessary component of a positive immigration strategy.


The Federal Government should adopt a forward-looking population policy that incorporates both domestic population growth and migration, acknowledges their impact on Australia’s economic, social and environmental goals, and design population and complementary strategies accordingly. The population policies should include fertility, migration, population distribution and social integration and settlement. Complementary policies should include education and training, infrastructure and housing, and energy and the environment. These need to be effectively coordinated with State and Territory Governments, and their absence would be a sufficient reason for restricting immigration increases.”

Don’t hold your breath that this means that the population growth and development lobby or its cheer-leading economists and demographers intend to stop riding jocky on the bulldozers. What we are almost certainly seeing here is a strategy by the development-finance-materials lobbyists, who benefit financially from all that population growth, to get the government to do their damage control. Just as the same crowd blame the government for housing shortages, high land and housing prices, and overall inflation when they successfully lobbied for precisely this situation.

Australians are enraged by the undemocratic transformation of every aspect of their landscape, government and society. Does the reader need reminding that a criteria of facism is the close association of governments with big business?


Hello Sheila


I've been in contact with James over the last couple of days, and I noticed your name in the list of blogs. I believe that we have already met - we also seem to be on the same wave-length.

My name is Amanda Burchell - I've recently written and published a book called: Agent Provocateur: the backlash against the anti smoking campaign. ( The QUIT campaign is ugly, rude and alienates those it wishes to avail themselves of its dogma - I have a better solution.)

You may be interested in the sub-text, which compares other forms of pollution (over population & pollution). And while the book is intended to be humorous, within its 'rant' you may find a serious intent. Mike Cook has provided some entertaining graphics to encapsulate the writer's message, and as the saying goes: 'You catch more flies with honey than vinegar' - humour can often be said to engage, where a tongue-lashing, brow beating may not.

( Another wit has said: ...But who wants flies?)

Our website:

... Sheila, I see that you have done some great research into the area of population ~ I've long thought that Australia was heading for 'unsustainability'. - I've mentioned elsewhere this evening, that I spoke with a scientist a few years ago in the 1990's who said that Australia could sustain around 12 1/2 million - after that, there would be a serious 'liquidation' of resources, (or words to that effect) - i.e. arable land; water; those proponents of 'more people/ cheaper goods and more for all' (mainly builders, I spoke to in the 1980's!) - were wrong, as evidenced by house prices alone!

... Have you unearthed the contrary reasons behind the push for population growth to the detriment of the Nation's tax paying citizens, by any chance?


Amanda Burchell