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Kelvin Thomson: Intergenerational equity - How we are failing future generations - Speech to Protectors of Public Lands Vic

Video and text inside: Recently the Federal Government released another Intergenerational Report. It would be easy to dismiss it as a political stunt. After all the well-known scientist they got to spruik it, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, has now done just that, correctly lambasting it for its failure to talk about climate change. Any discussion about the future which leaves out climate change is farcical.

And these Reports, first commissioned by Peter Costello, are absolutely a Trojan Horse for the right wing agenda of winding back the social contract, dismantling the benefits achieved in Australia with a lot of blood, sweat and tears over many years, in health, education, and retirement incomes, which make Australia one of the best countries in the world to live in. They run a scare campaign about population ageing designed to convince us that our health, education and retirement incomes systems are not sustainable. Speech by the Hon. Kelvin Thomson, Federal Member for Wills, to the Protectors of Public Lands Annual General Meeting Saturday 18 April 2015

This is just not right. Population ageing is not a bad thing at all. Countries with older populations are uniformly healthier, wealthier, have longer life expectancy and fewer problems than countries with younger populations. The group Sustainable Population Australia recently produced some great work from the academics Katharine Betts and Jane O'Sullivan about this and I recommend it to anyone with an interest in this issue. My take home message about population ageing is "Don't worry, be happy!"

But is the issue of Intergenerational Equity important? Bloody oath it is. Do we want to be remembered as a generation that wrecked the planet and passed on an inheritance and legacy of unemployment, mental health problems, drugs, conflict and terrorism to the next generation? Surely we have an obligation to pass on to our children and grandchildren a world in as good a condition as the one our parents and grandparents gave to us. We do not have a right to trash the joint.

So how are we going so far? Well let's look at deficit and debt, the two Ds, a bit like Daz and Dee from The Block. It is true that we need to balance the books. It is true that leaving behind deficit and debt is unfair to future generations, who have to pick up the interest bill.

It is worth noting that countries with large populations and rapid population growth tend to have greater problems of deficit and debt than smaller countries, or countries with stable populations. Rapid population growth leads to overcrowding and pressure on existing infrastructure. Residents and communities naturally object to this, so in order to head off public objection to rapid population growth governments have to build new infrastructure. This new infrastructure is very expensive, and leads to deficit and debt.

The Queensland academic Jane O'Sullivan points out that maintaining infrastructure in a population growing at 2 per cent doubles, repeat doubles, the infrastructure cost for governments, who have only two percent extra taxpayers to pay for it.

We have seen a classic example of this in Melbourne, with the former State Government secretly locking Victorians into a contract to build a tunnel through Royal Park that would have cost $8 billion. Seriously $8 billion for a tunnel! I recently had Professional Engineers in my office giving this outrageous cost as an example of the way the public sector is being stooged by private consortiums. Victorian taxpayers have dodged a massive financial bullet as a result of the new Victorian Government negotiating an end to this contract. It is remarkable that the Liberal Party and its media and corporate cheer squad have the temerity and audacity to criticise this. To lock Victorians into a multi-billion dollar contract with a secret side note days before an election was the height of contempt for the right of Victorians to democratically decide our future.

It is brazen and shameful that they should criticise an incoming Government for delivering what it promised - no East West Link. The $340 million cost is entirely the responsibility of the Liberal Party for its secret and devious attempt to foist this project on the Victorian people no matter how they voted. Frankly they should pay the money, not ordinary Victorians. At the very least they should hang their heads in shame.

Let me return to the double Ds, deficit and debt. During the good times John Howard and Peter Costello introduced measures which damaged the revenue and pushed up deficit and debt. The fiscal time bombs they left behind for subsequent governments included abolishing tax on superannuation income, cutting capital gains tax in half, introducing the Baby Bonus - now thankfully gone - and ramping up Family Payments.

The Abbott Government has gone down the same path. They reinstated the Howard Government’s fringe benefits tax arrangements for privately owned motor vehicles, which Labor had cancelled, at a cost of $500 million a year. They cancelled Labor's 15 per cent tax on superannuation income over $100,000. This reduced revenue by about $600 million a year. They abolished the carbon price, at a cost of $7.6 billion, and overturned the mining tax. One country which runs a whacking great surplus and has no debt is Norway, which years ago introduced a sovereign wealth fund. People say Norway is fortunate because it has lots of natural resources. And we don't?

The legacy of deficit and debt we are handing down to future generations is not unavoidable. For example we have allowed companies to avoid paying tax on their income.

In one financial year just 10 companies channelled over $30 billion from Australia to Singapore and avoided paying tax in Australia. In that year, 2011-12, an estimated $60 billion in so-called "related party transactions" went from Australia to tax havens. Energy companies have established "marketing hubs" in Singapore, but their principal purpose appears to be as a destination to shift profits in order to pay less tax. A report by the Tax Justice Network estimated annual tax avoidance by the top 200 companies at over $8.4 billion.

And as for infrastructure spending, the property developers who are the beneficiaries of the increased land value that comes from population growth ought to be the ones to pay for the costs of this growth. I support the Labor Government capping Council rates. Pensioners shouldn't be the ones paying for population growth; the beneficiaries should be.

My friends let's now look beyond the double Ds. How are we really going? Is there really intergenerational equity? Not in my book. The opportunities I and my generation had - free tertiary education, lots of job and career opportunities, affordable housing - seem a distant memory for way too many young people. They are now fitted up with an axis of financial evil - job insecurity, housing unaffordability, and student debt.

Job security has declined dramatically. Back in the 1980s well over half a million 15 to 19 year olds had a full time job. By January this year the figure was more like 150,000, an all-time low. There has been a dramatic switch from full-time to part-time employment. Back in 1980 just 20 per cent of workers aged between 15 and 19 were part-timers but the figure is now about 75 per cent.

This might not be a problem if those same young people were also studying and setting themselves up for more secure work once they have improved their skills and qualifications. But this is not happening. Youth unemployment is now at its highest for 17 years. The number of long-term unemployed has risen dramatically in the last seven years, and is now well over double what it was in 2008.

Well-qualified young workers are finding it difficult to break into high-skill jobs. Many young people have to continue their part-time university jobs after they finish their degree. And those who do have jobs have less secure jobs. Three weeks ago the Saturday Age reported a worker who only knew if he had work when he received a text message just 15 minutes before his shift was due to start at a clothing warehouse. As a statement of the bleeding obvious, it is impossible to plan his day or his life around that kind of insecure work. It is a throwback to the work arrangements on the waterfront a hundred years ago, when dock workers would stand in a line waiting to be picked out for a day's work.

The rise of casual, contract and labour hire jobs, with far fewer protections for workers, is a feature of the last 20 years. More than 2 million workers are now engaged as casuals and more than 1 million are contractors or in labour hire.

The personal and social consequences of unemployment and underemployment are negative and long-lasting.

Experts say that young people lose their hope, their health deteriorates, they suffer from depression and anxiety, and they become vulnerable to drugs and crime. Being out of work for long periods can affect physical health, mental health, and future employability. The job market is now also tougher for postgraduates.

Young people are also getting the rough end of the pineapple in relation to housing. Whereas I and my generation had opportunities to buy and live in detached houses, high-rise apartment towers in Central Melbourne are now being built at four times the maximum densities allowed in such crowded cities as New York, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

These hyper-dense skyscrapers are being built with little regard to the effect on the residents within, or their impact on the streets below, or on neighbouring properties.

And as if these issues aren't big enough, this week a prominent Britain-based international mental health commentator, delivering a public lecture for the Queensland Mental Health Commission, suggested the modern rat race could be making us unhinged! Gregor Henderson said that across the world levels of diagnosed depression and anxiety, and the prescribing of drugs to deal with those conditions, are rising alarmingly. Mr Henderson said there may be a link between the way the modern world is structured and the elements of emotional and psychological distress we are seeing.

He said that if we keep putting such a high value on economic product, this leads to materialism, consumerism and individualism, which are mostly short-term benefits. Our modern style of living is out of synch with our mental and physical wiring.

I certainly think one of the contributors to increasing mental health issues is the loss of our connection with nature. Numerous studies have shown that public open space delivers tangible and important benefits for physical and mental health. Mathew White and colleagues at the University of Exeter Medical School found that people who live in urban areas with more green space tend to report greater wellbeing - less mental distress and higher life satisfaction - than city dwellers who don't have parks, gardens or other green space nearby.

A study from Norway says that health benefits from nature arise from nature's stress reducing effect. Stress, as is well known, contributes to cardiovascular diseases, anxiety disorders and depression. The American biologist E. O. Wilson says that because humans evolved in natural environments and have lived separate from nature only relatively recently in our evolutionary history, we have an innate need to affiliate with other living things. That is why the work of civic-minded groups such as the Protectors of Public Lands is so important, not just for us, but for those who come after us, and I congratulate you on the work that you do to protect our remaining public open spaces.

People aren't just unhappy with their own lives. They're unhappy about the quality of their political leadership as well. One of the defining features of modern political life is a pervasive loss of faith in government's ability to solve problems, or indeed do anything much at all.

Sally Young, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Melbourne, says we are living through a lost era of policy making. She says that politicians of today are suffering a crisis of confidence about whether their policy making can make a difference. She contrasts this with the difference made in the 1970s by Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser.

So if we are failing future generations, and I am convinced that we are, what can we do about it? I think employment is one key. We need to get fair dinkum about full employment. Now there are plenty of captains of industry and economists who immediately change the language and the objective of "full employment" to that of "creating jobs". But they are not the same thing at all, even though they may sound similar.

The objective of "creating jobs" is used as cover for the desire to reduce workers’ pay, conditions and rights. It is claimed that reducing these things will increase labour market flexibility and thereby create jobs. It is also used as a battering ram against the environment, with the need to create jobs used to justify all manner of environmental atrocities. We should not agree to surrender pay and conditions or our beautiful and unspoiled environment. This would be the opposite of intergenerational equity.

So how do we achieve full employment then, given its importance? I think five steps are crucial.

First, we should wind back our migrant worker programs, which have skyrocketed in the past decade. In a stable or slowly growing population, workforce ageing will help solve unemployment. As workers retire unemployed workers or young people entering the labour force get job opportunities. This is how things used to be. But when we are running massive permanent and temporary migrant worker programs, the unemployed and young people entering the market find themselves up against ferocious competition from new arrivals. The size of these programs puts us on a treadmill. No matter how fast we create jobs we still have unemployment above 6 per cent. More than 760,000 Australians are out of work, a totally unacceptable figure, and a recipe for drugs, crime, mental health issues, even terrorism. As recently as the year 2000 the then Immigration Minister Phillip Ruddock said that net migration may average out at 80,000 per annum. A funny thing must have happened on the way to the Forum, because his government subsequently increased it to over 200,000 per annum, where it still sits.

Second we should focus on education, skills and training. What has happened to technical and further education is a scandal. Back in 2008 political parties promoted the deregulation of vocational education. 'Contestability', that is competition between the public TAFE Colleges and new private training colleges, became the name of the game. They competed for students and for government subsidies. The idea was that competition would lift standards and be good for students. The result has been the opposite.

Private training colleges have been quite unscrupulous. Their interest has not been in the students, it has been in making money.

They get students in and churn them through. They have no interest in whether the students get the skills they need to find work afterwards. As long as the students, or taxpayers, pay them, they're alright jack.

Private colleges have cherry-picked the most lucrative courses, leaving TAFE to deliver the balance. The creation of a private market in education led to the appearance of education brokers, signing up people outside Centrelink offices with inducements like free laptops. Consumer protection has been inadequate.

And then there is the change towards "competency-based" training. Whatever the virtue of the theory, in practice colleges have put students through courses in a matter of weeks. Quality assurance has been absent. Trainers sign students off as competent, but in practice they are woefully incompetent.

What we can do about this? The Australian Education Union TAFE Division has called for a cap on the funding available to private training providers, with 70% of government funding going to the public TAFE institutes, and TAFEs and private providers able to compete for the remainder. The union is also calling for the abolition of third-party delivery, in which training providers pay external businesses to deliver training courses.

Then there are the universities. We introduced student fees and uncapped student places. Now the Liberal Government wants to deregulate student fees. This would be a disaster. When I went to University there were no fees and places were allocated on the basis of academic merit. If Christopher Pyne succeeds, the system will have been turned on its head. Academic merit and performance will count for nothing. Your capacity to pay large fees, or more commonly your parents’ capacity to do so, will count for everything. How are academic standards and quality expected to survive such an onslaught?

The explosion of international student numbers has damaged the integrity of the system. On Thursday the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption released a damning report which said universities are too financially reliant on international students to fully confront academic incompetence, poor language skills, plagiarism and even bribery. “Students may be struggling to pass, but universities can’t afford to fail them,” the report says.

Education needs to return to being about academic achievement and quality, not making a profit.

Third we need to back science. The 2014-15 Budget cut a staggering $150 million from the science budget, including a $115 million cut to the CSIRO. The CSIRO says these funding cuts will cause the loss of nearly 1400 workers, over 20 per cent of its workforce, including 500 science and research staff. We can't compete with the rest of the world behaving in this short-sighted way. And we should rebuild engineering expertise in government, and insist that companies building infrastructure invest back into the engineering profession, for example through cadetship graduate programs.

Fourth we need to back manufacturing. During the mining boom we acted as if it didn't matter if all our manufacturing went offshore. But to have all our eggs in the mining and agriculture baskets is, once again, foolish and short-sighted. Recent developments around the iron ore price reinforce this. We need a diverse economy, and manufacturing provides good jobs in the middle of society - not rich but not poor. It brings with it research and engineering expertise; the kinds of things that distinguish successful nations from unsuccessful ones. We should be wary of entering into trade agreements that kill off manufacturing and render our economy narrow and vulnerable.

Finally we should back the home team - Australia. Our personal buying habits, our government buying habits, and our foreign takeover laws should support Australian jobs and Australian industry. It is remarkable that when the Victorian Labor government says it is going to use local steel that we have economic commentators saying you can't do that it's a breach of our trade agreements!

We should have food labelling laws that spell out what food is Australian and what is imported, so consumers can make an informed choice. We should not enter into Trade Agreements that contain Investor State Dispute Settlement clauses or other provisions which act as a barrier to governments carrying out the wishes of the electorate on matters like these.

There is much that we can do which will generate full employment, and it needn't involve trashing the environment. But if we don't do it, then future generations will be deprived of the opportunities that so many of us have had. And the big question for us now is, do we want to be remembered as greedy, selfish, ignorant and short-sighted, or remembered as visionary, intelligent, compassionate and generous?

Comments

Australia is set to issue, for the first time, more than 5 million visas this year, presenting a range and scale of policy challenges not seen since World War II.

Surging numbers of students, tourists and workers on short-term visas mean that as many as 1.9 million foreigners are likely to be in the country at any one time over the course of 2015, according to Michael Pezzullo, Secretary of the Department of Immigration.

The Age: Five million visas into Australia this year likely to set new records

It seems that the Immigration Department is operating in a parallel universe, outside public opinion, and current economic trends. Just what is their aim in allowing a surging numbers of students and workers on short-term visas into Australia meant to achieve?

Our GDP must be sagging, or it's a desperate attempt to "offset" the number of ageing, despite the fact that we have record rates of youth unemployment.

If we had an abundance of natural and built resources to share, and a surging economy, 5 million new migrants over the course of 2015 would not be questionable. However, as it is, we are being constrained by a proliferation of heavy budget cutbacks, joblessness, overloaded infrastructure, and chronic "shortages" of public services!

How many "temporary" migrants end up becoming permanent migrants? Adding people has become the default action to initiate a surge in our GDP, and a measure of "economic growth".

It said that each new person in Australia, whether born or immigrates here, costs upward of $200,000 each, and we are already heavily in infrastructure deficit. Universities are being compromised by their economic dependence on international students, and we hardly need foreign "workers" with our unemployment rate so high!

Immigration department policies should be subject to public scrutiny, democracy, debate and transparency. As it is they are acting as "lone wolves", free-lancing without parameters, and are manipulating our demographics outside logic and public interests.

The public are being treated like mushrooms, and cultivated in the dark. Why are we not permitted into the debate on our country's future? Population growth, and ultimate size, impacts on EVERY issue today, from food security, sustainabiltiy, climate change, living standards and wealth. It's time Immigration stopped being a "lone wolf" and opened it's doors to public scrutiny, transparency and open debate.

Guest worker programs are ALWAYS permanent. ALWAYS.

There is, practically speaking, virtually no difference between a guest worker program, and a permanent migration program.

Guest worker programs fail.

But there is another issue. The lack of debate means that the ONLY people who will vocally, and totally oppose this in an organised manner will be the reactionaries.

Sometimes I think our state is doing everything it possibly can to breed a far right movement in Australia. It is almost as if our government is begging for social division.

I think that social division is being fermented by members of the government, and by powerful elites through mass media. They are dividing ordinary people both latitudinally and longitudinally like a cutter on a tray of biscuit mix. These forces pitch one generation against another, (equivalent to parents against children), neighborhood against neighborhood (in the struggle to withstand unwanted development) , residents of middle suburbs against those from outer suburbs,( with rapid population growth and poor infrastructure and planning, badly affecting the latter), country against city (e.g. piping water from country to city) and "lifters against leaners". All this stirs up resentment, prevents us from seeing ourselves as one people and is counterproductive to rational thought. The very rich are laughing all the way to the bank.
We cannot fight this unless we articulate it.

Note, however, the very crude attempt to 'unite' us all over Gallipoli. It is as if this is the only thing that young people are going to be allowed to identify with as Australians - the 'glory' of war. It seems that young Australians are being prepared for endless wars in the most cynical way and with full cooperation of the corporate press. And people are not falling for this as they are expected to do. This morning a health professional asked me what I was doing tomorrow for the 'Dawn Service'. I had to think for a moment what he meant, and then realised that he meant some Gallipoli 'celebration'. I replied that I would probably be writing articles against war-mongering. He laughed and said it was a bit like that. He added that it was like we are already engaged in the third world war, but made up of little wars everywhere, never stopping. I said, Yes, beginning with Yugoslavia. We agreed.

How many Australians can see through their governments and corporate 'leaders' and press, but do not realise they can speak up against this sickening manufactured consent by writing for candobetter.net and for any other alternative media that isn't trying to sell ads.

Australians must speak out in any way they can.

There is an anti-war event at Federation Square tonight. One fears that there will be little if any criticism of the way we are backing wars in Syria and East Ukraine, and taunting Iran. (Although I must say that I am glad our foreign minister visited there recently. Maybe there was actually a chance for real dialogue behind closed doors, for once.)

It's tragic that the carnage of Anzac, Gallipoli, did actually form us as a nation, and put Australia on the world map. Australia was a "young" nation in European terms, recently independent as a Commonwealth from Britian 1901. Australians were clearly a tough bunch, and indebted to their "Mother" country, Britain.

Just go to any small town or city and see the memorial crosses, the cemetery statues, and the halls commemorated to the Anzacs, and the Great War. The impact was massive, and the losses to Australia horrendous. We need to honour and respect the sacrifices made by these volunteers, and remember the heavy costs of war, and the horrendous suffering. However, we should not glorify war, or make it our signature of our nation.

Visiting Gallipoli has become a rite of passage for Australians, but it's probably a mystery for many immigrants, who don't have connections to our past. However, war should never be glorified, and our nation's identity should never be forged by the trenches, and "brave" dead, but be based in high morality, and peace. How many of these soldiers were mere young boys, out for adventure, not to be served as a sacrifice? Australia was not directly under threat from Germany's alliances.

After 100 years, Anzac day should be put aside, and put to rest inside the history books with the respect and honour it deserves.

Last night’s anti-war event (mentioned above). “The War to end all wars” (held at Deakin Edge on the 24th of April at 7.30 pm with Peter Cundall (Garden guru and veteran of three wars), Kellie Merritt (Social worker and widow of Paul Pardoel, who was killed in Iraq) and Adam Bandt, MP for Melbourne) was held under the auspices of “Health professionals promoting peace” The stand- out talks were delivered by Kellie Merritt, the first war widow of the Iraq War (2005) and Peter Cundall, best known as a TV garden expert and personality but whose 88 years of life have brought him face to face with theatres of war and the results of war.

Kellie Merritt fiercely questions the pretext of Australia’s involvement in the Iraq War and whether her husband’s death had any valid point. She advocates an inquiry into Australia's involvement in the Iraq War parliamentary debate for any future decision to commit Australia to armed combat overseas rather a than a PM “Captain’s call”.

Peter Cundall gave an enthralling passionate speech about his life experiences as a child in post WW1 Britain seeing the war injured all around him, his nightmarish experiences in service in WW2, in Europe and Palestine. He described his decision to come to Australia for some peace only to find himself in an equally ugly war in Korea. He deemed war to be based on greed for resources and territory and opposed it in no uncertain terms.

A sour note, however

The talks were punctuated by 3 community/school choirs of high standard, one of which managed, in my view to hit completely the wrong note with a made- up song about how Australians who own houses are intolerant of migrants from a diversity of regions and cultures (!) This was to me a total unnecessary unsophisticated and unjustified put-down of Australian people.

The choirs involved in the event were Shaking the tree (with offending song), Melbourne Singers of Gospel, the Mesopotamia band and students from Brunswick Secondary College.

I noted during the "coverage" of the ANZAC day commemorations a lack of history. Channel 9 had many stories, and as is typical for mainstream media, a rundown of emotions felt (as is the case with reality TV too). It seemed largely an introverted affair aimed at broadcasting the specific emotions which this poorly understood campaign is supposed to ellicit. It was basically "How does ANZAC day make you feel?".

There was no rundown, at all, of the historical context of the war, or the landings. You could watch this for hours, and be none the wiser as to why they were there, or what the war was fought for, or what the strategic aim was, or the political situation which made the war seem necessary. No understanding of the world at the beginning of the 20th century. There was lots of focus on the emotion of the event, but surprisingly, virtually nothing from the soldiers themselves, no retelling of first hand accounts, no revisiting the news, the analysis and experiences and thoughts of the time. The soldiers themselves are simultaneously lionised and blotted out. I watched expecting maybe a retelling of their personal experiences, a diary entry, anything, these are abundant, but nothing.

Sadly, this is how the powers use war. They reinvent wars for their purpose, but stripping out the historical context, and then claiming (falsely) that the war as about reinforcing the PRESENT day morality. All you have to say is that the soldiers 100 years ago fought for our values TODAY, and you get a moral one-up over others. Although never explicitly stated, it is strongly implied that government action today is endorsed by the dead heroes because this is what they fought for. World War 1, World War II, these are reinvented to support the status quo today, a status quo which would have been rejected back then.

And because people aren't educated as to what people used to think, they can fall for it.

Thank you, Dennis. You have put your finger on it! The War or wars were wall to wall yesterday on most channels but they were not educational and it just amounted to a day of wallowing in it.

Kelvin Thomson proposed that

... the property developers who are the beneficiaries of the increased land value that comes from population growth ought to be the ones to pay for the costs of this growth

If the beneficiaries were made to pay the true costs of high immigration it would end very quickly. No articles in support of high immigration that I could find have shown showed any tangible benefit that Australia has gained from high immigration in recent years. Take for example, Immigrants and the economy are inextricably linked in the story of Australia (9/4/15) | the Age.

The article commences:

"George Megalogenis' three-part ABC documentary Making Australia Great 1  has had a very positive response. ..."

The article continues:

"From the data, Megalogenis looks up to the wider horizons of what it tells us about ourselves and our story and, crucially, he puts economics where it should be, at the heart of a story with many related facets – politics, history, culture, and identity. All interpenetrate. To see any one in isolation is to only partially see how society works and changes."

None of the claimed data is cited in Alex West's article. I have yet to see any data which shows that high immigration is beneficial to the current inhabitants of Australia. The true economic effects of high immigration is given in Kelvin Thomson's speech:

  • Government cost of maintaining infrastructure doubles if population grows by 2%;
  • The $8 billion cost of the (now abandoned) East-West Link;
  • 500,000 15-19 year olds with full-time employment in the 1980's compared to only 150,000 in Jan 2015;
  • 20% of 15-19 year olds with full-time employment in the 1980's compared to 75% today;
  • Tertiary education, once free, only available to the rich;
  • Highest youth unemployment in 17 years;
  • Long-term unemployment has more than doubled since 2008;
  • More than 2,000,000 casual workers;
  • More than 1,000,000 contract or labour hire workers;
  • Further increases in housing costs;
  • Fewer Melburnians living in detached homes as high-rise apartments being built in Melbourne at 4 times the density allowed in New York, Hong Kong and Tokyo;

As numbers of our cities' inhabitants swell on this arid continent, ever more bushland and farmland in regions adjoining our cities are being destroyed to build more housing. As a consequence, ever more of Australia's unique fauna and flaura are threatened with extinction including the Leadbeater's possum.

Those living on the edges of our ever expanding cities are forced to spend ever larger proportions of their day commuting to and from work.

Even if a minority are able to gain from high immigration, Australians, as a whole, lose terribly. Unless it is stopped, both current Australians and new arrivals are destined to suffer environmental and economic calamity.

If beneficiaries of high immigration were forced to pay all of its true costs, it would end immediately.

Footnote[s]

1. ↑  It was not possible to view the series as ABC only makes a program available on iview for 14 days after its broadcast. (The web page of part 3 only dated 31/3/15 was found here and its no-longer functional ivew page is here.)

Thank you James for distilling these points from Kelvin's very informative speech. It was as much as I could do to edit and publish it in a timely fashion, but it is comments like these that assist people quickly seeking the guts of a speech.