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ACT elections this Saturday

Happily, there's at least one party that isn't chanting the growthist mantra.

I've had a look at the Community Alliance Party's website and their population policy in particular.

In stark contrast to the major parties growth boosterism and the Green policy of ignoring the issue and hoping it goes away, the CAP says:

"The Alliance recognises that true economic growth comes from technological and managerial innovation. This can achieve a steady improvement in living conditions without relying on population growth, but unfortunately current government practices finds it easier to capitalise on population growth."

and

"The Alliance supports improved training for local residents rather than relying on importing skilled workers to fill perceived gaps in the ACT labour market."

also

"While the expansion of Canberra has been strongly promoted in the past, it is now time to step back and re-examine the impact of population growth on the ACT community and environment. ACTPLA expects the population of the ACT (including Queanbeyan) to rise dramatically, from the present 340,000 to 500,000 by 2035. Poor planning is already having negative effects on the quality of life in the ACT—permanent water restrictions; less affordable housing; rush hour traffic jams; disappearing green space; longer queues for health services; increased pollution, and declining biodiversity—and future population growth without proper planning will further exacerbate this situation.

The Alliance will insist that this issue is thoroughly investigated, taking into account long-term environmental, social and economic sustainability, as well as the availability of services and infrastructure. The Alliance will seek to prevent any development not shown to have genuine community support."

The very fact that this group has a population policy at all is encouraging. That it contains such commendable sentiments is - in my view - enough to secure my vote for their candidates.

I'd urge all ACT residents to seriously consider putting this party first on Saturday and writing 'Stop population growth' in the space at the bottom of the ballot paper. Doing so will not invalidate your vote.

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