What is a normal response from an environment minister to a straight question to a matter that alarms about 80% of Australians, as even self-styled demographer, Bernard Salt of KPMG admits?  Mr Kelvin Thomson, ALP member for Wills, asked Greg Hunt, the Liberal Government Minister for the Environment, whether the Government would consider adopting a stable population policy to avoid new infrastructure imperatives. Minister Hunt responded bluntly that "the answer to the honourable member's question was: No."
Mr Hunt does not seem like much of a Minister for the Environment. And he does not appear to have much interest in democracy. This is the second time he has flouted the public right to accountable policy this year. See also, "Environment Minister Greg Hunt speaks fluent nonsense to Kelvin Thomson on population".
Calls for referendum on population growth
This refusal is particularly flagrant when his own state (Victoria) has recently had two events which resulted in resounding calls for a referendum on halting population growth. These were, "The Big Population Debate", organised by Mary Drost of Planning Backlash on 13 October 2014 and "Must Melbourne Keep Growing", organised by Jill Quirk of Sustainable Population Australia and Victoria First on 14 June 2014.
Before an audience of around 280 people, Mary Drost, Convener of Planning Backlash, commenting that "We the people have never been asked if we wanted a big population," obtained from Kelvin Thomson and Lord Mayor Robert Doyle that they were in favour of a referendum on population growth.
At the equally packed auditorium at the Hawthorne Arts Centre Chandelier Room for the Must Melbourne Keep Growing event, Julianne Bell of Protectors of Public Land, read a motion for a plebiscite on population growth, which was also passed unanimously.
"That this meeting calls on the Victorian government to convene a scientifically based Victorian conference on what constitutes a long term environmentally sustainable population for Victoria, with reference to the Victorian State of the environment reports of 2008 and 2013 indicating environmental damage from current population levels."
Is Mr Hunt so afraid that he can't defend his policies?
Then again, maybe Minister Hunt is simply afraid to open his mouth on the subject. Especially to Mr Thomson, who is awfully well informed about it. At the Big Population Debate, we saw a remarkably courageous or foolhardy Lord Mayor of Melbourne's fire go out like a doused squib at the first encounter with intelligent argument on the subject. Then again, he could have prepared better. Or could he?
It was the Victorian environmentalist, Jill Quirk, who remarked, not so long ago, "I dare anyone to argue the benefits of population growth to ordinary Australians without mentioning cappuccino or using the word 'vibrant'. Indeed, Lord Mayor Doyle returned again and again to the accessibility of a good cup of coffee in contemporary overpopulated Melbourne. Although no-one can actually remember him using the word 'vibrant' - he might have slipped one in somewhere as his arguments grew progressively harder to decipher.
 Bernard Salt in Straightening out bananas 2010, who is in the business of trying to persuade Australians to embrace the population jugganaut, admits freely to colleagues in the Property Council of Australia that if you polled Australians on 'big Australia' 80% would come back against it.
 Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, House of Representatives Question No. 0103:
Mr Thomson asked the Minister for the Environment, in writing on 13 May 2014:
Will the Government consider adopting a stable population policy to avoid new infrastructure imperatives?
Mr Hunt: The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: No. [Dated 25 July 2014]