This article title is based on the title of a debate at the Municipal Association of Victoria AGM, which took place on Thursday, October 21 at Hotel Sofitel. The article itself is based on speech notes from SPA Victoria's president, Jill Quirk, for her part in the debate. Panel members were: Jill Quirk, President of Sustainable Population Australia (Victorian branch); Pru Sanderson, CEO, VicUrban; and Professor of Physiology, Roger Short, Melbourne University. The Chair was Jon Faine.
Sustainable population MUST BE THE DEAL since the alternative is societal and ecological collapse.
Sustainable means – able to be sustained/maintained without decay or degradation. Unless this is envisaged over a long period of time, it is meaningless in human terms. The previous custodians of this continent had staying power of over a period of 40,000 -60,000 years. Europeans have only made their mark- over about 230-50 years.
In other words if we are to be sustainable over any significant and meaningful time period, we’ve hardly begun.
Victoria at present does not have a sustainable population.
The State of the Environment (SOE) report 2008 reflects the simple fact that most areas of the state are highly stressed. Most natural vegetation, waterways, wetlands, coasts and rivers are reported in a parlous condition.