Note: This essay on the history of politics and population in Australia was written in 1998, at a time when the Australian government still felt it had to at least pay lip-service to environmental arguments. The CSIRO was still publicly owned, as were electricity and water. Homelessness was considered unusual and scandalous. People mostly expected their government to listen to them. The author is aware that many of these attitudes will now seem a little strange, so quickly has overpopulation and loss of democracy overtaken this country. Most readers will never have heard previously of a number of books on population in this essay, including W.E. Hern's remarkable Plutology, which dominated Australian economics syllabuses for 60 years.