Senator The Hon. Bob Carr

The Hon Bob Carr

Former NSW Premier, former Federal Senator and former Foreign Minister The Hon. Bob Carr is an outspoken advocate of the need to end population growth. While in his role as Foreign Minister, he agreed to continue to be a Patron of SPA and continues in that role today.

One of Mr Carr's most memorable statements on population as NSW Premier was made in January 2000 when his article headlined "The Doomsday Millennium" was published in The Sydney Morning Herald. He wrote:

"The most salient change over the last 1,000 or 100 years is simple: the explosion in human numbers. In 1900 the world population was 1.6 billion. Three months ago it reached 6 billion. It took only 12 years to add the last billion. Or, put another way, the world population has doubled since 1960.

The last millennium has one great theme: the exponential increase in the impact of the human enterprise. There is a recent decline in fertility rates, and it will no doubt be seized on by people who want to brand me alarmist. But the least threatening UN projection still has the population rising to 7.3 billion by 2050. The direst projection is 10.7 billion. The most likely is 8.9 billion.

Humankind, however, has already overshot the mark."

As Premier Mr Carr was noted for his considerable achievements in nature conservation. His government gazetted 120,000 hectares for a string of national parks in southeast NSW.

This duly saved the forests from logging but the package did include a $6 million restructuring package for a modern mill and alternative timber. He later created another 100 national parks on the mid-south coast of NSW as well as semi-arid woodland habitat of the mallee fowl and barking owl, and still later, koala habitat around Coffs Harbour.

In 2003, his government introduced the world’s first carbon trading scheme, and in 2004, created the building sustainability index. Critically, at present, he chairs one of Minister Tony Burke’s three panels addressing a sustainable population strategy for Australia. There are few people more qualified to do so. It is indeed a great honour for SPA to have him as a Patron.

Mr Carr has written extensively in his Thoughtlines blog on population.

The following are some links to just a few of Mr Carr's public statements on population: