ENVIRONMENT-POPULATION GROUP MOURNS LOSS OF CSIRO SCIENTIST DR DOUG COCKS

Sustainable Population Australia Inc.

Patrons: Hon. Bob Carr, Dr Paul Collins, Prof Tim Flannery, Em Prof Ian Lowe, Dr Mary E White

Youth Ambassador: Ms Bindi Irwin

MEDIA RELEASE 10 November 2016
 

ENVIRONMENT-POPULATION GROUP MOURNS LOSS OF CSIRO SCIENTIST DR DOUG COCKS

Environment group, Sustainable Population Australia (SPA), is mourning the death of Dr Doug Cocks who died in Canberra earlier this week.

Dr Cocks wrote the 1996 book People Policy – Australia’s population choices following a frustrating period as adviser to the 1994 federal parliamentary committee examining population policy chaired by Hon Barry Jones MP.

SPA national president, Ms Sandra Kanck, says Cocks’ book was an antidote to the Jones Inquiry which managed to avoid making any recommendations on what Australia’s population-immigration policy should be.

“In writing the book, Doug Cocks wanted to force population-immigration issues onto the political agenda,” says Ms Kanck.

Doug Cocks said that he wanted to protest against “all the gobbledygook, newspeak and throwaway lines that politicians and other ‘leaders' offer as reasons for their positions and actions concerning population-immigration matters”.

Ms Kanck noted that Cocks wrote the book when Australia’s population was 18 million. He hoped that by setting annual net migration to 50,000, Australia’s population would plateau within a generation or so to somewhere between 19 and 23 million.

“Unfortunately, with net annual overseas migration running at 190,000 and the population well past 24 million and still growing by 1.4%, Australia has failed to take his advice and is bearing the consequences,” says Ms Kanck.

Doug Cocks was trained as an agricultural scientist. He won the 2003 CSIRO Medal for Lifetime Achievement for the use of national-scale computerised data bases for resource policy analyses, e.g. setting priorities for landscape rehabilitation and new national parks.

“Doug Cocks was a good friend of SPA,” says Ms Kanck. “He set the parameters for sensible, rational, scientific debate on population. We owe him a great debt.”