Events | Sustainable Population Australia

Events

Population, sustainability and quality of life: what future do we want for Australia?

Sustainable Population Australia invites you to a free Public Forum: Population, sustainability and quality of life: what future do we want for Australia?

When:   Saturday 27 April 2019 1.30 – 5 pm
Where:  The EcoCentre, Griffith University Nathan Campus, building N68
RSVP:    qld@population.org.au
More details: See this poster which includes a map

Confirmed speakers:

Hugh Possingham, Ecologist and Chief Scientist at The Nature Conservancy.
Sue Arnold, Journalist and President of Australians for Animals NSW.
Steve McDonald, Town Planner & President of Redlands2030 citizen action group.
Cameron Murray, Economist and Senate candidate for Sustainable Australia.
Crispin Hull, journalist and columnist for the Canberra Times.
Kelvin Thomson, former Federal Labor MP for the seat of Wills.

Open to all members of the public.  This event includes afternoon tea.  

March 3 2019

Victorian Members - write to your newly elected parliament about your population concerns

 

To our Victorian members, Victorian supporters, and anyone living in Victoria concerned about the record population growth in the state.  Growth which is threatening to liveability and long term sustainability of both Melbourne and regional Victoria.

With a freshly elected Victorian state parliament,  we suspect that population will be a hot topic for the next parliamentary term.

Therefore, it is an ideal time to write to your serving MPs to tell them exactly why high population in Victoria is not serving you.

The more of us that write to our politicians, the louder the voice for change in population policy will become.

For this reason, we have written a pro-forma letter that we believe covers the main points, makes a convincing argument and is keeping to the style that we believe politicians will read.

Please feel free to use the entirely of this pro-forma or to personalise it when sending to your local lower and upper house MPS.

You can search for your own representatives at the website here

 

Thank you and good luck!

 

Sustainable Population Australia (SPA), Victoria and Tasmania Branch

 

 

pro forma letter below:

 

 

{local member}

{date}

Dear (Title and name) ,

I am writing to you today in relation to the rapid rate of population growth within our state, particularly within Greater Melbourne, which is growing at over 100,000 per annum.  The only debate within government and the media is centred around “where Victoria should house all of the population growth”, but surely the bigger debate is on the merits of population growth, and whether it is a good idea at all?

Population growth is an issue which exacerbates many of the common concerns of today:congestion, liveability, environment, water security, public-debt, and housing affordability.  Therefore, it is essential that the all levels of government consider these issues against any future population growth. 

Melbourne reached 5 million in 2018, and is now projected to be a Megacity of 8 million by 2051.  This would be a very poor outcome for residents:
A Melbourne of 8 million is not a liveable city.
A Melbourne of 8 million is not a prosperous city.
A Melbourne of 8 million is not a sustainable city.
A Melbourne of 8 million is not an affordable city.

The Victorian government’s plan to continue to expand the suburban fringe (i)  has created large pockets of sprawl, which offer a poor quality of life for residents.  City fringe residents face commute times of up to 2 hours, and confined to a 300m2 block (ii) , yet don’t enjoy any of the benefits of rural lifestyles.  However, with median house prices in excess of $1 million for the majority of Melbourne’s established suburbs, few families have a choice but to live in these fringe estates.  

The alternative of increasing the density of Melbourne with more apartments is no panacea either.  Historic buildings and family homes have been replaced with cranes and constructions sites across all of inner Melbourne.  It is a property developers’ paradise.  For residents, however, high density living has been shown to have adverse mental and physical effects . 

The Property Council and business lobby groups will insist that more infrastructure is the solution.  Planning consultant Marcus Spiller has said, “We are now just so far behind that there's almost no way to catch up with the growth". (iii)  Current infrastructure projects such as: the level crossing removal ($4 billion), the Melbourne metro project ($11 billion), Northeast link ($15 billion) are a huge impost on the state’s budget, and are at best a band-aid on the city’s growing congestion.  Furthermore, the huge cost of this “growth infrastructure” is diverting funds away from other essential services, while piling the state under a mountain of debt.

The Treasurer, Tim Pallas, has trumpeted the benefits of population growth as a boon for the Victorian Economy.  This ignores the fact that per capita, the Victorian economy has gone backwards in four of the past eight years (iv).  Our current trajectory towards a future of 8 million Melbournians is perilous, and not in the best interests of the electorate. 

I urge you consider the following actions:
1. To actively debate the topic of population growth within state parliament, and to seek public consultation on the current growth agenda
2. To develop a population policy which considers all of the impacts of population growth on Australia’s:  economy, health, environment, and living standards.
3. Negotiate with the federal government to reduce Australia’s immigration intake in line with long-term historical levels of 70,000 per annum.  Net migration is responsible for 60% of Australia’s annual population increase, making immigration policy our ‘de facto’ population policy, at present.

I look forward to your response.

Regards,

{your name}
 

 

(i)  https://www.domain.com.au/news/melbournes-urban-sprawl-continues-to-the-...

(ii)  https://www.realestate.com.au/news/blocks-shrinking-in-melbourne-housing...

(iii)  https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/city-east/sydneys-high-densi...   story/46f635cf0c437e9018b1d58ca50576a9?nk=bca1a77baadc9f7b0118f33e2cebeba5-1544224777

(iv)  http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/4-million-5-million-8-million-how-big-...
 

December 22 2018

Write to you federal MPs with your population concerns before the election

 

 

Sustainable Population Australia is inviting all Australians who are concerned about our unsustainable population to growth to contact their Federal MPs before the next Federal election.

Now that population is a hotter topic than ever in the halls of parliament, the next few months are an ideal time to contact our MPs to give a loud and clear message that we, the voters, do NOT want a big Australia.

The more of us that write to our politicians, the louder the voice on this issue will be heard.

We have prepared a pro-forma letter to provide the style and content which we want to be communicating to our politicians.  We invite you to personalise and to use as much of this letter as you wish when contacting your MP.

To find your local federal members, the search function can be found here

Good luck!
 

 

Pro Forma letter:

 

{MP name}

{date}

Dear (title and name of MP) ,

I am writing to draw to your attention the need for a mature and respectful debate about rapid population growth and to seek your views on this issue.

Globally population growth has risen dramatically in the last two centuries. In 1800, the  global population was 1 billion people. By 2018, it had risen to 7.7 billion people. It is now rising by 80 million every year - an extra billion people every 12 years - and shows no sign of slowing down.

Population growth is the underlying cause of most wars - due to conflict over access to scarce resources, refugee movements, and a key factor in climate change – it’s hard to reduce your carbon footprint if you keep adding more feet!   The global population of
7.7 billion has had a catastrophic effect on the world’s wildlife, many species have been pushed to the brink of extinction.

Australia’s population growth is even more pronounced. Whereas our population was
10 million in 1960, it has now risen to 25 million, and is on track to be 40 million by 2050 and 100 million by 2100.

The principal growth driver is a big jump in immigration levels.  This was initially introduced by the Howard government in 2003, but this policy has continued by subsequent governments.    Net migration levels have almost quadrupled from the twentieth century average of 52,000 per annum, to over 200,000 per annum. 
The secondary growth driver is natural increase, more births than deaths - averaging 150,000 more each year (30% of births are to migrant mothers). The combined result of both migration and natural increase, is domestic population growth of one million every 3 years, with no signs of slowing down.
Our growth rate exceeds the global average, and is more than double the OECD average.

Our rapid population growth has led to adverse consequences for: housing affordability,
job opportunities for young people, traffic congestion, and carbon emissions.  Furthermore, the impact on our cities, open space, and on our wildlife, has been devastating.

Against this background, I am keen to hear your thoughts on rapid population growth. 
In particular, on four suggestions which I believe would make Australia and the world a better place both now and particularly in the future:

1. Increasing the proportion of our aid which goes to family planning. The international picture is dismal - family planning gets a mere 0.4% of international aid. Past evidence shows that spending money in this area works, and could stabilise global populations, whilst also raising living standards of recipient countries.

2. Returning Australia’s net migration to the numbers we had last century, rather than the rapid spike of the 21st. Australia will remain a multicultural, diverse country, even with more moderate immigration, and could maintain the current level of refugees intake. Indeed it is likely that public support for a compassionate refugee program would increase if the migrant worker programs, which are often exploited, were scaled back.

3. Australia’s rapid population growth happened without Australians being given a say in it.  Can we get a plebiscite about our population levels?  If this is not possible, Australians living in the major cities should at least have their say in planning matters returned to them. One of the many undesirable features of rapid growth in our cities has been the theft of a real say in planning decisions from local residents. Will you support measures to return a real say in planning decisions to the residents who are most affected by them?

4. Finally, are you prepared to support a mature and respectful debate around these issues? For far too long there has a been a deafening silence from Members of Parliament concerning population. The right has supported the greed of big business and the mantra of growth at any price. The left has become attached to the idea of open borders, an idea which is ecologically illiterate and hopelessly politically naive. The consequence has been the suppression of a debate our country needs to have.

We must stabilise our population to ensure a positive future, for both our children and the many other species on the planet.  What do you think?

Yours sincerely,

{your name here}

 

 

December 21 2018