John Richard Coulter (born 3 December 1930) was a GP, then medical researcher for over 20 years, University lecturer before entering party political life as an Auustralian Democrat Senator for S.A. in 1987. From the mid 1950s he has been very active in the conservation movement: marine protection, town planning and more generally strongly opposing the unsustainable for-ever-more-growth in both population and resource consumption. In this capacity he was responsible for a full page ad in The Australian in 1971 signed by 730 scientists titled ‘To those who shape Australia’s destiny’ including Sir Macfarlane Burnet and Sir Mark Oliphant –  a year before the publication of ‘Limits to Growth’. As soon as elected to the Senate he succeeded in instituting an inquiry into climate change. As the holder of the Aboriginal Portfolio for the Democrats he strongly supported the formation of ATSIC which would have failed without Democrat support. He has delivered very many speeches and written papers about the urgent need to limit both population and economic growth the most recent: in April 2024. He led the Democraats from 1991 – 93 and retired from the Senate in 1995.

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