12 May 2011

Govt. policy is ‘titanic deck chair solution’ – SPA president


The results of the Government’s consultation on a population strategy for Australia show that the process was only ever for show, SPA President, Sandra Kanck, said on 13 May following the strategy’s release by Minister Tony Burke.

Ms Kanck said the outcome is what Mr Burke started off saying, which was that the solution to our population problem was to move people around the countryside.

“This is nothing short of the deck-chairs on the Titanic solution: put them in clusters on one part of the deck or spread them evenly, the Titanic will still sink,” Ms Kanck said.

“There seems to be little understanding that every new person arriving on this continent either as a migrant or a newborn will ultimately be demanding the same standard of living as the rest of us.

“Just like other Australians they will need water, food, petrol for their cars, hospitals for their health needs, and more power stations, and each of them will be responsible for the release of still more greenhouse gases, regardless of whether they live in the city or the country.

“This is a huge disappointment – despite the large numbers of submissions to the inquiry which recognised the environmental implications of continued population growth, the Government has ignored them.

“This government has demonstrated that (a) it has no understanding of the environment and (b) it remains captive to the development lobby.”


  • Interview with Sandra on Radio Adelaide Breakfast on 20 May by compere Tom Changarathil
  • Interview with Kelvin Thomson by Jane Hutcheon on ABC 24 Hour News – Labor MP criticises population strategy
  • The “strategy” should be derided for what it is – a do-nothing agenda to profit the pro-growth lobbyists at the expense of everyone else – opinon article by Crispin Hull, The Canberra Times, 21 May
  • Mark O’Connor, co-author of Overloading Australia, was interviewed about the Government’s “strategy” announcement on The World Today on 13 May. Click here to go to the report.
  • Dick Smith has also used the Titanic analogy in describing the Government’s “strategy” – go to report on ABC News on 13 May.
  • Kelvin Thomson MP has described the strategy as a “missed opportunity” – see statement 
  • The Opposition has described the strategy document as “all spin and no substance” – although the Opposition, like the Government, will not set a target population or support stabilisation.
  • Strategy “achieves a milestone, even in an age of spin” – article in The Canberra Times.
Scroll to Top