Australians are concerned about environmental, economic and social impacts of ongoing population growth. The latest survey shows that 69% of Australians believe we do not need more people and 70% think we should not return to the high pre-COVID levels of net migration.
Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) is an environmental advocacy group which is translating these concerns into practical action to influence government and public opinion, and to end population growth in Australia and globally. Our patrons are leading scientists and respected community leaders: Emeritus Professor Ian Lowe, Dr Tim Flannery, Dr Katharine Betts, Dr Paul Collins and the Hon. Bob Carr.
But now big business – the ‘growth lobby’ – is arguing for a return to Big Australia. During the pandemic, the borders closed and we had a brief reprieve from sky high population growth. Following business interest pressure at the recent Jobs and Skills summit, The Albanese Labor Government has increased the number of permanent migration visas available in 2022-23 from 160,000 to 195,000 places. This means a return to the same ol’ same ol’ of congested cities, low per capita incomes growth and a deteriorating natural environment.
We urgently need to tell our politicians that we do not want a return to the Big Australia path. We need to re-think and re-set Australia’s population future. SPA has prepared a detailed statement about this opportunity to rethink a Big Australia, which you can read here.
SPA is campaigning for a much more realistic and manageable net migration level of around 60,000 a year. The growth lobby wants the population to grow forever but SPA is campaigning for a maximum population of 30 million. These figures are round figures just to make the conversation easier; what matters is that whatever the figures are, the annual net migration figure should be as low as is feasible, and the population ceiling of 30 million should be understood as a maximum, to be reached as slowly as possible, and not as a stepping stone to ever more.
There are many benefits to ending population growth for employment, the economy, our environment and our infrastructure. If there is one of these in particular about which you are passionate, that is the best thing to raise with any politician or political candidate. We even have a list of specific policy asks in part 8 of our Population Position and Policy Statement.
With your support, SPA can actively work to refute and resist the growth lobby arguments, and get Australia onto an ecologically sustainable pathway.
Here are some things you can do to help
- Talk or write to your politicians about this. See this page with more tips on how to contact your elected representatives and political candidates.
- Donate to SPA. Your contribution will help us do more things, and be more effective. (see donation form below)
- Become a paid member of SPA so you can contribute to our discussion and planning.
- Subscribe to our free weekly eNews and quarterly in-depth newsletter.
- Tune into our podcasts, the Post-Growth Australia Podcast.
- Share our in-depth information such as our discussion papers and videos.
- Tell your business, community, academic and other leaders that you want Australia’s population to stop growing.
- Write letters to the editor of local newspapers, and comment on online discussion groups and readers’ comments (if your letter gets published, send us a copy).
- Share SPA’s high-quality content with your personal networks of friends, family etc.
- Learn more about SPA and what we stand for. Check out our pages on What We Do, What We Want and our detailed Population Position and Policy Statement.
- Sign and share the change.org petition calling for an end to big Australia.