20 million: time to stop growing (DEC)

4 December 2003

Media Releases 2003


Dec 4, 2003 for 20 Million Day – 4 December 2003

Now that Australia’s population is about to pass 20 million, policies must be set in place to see an end to further growth, according to the NSW branch of Sustainable Population Australia (SPA).

NSW President Tomi Strugar says continuing growth has profound implications for greater Sydney that grows by1000 people per week.

“Sydney now consumes more water than the catchment can provide on a sustainable basis,” says Mr Strugar. “Each person can reduce consumption but a point is reached where no more efficiencies are possible and quality of life declines.

“The same kinds of power blackouts that California has experienced are likely in Sydney because growing demand will at times exceed supply. Already congestion on the roads and beaches has led to road and surf rage. More people will only exacerbate these problems.”

Mr Strugar says continued population growth is expensive because of the need for ever more infrastructure including housing, power, water, sewerage, hospitals, roads, schools and parks.

“The NSW Government may reap the benefit of stamp duty from high turnover of real estate that comes with high population growth, yet they cannot afford to cover the costs of new infrastructure and maintain the old,” he says.

Mr Strugar notes that a large city such as Sydney depends on high per capita energy use to support its requirements and remove waste.

“Modem cities have grown during the last century because of the ready availability of cheap fuel, namely oil,” Mr Strugar says. “Now the petroleum industry acknowledges that oil may become scarce and expensive over the next few decades. Cities that have outgrown the capacity of their hinterland to support them will be particularly vulnerable. Sydney cannot grow on the assumption that transport energy will always be available to provide for her requirements.”

Further information:

Tomi Strugar, Ph: 0409 997 550 E: nsw@population.org.au


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