2024 Federal budget must address housing affordability and protect the environment

14 May 2024

Media Releases 2024


Ahead of the 2024 Federal Budget, environmental protection organisation, Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) is searching for evidence that the Treasurer will follow through on his commitment to prioritise the wellbeing of citizens.

SPA National President, Peter Strachan said: “A single focus on Australia’s national trade in goods as services, as calculated by its Gross Domestic Product (GDP), measures everything except that which is important to wellbeing. This measure fails any wellbeing calculus, as rapid population expansion in the post-Pandemic period has led to a decline in GDP per capita.”

“The wellbeing of Australians can be best served by reducing the pace of population expansion,” said Mr Strachan.

“Never-ending, population-fuelled economic growth in a finite physical environment is the Modus Operandi of a cancer cell, which eventually kills its host”.

Early indications of a pro-natal stance by the budget provides little support for a program that will enhance the wellbeing of Australia’s community.

“Australia is not short of babies” said Mr Strachan. “Approximately 110,000 more births than deaths each year add to its population of 27.2 million before any impact of net overseas migration, which added 518,090 in the year to September 2023.”

“Every person who arrives in Australia needs a visa or other permission to enter. At a time when national rental vacancies hover at or below 0.8% and accommodation costs have skyrocketed, continuing to add to housing demand would be careless and damaging for the wellbeing of all residents.”

Temporary visa holders accounted for 75% of all arrivals into Australia last year. This category of represents 2.4 million or one in every 11 Australian residents, up about 400,000 since the beginning of the Pandemic. Of these visa holders 713,000 hold student visas, which is 100,000 more than 4-years ago.

Sustainable Population Australia supports a reduction in total net overseas migration numbers to 70,000 per year. This level worked well for Australia during a prosperous period from the 70s, to the 90s and would reduce budgetary stress for the provision of social and public infrastructure, born largely by the states.

Reducing temporary visa holder arrivals would take pressure off accommodation availability and costs, while opening more work and study opportunities for existing Australian residents.

Mr Strachan said, “Taking a longer-term view, a stable population would enable healthy budgeting to reallocate scarce resources away from building schools, hospitals, roads and houses, towards upgrading existing social infrastructure and undertaking more productive, capital intensive economic and social wellbeing activities.”


budget , Federal Government , immigration , Media Releases 2024 , Migration , population
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