Bleak future for our children and wildlife (JUL)

11 July 2001

Media Releases 2001


Jul 11, 2001 for World Population Day – July 11

Population growth is destroying the region’s biodiversity, placing increased pressure on our social structures and leaving a bleak future for our children and wildlife according to Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) spokesperson, Simon Baltais.

“The 11th of July is World Population Day, and while the world is suffering huge problems due to over population, Australia and particularly, South East Queensland, is no different. There is overwhelming scientific evidence that our increasing rate of consumption coupled with a rapidly growing population are the root causes of many of our environmental problems” Mr Baltais said.

Tourism is Queensland’s second largest industry behind mining, with visitors contributing $12 billion to Queensland’s economy. Yet according to Baltais, the natural assets that support this industry are under immense threat. Aspects of our current lifestyle, he suggests that may now be taken for granted – such as open spaces, visual amenity, clean air and water – will quickly erode with a growing population.

Baltais warns that biodiversity loss should be addressed urgently as it means more than losing some species here and there. Continuing loss of other species results in the breakdown of entire systems – systems that clean our air, purify our water and enrich our soils. State of the Environment reporting identifies the size and growth rate of human population as the greatest threat to biodiversity.

Every day, with the population of South East Queensland growing at an alarming rate, more people are needing more space, consuming more resources and generating more waste. The reduction in biodiversity is resulting from:

Habitat change through agricultural, urban and industrial development, their supporting infrastructure, such as dams and roads and the exploitation of natural resources.
Pollution of soil, water and air.
Over harvesting resources, reducing the population size and genetic diversity of commercial species, such as fish.
The introduction of exotic species that are damaging the land and water, and the species they support. Introduced animals, such as cats and foxes, directly destroy native species, while garden escapees are choking our bushland and native plant species to death.

Mr Baltais, who is President of SPA South East Queensland Branch stated “Thirty six percent (36%) of Queensland’s threatened fauna species and twenty-two percent (22%) of Queensland’s rare or threatened plant taxa are found in South East Queensland. Little wonder given our population growth. If this growth remains unchecked, it will destroy the very foundation of our ecologically sustainable industries and the very values that Queenslanders cherish.”

“Unfortunately” says Mr Baltais, “We have already destroyed an estimated 64.5% of the region’s bushland, further population growth will continue this destruction. Our politicians and planners must acknowledge that in a finite world there are limits to growth, and then develop policies and systems that can be sustained.”

Further information:

Simon Baltais, Ph/Fax: 07 3822 4943 Ph(mobile): 0412 075 334


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