Cautious welcome for overhaul of immigration policy

2 September 2009

Media Releases 2009

The announcement of a Federal Government review into immigration numbers has been cautiously welcomed by environment group, Sustainable Population Australia.

But the national president of SPA, Sandra Kanck, says, “SPA is very concerned that the government is responding to a short term business agenda rather than what will be best for the country in the long term.

“The skilled migration program now makes up 70% of Australia’s immigration, and this is way too high.

“If the government is serious about this review then it will need to look at a whole range of issues such as water and food supply for a growing population and the urban sprawl with all its social dislocation and crime.

“Population growth makes every environmental problem harder to solve” said Ms Kanck, “There is a very close correlation between population growth and growth in greenhouse gas emissions. And there is a very close correlation between climate change and damage to Australia’s food production.

“The Rudd Government must decide whether its priority lies with long-term protection of the Australian environment or with pandering to short-term and avaricious demands of a powerful business lobby.

“Contrary to popular claims, in industrialised countries like Australia, there is no statistically valid link between population growth and growth of per capita GDP. Population growth is of no benefit to the average Australian who suffers all the disadvantages. It only advantages the few and the political parties that receive substantial donations from these few.

“While Minister Evans has announced there is to be a review, it is unclear who is conducting it, what its terms of reference will be, and who will have input.

“If this review is to make any sense it should be conducted in a wider framework of a population policy that suits the driest inhabited continent. Without such a policy our immigration numbers are being established in a vacuum.

“SPA cautiously welcomes the review, but if it is just another dance to the tune played by the business lobby it will result only in further damage to our environment. Australia should be aiming to stabilise its population as quickly as possible.” said Ms Kanck.For further information or comment:

Contact Sandra Kanck on 08/8336 4114


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