Drop in growth rate welcome – SPA
Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) welcomes the drop in the population growth rate as reported by the Australian Bureaus of Statistics (ABS) on Friday.
The growth rate in the year to 30 June 2014 was 1.6 per cent, or an increase of 364,900 over the previous year. The growth rate has declined slowly from over 2% three years ago. While growth in both net overseas migration (NOM) and natural increase fell, the fall was greater with NOM, meaning natural increase now makes up 42% (as against 40%) of the total growth.
SPA National President Jenny Goldie says the fall in the growth rate is very welcome, though needs to fall another whole percentage point until it reaches the OECD average of 0.6%.
“We would really like to see zero growth in population, not 1.6%, because the latter represents the addition of 364,900 people, nearly the equivalent of the size of Canberra. That’s a lot of people who require houses, hospitals, schools, transport, energy and recreational space.
“Let us not forget that having more people means ever greater encroachment on the habitat of other species and ultimately the likelihood of various animals and plants becoming threatened and even extinct,” says Ms Goldie.
“For people, however, the bigger the population, the greater the congestion, pollution, longer waiting times, and decreasing housing affordability. Infrastructure has not kept pace with population growth and, until it does, we need to ease off on skilled migration and to stop encouraging people to have ever more babies.”
Ms Goldie also noted unemployment had reached 6.3% or 775,400 people.
“The Government really must justify a net migration figure of 212,700 people annually when we have three and a half times that many unemployed, including many immigrants themselves.”
Further information: Jenny Goldie 0401 921 453