Growing congestion in our cities: infrastructure costs make us all worse off

14 August 2019

Media Releases 2019

The latest Infrastructure Australia assessment shows, yet again, that red-hot population growth is causing congestion and frustration in our cities, according to Sustainable Population Australia (SPA).

Infrastructure Australia has warned that investment in infrastructure is not keeping up with population growth.

The report has estimated the cost to the economy of transport congestion in our capital cities to be $39.6 billion annually by 2031, due to lost productivity.

SPA National President, Ms Sandra Kanck, says “Traffic congestion is not even the half of it. What about our schools and hospitals bulging at the seams, our crush-loaded public transport and the teaming beaches and recreational areas?”

“It has been estimated that each additional person added to the population requires well over $100,000 of public infrastructure, in order to enjoy the same standard of living provided to existing residents.  The costs of the additional infrastructure actually add to GDP which explains why most Australians are becoming worse off while the economy (GDP) is growing.”

Ms Kanck says it is simply impossible for infrastructure investment to keep up with our current rate of population growth.

“Year after year we get reports like this. It is time our political leaders had a change of mindset away from the Big Australia mantra. Big Australia might be good for the big developers, but it is crushing the rest of us.”

“As citizens and consumers, we must demand action from our politicians.  The major parties need a shake-up.  It is time for a population policy which looks toward slowing our population growth and gradually stabilising our total population.”

“This is within the control of the federal government, by making adjustments to the immigration rate. Immigration contributes 60 percent of our population growth of 1.6 percent per year, which is one of the highest growth rates in the developed world.”

Ms Kanck says the recent federal government adjustments to the immigration intake were tokenistic and negligible.

“We need a significant reduction in immigration to early 1990s pre-John Howard levels,” Ms Kanck said.


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