Latest ABS figures reveal we are heading back to Big Australia
The figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Wednesday reveal the country is heading back to ‘Big Australia’, according to Sustainable Population Australia (SPA).
SPA National President Ms Jenny Goldie says that, while some post-Covid ‘bounce back’ in net overseas migration was understandable, the large increase in arrivals (up 183 per cent on the previous year to 320,000) was excessive. Emigration, or departures, had held steady (up 1.5 per cent to 210,400).
“Population growth to the year ending 31 March 2022 was back to 0.9 per cent, or just under 240,000 people,” says Ms Goldie.
“All these new people, be they native born or immigrants, must be fed, clothed and sheltered. They all require infrastructure such as roads, schools and hospitals.
“And yet there is already a housing crisis across the country, not least in Queensland which has endured the biggest influx of people, that is, 94,300 people or 1.8% growth.”
Ms Goldie says it is not just 240,000 extra people needing infrastructure; there are already environmental problems attributable to human encroachment into natural spaces.
“The State of the Environment 2021 report released in July was quite explicit about population growth having ‘high impact’ on biodiversity. For instance, the last remaining habitat of koalas in the Sydney Basin is currently threatened by housing development.
“We have new climate laws that demand 43% reduction in emissions on 2005 levels by 2030. The more people; the harder it will be to meet those targets.
“We have now returned to the pre-Covid levels of population growth of which most Australians believed they had seen the end. The pre-election silence of both major parties on the topic of immigration made clear that each understood more population growth was not what most Australians wanted.
“The people are now entitled to ask why they have been ignored,” says Ms Goldie.
“The answer lies in the current government being as beholden to Big Business and developers as the previous government,” she says. “High immigration means these powerful vested interests secure an endless supply of new consumers and cheap labour while ordinary Australians endure low wages, expensive housing (or none at all), more crowding and congestion, and an ever-deteriorating environment.”