Media release – kevin Rudd’s population policy already decided? – 5 April 2010
“But as a consequence of other comments made at the time of the announcement SPA has concerns about the policy that will be developed.
“Opinion polls show that a majority of Australians want to stop wanton population growth and believe we have neither the water or infrastructure to support Kevin Rudd’s ‘big Australia’.
“The Prime Minister has become a mite sensitive to this sort of feedback and is now attempting to show that he is listening, but who is he listening to?
“Kevin Rudd said on Saturday that the new Minister, Tony Burke, must be ‘acutely mindful’ of the positive implications of growth on the economy.
“There are many other things Mr Burke could have been told to mind, such as the impact of increased population on biodiversity, or water, or shortage of infrastructure.
“The PM’s marching orders unfortunately tell Mr Burke to come out on the side of the development lobby, which has immediately skewed the whole debate.
“The new portfolio being based in Treasury, rather than, for instance, Environment, further shows that the PM’s views on the matter are blinkered.
“The new Minister was formerly a Shadow Immigration Minister and, given the Rudd Government’s shocking record of increasing immigration without telling the Australian public in the 2007 election that this was their intention, Mr Burke will be carrying a lot of baggage.
“The former Shadow Environment Minister, Kelvin Thomson, has shown himself to be the only Federal Labor MP who understands that without an environmentally sustainable future there is no future. That Kevin Rudd has picked Tony Burke over Kelvin Thomson says far more about the PM’s politicking on this vital issue than about Kelvin Thomson’s deep understanding and commitment to a sustainable Australia” said Ms Kanck.
Further comment: Sandra Kanck 08 8336 4114 or 0417882143