MR: population growth rate soars to unsustainable 1.7 per cent

20 April 2013

Media Releases 2013

The steady increase in Australia’s population growth rate over the past year from 1.4 to.1.5 to 1.6 and now 1.7 per cent is unsustainable and unacceptable, according to Sustainable Population Australia Inc. (SPA).

In the latest figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today, the estimated resident population of Australia at 30 September 2012 was 22,785,500 people, reflecting an increase of

382,500 over the previous year, or a growth rate of 1.7 per cent.

SPA Deputy National President, Dr John Coulter, says 60 per cent is driven by net overseas migration (immigration minus emigration – NOM).

“We now have a NOM of 228,000 people, 55,500 more than recorded for the previous year (to September 30 2011). This is an alarming increase and totally unwarranted in light of recent studies that indicate the number of jobs created is not keeping pace with new entrants into the workforce, be they native-born or migrants.”

.The ABS also revealed today that for the year ended September 30, 2012, natural increase (births minus deaths) was 154,500, or 6,000 higher than that recorded for the previous year.

“We hope the new Immigration Minister, Brendan O’Connor, will rein in immigration such that we can have a population growth rate more in keeping with an OECD country,” says Dr Coulter. “Our current rate is that of a Third World country, not a mature, developed one.

“Australia is growing by the size of Canberra every year,” says Dr Coulter. “It has been proved impossible for states and local government to provide the infrastructure for such a rapidly growing population.

“There are also sound environmental reasons why we need to have a much slower or even no growth rate. More people means loss of habitat for other species, many of which are threatened. In addition, as climate change bites and we experience higher temperatures and a drier southern continent, food production will be adversely affected, lowering our carrying capacity.

“And energy crises loom on the horizon especially for transport fuels. This will adversely affect the economy. Our ability to support even the present population let alone more people is seriously in question.”

Further information: John Coulter 08 8388 2153

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