Political leaders silent on vital issue

5 March 2010

Media Releases 2010

There is a thundering silence by the leaders of both political parties on the vital issue of population growth. They are miles away from addressing the most important issue affecting every South Australian now and into the distant future.

A recent Galaxy poll showed that 72% of Australians did not support the high rate of population growth supported by both Mike Rann and Isobel Redmond.

The public understand the issue, our leaders do not. Or do they choose to ignore it so as to preserve the large donations they each receive from the pro-growth lobby?

Every environmental and most social and economic problems are made harder to solve as populations grow larger. If we each reduce our water consumption or our greenhouse gas emissions by 50% these would be remarkable achievements; but to no avail if, as both political leaders wish, our population increases by 50%.

While the Federal Government hubristicly praises its efforts to maintain economic growth throughout the 2009 GFC, it has hidden the fact that population has grown faster than the economy causing per capita GDP to fall. By the measure of GDP per capita we have each become poorer because of population growth.

We suffer greater congestion in our cities, lowered amenity in our suburbs as they spread further and citizens can use less water and/or suffer higher densities.

The most recent poll carried out by Essential Research and reported by AAP indicates that  three quarters of Australians think there are not enough resources for a larger population and more than 60% want immigration slowed. Australians also understand that our environment is too fragile but even so our leaders remain silent.

Kelvin Thomson, Labor member for Wills is one of the very few politicians who is speaking out on this issue. Kelvin will be addressing a meeting on this topic at 11 am on Sunday, March 7 at the Gilles St Primary School. Will Mike Rann or Isobel Redmond attend? Come and see for yourself!

Hopefully, when the people lead the leaders will follow – eventually!

For more information or comment:

Dr John Coulter, Vice President, Sustainable Population Australia

08/8388 2153 or jrpfc@bigpond.com

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