Population: treasurer using the ageing scare tactic
Friday, 18 September 2009
This government is using the ageing population as a smokescreen to cover
up its active pursuit of population growth says environment group
Sustainable Population Australia.
SPA National President, Sandra Kanck, says the only positive about the
Treasurer’s comments on population increase is his recognition that it
creates a burden.
“But his comment that we have to merely ‘adapt to changing demographic
trends’ is a matter for despair and outrage.
“Population growth is already exerting enormous pressure on greenhouse
gas emissions, water, housing, urban sprawl, roads, energy, the
environment, and on health (for people of all ages and not just the ageing).
“Under the Rudd Government there has been a huge increase in the skilled
migration program and they have failed to curtail the previous
government’s baby bonus.
“Wayne Swann tells us that Treasury got their population projections
wrong two years ago, but unfortunately they have got it wrong again
today. Either that or they are deliberately understating the problem.
“The Treasurer has told the media that in 40 years time Australia’s
population will hit 35 million. Yet, with the present annual growth rate
(ABS figures) of 1.9%, we will hit 44 million – double our current
population – in that time.
“Why does Wayne Swann use the ageing scare tactic when the fact is there
are twice as many births as deaths in Australia at the present time? It
can only be to create a smokescreen to hide this government’s deliberate
policy of increasing our population.
“Governments are in the fortunate position to make policy, but today’s
announcement shows that the Rudd government is gutless – bending to the
whims of business rather than adopt a policy to limit and stabilise our
population within environmental constraints” said Ms Kanck.
Further comment: Sandra Kanck phone 08 8336 4114