Symposium will offer broader perspective on migration

28 March 2014

Media Releases 2014

A major symposium* to be held in Canberra next week will address the ethical issues surrounding migration.  The symposium is being organised by Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) which felt many important aspects of migration had been ignored, not least the environmental impact of additional population on the host country, and the issue of intergenerational equity.

The symposium will hear from six eminent speakers:

Retired Anglican Bishop George Browning

Former Australian Democrats leader Dr John Coulter

Theologian, author and broadcaster Dr Paul Collins

Founder of Australia 21 and SEE-Change, Em Professor Bob Douglas

Authority on climate and health, Em Professor Tony McMichael

Philosopher, Assoc. Professor William Grey of Univ. of Queensland

Dr John Coulter, a past president of SPA, will open proceedings and attempt to put the discussion in the proper context.

“A primary ethic is to accept that we are an integral part of Nature, totally dependent on the biophysical world but with this awful responsibility for the future of life,” according to Dr Coulter. “In fact, we are discharging our responsibility very poorly.”

Dr Coulter says another principle helps set context.

“Much is said about equity and fairness between people but this nearly always refers to equity and fairness within the present generation – those now living. Perhaps more important, however, is equity toward generations yet to be born – intergenerational equity – since the unborn cannot participate in decisions now being made, decisions which will heavily affect their lives. Unlike those now living, we must make decisions on their behalf.”

Dr Coulter says it is critical that Australia gets its own house in order, including preserving the environment for future generations.

“This should not be done in isolation, however. We must help other nations get their own houses in order through significantly increased foreign aid, with a strong emphasis on family planning.”


*The Ethics of Migration – public symposium

1.30 – 5pm, Saturday 5 April 2014

Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, 15 Blackall Street, Barton ACT

$5 entry fee (pay at door) – afternoon tea providedFurther information:               Jenny Goldie 0401 921 453                                                      Dr John Coulter 08 8388 2153


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