Time to end population growth in Canberra region (JUL)

11 July 2001

Media Releases 2001


Jul 11, 2001 for World Population Day – July 11

Canberrans are placing undue stress on the environment and it is time to end population growth in the region, according to the Canberra branch of Sustainable Population Australia (SPA).

Branch President of SPA, Giff Jones, says World Population Day (July 11) is a good time for the people of Canberra and the surrounding region to give some hard thought to the future.

“While we think we live in a region comparatively free of problems besetting other parts of Australia, we cannot escape them and we share responsibility for them,” says Mr Jones.

“We live in a land showing increasing signs of overload. Water quality is declining and supplies are under stress,” he says. “Salination and other forms of degradation are reducing the longer term productive capacity of our soils.

“Australian cities are becoming increasingly clogged and polluted. Quality of life is deteriorating under the pressures of both urban sprawl and infill. And yet, every five years, we add another million people to our numbers.”

Mr Jones says that while Canberra’s numbers currently are growing less rapidly than some other parts of the country, our contribution to national environmental problems is substantial.

“We use cars more than other Australians, thus adding disproportionately to the consumption of fossil fuels and emission of greenhouse gases. We take too much water from the Upper Murrumbidgee Catchment.

“The surrounding region is not doing well. Salinity besets the Yass River Valley and Canberra’s satellite towns like Sutton and Murrumbateman are increasingly affected. Much of rural industry in the Monaro is in deep trouble, with many farmers feeling that they are in the grip of permanent drought.

“Yet the pressure for more people persists,” Mr Jones says. “On this World Population Day, we should all ask ourselves: how on earth is that going to help us?”

Further information:

Giff Jones, Ph: 02 6286 1752 E: act@population.org.au

Jenny Goldie, Ph: 02 6235 5488 E: info@population.org.au


Media Releases 2001
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