Time to learn real meaning of environmental sustainability (APR)

22 April 2007

Media Releases 2007

It is long past the time when our politicians learnt what ‘environmental sustainability’

really means, according to the newly elected national president of Sustainable

Population Australia inc (SPA), Dr John Coulter.

“For too long ‘sustainable’ has been used as a euphemism for all that is good and

acceptable,” says Dr Coulter. “Politicians and others have added ‘sustainable’ to

every announcement while they commit themselves to ever larger population and per

capita consumption.”

But Dr Coulter says that further growth in consumption and population is

environmentally unsustainable.

“We are not living sustainably even now. One third of Australia’s agricultural activity

is severely curtailed through lack of water and every city’s water supply is in dire

straits. There will be worse to come with climate change.”

Dr Coulter says we have to aim for a stable population in Australia at a level that is

environmentally sustainable for the indefinite future.

“In light of climate change and the imminence of Peak Oil – both of which will lower

the carrying capacity of the continent – this level is likely to be a lot less than the

current 20.6 million, even with a cut in consumption.

“Yet Peter Costello wants increased fertility with three-child families and his

government has very substantially increased immigration. Every state government

seeks larger populations on the completely false premise that it will speed economic

growth – and even if it did, this would be a double whammy on the environment.”

Dr Coulter also notes that Steve Bracks wants another million in water-starved

Melbourne by 2030, Mike Rann another half million in Adelaide, and Peter Beattie

seeks ever more population growth in south-east Queensland, even while reservoirs

turn to dust.

Meanwhile, the Commonwealth and every state promote the growth of international


“Yet this is the fastest growing source of greenhouse emissions leading to climate

change and will worsen all the calamitous situations above,” says Dr Coulter.

Further information: John Coulter 08 8388 2153


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