News | Sustainable Population Australia


SPA Newsletter 130 - Dec 2017

In this issue you will find a report on the ‘second warning to humanity’ by over 15,000 scientists, a similar one to that issued in 1992 but more serious as the situation is now worse.

There is also the summary of the Australian Population Research Institute (TAPRI) study that finds Australians are tired of the population ponzi. You can read how Dick Smith is ramping up his fight on the population issue.

There are four book reviews and obituaries of two very-much-missed SPA members, as well as branch news.


President's Message October 2017

I imagine what I’m about to write will be met with a mixed response, but I wanted to talk about it anyway. I read an interesting article last week, and found myself agreeing with some significant aspects of what the author (David Roberts) said. Basically Roberts’ message is that population is, rightly or wrongly, simply too “hot” a topic to broach without alienating one’s audience.

October 10 2017

26th September is World Contraception Day

With tomorrow being World Contraception Day, Australians should reflect on the worldwide advantage to be gained by the rollout of contraception in developing nations, says environment NGO Sustainable Population Australia (SPA).

National President of SPA, Dr James Ward, is calling on government to increase funding for contraception in Australia’s aid budget. Currently it stands at $3.9 billion this year, down from over $5 billion under Labor.

September 27 2017

President's Message September 2017

I write this note from a hotel room in Melbourne. There’s a lot going on around here – I’ll be keen to see it when it’s finished.


The people I met with yesterday (a community group interested in urban agriculture – one of my fields of research) mentioned that many of the high-rise apartment blocks in the city are half-empty, while we passed multiple sites that were scheduled to be demolished to “make way for more housing”. Weird.


September 22 2017

SPA Newsletter 129 - Sept 2017

Colin Butler on slowing migration
Bob Birrell on the visa reset
Bob Kinnaird on the visa reset
Jenny Goldie book review
Branch reports
Treasurer’s report to the AGM
President’s snippets


Sustainable Population Australia welcomes Dick Smith's new book "Fair Go", in which he points out the irrefutable costs to Australia's environment and way of life, if our current rate of population growth continues. Housing affordability is only one of the casualties of Australia's past decade of supercharged population growth.

"It is sad to see that so much of the media response has failed to engage with Dick's arguments, but instead tried to discredit him with accusations of racism," said SPA national president Dr James Ward. "Over the past decade, Australia has had the highest immigration rate in the developed world. It is not racist to suggest that the numbers should be moderated."

August 19 2017


This year, 2 August is Earth Overshoot Day, the day we have spent 100 per cent of this year’s ecological income. It marks the 46th year that we are using more ecological services than the Earth can provide, according to Sustainable Population Australia (SPA).

SPA National President, Dr James Ward, says every year the day gets earlier and earlier.

“This year, it is 2 August. Last year it was 8 August; in 2015 13 August and in 2014, 19 August. From 1997 to 2004 it was in September,” says Dr Ward. “We lived within our ecological means up until 1971 and have been on a downhill spiral ever since.”

August 1 2017

President's Message July 2017

Wow. What a week it’s been. Popular academic news blog, The Conversation, has run a whole series on population titled “Is Australia Full?”, with several of the articles included as links in the eNews below. This includes an article led by SPA’s Peter Martin (President: SA branch); Peter’s article attracted over 360 comments, and was then re-posted on The Guardian news site, where it drew a further 1,000+ comments. I recognised some names in there, so thanks go to SPA members for contributing to that discussion.

July 21 2017


On the eve of World Population Day (July 11), Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) has called for a significant increase in funding for contraception to meet the unmet need of over 200 million women worldwide.

This year, world leaders will meet again in London on World Population Day for the second meeting of the Family Planning Summit. At its first meeting in 2012, leaders affirmed the importance of family planning to women’s empowerment and global prosperity. It aimed to expand access to voluntary family planning to 120 million additional women by 2020.

July 10 2017


Australia’s annual population growth rate of 1.6 per cent was alarmingly high, according to Sustainable Population Australia (SPA).

Figures released on Tuesday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) for the year ending December 2016 showed Australia’s population had increased by 372,800 to 24,385,600 people over the previous year. Net Overseas Migration (NOM) made up 209,000, or 56 per cent, of the total growth, and natural increase the rest.

SPA national president Dr James Ward says our population growth rate is more than twice the OECD average, and third only to Israel and Luxembourg.

June 29 2017