16 September 2011

Population summits ‘likely to become talkfests’

Several population growth forums are being held next month including a State Government growth summit.

The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) will also hold public hearings next month as part of its inquiry into the need for a state population policy.

Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) spokesman Simon Baltais says he does not expect the growth summit or the inquiry will lead to changes.

"The only ones I see some chance of policy change are the ones driven by community groups," he said.

"If the community gets behind these community groups that are running these forums, that are actually providing solutions and the means and the tools for individuals and groups to challenge the State Government and the Federal Government and their Local Government.

"These are the ones that have a chance to steer politics in the right direction."

Mr Baltais is also backing Sunshine Coast Mayor Bob Abbot’s call to base population policy on science.

Mr Abbot made the comment in a speech to a population forum in Brisbane on Monday night.

Mr Baltais says the Government is ignoring its own advice about the negative effects of a rising population.

"They’re just continuing on down this path and saying you are going to have to accept this growth," he said.

"You’re going to have to accept that you are going to move out of detached housing and we’re going to put you in highrises.

"They’re the things they’re saying to people, and 80 per cent of the community don’t want it and so the question needs to be asked is is government representing the community?

"I think to date clearly they’re not." 

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