Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) has expressed concern that Australia has all but reached 25 million people and has done so too quickly. It strongly advocates that policies should be put into immediate effect whereby Australia’s rate of population growth slows and stabilises at the earliest opportunity.
SPA’s national president Ms Sandra Kanck says Australia’s population ballooned more quickly than most other developed countries.
“From 1990 to 2016, Australia’s population increased by nearly 50 per cent,” says Ms Kanck. “This is a far greater rate than almost every other developed country and higher even than many developing nations such as Indonesia.
This is having a profound economic and social impact. Whilst politicians claim that population growth is necessary for economic growth, wages for most Australians have stagnated whilst the cost of living continues to soar.
“This is particularly true for the housing market. Furthermore, state budgets are being blown out by the cost of infrastructure, which is failing to keep pace with our current rate of population growth.”
Ms Kanck says the natural environment is the biggest casualty of this growth.
“We are concreting over our food bowls to make way for urban sprawl. Our desalinisation plants require large amounts of energy and public expenditure in order to meet ever increasing demand.”
“Development around our growth corridors is drastically reducing populations of native species such as the koala, coastal emu, Leadbeater’s possum and the black cockatoo. Australia now has the second highest rate of biodiversity loss in the world due to human impact. The ‘State of the Environment Report’ attributes environmental impacts to urbanisation and traffic congestion,” says Ms Kanck.
In 2010 The Australian Academy of Science concluded that the upper sustainable limit for Australia’s population is 23 million, after which our population should level off. At 25 million, our population has quickly exceeded these recommendations.
“It is only two years since we hit 24 million,” says Ms Kanck. “This rate of growth puts us on track for Australia's population to reach 40 million by mid-century. The impacts on biodiversity, increased demand for water, on food production, and on our growing infrastructure backlog hardly bear thinking about. Our decision-makers have to stop following the dictates of the development lobby.”
Further Comment: Sandra Kanck, SPA National President: Phone 0417 882 143
For Media Contact: Michael Bayliss, SPA Communications Manager: Phone 0417 994 122