SPA Achievements | Sustainable Population Australia

An independent not-for-profit organisation seeking to protect the environment and our quality of life by ending population growth in Australia and globally, while rejecting racism and coercive population control. SPA is an environmental advocacy organisation, not a political party.

SPA Achievements


SPA Achievements (current as of 2020)

  • SPA was recognised by the UNFCCC back in 2009 as an environmental NGO, thus allowing us to attend their Conferences of the Parties (COPs) as observers, to exhibit posters in the exhibition halls and to hold side-events.  SPA was represented at the Madrid COP in December, contributing to this video of an excellent panel presentation hosted by World Scientists' Warning to Humanity.
  • In 2019 we released a significant discussion paper showing that, with the current rate of population growth, Australia can never catch up with its infrastructure backlog.  At the launch, our patron Bob Carr described it as having “killer arguments”.  A link to our discussion paper can be found here  and we will be releasing several more discussion papers over the course of 2020.


  • SPA opened the Australian Premiere of documentary '8 Billion Angels'  to a packed out cinema in Melbourne,  2020.  The documentary explores small families and family planning as an effective way of addressing the myriad of environmental issues arising from human impact on the planet.  A YouTube clip to our introduction speech at the premiere can be found here
  • SPA produces regular media releases on population related current affairs.  Examples include releases for ‘World Food Day’, ‘Earth Overshoot Day’ and ‘World Population Day’ that resulted in significant media coverage and interviews in 2019.  Our media release for the day that Australia reached 25 million people resulted in a flood of media interest, including TV News interviews with our national president.
  • SPA has been receiving regular media attention over the last couple of years including TV and radio interview. Examples include: ABC News 24 for Earth Overshoot Day; Jon Faine ‘Conversation Hour”;  ABC and SBS radio on a range of domestic and international concerns;  local radio stations and podcasts including 3CR City Limits (Melbourne),  Fuzzy Logic (Canberra) and Animals Anonymous podcast (Adelaide).

  • SPA has also enjoyed regular print media attention over the last couple of years, including The Age, Canberra Times, Sydney Morning Herald and even the New York Times.  Our team includes many academics, journalists and authors who are regularly published.  In 2018, a SPA article on overpopulation was awarded the most read article on Independent Australia, achieving over 70 000 reads.
  • In 2019, SPA released an animation entitled ‘The Endless Growth Paradigm’.  To date, the animation has received over 12 000 online views, including a substantial international audience and robust online discussions on forums such as Reddit.

  • We regularly lodge submissions with inquiries, the most recent one being to the Senate Standing Committee on Migration's 'Inquiry into Regional Migration in Australia' (submission #62).
  • In 2018 we lodged a submission to the 'Inquiry into Australia's Faunal Extinction Crisis' being conducted by Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications that can be  found here as submission #26.  We followed up with a castigating supplementary submission in 2019.

  • SPA works alongside a large and diverse community, domestically and abroad.  Examples include: Collaborations with ‘Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation’ (including a joint seminar presentation during Melbourne’s Sustainable Living Festival in 2019); interviews with the Ambassador of Costa Rica; presentations from citizens of Kiribati Island highlighting the need for family planning and foreign aid to the Pacific.  SPA works closely with colleagues in Africa to promote family planning and population issues on the world stage.  SPA co-sponsored with UNFPA of a Horn of Africa regional conference on Population and Climate Change in Kampala 2010, and assists African colleagues to attend UN climate change summits.

  • Our local SPA branches put in a lot of effort towards community outreach and engagement with the public.  For example, the Victoria and Tasmania branch has held a stall at the Sustainable Living Festival each year for the past decade, which have also included hosting workshops and seminars for the event.

  • The SA-NT branch authored a submission to the Migration Inquiry of the SA Parliament's Economic & Finance Committee.
  • We contacted Australia's Foreign Minister, Marise Payne, urging her to sign and preferably co-sponsor the UN Human Rights Council resolution on forced and child marriage.
  • We wrote to Susan Ley, Federal Environment Minister, congratulating her on her appointment and asking her to include population impacts in her considerations.
  • We have lodged complaints with the ABC for their unbalanced reporting about population in their news and current affairs.
  • We have challenged the Australian Conservation Foundation for failing to include campaigns about population as part of their brief.
  • The Australian Academy of Science awarded SPA to convene the 2020 Fenner Conference on the Environment, with the theme “Making Australian agriculture sustainable”.
    The conference is an annual event of the AAS, part of the legacy of celebrated scientist Frank Fenner and past patron of SPA.

    SPA has run Fenner conferences twice before: in October 2013 the theme was "Population, Resources and Climate Change" and the proceedings published by CSIRO Sustainable Futures: Linking Population, Resources and the Environment.  The proceedings of the 2002 conference, In Search of Sustainability was published by CSIRO.