Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Population debates, migration debates and sustainability debates (and the race card)

Following the release of the Treasury's Intergenerational Report, there has been growing ‘debate’ (or is that hype) in the mainstream media about the prospect of Australia's population reaching 35 million by 2050.

The hype (and the effectiveness of playing the race card that he learnt so well under Howard) is what no doubt prompted the Mad Monk to hint at a policy to cut our 'out-of-control' migration intake in response.
The hype and the Monk’s play is also what no doubt prompted Rudd to announce the appointment of a Minister for Population and the development of a population strategy.

Neither party seem to be willing to touch the hard issues:
  • The impact of the $1.4 billion annual baby bonus on the Australian birth rate
  • Australia’s true migration picture.  See: Rubbery figures on migrant flood by Peter McDonald in The Age
  • What is an environmentally sustainable population for the country? See Sustainable Population Australia
  • Our place in the world community and what it means for our population growth and responsibilities.
As Malcolm McIntosh, Tapan Sarker and Rose Boyd argue their excellent piece Australia's population challenge in the ABC’s The Drum:
“Population is fundamentally a human rights and environmental rights issue but there seem to be few, if any, politicians willing to accept the leadership baton and step forward.”
Quite so

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