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Politicians blind to population growth concerns

By Greg Cornwell 22 July 2016 30

Sustainable Australia party founder William Bourke.

The recent Federal election saw the Sustainable Australia Party (ignored by the mainstream) field candidates and shortly before polling day at a local level the ACT Government announced 4550 residential dwelling sites would be released in 2016-17.

What these two events have in common is increasing community concern about population growth and continuing political failure to recognise this trend, far less act upon it.

Governments always need money and in the ACT means of raising this doss are limited to taxes (including levies) and land sales.  The latter method conveniently dovetails with providing employment for lots of people from developers to tradesmen and the local whingers directly affected can be ignored for the apparent common good.

This contempt is no longer tolerated.  People are objecting to pleasant pockets of land being sold off for profit and governments are being reminded they also are responsible for providing quality of life standards for the rate-paying community.

These standards include health services that don’t involve long waits, schools that are not overcrowded, housing beyond financial reach and roads and public transport that are not clogged.

All these problems come back to too many people using these facilities.

More government investment in infrastructure and paid for by increased and unpopular selective taxes should solve the crisis, but for how long if we allow unrestricted population growth?

And if more people means more demand for services and therefore jobs – a favourite claim for large scale migration – who ultimately pays?  If migrants and refugees lack qualifications they may end up on welfare, which is to nobody’s benefit because the financial burden of keeping them falls upon others.

Although they constantly harp about it, is it government’s responsibility to provide jobs?  In our capitalist society if you wish to start a business you are free to do so but it is not the government’s task to provide you with either employees or customers.

And do governments really provide jobs?  The inference always suggests “new” jobs, however most large companies have their own workforce and sub-contractors – few new jobs there.  Any new jobs probably are well out in the mulga.

Governments not only fail to recognise the problems of untrammelled population growth they encourage it with generous family benefits and concessions, adding to the public pressures mentioned earlier.  Stopping such assistance after two children would be a start because there is no reason why the taxpayer should fund your personal choice of family size.

Some of the new dwelling sites proposed by the ACT Government are redevelopments of inner city high-rise and their replacements can only be anticipated in style rather than in height.  The resulting population surge will add to the congestion already apparent into and out of our CBD and magnify parking problems.

At all levels of government population growth and its lifestyle consequences for communities are ignored.  However as some recent events in Canberra have shown (Manuka Oval, Red Hill, Dickson, Yarralumla) the natives are increasingly restless at the threats posed.


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Politicians blind to population growth concerns
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justin heywood 9:31 pm 29 Jul 16

WilliamBourke said :

All over Europe, a potentially disastrous slide has commenced into the arms of right-wing political parties as the result of the liberal-left’s denial over the obvious failure of the multicultural dogma.

You either start questioning the wisdom of current immigration policies, or you accept that Pauline Hanson is but a taster of the political landscape that is to come.

True.
The political class has been cowed into silence by the moral gatekeepers of the liberal left – none risk speaking honestly about race or religion or immigration or anything else that could ignite the twitterati against them.

Hence the rise of people willing to tell ‘the truth’. The Hansons, Le Pens and Trumps.

HenryBG 7:24 pm 29 Jul 16

HiddenDragon said :

Still no facts Mordd, or researched information to support what you are saying. Show me some evidence that this ancient land can support ever increasing population. Where the water & food will come from. Which countries have less arable land and equally limited water supplies & larger populations?
Are those countries also selling their arable land to other countries?
Do those countries have limited water & are they also dependant on underground aquafers?
Are those countries risking their underground aquafers by fracking?
“Please explain”.

Not to mention the bizarre and on-going practice of putting concrete, asphalt, and constructions atop the *best* agricultural land, thus reducing the country’s ability to feed itself at the same time as irresponsibly allowing excessive population growth via immigration and allowing welfare-dependent bogans to breed.

HiddenDragon 5:42 pm 29 Jul 16

From Ross Garnaut’s piece – ‘The time bombs in the Australian economy are just starting to explode’ – earlier this week (Fin Review):

“Real incomes per person have been stagnant or falling since the China resources boom began its retreat in the September quarter of 2011. Multi-factor productivity is negligibly higher than a decade ago. While real output has been growing only moderately below what were once considered to be trend rates, recent growth depends overwhelmingly on increases in resource export volumes that are outweighed by falls in prices, or on unsustainable expansion of government and housing expenditure.”

So the most generous thing which might be said is that the rapid population growth of recent years has helped to paper over the cracks in the national economy, by pumping domestic demand – but at the price of stagnant living standards and unsustainable debt-funded spending.

Mordd 2:20 pm 29 Jul 16

HiddenDragon said :

rommeldog56 said :

Very Busy said :

devils_advocate said :

So you don’t want more immigration, guess how the aborigines felt when the white man rocked up hey! Fact is we have a massive amount of land and resources that can support a way bigger population than we have, and trying to artificially restrict the population growth is just plain selfish and greedy, nothing more.

What you are saying doesn’t fit with any of the geology or social anthropology I know Mordd.
I would need a lot more in the way of facts & research to even start me thinking your way.

The first part was tongue in cheek. As to the second, many countries support far higher populations with less arable land mass and resources than we have, we are extremely well off.

Still no facts Mordd, or researched information to support what you are saying. Show me some evidence that this ancient land can support ever increasing population. Where the water & food will come from. Which countries have less arable land and equally limited water supplies & larger populations?
Are those countries also selling their arable land to other countries?
Do those countries have limited water & are they also dependant on underground aquafers?
Are those countries risking their underground aquafers by fracking?
“Please explain”.

Sorry, busy with more important things atm, if I have time, i’ll dig into this over the weekend, post next week sometime. Not my top priority at the moment this thread.

ungruntled 11:25 pm 28 Jul 16

rommeldog56 said :

Very Busy said :

devils_advocate said :

So you don’t want more immigration, guess how the aborigines felt when the white man rocked up hey! Fact is we have a massive amount of land and resources that can support a way bigger population than we have, and trying to artificially restrict the population growth is just plain selfish and greedy, nothing more.

What you are saying doesn’t fit with any of the geology or social anthropology I know Mordd.
I would need a lot more in the way of facts & research to even start me thinking your way.

The first part was tongue in cheek. As to the second, many countries support far higher populations with less arable land mass and resources than we have, we are extremely well off.

Still no facts Mordd, or researched information to support what you are saying. Show me some evidence that this ancient land can support ever increasing population. Where the water & food will come from. Which countries have less arable land and equally limited water supplies & larger populations?
Are those countries also selling their arable land to other countries?
Do those countries have limited water & are they also dependant on underground aquafers?
Are those countries risking their underground aquafers by fracking?
“Please explain”.

HenryBG 10:41 pm 28 Jul 16

rommeldog56 said :

… many countries support far higher populations with less arable land mass and resources than we have, we are extremely well off.

All over Europe, a potentially disastrous slide has commenced into the arms of right-wing political parties as the result of the liberal-left’s denial over the obvious failure of the multicultural dogma.

You either start questioning the wisdom of current immigration policies, or you accept that Pauline Hanson is but a taster of the political landscape that is to come.

Cannyrider 7:15 pm 28 Jul 16

A great article dealing with really important issues. Interesting to speculate on why Sustainable Australia was largely ignored by the mainstream media, although the Canberra Times did do a profile on one senate candidate, along with profiles of candidates from all minor parties. The fact is the newspapers rely on house and apartment advertisements and are addicted to the growth model.

Postalgeek 2:35 pm 26 Jul 16

rommeldog56 said :

The first part was tongue in cheek. As to the second, many countries support far higher populations with less arable land mass and resources than we have, we are extremely well off.

Any such country is in a precarious situation. I would recommend you read a bit about ‘peak phosphorous’.

Populations of the future will be managed, either artificially or naturally.

wildturkeycanoe 7:00 am 26 Jul 16

rommeldog56 said :

As to the second, many countries support far higher populations with less arable land mass and resources than we have, we are extremely well off.

According to a 2015 ACOSS report, “Wealth in Australia is highly concentrated, with the top 10% of wealth holders owning 45% of all wealth.”, so the other 90% of us really aren’t doing that well, definitely not “Extremely well off”. We are losing arable land to salinity, to foreign ownership exclusively exporting our produce, our industries have died, unemployment is climbing and our health and welfare systems are falling apart. How well off are we, really? If you compare us to third world countries, well of course we look to be sitting pretty.

Masquara said :

The only reason their budget is in the green is due to privatisation, and their “solution” to the 2020 24bn debt is selling off EVEN MORE public assets. They are simply selling off revenue producing assets to fund unsustainable levels of spending. One has to wonder what they are going to do once there’s nothing left to sell….

So the A.C.T Labor government’s answer to the tram cost is to sell off of ACTTAB, public housing properties, government buildings “including the health building in Moore Street, the Motor Registry, Dame Pattie Menzies House and the ambulance station in Dickson and Macarthur House and the visitor centre on Northbourne Avenue.” source – Canberra Times February 19th, 2015. Does this not reflect exactly what you are suggesting of the N.S.W Liberals? There is little to distinguish the two parties in terms of fiscal management.

rommeldog56 8:17 pm 25 Jul 16

PantsMan said :

I can’t help but wonder how much of this is a fear of change, and a digging in of heels to prevent it.

At the risk of being accused of mansplain, might I point out that it is just so easy to accuse anyone who opposes as having a “fear of change”. It is an accusation often levelled at those on here who do not support the direction of the ACT Labor/Greens Gov’t and who do not take their “spin”. Even contributors who put up alternatives to Light Rail are often typified as being afraid of change – or Nimbys.

It is not so.

What people are saying is that they fear the outcome of direction that the change being driven by the ACT Gov’t, their developer mates and the Unions, in the Territory. That is different to “digging in their heels to prevent” change or “having a fear of change”.

Cantoangel 12:39 pm 25 Jul 16

Since everyone here seems to have done the research and I’m a lazy so and so, what are the statistics of migrants versus “natives” on welfare, and does it change after a few years of establishment? I’m genuinely curious as every migrant family I know of seems to be employed.

madelini 9:32 am 25 Jul 16

Really, it’s the suburbs that are unsustainable – they’re pleasant, but the impact on the environment (especially with the reliance on cars and fossil fuels that comes with living further out) can’t be ignored. I personally don’t feel like it’s an elephant in the room. It’s not as though Canberra will reach a 500k population by next year. There is a mention of migrants and refugees potentially not being skilled, and needing to seek Centrelink – but no mention of the uneducated and unskilled people born here who feel entitled to government payments. Populations wax and wane; it’s an adjustment process, but I know that I don’t want to live in a stagnated society.

I can’t help but wonder how much of this is a fear of change, and a digging in of heels to prevent it.

Mordd 8:49 pm 24 Jul 16

Very Busy said :

devils_advocate said :

So you don’t want more immigration, guess how the aborigines felt when the white man rocked up hey! Fact is we have a massive amount of land and resources that can support a way bigger population than we have, and trying to artificially restrict the population growth is just plain selfish and greedy, nothing more.

What you are saying doesn’t fit with any of the geology or social anthropology I know Mordd.
I would need a lot more in the way of facts & research to even start me thinking your way.

The first part was tongue in cheek. As to the second, many countries support far higher populations with less arable land mass and resources than we have, we are extremely well off.

I am a Rabbit™ 8:37 pm 24 Jul 16

Masquara said :

Unfortunately, we need to vote this same party into power locally to avoid catastrophic budget blowouts and the death of our Canberran lifestyle.

Why do people think is the case? Historically the ACT Liberals have been a disaster in terms of their economic performance. The liberals at a state level aren’t fairing well in Queensland & New South Wales either. Personally I think there are many reason why you might want to vote for the Liberals in the ACT, but doing so on the basis of a bad budget or high rates is absurd. They are literally incompetent at economics – even the greens have better policies in that area, and that is really saying something….

I’ll also mention this before the inevitable “BUT NSW ISN’T RUNNING A DEFICIT” comment. The NSW Liberals are selling off all their infrastructure and using the proceeds to spend like a drunken sailor… The only reason their budget is in the green is due to privatisation, and their “solution” to the 2020 24bn debt is selling off EVEN MORE public assets. They are simply selling off revenue producing assets to fund unsustainable levels of spending. One has to wonder what they are going to do once there’s nothing left to sell….

rommeldog56 5:28 pm 24 Jul 16

Masquara said :

Liberals are all about slashing public service jobs to save money. The next 3 to 4 years will be a dismal time for all middle and lower income households. Unfortunately, we need to vote this same party into power locally to avoid catastrophic budget blowouts and the death of our Canberran lifestyle. I just got my rates notice and almost had a heart attack. I might need to cash in on that emergency Services levy if my irregular heart beats don’t subside with some welcoming good news, such as seeing the Labor party booted out and the tram project with them.

Agreed – hopeless choice really. I just hope that ACT voters/Ratepayers snap out of their apathy and robitic support for ACT labor/Greens in the October ACT Legislative Assembly election and boot the ACT labor/Greens Gov’t out. If the Libs get in and dont deliver, then they should also be booted out in 4 years time.

Re ACT Annual Rates : There is already today on the radio, Ratepayers calling in to express horror at their Annual Rates bills for 2016-17, which have started to be sent out. And that’s with the lower 5.4% avg.(which is 1/2 what it should be and will revert to in 2017-18 !) increase being applied in this (election) year too – but includes the increased and new “levies”.

ungruntled 2:44 pm 24 Jul 16

devils_advocate said :

So you don’t want more immigration, guess how the aborigines felt when the white man rocked up hey! Fact is we have a massive amount of land and resources that can support a way bigger population than we have, and trying to artificially restrict the population growth is just plain selfish and greedy, nothing more.

What you are saying doesn’t fit with any of the geology or social anthropology I know Mordd.
I would need a lot more in the way of facts & research to even start me thinking your way.

ungruntled 2:30 pm 24 Jul 16

Masquara said :

Thanks Mr. Bourke for the clarification. It is good to see the Liberals talking about this issue, though I am very confused about how different local Liberals’ agenda seems to be to the national Liberals in terms of their concern for the welfare of “middle Australians”. Nationally they appear to be targeting every middle and lower class resident to squeeze the most dollars out of them possible, by toughening welfare eligibility, making health care less affordable and offering no real plans to make more jobs or reduce housing costs. Under this Liberal government we can see only an open door policy when it comes to immigration, as long as they bring their foreign dollars with them, at the expense of the living standards of our own citizens. The FTAs with China and the USA only benefit them, not Australians. By relaxing the rules on foreign workers we find Aussies losing both employment and conditions. The Building Construction Commission will also see the industry strangled and even less opportunities for those willing to work but unable to find jobs. Liberals are all about slashing public service jobs to save money. The next 3 to 4 years will be a dismal time for all middle and lower income households. Unfortunately, we need to vote this same party into power locally to avoid catastrophic budget blowouts and the death of our Canberran lifestyle. I just got my rates notice and almost had a heart attack. I might need to cash in on that emergency Services levy if my irregular heart beats don’t subside with some welcoming good news, such as seeing the Labor party booted out and the tram project with them.

SPOT ON!

ungruntled 2:27 pm 24 Jul 16

Sustainable Australia’s population policy is stated here:
http://www.votesustainable.org.au/policies

Thank you for that connection.
That is the best laid out policy statement I have seen since Whitlam!
At least you know exactly what you are voting for. Neither Laboral nor Greens are prepared to be so forthcoming.
It’ a really good start

I am a Rabbit™ 1:18 pm 24 Jul 16

devils_advocate said :

So you don’t want more immigration, guess how the aborigines felt when the white man rocked up hey!

Have you not studied your own history? Aborigines viewed the “white man” as simply another tribe when they came – a powerful tribe, but a tribe nonetheless. The notion of countries and states were foreign to them. It’s for that reason that when the frontier wars started that some of the Aborigines tribes actually allied themselves with the “white man tribe”. The enemy of my enemy is my friend…

devils_advocate said :

is we have a massive amount of land and resources that can support a way bigger population than we have.

What are these land and resources you speak of? Only 6.0% of the landmass is arable, and that’s not counting the significant issues we face in terms of our water security situation. We have a looming fresh water crisis, and it’s undeniable that the Government is going to need to implement harsh water rationing in the future.

Mordd 9:05 pm 23 Jul 16

So you don’t want more immigration, guess how the aborigines felt when the white man rocked up hey! Fact is we have a massive amount of land and resources that can support a way bigger population than we have, and trying to artificially restrict the population growth is just plain selfish and greedy, nothing more.

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