Public meeting will address Australia’s unsustainable population growth

Sustainable Population Australia

At a public meeting in Adelaide on Saturday organised by Sustainable Population Australia (SPA), expert speakers will explain why Australia’s current rapid population growth is unsustainable.

SPA is currently running a campaign ‘Say NO to Big Australia!

In the year ending 30 September 2023, Australia grew by 659,800 people, at a growth rate of 2.5%, the highest in six decades. This is four times the average population growth rate for OECD countries.

The keynote speaker at the meeting, Leith Van Onselen, chief economist and cofounder of Macrobusiness, will address ‘Australia’s immigration and the everything shortage’.

Speaking prior to the meeting, Mr van Onselen notes that Australia’s population has ballooned by 8.2 million people (43%) this century on the back of high immigration.

“This excessive population growth has created the ‘everything shortage’,” he says. “Roads, public transport, schools and hospitals are all overloaded, and the natural environment is under strain.

“The most visible impact is on the rental market, where population demand is running way ahead of supply, driving up rents, and plunging lower-income Australians into financial stress, into shared housing, or homelessness”.

The other major speaker is Dr Jane O’Sullivan, Honorary Senior Fellow from the University of Queensland, and co-author of “The Housing Crisis is a Population Crisis“. She will speak on ‘Albanese’s immigration overhaul: No relief in sight despite ‘sustainable immigration’ pledge.’

Dr O’Sullivan says most of the Albanese government’s changes to immigration have increased, rather than decreased, migrants’ access to visas to stay in Australia.

“Some recent changes raise the bar for student and skilled migrant visas, but they are more about the quality than quantity of migrants,” she says.

“Sustainable migration must be compatible with population stabilisation, because our population can’t grow forever on a finite resource base. The sooner we stabilise our population, the easier it will be to address environmental issues such as climate change, water insecurity and biodiversity loss.

“To be sustainable, Australia’s net migration should be around 60,000 per year. That’s plenty to meet our humanitarian quota and fill skills we really need, given that high migration itself generates most of today’s skills shortages.”

The public forum From housing crisis to eco-crisis: Why Australia’s population growth is unsustainable, will be held from 2 – 3.30pm, Saturday 20 April 2024 at the Regent Room, Box Factory, 59 Reget Street South, Adelaide. It is hosted by Sustainable Population Australia.

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