Growing population concerns PHAA, Sustainable Population Australia

sad baby with nappy rash wearing diaper

The Public Health Association and Sustainable Population Australia are expressing concern about Australia’s growing population.

Early next year the ABS population clock will show Australia’s population hitting the 24 million mark, they say.

“As a result of births, deaths, people immigrating and people permanently leaving Australia, one extra person joins us every 1.5 seconds.”

The two organisations say in a statement that as a nation, we are not prepared for the many implications that continued population growth brings.

They say the Australian Academy of Science advised two decades ago that “the quality of all aspects of our children’s lives will be maximised if the population of Australia by the mid-21st Century is kept to the low, stable end of the achievable range, i.e. to approximately 23 million” – a message Australia has not heeded.

“We are now approaching, if not passed, Australia’s environmentally sustainable limits,” the two groups say.

“We question the wisdom of pursuing continual population growth.

“Where are the conversations about what this means for roads, schools, hospital waiting lists, urban sprawl, energy supply, food security, jobs and employment, water, waste management and biodiversity?

“How do these factors affect reasonable desires to have a country safe from strife and to be economically prosperous?

“There is no plan about how to manage this expanding population within the bigger contexts of global warming, burgeoning international geopolitical developments, the globalisation of trade and developments within the Australian economy.

“While we are clear that Australia is a wealthy country and has a moral obligation to take refugees from war-torn areas, that obligation needs to extend to action to stop the conflicts driving the refugee exodus, such as by increasing development aid, so that people’s situations overseas are economically and politically improved; this includes aid for women’s education, health and reproductive services.

“Our government has a duty to be planning so that Australians can all enjoy the benefits that a moderate population brings. We must promote a genuine national conversation to map out how we can manage an Australian population that is healthy and living within our ecological means.”

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  1. Andrew J. Smith

    Population growth has been inflated by a change in definition since 2006 to include 12/16+ month stays of arrivals/departures e.g. international students, backpackers, temp workers etc.; meanwhile the most significant driver of (permanent) populationg growth is neither fertility nor ‘immigration’ but longevity….

    • VivKay

      Net overseas migration is the result of overall permanent immigration to Australia. It’s where the majority of our population growth is sourced. The set NOM for this year is about 200,000 people. Our rate of population growth is not inevitable. Immigration is assumed to be synonymous to our refugee intake, but in actual fact it’s only a very small proportion of our population growth.

      • Andrew J. Smith

        The ‘population bombers’ simply don’t give up distorting data to prove their point, and prejudices.*

        Claims are simply untrue, NOM is the balance of arrivals – departures staying 12/16+ months, with no correlation to status i.e. immigration, nationality, visa, citizenship or residency. The definition is here:

        ‘Net Overseas Migration (NOM): Definition

        Net overseas migration is the net gain or loss of population through immigration to Australia and emigration from Australia. It is based on an international traveller’s duration of stay being in or out of Australia for 12 months or more. It is the difference between the number of incoming international travellers who stay in Australia for 12 months or more…’

        NOM captures temporary churnover which in addition to permanent migration cap accounts for temps and permanents, in addition to fertility and longevity, with the latter now accounting for 30% of population growth.

        Explained well by statistical, medical and development expert Dr. Hans Rosling here, ‘This World, Don’t Panic – The truth about population’

        Does AJP understand what science, critical analysis and clear thinking is?

        * This is how the ‘population bombers’ work (in addition to dismissing contrary research and data), via their fulcrum in the USA south, according to SPLC and ADL in the USA:

        ‘The Social Contract Press (TSCP) routinely publishes race-baiting articles penned by white nationalists. The press is a program of U.S. Inc, the foundation created by John Tanton, the racist founder and principal ideologue of the modern nativist movement. TSCP puts an academic veneer of legitimacy over what are essentially racist arguments about the inferiority of today’s immigrants.’

        So VivKay, do the population people a favouur and let someone else do their PR……

  2. Skirmantas Jurgaitis

    > As a result of births, deaths, people immigrating and people permanently leaving Australia, one extra person joins us every 1.5 seconds.

    One person every 1.5 seconds gets to around 20 million a year. Number in the article must be wrong.

    • michael_in_adelaide

      Yes, it looks as thought that should have been 1 every 1.5 minutes which would give us around 350,000 per year which sounds correct.

  3. VivKay

    There’s an image of a baby, as if we are having too many of them! Actually Australia’s fertility levels are low, below long term replacement levels. Our population growth is government policy, maintained by tweaking immigration levels. Even without immigration, there would be more births than deaths, but only because of the high momentum of growth over many decades. With zero net immigration rate, of immigration equal to emigration, we could stabilize our population size by mid century – but there’s no discussion about this! We are recklessly heading towards “big Australia” whether it’s sustainable, or desirable.

    • Andrew J. Smith

      These ‘immigrants’ are mostly temps paying for services e.g. students, plus backpackers, temp workers paying taxes if working etc., however only a minority will gain permanent residency under the migration cap. This is ‘churnover’ maintaining the tax base to support the ageing Australian population’s health care, pensions and working in skill shortage sectors e.g. health care; while fertility rates are below replacement level and baby boomer bubble passes through, and prosperity improves longevity, what’s the issue?

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