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Carr’s Column – Populate and perish

August 27, 2010

The Federal election confirmed that Australia has moved away from recklessly high immigration. Both sides retreated from this economic and ecological insanity. Paul Sheehan summed it up well in the Sydney Morning Herald (August 23) in a devastating review of the arguments he said:

“By far the greatest beneficiaries of high immigration are the immigrants, not the resident population.

High immigration lowers per capita productivity growth, a key to sustainable growth.

It retards the growth of per capita wealth.

It accelerates the rate of food importation. (Australia imported a record $8.5 billion worth of food in 2008-09.)

It accelerates the increase in urban overcrowding and traffic congestion.

It increases Australia’s greenhouse emissions, per capita.

It makes it unlikely Australia can meet its targets of greenhouse gas emission reduction.

It lowers Australia’s food security.”

In my last article on the subject of population growth I rejected those facile arguments that its all about “planning” or all about “infrastructure.” If you’re interested in my arguments see the Australian.


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