-- R.G. Menzies
LIBERTARIAN/CONSERVATIVE DIGEST AND COMMENTARY FROM AN ACADEMIC PSYCHOLOGIST in Brisbane, Australia. My academic publications are widely read
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Most Australians want an end to population growth
I do myself. I am sick of having to dodge around roadworks for all my life. But a growing population requires roadworks to accomodate more and more cars. And the Australian birthrate is below replacement anyway so it is immigration that is the problem. An immigration program that focused only on highly desirable immigrants and excluded parasitic "refugees" would help solve the problem -- JR
FAMILIES should have no more than two children to limit their environmental impact, one in three Australians say. Almost half say families should consider having three or fewer children, a survey shows.
The Australian National University survey found most Australians want the population to stay at or below current levels, suggesting Julia Gillard hit the right note by rejecting Kevin Rudd's "big Australia" push.
ANU political scientist Professor Ian McAllister, who led the survey, said people opposed population growth for a variety of reasons, including the cost to the environment, urban overcrowding and a lack of housing and transport. The phone poll found just 44 per cent of respondents favoured population growth.
About 52 per cent said Australia had enough people already, and further population growth would harm the environment, push up house prices and place pressure on water resources.
But there were also concerns that skills shortages could hold back the economy, with 83 per cent of respondents calling for more skilled migrants to be allowed into Australia.
And two thirds of respondents were concerned about the impact of the ageing population, with the majority opposed to tax rises to support the elderly.
About 59 per cent of Australians supported an emissions trading scheme to curb carbon pollution. But when asked to rank the nation's most pressing problems, the environment and global warming were ranked only fourth after the economy, health care and education.
Mr Rudd, as prime minister, argued for population growth, suggesting the continent could support 36 million people by 2050. Ms Gillard changed course sharply when she became Prime Minister, arguing for a "sustainable population" in an election pitch to the crowded outer suburbs.
She said Population Minister Tony Burke would deliver a sustainable population strategy. "We made an election promise about a sustainable population policy and we'll deliver it," she said.
Greens Leader Bob Brown said something had to be done to limit population growth or the planet was in trouble. "When I came on to the planet there were 2 1/2 billion human beings, there are now seven billion. We are using more than 100 per cent of the renewable living resources at the moment. Something is going to give."
The ANU poll is a quarterly survey and compares Australian results to international opinion polls.
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