There’s no doubt that immigrants have added — and continue to add — value to Australia’s society and economy.
But when the population grows far too quickly, high migration levels can quickly become too much of a good thing.
It’s taken just 49 years for Australia’s population to double — from 12.5 million in 1970 to just over 25 million today. Clearly that trend is not sustainable over the longer term. And Australians are beginning to wake up to this reality.
A survey conducted by the Australian National University has revealed a drastic decline in support for further population growth.
Survey says we’re full
The current population of Australia is a bit over 25 million. ANU asked more than 2,000 adults whether they believed the country needed even more people.
Just 30.4% — or around three out of 10 people — were on board with further population growth. But over two thirds of survey participants felt we are in no need of it.
The main reasons for capping growth were high housing costs, overcrowded cities, heavy traffic and a lack of job security.
Lead researcher Nick Biddle told our friends at AAP that Australians need clarifications on particular issues before supporting a bigger Australia:
Lead researcher Nick Biddle said it’s clear people need to be convinced of a few things before they support a bigger country.
‘People would need to be reasonably confident that there’s been an investment in infrastructure, that the cost of housing either to purchase or rent is under control, and also that the Australian education system is meeting the needs of the current Australian population.’
Surely that’s not asking for too much?
Cabinet minister Simon Birmingham believes Prime Minister Scott Morrison ‘is adopting an approach to population policy and our migration intake that is informed by different local factors across the different parts of Australia’, he told reporters on Tuesday.
And Biddle did note that about 70% of people surveyed supported some migrants being required to live in rural or regional areas to alleviate inner-city pressure.
But support has undoubtedly fallen since a similar 2010 survey, where 45.8% of respondents felt the country needed more people. That’s a 15% drop in support for population growth in this latest round of results.
Some still in favour of a bigger Australia
But we can’t ignore those who do think Australia should get bigger.
The survey revealed that the demographics of higher levels of education and of foreign birth origin — particularly migrants from non-English speaking countries — tended to have strong support for a more populated Oz.
Here we see one of the potential pitfalls of keeping migration levels from these countries high — we’re bound to get more votes for a pro-Big Australia.
Ironically, of our political parties, the Greens were most on board with an expanding Australia.
Apparently, the heavy contribution people have to environmental degradation — what with greater CO2 emissions, the cutting down of natural habitat for more housing, and pollution to our Great Barrier Reef — they’re all on board with more feet trampling our sensitive soil.
We’re no doubt seeing a flash of this party’s true colours — more of a reddish, global socialist hue than a green environmentalist one.
Thankfully, Coalition voters were the least on board with further growth to the population. Labor fell somewhere in between.
Here at The Australian Tribune, we’re well on the side of keeping the population numbers at bay…at least until those other issues quiet down a bit.
Free Report: Why Australia’s three-decade, recession-free ‘miracle economy’ is nothing more than a ticking timebomb. Download now.