O.T. Australian Population numbers

Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 07, 2010 at 10:00
ThreadID: 77512 Views:2001 Replies:6 FollowUps:4
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Given that some recent threads on the future of outback Australia developed into discussion of population issues, I think we were all correct in tapping present undercurrents. TYhe present political moves are of some interest. Both political parties suddenly seem concerned to have a population policy, but both are very coy about just what they mean by this. The Business Council of Australia has just come out opposing any cuts to immigration, as proposeed by Tony A. Interesting to learn that Oz has the second fastest rate of population growth in the world (second to Saudi Arabia). Lots of space starting to be given to this in today's papers.
Whatever the eventual washup of all this will be (and it wont be quick) I think it will have profound implications for inland Australia and a whole host of things contributors to this forum value.
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Reply By: Fab72 - Wednesday, Apr 07, 2010 at 10:28

Wednesday, Apr 07, 2010 at 10:28
Mfewster, I saw that on the news last night too and I'm guessing, like you it raised a few eyebrows.

It seems our estute leaders have based their people per sq. Km ratio on Australia's total land mass, never mind that a large percentage is unsustainable for living. They'd never know this from their desks in Canberra.

Look at Adelaide, beaches on one side, hills zoning on the other. The only way to grow is north or south. Even south is fast filling.

2050 (the year that was quoted), Victor Habour will be a suburb of Adelaide, Gawler will be considered inner city living and places like Mallala will be suburbs of Adelaide. And all with no water to drink. (Just had to throw that in).

Where once population would congregate around natural permanent water, the population of the future will build around desal plants. Some cheap real estate available in Iron Knob...only 50kms to Whyalla's proposed desal plant.!
AnswerID: 411925

Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Wednesday, Apr 07, 2010 at 10:33

Wednesday, Apr 07, 2010 at 10:33
I have a mixed feeling about this but I am trying to remain positive. My understanding is that with a global problem around an aging population that will severely impact on available workforce numbers we will need as many workers we can get. To balance this out is that timing is everything because they are coming before we need them and that increases worker numbers and creates a favorable employer situation so keeping wages lower.

Being on the cusp of retirement and planning to travel (see Mf I have dragged out of OT for you) I will benefit from a strong economy that can grow with increasing numbers of workers etc but accept that they will also want to share that remote location with me (they might actually be too busy working).

What I've found out during my working life is that I was always just too late to benefit from one thing or another and I don't want that to happen to my retirement. So anything to make that happen sounds OK to me.

Not being an economist makes my economic rationalism sound pretty good but I'm sure that there are 99 other real economists on this forum that will disagree with my assesment and not that they'll be able to agree with each other either.

Kind regards
AnswerID: 411927

Reply By: Rob! - Wednesday, Apr 07, 2010 at 11:29

Wednesday, Apr 07, 2010 at 11:29
I smell an election.

If this issue was seriously about a growing population then part of that discussion would revolve around withdrawing the baby bonus. But it won't.

Australia accepts over 300 000 migrants a year. A large majority come from the UK and New Zealand. Over the last 30 years about 25 000 immigrants have come by boat. That's about 800 (or 2.5%) a year.

I'll bet that the majority of the discussion before the election will revolve around that 2.5% that arrive by boat, which makes almost no difference to our population.

The reason this issue exists is because the swinging voters in the outer suburbs are emotional about it, and swinging voters often decide elections.

AnswerID: 411932

Follow Up By: Fatso - Thursday, Apr 08, 2010 at 10:33

Thursday, Apr 08, 2010 at 10:33
You hit the nail on the head Rob
It is not realy an issue that is confronting Australia.
It is only political debate
A couple of years back the debate was about a slowing population growth & how detrimental that was going to be for Australia.
Nobody needs to panic. These things need to cycle to keep politics alive & people employed.
As for remote travel. The same scenario has always been talked about. Probably the greatest fear is the fear of change & we have all made some changes to remote Australia.
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Reply By: Mr Pointyhead - Wednesday, Apr 07, 2010 at 13:15

Wednesday, Apr 07, 2010 at 13:15
It would be nice if the government would commit to a real environmental impact study on increasing the population of Australia.

Unfortunately the existing model used by treasury to encourage the "Big" Australia policy have some fundamental flaws, such as not taking into account limited natural resources such as fresh water and land suitable for farming for food production (Info source is friends involved in environmental modeling).

Hopefully then we could have an informed debate on the topic.
AnswerID: 411945

Follow Up By: Fatso - Thursday, Apr 08, 2010 at 10:45

Thursday, Apr 08, 2010 at 10:45
Currently in Australia 3% of rainfall finds its way into a man-made catchment system.
Of that 80% escapes through natural & downstream flows.
Of the remaining, 60% is used by industry & agriculture & 40% is used by suburbia.
So the general population use 40% of 20% of 3%.
So that is about .0024% of the rain that falls on Australia actually gets used by households.
I think there is a little bit to spare.
It just requires the political will
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Follow Up By: Mr Pointyhead - Thursday, Apr 08, 2010 at 14:56

Thursday, Apr 08, 2010 at 14:56
What is your reference for the information you quoted ?

How would the extra flows be captured ?

Are the extra flows in the areas that need the water ? If not can the water be move efficiently to the areas that need it ? Could we capture the water in the North West and pump it to the south east ?

What is the environmental and soci-economic impact of diverting the downstream flows ?

Can the water be stored until it is needed ?

These are the sorts of questions that need to be answered before final decisions are made on what population Australia can support. The decisions should be made based on scientific facts, not political, religious or economic rhetoric.

We have seen to many disaster occur in Australia in the past due to ill-informed short-sighted decisions. For example, the current problems in the Murray darling catchment due to over allocation of water resources and inappropriate agricultural methods for arid zones.

I honestly do not know the answer to these sorts of questions and I am sure that the people currently pushing for a large population do not.

It may turn out that Australia can sustainable support a much larger population or it may not. We just need to know the truth before we pass the point of no return.

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Follow Up By: Fatso - Thursday, Apr 08, 2010 at 18:14

Thursday, Apr 08, 2010 at 18:14
Well I certainly didn't get it out of the Courier Mail. The mathematical calculations would turn too many of their readers off.
I think it was a debate between the head of one of the farmers representative groups & some pollie leading into one of our recent elections. I think federal.
I think why I remember those figures is because the farmer bloke repeated them a few times & the pollie never challenged their credibility.
Oh it was the ABC radio as well.
About the land issue & the little space we have. A nouvo-riche cousin of mine from Melbourne said cremations are the go for funerals in Melbourne. I asked why & was told it was because we were running out of land.
How could a highly educated wealthy woman of 45 come to that conclusion?
It was being debated by politicians & was in the paper.
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Reply By: Member - Mfewster(SA) - Thursday, Apr 08, 2010 at 08:31

Thursday, Apr 08, 2010 at 08:31
G'day everyone, we are back. The thread was moderated and removed, however I discussed it with the mod squad and they relented. Probably we are too far back in the posts now for the topic to be noticed and therefore probably wont generate many more views.
I agree with what those who have responded so far say. Yep, I reckon Rob is right when he thinks he smells an election coming, but it does indicate that the topic is touching a public nerve.
Have to sympathize with Beatit. Economic systems don't have to be built on growth, but ours is. It will take an enormous rethink of how investment works to change this. I note thatour Treasurere is very opposed to limiting population growth. The trouble is, if our population hit 40 million and we still have the same system of growth driven economics, then we have to keep growing at an even faster rate at that time to try to keep the thing ticking along. And the resources for that will come from where? It is exactly the same as chain letters. I send a letter to 10 people asking them each to send me $1 and each of tyhem sends the letter on to another 10 people who each send them $10 and this way everyone spends $1 and makes $9 profit. Why don't chain letters work? Because if you have exponential expansion and limited resources, you soon hit the limits. And with population numbers, we are hitting those limits. It will be much easier to tackle developinbg a sustainable economic system now than it will be when our population is much larger.
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Reply By: OzTroopy - Thursday, Apr 08, 2010 at 09:22

Thursday, Apr 08, 2010 at 09:22
Was a time when you could take a drive to Noccundra and see nothing but rabbits .....

Ahhhhh those were the days .... Long gone now tho ....

Most of my favourite sceluded "bush" campsites from melb to the cape are now either a suburb/industrial wasteland or full of tents & vans with doofdoof/generators/portable CD players and the rest ... and a run to the kimberley is now not much different to a run to the mall imho.

Increased population .... happens naturally unfortunately ... Its why the world is over populated. That and smart alecky scientists and their vaccines ... and the spareparts medical "profession"

Increased population due to govt immigration stupidity .... funny how when they work on how many taxpayers they want for the next year ... they seem to forget about the infrastructure / employment needed for the newies ... Or the fact that lots of newies have different views on the number of kids they will have, compared to current "australian" trends in family numbers.

16 million was a nice working population level .... The place has gone to the dogs ever since.
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