We’re in the middle of a population boom the likes of which we haven’t seen since the 1950s.

We’re the gold medalist in population growth.

It started under John Howard and grew under Kevin Rudd.

No-one ever asks us whether we want more population.

Australia is conducting an unplanned social experiment that is changing our way of life.

Our growth now comes from: one third born here two-thirds immigrants.

We add almost the State of Tasmania in 12 months.

Need to build a big new city every year to keep up with this rate of growth.

We cannot keep going the way we are – it’s going to fall apart around us.

Right now we should be making decisions on population.

What advantages we can have by keeping the population at 23-24million.

It is 6 times more expensive now compared to the average wage to buy a house than when Dick Smith was a kid.

Bert Dennis property developer: Not enough land available.

If you have less buyers (if immigration stopped) the property market would collapse.

Our government’s always playing catch-up. No-one seems to think there’s any alternative to the growth treadmill.

In Parliament everyone welcomes a “big Australia” more taxpayers.

Chris Evan Immigration Minister says we’re a migrant country and we’ll continue to need more migrants.
Chris Evans was asked:
“Is there a limit to the number of people we can feed?”
He replied: “Well that’s more a question for the Minister of Agriculture.”

It’s obvious there’s no plan. The Minister for Immigration obviously has no plan n idea of the number of people Australia can sustain.

Tony Abbott too – want to throw our doors open to more migrants.

Even Bob Brown quiet on it for fear of offending interest groups.

Q. Why aren’t the people of Australia insisting the question of population be raised?

Politicians don’t want debate on population – it raises too many difficult questions about fertility and immigration.

The elephant in the room – population.

Labor back bencher Kelvin Thompson is the only politician with the guts to speak out.

Dick smith has become a Kelvin Thompson disciple.

It isn’t so much “a” problem as “the” problem.

Dick Smith recommends cutting migration to historic average levels (70000) and getting rid of the baby bonus.

Developers’ campaign donations have a lot of influence.

Harry Trigaboff – for him a big Australia is never big enough. He’d like to see 100million.

If Harry has his way we’ll be concreting over the national parks to make room.

It’s all been kept secret.

It’s got nothing to do with racism at all. Why would you want to bring people here if they weren’t going to have a good life?

Demographer Bernard Salt – no-one does more boosting for a big Australia than him. He’s a partner for the multi-national consulting firm KPMG; he’s a historian not a demographer. Bernard Salt is the one always warning us that we need new immigrants to fund the retirement expectations of baby boomers.

Increased immigration is not the way to manage retirement.

Aging is an exaggerated problem. Pensions are means tested flat rate and not a lot of money.

Much better to face it than to take all the extra costs of bringing in new people.

Economists don’t value the contribution of oldies. The treat oldies as a problem. If we’re really so worried then we can do a whole lot more to encourage oldies to contribute their wisdom and effort.

Employers write off people in their 60s.

Let’s not have all this huge 36million. Let’s have a plan.

What I’m concerned about is my children and grandchildren.

Australia has always had a ‘populate or perish’fear.

Peter Cosgrove former Chief of Defence Forces says: We need to be absolutely smart about the way we do (defence). Diplomcy first. It doesn’t depend on numbers. It needs the Defence force to be absolutely smart.

Sure we have the physical space but what would be the gain?

What would we have to give up?

There is trench warfare from one Council to another. The State Government is desperate to squeeze in more people and is taking planning control away from local councils.

‘Not in my backyard’ but what if it happened to you?

There are heaps more units going in but not much infratructure upgrade.

Developers will get what they want. The Neighbouring Lands Act ensures that.

Shouldn’t you be asked to submit an environmental plan?

Our PM (Kevin Rudd) didn’t go to the electorate saying “I”m going to have record immigration.” (but he had it).

We love NOT having a lot of people.

We are knocking houses with backyards down. Very unAustralian.

Crime rate goes up. Health goes down.

Too many people crammed in dirty crowded cities.

The country wants to have a say in it.

Dick Smith: I can’t believe it that our PM (Kevin Rudd) is saying “He doesn’t have a view on it” (going to 36million). Well maybe we Australians can give him a view on it.

National or global approach? We’ve got too many people on this world.

Australia can’t simply ignore the rest of the world on population.

Lindsay Tanner scoffed at the argument that Australia is already overpopulated. “We’d be laughed at.”

Has Lindsay Tanner ever been to Bangladesh? Is he arguing Australia has to look like Bangladesh before we have a say on population? Very poor slum? 250000 people per square kilometer slum?

Bangladesh has made heroic efforts to curb population growth. Australia is growing faster than Bangladesh.

In Bangladesh there is not enough water. Water table is dropping 3 metres per year. No way it can recharge.

In Bangladesh the best health staff leave to go to Canada Australia. 2780 nurses and 3085 doctors from the world’s poorest countries have come to Australia.

This is immoral.

Disincentive to train Australians because it’s cheaper to bring in skilled immigrants.

Four million Australians are functionally illiterate who could be skilled and trained. It is a national disgrace.

We have enough people here if we skilled and trained them.

Big business and the government throw away so many local people.

Heather Riddout is a supporter of big immigration but she is on the Board of Skills Australia.

Seven million Australians don’t have basic literacy between 18 and 64.

Bob Carr Former NSW Premier.

Bring in 1 skilled migrant and they bring their whole family who demand services and training.

The mess over training is just one example of how no-one’s joining up the dots.

It doesn’t get any dumber than climate change.

Wind turbines to power Sydney’s desalination plant so Sydney can cope with huge population growth.

PM calling on us to cut greenhouse emissions. No way can we do it with population growing the way it is.

We can’t possibly reduce human-induced carbon emissions while doubling our population.

If global warming is caused by humans we have to look t the human side.

1850 was when cheap fossil fuels cam in and human population started to rise sharply.

Australia is no land of plenty any more. We are importing more and more of our food. There simply isn’t enough water to go around. We’ve been hard hit by drought. With the Murray running dry small irrigators are being paid to bulldoze the trees. $200000 to stop growing food because of water shortages. We need the food but we haven’t go the water.

You can’t suddenly generate water. This is an arid country.

We’ve been supplying food to the rest of the world. We won’t be able to supply that food. I wonder if we’re going to have enough food for ourselves.

Australia’s first Minister for Sustainable Population is given 12 months to come up with Australia’s first population strategy. He should be called the Minister for Population Growth because everything he talks about is 36 million.

Scientists say 30% chance my granddaughter won’t have enough food to eat by the end of the century.

Let’s see if our farmers agree with Lindsay Tanner?

Prime farm land is going to developers.

Hawkesbury district last farmland in Sydney basin. If the land is gone its gone forever.

We’ve sacrificed nearly all our good country (reliable rainfalls good soils) to non-agricultural purposes. We’re running out of soil fertiliser water and we’ve got climate change. The soil is degraded and fertiliser prices are going up.

Dick Smith is going to spend the rest of his life trying to get a proper policy on population for the world and Australia.

95% of Australians want this issue discussed.

Julia Gillard has not committed to a lesser number – she’s just said let’s not talk about the big scary number.

Q&A let by Tony Jones.
Panel: Scott Morrison Shadow Immigration Minister; Suvendrini Perera migrant woman at Curtin University; Bob Brown The Greens; John Elliott big business; Tony Burke Minister for Sustainable Population and Agriculture.

The god of capitalism is growth. It’s a false god. We have to have stabilized use of resources.

3rd Intergenerational Report shook the debate up.

We have for decades only looked at the employment part of the skilled migration issue.

In a dry arid continent we need to think of the ecological issues.

Already 30% over the ecological footprint the planet can sustain.
Global population is Dick Smith’s lifetime has gone from 2.7billion to 7billion now (going to 11billion). Needs 2 planets to support us now. The global population might peak at 40% more people than now.

It is a frightening problem but we all share it. We really have to take this seriously.

John Elliott: We’ve got the train and educate our people who live in the country today.

Tim Flannery: Education of women limits family size. Be very proactive in limiting global population growth. Bringing in people here in an unsustainable way doesn’t help anyone.

Tony Shepherd Chair Transfeld Services: The big end of town (business) wants to dictate who comes here.

Measure up with Sweden Netherlands Norway in aid to educate.

We need a public debate in which the public is involved.

Australia has to look after it’s own national interest.

Tim Flannery: Proposed a “Reserve Bank” type approach totall independent of government to set targets and provide feedback based on all the facts. We’ve lost our way. We want the growth but we don’t want to pay for it.

We have to boost our training here in Australia. Training here in Australia is much smarter.

Australians want the government to take responsibility for population policy.

We need a resource-base for the Minister for Sustainability. Needs a department to advise him

We have a Ponzi Scheme where the people at the top live on the people at the bottom of the pyramid.

The more people we bring in the more we have to pay for.

No formula to set population. We need a host of signals.

One third of Bangladesh’s income is remittance payments from Bangladeshis living overseas. Tanveer Ahmed from Bangladesh said his migrant father sustains a family of 40 people in Bangladesh.

Nothing in nature keeps growing. We need a policy based on stabilisation.

Need to think of consumption too.

The whole essence of sustainability is “I don’t deny a quality of life to my children that I enjoyed.”

Get population growth under control. Change the basis for measuring what makes a good life.

Track our carbon footprint.

Our new homes are now 80 square metres/house occupant. The biggest new homes in the world.

We’ve got to take stock of the food-productive land wastage going to housing developers and to coal and coal-seam gas mining.

We still export 60% of the food we grow.

Mayor of Mt Gambier Steve Perryman wants critical population mass in his town.

Different stories in different parts of Australia.

For the first time the market is pushing decentralisation (mining retirees national broadband network).

Quality of life in Sydney Melbourne Brisbane – everyone goes to cities.

Regional settlement- none is happening anytime soon.
Nine our of ten new immigrants move to major centres.

Managing immigration intake is the key to managing population.

We had stronger policies in 947 about where migrants could go and work and live.

Overcoming the tyranny of distance is one of the most powerful things a national broadband network does. Regionalisation has a new opportunity.

Wealthy business just don’t get it. Constant growth is using resource up at a rate that is just not possible.