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Thread: Back to the Future - ABC Population Debate

  1. #1

    Default Back to the Future - ABC Population Debate

    I don't know if you caught this (Population Debate) on the ABC but Dick Smith is lobbying hard for a significant reduction in population growth for Australia. Now being about his age I can't help but agree that a smaller population is probably better for quality of life issues (highlighted to me yet again on my return to Sydney from Innamincka - talk about culture shock). But sadly Mr Smith is an annacronism (sp) as I am, in that he longs for a return to the past when things were less crowded, the air was cleaner, and you could get a seat on the train; this is certainly not the future of the rest of the world. If Australia can embrace the vision of becoming an 'anti-development' oasis then prehaps it can carve out a unique place in the world as a sort of 'environmental Disneyland' theme park that the rest of the world can come and visit to see how things used to be. I'd be happy in that world but I'm not sure the aspirations of the younger generation (and migrants) could be met by going 'back to the future'.

    Being old improves your vision, but only in the rear view mirror.

  2. #2
    Club General Committee Dave's Avatar
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    Mar 2006


    This is a really good discussion point, and I kind of agree with Dick. When we went out to "the centre" last month, we were there in a really unusual time. It was wet. Any visitor to the country would think we could have farmed the whole area. One of the things that Dick was saying was that 'normally' we only have just enough water (if that) to support our current agriculture / population, and that the Gov't has been paying farmers to bulldoze crops in some cases to reduce need for irrigation. Instead we import food like ctirus etc, cheaper than we can produce it. What is our countries carrying capacity? At one point, Dr Tim Flannery (the Future eaters etc) said that we do not know how many humans Australia can support. Others in response to him say maybe 25 million...

    I don't know about returning to the past or anti development, but over population could mean harder times, less food, lower standard of living, which sounds like going backwards further than anyone would want to, and that sounds bad to me. Can I be an annachronism too?

  3. #3


    Strongly support reduced population debate.
    Australia does NOT need a large population to have a strong ecconomy.
    Then there's the infrastructure and ability to house, feed, transport, etc all those extra people.
    At what point do we say we have enough people in Australia and especially in the major cities which really are already struggling.
    Should Sydney have a population of 6 million, 10 million, 20 million, 50 million etc....I'd like to know how many people before we have to simply say no more......personally I think we should be looking at it now for our long term future....
    Just because the worlds population is spiralling upwards at a geometric rate doesn't mean we should be looking to replicated it....
    Infact heard an interesting statistic the other day - Claiming that there are more people alive RIGHT NOW than have EVER died.....ponder that.....



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