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ABS Statistics tell a story Government must address

This article takes a quick look at some of Australia's sources of revenue and the costs of supporting our growing population. The numbers are frightening.

The mining industry:

  • Coal generated ballpark $47.9 billion in export income in 2011-2012
  • This was roughly 15% of total export earnings that year
  • 5 year trend growth in the coal industry to 2011-2012 was a whopping 16.3%
  • This trend growth in coal means production is currently doubling roughly every 20 years. The same applies for Natural Gas (roughly 4% of export earnings in 2011-2012). Iron ore production and export income (roughly 20% of export earnings) is doubling about every 10 years and grew over 30% in the last five years
  • Yet despite this massive, unsustainable(?), escalation of mineral exports, Government debt is also escalating
  • It is clear that something is wrong
  • Australia's population has grown by 3.5 million (a whopping 18%) in just a decade. These extra people demanded $56 billion in additional expenditure from the budget in 2011-2012 (Ref: pro-rated annual budget expenditure divided by number of people in 2011-2012)
  • The per capita cost of this budget expenditure has been growing at a compound annual rate of over 6% for the last decade while GDP per capita has been growing at under 1% per annum
  • The coal industry generates approx. $4 to $6 billion in annual tax revenues. Imagine this entire industry generating only 10% of the revenue required to support 3.5 million people who didn't even exist (in Australia) a decade ago
  • The workforce both directly and indirectly employed in the coal industry is ballpark 140,000; or only about 1% of the Australian workforce
  • The total agriculture, forestry, fishing and mining workforce is only about 5% of the Australian workforce; which is less than the number of unemployed people. This small workforce generates over 40% of total export income

The Government has 5 year trend growth in debt of $39 billion annually. This is over 10% of annual taxation revenue.

What can we conclude from this brief, simple snapshot of information about export earnings, population growth and the structure of Australia's economy? If you ask an Economist you'll probably be told that we need to grow faster! Grow what faster?

This data is telling us that "Australia requires a public inquiry to determine a basis for the optimum rate of population growth". There is no evidence in the public domain confirming that Government is dealing with this issue coherently. Population growth is clearly a driving force behind the growing annual Government Budget and the dilution of GDP growth amongst ever more people.

The trend growths in Budget per capita and GDP per capita; if maintained for the next 25 years as they have been for the last 10; would grow annual Budget expenditure to roughly the same size as GDP. This will presumably turn Australia into an economic basket case.

It is clear that population growth may be costing more than it generates in GDP growth; and also causes significant negative social, environmental and infrastructure inadequacy outcomes that Government does not quantify in the annual Budget.

Please review and consider signing this petition and forwarding it to as many people as possible: Australia requires a public inquiry to determine a basis for the optimum rate of population growth

Thank you. See the attachments for more disturbing statistics.


After decades of economic growth, debts are accumulating and austerity measures are being distributed onto the public. Australian economy has performed remarkably well over the last two decades, as we've been told. However, why are there cut backs all the time, especially to health?
Prime Minister Tony Abbot was giving a speech to the Australian-Canada Economic Leadership Forum in Melbourne, hinting at just this – as summarised bluntly by Christopher Pyne, Minister for Education:

"[The Prime Minister] said that the current growth in education and health expenditure was unsustainable, and that is true."

Australia: an economic ‘star’, but are we happier?

What's Tony Abbot's vision for economic growth? If vital spending such as education and healthy are being trimmed, and declared unsustainable, then why is our economy intricately linked to the housing and property markets, and population growth? Surely the purpose of our economy basically, is to serve us, and provide for the basics such as education and health, and high living standards. Instead, we've become slaves to it, and it's being forced to "grow" to our detriment.

A "surplus" is what is aimed for, but at the cost of how many cutbacks? Considering we have the highest unemployment rate since 2003, along with an increase in those registering as “long-term” unemployed, up 13.5% since January 2013, and more part time jobs being created than full time, surely we have over-shot our economy with regards to population size that can be employed and accommodated.

At present trends, each generation will be worse off, and our descendent will be sacrificed on the altar of "economic growth". There will be more people living outside participating in the economy, and less home ownership.

The housing boom can't be maintained, and it must implode through infrastructure debt, costs of living, and unaffordable mortgages.

Our economy has become, due to it's inherited basis, a big Ponzi scheme, heavily based on rising new taxes from population growth, and revenue for land subdivision and housing. The promised "prosperity" is not being produced, for the majority. Yet, we are trapped in this juggernaut of growth, debt, spending, importation of more people (taxpayers and buyers) and it becomes an addiction cycle.

The total minerals and agriculture workforce is only about 5% of the Australian workforce; which is less than the number of unemployed people.

The big mining boom was meant to be a platform for "big Australia" and great economic growth. However, all the empirical evidence is otherwise.

A youth jobs crisis is threatening to expand across Melbourne after the biggest rise in the unemployment rate - in the eastern suburbs instead of the struggling west. It's a spreading threat, and a symptom of population overshooting our economy. It's not only in Melbourne, but across our country.

There has been a shrinking of labour-intensive workforces and a shift by employers from being skill developers to skill buyers. Importing skills from overseas is a quick fix, instead of having to train locals. In the face of an ageing population, there is little doubt that a continued high rate of youth unemployment will adversely add a heavy burden on tax payers and welfare.

Compliant temporary workers from overseas are more likely to be an attractive option for big businesses as they lower wages and conditions, and they are willing to get sponsored for PR.

Our government is obsessed by high rates of GDP, increased by a continual injection of people from overseas. There's no correlation between grass-roots lobbying, the real world of struggling in the face of excessive numbers of skilled workers who are unemployed, and population overshoot.

The "skills shortages" being advertised across the world is looking more of a lie and based on pure political spin with no basis in reality. Our educational institutions are failing to address educational requirements of our country, and instead have become degree factories, and part of the immigration program to lure people here for a "better life".