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.