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Kelvin Thomson: Australia's rapid population growth disastrous for cities

New projections released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics have revised upwards the growth estimates that triggered the Big Australia debate in 2009 and 2010. At that time it was estimated that Australia was heading for 35 or 36 million by 2050. Now according to the ABS central projection we are tracking for 37.5 million by 2050, and possibly 70 million by 2100.

This growth will be overwhelmingly in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane. Melbourne is set to double by 2060, to 8.5 million, and Perth and Brisbane are also set to double. Sydney will increase by 80%.

This increase will be disastrous for these cities. It will drive traffic congestion and gridlock, high rise and the loss of public open space, a widening gap between rich and poor and social inequality. It will fuel housing unaffordability and job insecurity for our young people.

It makes a farce of the view that population growth in Australia is about populating our regional and remote areas

14 million of the extra 18 million people projected for 2060 will move into just 4 cities.

The latest upward lift is a consequence of net overseas migration rising yet again. The Bureau of Statistics is now using a net annual migration figure of 240,000 per year, more than double the numbers just 10 years ago. Migration is now the source of 2/3 of our population growth.

To challenge the view that rapid population growth is a good thing, I am setting up a non-government organisation called Victoria First.

Its first meeting will be:
• Sunday, December 1st, 10am- 12 noon
• Flemington Community Centre, 25 Mt Alexander Rd, Flemington

From a Press Release by Kelvin Thomson, 27 November 2013.
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While our economic model of perpetual and endless growth relishes on a growing population, it has little regard or ways of implementing the resultant huge domestic population! It's about enjoying the moment, ignoring the end result. Since parliamentary periods in government are short, they can simply celebrate the growth and leave the fall-outs to the next generation and next governments.

There are few politicians with any real vision. It's easy to concentrate of growth figures, GDP, and other objective and empirical data. There are many facets they should be considering, but they are under the wing of big businesses, drives to global markets and a huge number of consumers for profits.

Large numbers of Chinese investors are vying our real estate, and buying apartments off the plan. Chinese migrants are helping friends and family in China to skirt Australia's foreign investment rules by purchasing established homes on their behalf, agents have told News Corp newspapers. They're marketing them in Hong Kong, Singapore and China and Australians not even getting a look-in.

Globalisation and over-population are all about huge markets and buyers. It's a smorgasbord of opportunities for huge corporations, and nations with the buying power to overwhelm Australia - and our concerns. Government are increasingly being hijacked by big, international dollars.