According to the latest Intergenerational Report, Australia's population will balloon by a staggering 65 percent to 35 million in just 40 years' time, up from around 21.5 million people at present. This projected increase is around 7 million more than previously forecast and will be driven primarily by immigration.
Already, Australia is struggling to cope with the environmental and social effects of rapid, immigration-driven population growth. A decade of high immigration under both the Howard and Rudd governments has had a major impact on a variety of quality-of-life issues ranging from housing costs, infrastructure overload and traffic congestion to environmental quality, water shortages and social cohesion.
A lone voice of reason in the lower house, federal ALP backbencher Kelvin Thomson says the projected population explosion will have a "catastrophic" effect on the environment and has called for immigration levels to be reduced.
"We are sleepwalking into an environmental disaster," Thomson said. "There will be impact on the availability of food, water, energy and land. These things are already stretched and a 60 per cent population increase will only drive up the cost of these essentials and lower our living standards."
"And what about the impact on our major cities? Declining housing affordability, traffic congestion, over-crowded concrete jungles."
Yet, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is purported to have said that Australia's projected population explosion is "great" news.
It may be great news for the parasitic "growth lobby" which profits from both the cheap labour and additional consumer demand supplied by immigration, but it is far from good news for the rest of us who are forced to carry the costs. In fact, it's a living nightmare.
"How the growth lobby threatens Australia's future", January 24 2009.
"Australia 'sleepwalking' into population disaster", ABC News, September 18, 2009.
"Population boom 'a recipe for tragedy'", The Australian, September 18, 2009.