Click here for ‘Lies, Fibs, Mistakes and Delusions’ by Dick Smith


4 September 2017
By Dick Smith for Dick Smith Fair Go

In this section we will cover some of the misreporting – mostly by simple human error I hope but sometimes by intention.

For example, an article in the Fairfax Leeton newspaper (The Irrigator) written by Talia Pattison makes the following statement:

“Dick Smith’s controversial campaign to ban immigration in Australia has been met with anger by one Leeton group.”

I have never had a campaign to ban immigration in Australia. I have always been pro-immigration, but at the right levels.  I recognise that Australia is what it is today because of the extraordinary people who have come here in the last 200 years, coupled with the great resilience from the Aboriginal Australians who have lived here for over 60,000 years.  They had some brains.  They never had more than 1 million people, so they did not destroy the habitat that they lived in.

I rang Talia Pattison and asked why she was writing lies, and she told me that she had only glanced at my Fair Go Manifesto.  I then spoke to her editor, who was defensive, and shortly after produced an opinion piece entitled, “Misunderstanding Dick Smith’s immigration stance is not just the fault of the messenger” blaming me for his journalist’s incorrect statement with the following text:

“Smith’s poorly constructed campaign and resulting drastically differing public opinion proves it’s now more important than ever to make messages clear, precise, and idiot proof.”

Have a look at the original article and his opinion piece. By the way, the poll which the editor undertook ‘Do you agree or disagree with Dick Smith’s immigration campaign’, the vote for ‘Agree, It’s what’s best for our country’ received 82.76% of the vote, while ‘Disagree, the more immigrants the better’ received 16.09% of the vote.

Robyn Tabreet who is quoted and says I should come down from my “ivory tower” it appears had never seen my Fair Go document and was relying on erroneous information from the journalist at The Irrigator.  This misinformation ended up with an article Leeton Multicultural Group opposes Dick Smith’s controversial immigration campaign.”

One of the comments by Robyn Tabrett is as follows:

“She said Mr Smith didn’t realise how important immigrants were to Australia.”

In fact, as stated above, I do realise how important immigrants have been to Australia. However I’m sure Mrs Tabrett wouldn’t agree that we should have endless immigration numbers coming here.  Note that Mrs Tabrett makes the following statement:

“Obviously we can’t be taking in all refugees…”

With robotics and automation there is a good chance we wouldn’t be able to provide proper jobs and careers for an endless supply of immigrants, and after two or three generations of not being able to get a job, people get awfully angry.  You don’t need crazy religious beliefs to generate terrorism under those circumstances – it is just the unfairness of the resultant situation.

See the article here.

In the New Daily article ‘Dick Smith’s anti-immigration message has the potential to damage the economy’journalist Rob Burgess claims:

“Dick Smith launched another anti-immigration campaign this week.”

That’s a lie. My campaign is not anti-immigration.  I support immigration at 70,000 per year, which is our long-term average, is indeed very high per head of population by developed country standards.

This will allow a healthy family reunion program and also the entry of skilled workers that for some reason we don’t appear to be able to train here.

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30 Comments

  • While we vote on “important” issues such as gay marriage,
    what is the government doing for over 50’s unemployment ?

    If they were more strict on 457 visas and the myriad of other xxx visas
    you’ll find alot of jobs there that over 50’s could do, even people
    who were once skilled in professions but can’t find jobs, but need a job, any job.

    This would also take the burden away from social security and the dole.
    This also affects the population issue, because population doesn’t just include citizens
    but the xxx amount of foreign workers who live in this country as well. They all put a strain
    on the system.

    It makes no sense why unskilled labour is being hired (oh that’s right for larger profit margins)
    when there are many many unemployed youths and over 50’s .

    This should be the pressing issue , not gay marriage. I think the politicians have their priorities somehow …

    Also for people that say slowing immigration will be bad for the economy , its a global world now.
    More migrants isn’t necessary because you have tourism. In fact if you have workers from foreign countries
    here, all they’re going to do is take jbs from aussies, and send the money back to their home country.

    But surely, what’s good for the economy is for the money to stay WITHIN the country, that means a 90%
    local hiring policy. They should only hire foreigners for skilled labour. For unskilled labour it should
    always be locals first. It’s all about profits though. thats why you hvae CEOS paying themselves
    ridiculous amounts, then claiming labour costs are too high that’s why they have to outsouce the work
    to foreign countries or hire 457’s. Hire locals, and stop paying ridiculous amounts to CEO’s
    then the company will remain profitable.

    Dick used to say BUY AUSTRALIAN. Now it should also be HIRE LOCAL.

    hire more locals, reduce foreign workers (except for skilled labour), increase tourism (that brings money in)

  • vote about gay marriage? who cares
    how about a vote on foreign investment particularly from china ?
    how about a vote about overpopulation ?
    gay marriage ? who gives a @#

    • Lots of people – so it’s a classic case of misdirection, the more we argue about it, the less they have to worry about other issues such as those you mention.

    • How can our politicians sell our land/country to foreign investors that don’t contribute in any way to our society excepting some financial hoops the government has enforced for yet more tax revenue.
      If I went to China and tried to buy land for me and a group of my investors I would be chased out of the city. I fact It wouldn’t be allowed it’s illegal.
      I would like to know a list of other countries that sell there land to non citizens.
      Remembering to we sold Darwin port to China ,we signed a fifty year lease on Melbourne’s port to China to pay for railway crossing upgrades. Daniel Andrews looks like a hero but we have lost control of Melbourne’s ports pricing for Half a century. I will be dead by the time that contract expires.
      What happens when all these minority’s become the majority. I don’t see any European background Anglo immigrants being welcomed to this country only everyone else.
      In England now the three cities London .Burmhingham,Lester have a minority white English population. Doesn’t that Shock you!
      Australia will end up the same, by design.
      We are an island nation we can protect our borders yet we welcome over 200000 economic (economic migrants often have money and once established here often get given money from there families) each year and the numbers are probably downplayed.
      Thanks Dick for bring this to peoples attention or attempting to but your fighting the hole system!
      Ask Daniel Andrews and Malcolm Turnbull what our population targets are eg if they ( our government) want Melbourne to have a population of 7million by 2020 what should they improve and plan for with regards to our infrastructure to prepare for the Needs of this larger population,our roads and rail are already delipadating ,crowded and slow.
      But unlike you Dick they won’t talk figures, they just keep talking immigration,multiculturalism and reminfding us that Melbourne is the worlds most lovable city…………?and the sports capital of the world. What a joke our western styled civilisation is going to hell!

  • Hi Dick,

    Great job and we should all be thankful of a great Australian. Although it looks like the message has not sunken in, the desperate twisting and obfuscation by politicians and media tells me a seed has been planted. The ponzi scheme of huge levels of immigration is a drug and we are all addicted, and most are aware of the side effects. The fear that the whole show (jobs & growth) will fall apart is set deep in our collective sub-conscience (mostly in the form of over valued homes). All great messages take time to crystallize.

    • We’re not all addicted, but we have it forced on us even if we’re not. About time we were TREATED as individuals instead of lip service being paid only.

  • Smarter Australia

    hi Dick

    sometimes I wonder whether the immigration thing is overrated.
    I mean the reason why there are so many people in Oz could be
    also due to tourism and various working visas, students etc
    Recently in the news some European country complained there were too many tourists.
    also with cheap flights by airlines like airasia would also increase the number
    of asians here.

    anyway that’s where we have to be smarter.
    1) make sure oz businesses are benefitting not just foreign businesses
    2) maybe some tourism tax ? or something or make visas a bit more expensive.
    i mean if you want to attract rich tourists who will spend, the visa expense
    would be nothin to them.

    just thinking , looking around with so many people around, it doesn’t mean they
    are all migrants. so many flights are coming in from asia and the world. they could be all tourists.

    so the key then is how to benefit from these tourists.
    even if you solved the immigraiton thing there might stil be too many people here
    1. tourists (daily flights from asia and the world )
    2. students
    3. 457 workers.

    i think the big one is 457 workers though. they hvae no committment to australia.
    only big business benefits.
    with migrants, at least they are hopefully committed to australia so they are fine.

    also maybe develop more of inner australia spread out the migrants
    build some massive project in the inner areas of australia.
    a train line, housing , maybe make some IT park or something

    • I would expect the comments about migrants are taken from official figures, not just looking around the streets!

      I don’t believe Australia deserves tourists, it treats them so badly – yet for all the money-grubbers, they’re a good source of ongoing income – don’t further punish them by making them pay for visas!

      Also try reading some of the info about the NAIF not only trying to fund Adani, but also the northern rail project now. I know Gina Rinehart is in favour of it, it will reduce her mining costs from $17/ton to $3-4 a ton – but she doesn’t want to pay for it, the government will do that for her! Why don’t you travel to Central Australia and see what some people do to the infrastructure provided to them – the dead cars just left at the side of the road, the houses burned out, the political elders keeping funds designed for all reservation residents…

  • first, Mrs Tabretts reply to dicks message has the same old well worn lie in it. we wont do any of the jobs immigrants are doing. what a lot of rot. the jobs of this type are held back from our workforce, if you are silly enough to ring to apply for backpacker jobs you will be meet with a complete lack of interest, this is because they don’t want you, don’t matter who you are. they want backpackers. their great, you can massively under pay them, abuse and misuse them, employ them through fly by nite employment firms so that when the shit hits the fan, you can say its not my fault whey were only getting 5 bucks a hour. remember the a.b.c show on the largest chicken packing factory in aust that, it was found was using Koran backpackers , the girls were urinating at there work stations as they weren’t allowed a rest break, forget about health and safety or working to any type of award conditions. some or all were sleeping in seatainers around the back, when confronted about all this, the company’s answer was -oh you will have to talk to their labour hire company we pay them for staff so that their problem. I do so hope those employers are in jail now ,were they belong. we get the same type of use and abuse of backpacker up here in Innisfail/ Tully region. I saw I add in the paper here a couple of years ago for female backpacker farmhands, required for the tablelands area, it was for no money just food and accommodation, and wait for it , the add finished with must be friendly and willing to have after work drinks with the owners. the way backpackers are ripped off and abused up here , well its a art form. I believe no backpacker should be aloud to work in any country, other then their own, and hell, not here as we are far to good at ripping them off. and that is why farmers / processing plants etc. all preach the same old line, no Australian will do this work. why would they want you, when they can rip off the poor old backpacker, hey its money for jam. as for the rest of the comments from the men and woman in articles about dick adds and theory’s, their just not worth talking about. perhaps we need to bring in a law in this land, that to listen to, or taking advise from, economists is a criminal offence. I am going to use the word land instead of country from now on, when talking about Australia,. I hope many will do the same, so people will see its not just a bunch of jobs, houses , city’s and banks and billionaires. its a land and were standing on it. the better we treat it the richer we all will be. and first cab off the rank in looking after your land is not to overpopulate it, ask any farmer. oh don’t bother asking a polly or economist but, cause they still think you can put as many stock as you like on your land/farm. its all good. it all makes perfect sense, they will bleat in perfect unison. and besides with out more stock on the place how could we ever pay the bill for all those f35 fighter jets those nice yanks sold us, they might not fly to good if at all , but don’t they look greeaattt. oh than there’s the new subs, how can we pay for that, hummmm lets sell off some more of the farm. hell I am Shure the stock can crowd a little closer to gather. see its all rite, all makes perfect sense. now on to more important stuff, how to keep labour out of office and us in, cause god knows, if I lose this government gig I couldn’t get any other job, their all being set aside for immigrants and backpackers you get the government you deserve, I have heard that said , but what taboo did we break, to get this 3 ring circus. I have all ways being a labour voter, seemed the go, and with the libs trying to give 50 billion to the millionaires and billionaires their masters, I think I was on the right track. but no more, now I want dick smith for dictator, 5 year term. if dick cannot sort out all this madness, no one else I know can. so come on lets start a movement . now were is that copy of Alice’s restaurant hummmmm.

    • I watched – Australian Story was it? – about the murdered backpacker in Ayr. What she went through before she was killed, it was almost a mercy-killing! Australia can forget about being a First World country if they treat visitors like that! Not to mention the Childers backpacker accommo fire (probably last century by now…)

      Love the bit about listening to or taking advice from economists being a criminal offence – although I’d go a step further and make it a criminal offence – capital! – to BE an economist (or a politician come to that). We need governance or management, we do NOT need politicians! Or economists!

  • Good on you Dick,

    Australia needs a voice that has concern for the lives of everyday Australians.
    Party’s like One Nation had half of it right, except they were racist.
    Need a group that puts Australians first without turning Australia into a negative
    place without empathy. After all “a fair go for all”
    Hopefully the media can see the difference. One group is racist.
    Your group Dick is not racist, but is intelligent and wise
    and wants a fair go for all aussies. Totally different.
    One spreads hate, one just wants to make sure that Australia’s quality of life is sustained.
    One group is smart (yours) the other group isn’t smart but just hateful.
    It’s good there’s a voice like yours becaues there are many Aussies concerned about the quality of life
    in Australia who would have no choice but to vote One Nation or a group like that, even though
    those guys will lead Oz to lower levels.

    • Thing is with the smaller parties, there aren’t enough to form a government. The party to which I putatively belong didn’t have a candidate in my electorate. I see a lot of work coming from tourism and I think it’s sustainable work unlike mining. Pauline doesn’t want us to be a nation of chambermaids AND she’s one in favour of cutting pensions – so she’s got hopes of me voting for her!

      No wonder we have contributors here calling for Dick as dictator! Not that I’d wish that on him for a second, but I can see the point.

  • Totally agree with all of the above well informed comments. The same as Dick I was bought up in Sydney in a suburban block with a backyard in which my brother & I could play in.
    For my children to have the same bringing up as I had my income would need to be way above my dad’s (taking inflation into account ) & in those day’s mum never worked. She was always there when John & I got home from school.
    In the inner western suburbs of Sydney where I was bought up the homes are so expensive (if you can find them among the high rise buildings) that the mother & father would have to earn well over $100000 each to afford one & with both working.
    The new migration has forced the house prices beyond normal household affordability as the migrants have to live somewhere too.

    • i think the main ‘problem’is when globalists decided that aussies don’t own australia
      but australia is owned by them so they get to ship in cheap workers
      and everything like that. its not about australians but about big corporations
      and their profits . its hard to win since the media is owend by them too
      whatever big corporations want , thats the main thing.
      screw ordinary aussies

      • I’ve said before and I’ll keep saying, People first, profits last! I too miss the days when you could have a backyard full of neighbourhood kids (now it would take 2 kids to fit between the fence and the wall of the house, and one would probably have a knife because he didn’t feel safe – I wish that were overstating the case but it no longer seems to be).
        I thought we abolished slavery 120+ years ago but it seems not, we’re back to being slaves and can’t even see it.

  • Overpopulation and GDP as a sustainable economic matrix has been long researched and the alarm bells have been ringing from the first report. Even if you punched the figures into my long outdated but well-worn VZ-200, the figures would be alarming.

    I recall an SBS doco from some years ago about the population growth in Australia and I recall an analogy that still resonates with me today. They stated that after the second world war we were in a period of peace, new technology and freedoms that were never experienced in our history before. It was like all of Australia partied and partied and instead of the host showing the guests the door, the punch bowl was re-filled and has been re-filled ever since, now to the tune of billions of dollars in debt and an overburdened economic system.

    I stand in a long line in congratulating our living legend in pushing the issue of social reform to the fore however this what we are all up against on every social issue:-

    1. The extinction of quality journalism
    2. Ignorance and apathy (I don’t know and I don’t care)
    3. No-one likes their comforts and so-called freedom of choice restricted or abolished – just ask your local pollie
    4. Isolation – either by technology or ideology
    5. The polarization between the old-guard and the intuitive (sans pitch forks)
    6. Fear – especially of change

    Only by having a sustainable policy for the future can we place our Nation in a position to shift towards a capitalism geared towards filling the evolving needs of all beings, not just to profits for owners and shareholders. Products can be available at the lowest possible prices. This would induce deflation at a grassroots level. Automation and reduced working hours would initiate a systematic evolution toward full automation leaving people free to access all of the basic necessities of life thus freeing us up to concentrate on our own health and self improvement, especially in the spiritual sense.

    Gene Rodenberry envisioned this way back in the sixties, its about time we caught up before its too late.

    • Hear Hear on most points, Mark, especially the Death of Quality Journalism. I know full automation sounds wonderful, in practise, I don’t know. I’m sick of cleaning stuff that’s come out of the dishwasher, despite all the adverts I see about how one tablet does everything. I also question people accessing ‘all the necessities of life’ – in this backwards society we’ve been promulgating, most people have unlearned how to relax – work is NECESSARY to so many. They feel they have no meaning if they’re not working, working, working. Just see the number of people who identify themselves as their job, not as human beings. Also the number of people criticising the lazy bums who don’t work.
      I stand with you in congratulating Dick for pushing social reform, especially when I read the horrendously inaccurate responses to his calls for a reality check and social and planetary responsibility. I’m for deflation at grassroots level, but I doubt you’ll get that into the economics curriculum any time soon. I’ve been calling for more employment, less technology simply on the basis of reducing isolation, not just increasing the taxation base, for some time, but the economists keep howling me down.
      Keep telling them, Dick. I just can NOT believe that comment on “clear, precise and idiot-proof” – from a total idiot who wouldn’t understand the variety of human experience if his life depended on it!

      • Thanks Clover,
        True also about the workaholics. The problem is, as you seem well aware of, is the increasing lack of meaningful work that satisfies this need due to technological evolution. While industry is looking at more profit than employee satisfaction automation will continue at the expense of people.
        With automation now firmly planted into our culture the problem that is present is “meaningful” employment. I was once (arguably) one of Australia’s top metal machinists – I can still operate a lathe/mill/shaper in my sleep. My grandfather said I would have a job for life but did not envision free trade and technological advances at the rate we have experienced.
        In the absence of “sabot” we have no choice but to accept that lifestyle has moved along with technology. Appealing to your experience, how many of our young and upcoming generation have a “working, working, working” attitude? With owning a house out of reach for most and hard working parents satisfying the banks over themselves and their family, the “necessities of life” are becoming out of reach.
        To clarify, these necessities are shelter, food and warmth. To this, everything else like money and cars, and so on, are peripheral means to a chosen end. It is undeniable that if EVERYBODY had those three things as a RIGHT instead of a privilege that deflation would be a natural and unavoidable consequence.

        It would definitely put most of today’s economists out of a job

        • Problem in this society is defining “meaningful” work. I caught a thing about a food blogger on TV the other day – that person probably finds the promotion of trivia as meaningful – probably has 100000 followers!!! Not to mention a $100000 p.a. income. I certainly don’t consider economists as having meaningful work! Or telemarketers.

          I understand your frustration, I used to know someone who was a qualified lens grinder – we worked together in the same office… Take a look at a job website – most people seem to have jobs pushing money around, not making anything. All they sell is ideas, not actual working products (non working products is another story). If you watch commercial TV, what do you see? Ads – insurance this, insurance that, legal services including getting out of debt. Rubbish TV programs – reality my tired butt! You don’t want to go to work building roads, or decent housing, but you’ll spend HOURS in the gym (or on a home gym machine – which I am here to tell you does not build the same muscles as tossing around hay bales! Or as Dennis Lillee put it, Beautiful beach bodies do NOT make good fast bowlers.)

          I’ll add to your list – mobile phones! When the latest mobile phone is $1500 ish – or to put that in context, 6 weeks’ adult unemployment benefit. In the promotion of the consumerist society, so many people ‘have to have’ the latest phone, I heard of one person camped outside Apple for 2 days just to be first in line for the latest phone. Also of school girls performing favours in order to pay for their phones…

          I go on a lot about society but I really see little to admire. I can think of one girl I spoke to a couple of years ago who had a brilliant work ethic but was thwarted by legality on all sides. She had one job, about 12 hours a week and found another for 8 hours a week – they couldn’t afford to give her more – but couldn’t take it because legally she had to work 25 hours a week or attend school full time. She intended to finish HSC at night if she took the 2nd job to make 20 hours work a week, but not full time. This legal so-called encouragement to work actually stopped her from taking work! Putting more pressure on schools and taking in fewer tax $$ – 2nd jobs are always taxed at the higher rate. Arrant stupidity in my book, I finally find a teenager with a good work ethic, who still wants to earn education credits and they’re prevented from doing so!

          The education system of You’re nothing without a University qualification takes away the incentive to have a “good” job – your job will be studying longer and longer and working less and less. The university graduate working at McDonalds has passed into folklore – but all they do is try to force more people into longer and longer schooling instead of getting them working in the real world. (Did you know you now have to have a University Degree to perform marriage ceremonies??? Or that Australia apparently has the highest uni fees in the world? Which is probably why they want more and more people in Uni, to collect more student fees – how on Earth someone is supposed to pay said fees is ignored – except they bring down the HECS payback income lower and lower.)

          I’m trying to promote the idea of getting rid of ALL self-service machines. Just try arguing with a computer which will accept it is in the wrong even less than a pollutician! I know a lot of people don’t consider supermarket employment or petrol pump operation as “meaningful” work, but it IS necessary – just try going without food! (I put necessities as Food, Clothing and Shelter – Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs I think, but not to quibble, Food and Shelter are at the top of the list of necessities – shelter includes warmth or shade – and Money is not on the list as it is inedible, unpotable and unbreathable. I don’t know how anyone lives without a car in modern cities – I know some do but it’s out of my ken.) Also something as distasteful as rubbish collection – absolutely necessary, just try going without it. How many of my grandparents’ generation considered the nightcart’s work as “meaningful” – until he didn’t come around, then suddenly the perspective changes!

          How many people paid off mortgages, brought up families in menial labour? Millions, billions! Why is it better to put in machines which run on electricity and/or diesel and increase global warming and pollution and throw people out of work, then complain about welfare? Why do you get rid of “expensive” tram conductors and train guards, then make injured people fight for years in court to get compensation payouts which could better have been spent on safety personnel’s salaries?

          I’m beginning to think that in modern life, the only meaningful work will be artistic in nature – and that is SO subjective! The trash I see described as Art – but don’t expect me to get into an argument with an artist about that. I see van Gogh’s work going for 10s if not 100s of millions when the artist died in penury and it sickens me, but on a self-esteem level, his work filled his days and his sense of having meaning in the world, others’ opinion of his sanity notwithstanding. That is, the human being as a working entity will be obsolete, robots will do everything, and the “work” ethic will be into how many hours a day you pour into your facebook account or blog – “hard workers” will be those who spend the most time on their blogs. I think (or hope is probably a better word) that deep down people will realize this isn’t meaningful work, but that won’t help self esteem – which is also necessary as part of “life” as opposed to just existing.

          But when I see doctors who are only legalized drug pushers and wouldn’t have a healing thought in their heads (or hearts), lawyers who do everything to increase their billing hours and win tiny settlements of which they take the majority, accountants who bilk Joe Public of rightful tax $$$$$ whilst pandering to the already ultra-rich, real estate agents who care more for having people move in and out again so they can make more money and not on providing people with Homes, I can’t see formerly meaningful, or status, occupations as having any validity whatsoever.

          Did that answer your question or was I on entirely the wrong train line?

  • There are two reasons why Australia needs to cut back om immigration. Number one and a fact overlooked by the majority of the population is that seven eights of Australia is classed as semi arid and parts of which can only produce when the seasons are favourable and given the fact no one can agree on climate change one cannot what the future holds. The energy crisis due to Governments selling off of publicly owned and paid for assets and lack of future planning will have dire consequences for future generations. The only persons pushing for higher intake of immigrants are those who will benefit financially from this practice. Now if one takes a educated view of what has occurred in China one can clearly see the results. The one child policy has allowed the average Chinese a higher standard of living which no one can deny. It is fact yet the opposite is occurring here, the rich get richer and the majority are becoming poorer unable to afford decent housing or to pay for basic commodities. Those in power will continually deny China’s success. This once great country is being raped by overseas investors due to poor Government policies and I agree one hundred per cent with Dick Smith who has repeatedly asked “When does it stop?

    • Pity no one answers! Love you to point out those points to Kevin Rudd who was so into our trade links with China – would it not compliment them much more to learn from their good example???

  • how could slowing down immigration damage the economy ?
    the only reason that would happen is if there were not enough workers in australia
    but that isn’t the case
    there are plenty of unemployed in australia that want jobs, from youths to the over 50’s who can’t get work.
    australia’s labour force is under utilised so it is a lie to say slowing down immigration would slow the economy.
    there should be an immigration system based on factors including the unemployment rate.
    why bring in more workers if people within a country are having trouble finding work themselves ?
    it’s a recipe for disaster. or is that the plan ?

    • I suspect you’re right, that’s the plan. Can’t only be flawed thinking that land is land and water to pour on it to bring salinity out is unlimited…

  • Common sense clearly concludes the average long term quality of life and sustainability for all individuals (and all forms of life on our planet) must be lower the greater the global and local populations. We consume too much and we create too much waste. The more people we have the less that is available to share – quite simple really!
    The challenge is – how to transition to a sustainable long term society whilst maintaining a high living standard now.
    Australia, given its space, resources and moderate density in city populations, has more than almost any other country on the planet the opportunity to have a quality long term future for its population, but only if we begin to act – about now!
    Earlier would have been better, before we sold so much of our food or energy related businesses, that will become even more priceless in the future – as an over populated planet will demand.
    China as an example, is well ahead of the game on this front because they clearly have long term strategies and are able to implement these strategies progressively around the globe, mainly securing food, energy supplies and trade routes. We could learn from their well managed and well executed example if we wanted to !
    Unfortunately though, our political system (although good in theory with its inefficient checks and balances etc.) prohibits any serious long term strategies and planning for the country and its population.
    None of our politicians, political parties or corporations can really have and implement long term sustainable plans, relating to the well being of our population or planet. This is because short term results are mandatory to either stay elected or in business against competitors for profit, even though they too probably acknowledging (privately) we are progressively eroding our long term quality of life and sustainability.
    In this regard, without an open and honest national discussion about the future, we will continue with the promotion of growth on all fronts as all that matters whilst we are progressively selling off our ability to manage and control our own critical recourses of food and energy.
    As soon as the focus becomes long term, current governments and business leaders get kicked out for non performance, given the public and shareholders demand year on year results.
    The problem to solve is therefore convincing in parallel the public, businesses and governments to collectively agree and acknowledge the future will be nowhere as good as it could be, without a significantly different national approach.
    Good on Dick for having a go !

    • To quote my mother – who introduced me to the concept of ZPG when I was in primary school – Common Sense is a very UN-common commodity. How many people watched War on Waste? How many changed their behaviour from it?

      I can’t understand the economics of wanting a lower $ so we can sell more of our finite coal resources at lower price – increasing the rate at which we run out of said finite resource for less economic gain. So we can pay higher prices for our imports when our exports are making less income. Anyone care to explain this to me???

      I think if polluticians admit this at all, it is more along the lines of YOU are living unsustainably, YOU have to cut back, WE have nothing to do with it.

  • The population crisis is a global problem not just an Australian issue. City dwellers, especially journalists and politicians, who buy all their food from supermarkets and have never visited a farm of any kind have absolutely no idea of the destruction of the planet that is taking place to fill those supermarket shelves.
    Rainforest in Indonesia is being destroyed, and along with it the Oranutans, just to grow more food. National parks and World Heritage sites in Spain are being destroyed to grow vegetables. Government authorities know this is happening but do nothing because they value the food, and the profits, more than the wilderness. The forests of the Pyrenees in South East France have already been destroyed to farm sheep and cattle. The erosion of top soil that is now happening is soul destroying to see.
    The media talk of a water crisis. What crisis? There has never been such massive dams, there has never been so many thousands of kilometres of pipes to deliver that water to cities. There has never been such huge de-salination plants in so many countries including now Australia. No shortage of water. The crisis is a population crisis only.
    So many people are having more than two children for no better reason to tell the world that they are successful middle class people. I cannot feel anything but contempt for those parents. Channel 9 love to promote stories of families of six or even eight children. I feel disgusted when such blatantly pro Catholic stories are broadcast and have to change channel.
    We condemn people for smoking because of the damage it does to that individual but glorify those who have absurdly large families which collectively destroy the planet (every snowflake in the avalanche pleads not guilty).
    Public transport infrastructure projects are only ever a short term fix. As long as the population continues to increase those wonderful new roads and rail-lines will be overcrowded and cursed in just a few years.
    Cities like Sydney and Melbourne are not better now than they were when the population was half what it is today. I lived in Melbourne for six years when the population was (only) 1.5 million. I enjoyed living in a city without multi-level freeways. I could not possibly go back now. Journalists and politician love to use their expense account and visit really large cities like London, Paris etc. but staying in a 5-star hotel presents a totally distorted view of life in such cities. Take the 2-star option next time, away from the city centre – perhaps try the 10th arrondissement in Paris, and then report on what you see. When I see morons on television expounding the mantra that bigger is better I have to change channel to control my blood pressure. Mexico City is not a better place to live than Canberra.
    Our politicians love to brag about how many new jobs were created last quarter but if that number is not greater than the population growth then it represents a step backwards. The only reason for enforcing economic growth is to keep up with the population growth. Japan should be hailed as a role model for population growth.
    And I haven’t even started on the plight of the thousands of endangered species caused directly by population growth.

    • Don’t bother talking about other species, Stewart, they don’t make money. I rewatched Louis Theroux in South Africa with the mongrel who said the Sable (antelope) is worth keeping alive only because Americans will pay so much to shoot it! This guy complains about the damage elephants do, forgetting that his country has the largest hand-dug hole in the world – which is a bloody great eyesore! No elephant would bother to do that! Made a lot of money though…

      Your figures on Channel 9 are down too, I’ve had to stop throwing things at modern TVs – more fragile than the old ones – when they promote families of 12 or 20 – what is that to the older children but slave labour?!?! 2 parents cannot care for 3 or more offspring, the older ones are always pressed into service. What value is placed on a real childhood vs. an unpaid slave to feed and change younger siblings???

      I too think I could not live in Melbourne again. If you want to control climate change (temperature increase), get rid of these cities. Had to drive through Sydney the other day from further south. Temp where I started – in town – was 2 degrees above what it was in the bush between motorways. Coming into Sydney, the temperature rose a very unnatural 10 degrees! I noticed in my early teens how much heat buildings hold vs open spaces, it’s a well-known meteorological fact. Is it such a stretch to work out that bigger cities are required to house bigger populations??? I wasn’t too impressed by your comment about medium-density cities like Sydney and Melbourne – they’re over-crowded to Hell for mine – but thinking of New York or Mumbai I can see your point.

  • Australia’s immigration intake from about 1890 up until the second world war was around 700,000, so over that 55 year period of time, this figure represented just 10 percent of our total population in 1940 – 45.

    I think we all acknowledge the major contribution made by the many New Australians post war, with higher intake numbers being experienced into the 70’s and 80’s.

    Without knowing the exact figures for the past 30 years, you wouldn’t have to be a mathematical geneious to work out that our intake for this period has represented a conservative 25 percent of our current total population, and is surely unsustainable.

    Frankly, our current rampant migrant intake has been done to death, and no longer serves any purpose other than increasing the wealth of those in the business of selling toilet rolls, cars and houses. It’s all just become a mad grab for land and unnecessary waste of resources, in the driest continent on earth.

    Our overall migrant intake must be drastically wound back, as Dick Smith has said.

    • What about being able to walk down the street and feel safe? I hate walking in Cabramatta, I keep waiting for the knife in my back. I haven’t walked in Springvale for years. We despise the ghettos of New York, but we create them here – and this is supposed to be the lucky country where everyone is welcome! I don’t have any problem with Asians per se, I’ve worked with some, I’ve schooled with some and chatted to them just as I chat to anyone else I worked or schooled with. In territorial ghetto groups, they are terrifying. Why can’t we send all those pro-migration twits into the cantonments they’ve created, without cars or body guards! On foot, being pushed off the footpaths into the path of cars, see how many make it out without broken ribs! Then tell me how many refugees you want to take from more brutal societies, further brutalized by living through wars, into your own homes. I sympathise with anyone forced by war or famine who has to leave their home but I can’t agree that they belong here.

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