Q & A with Dick


Please send me your questions and I will endeavour to answer them ASAP.

Understand there are times when I am going to get well behind, but I will do everything I can to answer every question, comment and good idea.

Post your question in the comments section below and I look forward to replying.

Best regards
Dick Smith

Comments

  1. Our late friend SA Premier Don Dunstan once believed in the idea of creating a new city called Monarto near the Murray River during his tenure as Premier of SA. His plans were shot down. We do need new small eco-friendly civic centres to alleviate the pressure on existing superstructures. Why are the Federals so against planned sustainable future infrastructure? The Ord River apparently has all the water we need to sate the population needs, but the Federal Government will not even build a better highway across Australia and yet allows rainforest to be cut down in QLD. That shows a lack of imagination and sound leadership.

  2. currently on the back of everyones number plate in Victoria the message “Victoria, the place to be”. i believe this is a deliberate self talk message designed by the proponents of relentless population increase that this is the way to go and that this message is designed to brainwash people into “coming to Victoria”. even though is is mainly conveyed to other Victorians, the message is still conveyed outside of Victoria. i personally want a population freeze and i would rather the message on the back of everyone’s number plate be changed to: “i drive carefully all the time”. i bet you that the road toll would decrease as a result.

  3. In relation to ACTU’s support for big Australia:

    About 10 years ago I drove to Doncaster Tennis club at around 7PM (0r maybe 7:30 PM) for a game of Tennis with a few friends. As I parked my car, I could not help but noticing that about a dozen workers (re-surfacing the Tennis club parking lot) were sitting around idly. I didn’t pay much more attention except that after a while the workers started their machinery and resumed work for a minute or two and then packed up their tools and left. To me this looked like a case of case of delaying the job for the sake of claiming penalty rates.

    If in fact ACTU supports big Australia then probably this is because the construction industry is where they can flex their muscle and demand $150k salaries and extra benefits for their members where as in other industries they must compromise or risk sending the business under or overseas.

    Just an observation.

    1. Does seem obvious that building unions would have a direct interest in an ever growing population, it would create many jobs for years to come housing the masses. On another note, a report I saw the other day stated the obvious: high immigration is causing high house prices! Shock horror, you mean the laws of basic supply and demand still apply in 2018! The law is simple: if demand exceeds supply, prices rise! High school economics and yet our political leaders still refuse to acknowledge such obvious facts! Must be too much money yet to be made by developers who contribute to political parties to keep it up!

  4. re population growth into the future, I wonder if nature will dictate the appropriate scale first before we start to take it seriously. Eventually one of the super viruses is going to strike hard, the effects on the most congested areas of population will surely be diabolical. I would assume the population levels that result from a worldwide outbreak would be a good suggestion for what we should be considering is the sweet spot if trying to determine what population we should be safely looking at. A few of those outbreaks are going to force that considerations whether or not people want to. I think a few outbreak simulations should be undertaken sooner than later to atleast highlight the threat. maybe Im wrong, but I dont think so.

  5. Hi Dick,
    big fan of urs since childhood building ur electronic kits, until now with ur answers to solving the destruction of Australia.
    You are a true honest Aussie legend!
    Was just wandering if u have given thought to running for Prime Minister as these clowns we have now are just greedy fat pigs looking after their own wealth? They make me sick!
    I think u would be the greatest this countries ever had seriously.

    Regards,
    Redmond

  6. Do not give up, It takes years to built a movement!!!When can we rally?In Melbourne

  7. The article in the Australian about the ACTU siding with business to back a big Australia is FAKE NEWS. It’s a Murdoch fabrication backed by the Migration Council of Australia. Another example of the powers that be trying to hush the debate as usual. Check out this link https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2018/05/immigration-compact-nothing-propaganda/

    Keep fighting the good fight.

  8. Dear Dick,
    I have read your e-mail dated 9th May 2018 Rare allies back a Big Australia – The Australian, Friday 4 May. Have you see the Macrobusiness website article The immigration “compact” is mere propaganda By Gunnamatta in Australian Politics, Featured Article
    on May 7, 2018 ? Readers need to read this article which exposes interesting facts. It is a lengthy article, which also details “The Compact” so I cant post it all here.
    Here are what I see as relevant excerpts:
    “Well, we still haven’t seen any trace of the union side of the compact apart from a photo of Sally McManus so we could easily start that sentence with the ‘business-tooth fairy compact…..’ but our craftsman [Simon Benson is The Australian’s National Political Editor.] has some more fact in the narrative.”, “One wonders if the BCA actually knows of it yet. There is nothing on their website to suggest they do, and they certainly haven’t put out any pressers on the subject.” and ” Surreally the piece concludes with reference to the one thing the ACTU has clearly stated this week – to the effect that temporary employment visas have been abused. So there it is.
    It’s a compact, it’s an agreement, it’s been signed and it involves business, unions, immigration bodies and ethnic councils and social service providers, and it argues for maintaining a high level of permanent immigration – just that it consists of nothing but a web page with some logos, and three quarters of the organisations behind the logos have not even mentioned any agreement or compact.

    Maybe The Australian would like to verify whoever paid for the advertisement which appeared in The Australian on Friday and their connection with the Migration Council of Australia? And maybe the Migration Council of Australia may want to clarify with a statement that whoever has paid for that advertisement has been duly authorised to expend monies on its behalf, and that it considers the advertising of the ‘compact’ an efficient use if its resources?

    That of course is before we look at Rupert Murdoch’s world and ask ourselves if his minions write ‘exclusive’ pieces based on advertising connected with its own opinion writers, touting websites which are closely connected with that writer.

  9. It is truly a sad day in Australia when our government feels it has no other means to
    sustain and grow our economy other than mass immigration.
    Its an easy short term fix with absolutely devastating long term problems.
    If only our politicians would engage the creative part of the Brain.. We do have options!!

    Gone is “The Luck Country”
    Gone is “This Beautiful Country”

    In the words of DH. …Shame…Shame… Shame

    1. Yes it’s very sad indeed but unfortunately in a democratic society the buck stops with the people, not the politicians. People have always blindly accepted the “growth is good” mantra and continued to vote for political parties that embrace and promote continual population growth. Politicians are laggers, not leaders, they bend to the popular will of the people so if we want things to change then we have to lead. We have to keep the population issue front and centre and reward parties who show vision by voting for them, not just by continuing to tic-tac between the Coles and Woolworths of Australian politics.

    2. Lots of talk but no action

  10. Hi, unfortunately I won’t be able to attend the presentation in Wagga Wagga this Thursday and so was wondering if a transcript of it would be available? Good luck with the event. Regards, Kevin Lewis

    1. Dear Kevin
      Apologies for the late response, please find video and audio to Dick’s aviation talk here: https://www.dicksmithfairgo.com.au/dick-smith-public-presentation-on-the-australian-aviation-industry-wagga-26-april-2018/

  11. I’m only sorry you are not the prime minister leading this country. Your logic, sense and caring about Australia’s future is what we need. Not these politicians who are only in it for the money and only care about keeping ‘their seat’ instead of caring about Australia and our future. I would vote you first instead of these selfish politicians that are only thinking of themselves. God help our country is all I can say!!!

  12. Hi Dick
    I am told that Im very negative because I say nothing will be done about immigration, because humans are a resource and big business has more people to sell to, ie; houses, cars, food, etc, and our govt cares not for the people of Australia only about keeping themselves in power, the UN happy, and big business is our real govt.
    The refugees coming to this country are mostly from countries destroyed by US and British foreign policies for resources, wars that Australias govt is so eager to support no matter how illegal.
    I live on the Atherton tablelands, the breadbasket of Nth Qld and see housing estates going up all over some of the most fertile soil in the country and the rainforest is still being pushed down for housing, the population of Cairns has more than tripled in 25 years and the 2 biggest industries are seasonal (tourism, sugar) what are these people doing for work.
    I am also seeing my country rich in coal , gas, iron ore, bauxite, etc, and our debt going through the roof, where are all the royalties going, are we really an independent sovereign nation, I seem to doubt it more as I learn more. I had a job laying pavers in Sydney for a landscape company 3 of us and we lost our contracts because a group of 8 vietnamese pavers undercut our company and we could not match there price by far, I understand thats business, but at what cost to our way of life, I say anything about it Im branded a racist.
    People just dont realise that this is the most nutrient and water deficient continent after antarctica and cannot sustain a large population huge tracts of fertile land has already been degraded, we are spreading our deserts.
    It feels like we can do nothing about it.

    1. the root cause of a lot of our problems is the fiat money system. money created out of thin air goes first into property speculation and then spreads into society like a cancer, causing dislocation and inequality. end the fed. end the boj, end the ecb. end the snb. end the boe and finally end the rba. central banks are not the answer . they are the problem. a lot of the madness in society today stems from when nixon changed the us dollar from hard money to fiat money: when he delinked the us dollar from gold. return to hard money now!. return to the gold standard or a bitcoin standard now!

  13. I live in Preston and we’ve just had the Batman by-election. Sustainable Australia put a flyer in our letterbox saying a Better Australia, not a Big Australia. On the back side were a lot of words about sustainable this, sustainable that – the word immigration did not appear once. On polling day only the Australian Conservatives had a leaflet saying reduce immigration. I’m active in raising climate change awareness yet I voted for them and afterwards told them that if there was a party actively opposing immigration but believing in climate I would vote for that party. What hope is there when our only alternative is to vote for nut cases, but nut cases not afraid of saying the i word?

    1. tradesmen, unionists, engineers, doctors , lawyers, businessmen and politicians should be learning the correct economics. when they do (educational reform), we’ll then be having debates and conversations with our opinions anchored in the right place. https://mises.org/mises-academy . you’ve got to get the fundamentals right and that starts with our education system.

    2. Hi Craig, I see Dick answered you lower down in the Q&A section, so I’m just re-posting his response:
      February 7, 2018
      Craig, I’ve spoken to William Bourke of Sustainable Australia and he assures me that the main policy of the party is related to ending unsustainable and endless population growth.

  14. Are “big Australia” supporters actually using the right economic models?. do they actually understand the correct economics?. Do they understand classical economics? do they understand that Keynesian economics is wrong?. do they understand the current financial system is broken and that interest rates and bond markets are sending the wrong signals? basic questions, that need to be asked.

    Returning to hard money, like the gold standard or the bitcoin standard (instead of the US dollar), will negate the need for immigration. Business signals will be efficiently and accurately communicated through floating interest rates and the economy will adjust fast with its current population and skill set. mal-investments and big government will decline. Technical and capital expensive industries will expand. Companies and leaner government will help fill the gaps in education. Reckless property speculation will decrease. More people will afford housing. rapid implementation of green power industries will be enabled. The immigration policy that currently exists is testimony to our politicians and educational class’s ignorance of economics and hard money. Australians need to be educated about classical economics and hard money and how the current money system is damaging our society. keynes is wrong. ludwig von mises is right

  15. I red your Manifesto and found it impressive.

    your sincerely

    marin

  16. are “big Australia” supporters actually using the right economic models?. do they actually understand the correct economics?. do they understand classical economics? do they understand that Keynesian economics is wrong?. do they understand the current financial system is broken and that interest rates and bond markets are sending the wrong signals? basic questions, that need to be asked.

    Returning to hard money, like the gold standard or the bitcoin standard (instead of the US dollar), will negate the need for immigration. Business signals will be efficiently and accurately communicated through floating interest rates and the economy will adjust fast with its current population and skill set. mal-investments and big government will decline. Technical and capital expensive industries will expand. Companies and leaner government will help fill the gaps in education. Reckless property speculation will decrease. More people will afford housing. rapid implementation of green power industries will be enabled. The immigration policy that currently exists is testimony to our politicians and educational class’s ignorance of economics and hard money. Australians need to be educated about classical economics and hard money and how the current money system is damaging our society. keynes is wrong. ludwig von mises is right

  17. There are a few counter points of view to Frosty’s, Dick. I can see why it grabbed you but I would urge you to read Jorgen Randers:
    http://www.2052.info/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/p120801-2052-A-global-forecast-15p-illustrated-CPSL.pdf
    He was an original Club of Rome member so he does know a bit

  18. Dick, Thanks for starting your debate. I have read your manifesto with interest and agree with most of your sentiments. I think its important that we try to understand why things are going wrong for us in Australia. Any informed discussion such as you have posted, hopefully will prompt us to ask some questions and find out why?

    I don’t entirely agree with you that “The prime reason for the decline in living standards for many Australian workers is our staggering population growth.” I think the decline of our living standards has been caused by many reasons including our population growth.

    Your Manifesto for the Dick Smith Fair Go Group includes many other reasons why our living standards are declining (or stagnating): an inequitable tax system, a biased electoral system including wealthy lobbyists, extreme capitalism, the public and private debt that we have created for the next generations, the growth fetish, inheritance taxes etc. All combined I agree “It is a total con.”

    I grew up in the 1950s and my parents were labourers and did not have much money. They rented all their lives until they retired when they had just enough money saved and with the help of a small war service loan could buy a house. In the 1970s I was able to go to university (free then) and soon after put a deposit on a house. My children are now struggling to even find a deposit for a house. Typical for many of my generation.

    I think a lot of the problems we now face originated from the 1970s when national economies changed from a mixed economy (with some government intervention into the financial system) to a neo-liberal free market economy “the markets will sought it out”. The markets seem now to be more interested in manipulating and investing in financial products such as derivatives which contribute nothing to the real (productive) economy.

    An unfortunate consequence of the new market economy and (globalisation) is that national governments have less influence or ability (political or otherwise) to govern on behalf of the people that elected them. All the national public and private debts we now have at some time will have to be paid by someone (mostly likely us).

    OK all seems a bit gloomy to me – but we can do something about it – inform ourselves, be involved, talk to others and put pressure on our elected representatives to govern in our and our national interest.

    A lot of my information and opinion has come from reading a few books from the local library such as:
    “Credit Code Red” Peter Brain & Ian Manning (Australian academic economists)
    “A Banquet of Consequences – Have we consumed our own future?” Satvyajit Das
    “Buying Time – The Delayed Crisis of Democratic Capitalism” Wolfgang Streeck (a very difficult book to read).
    They all seem to be reputable economists and not crackpots.

    I was happy to make a small donation to “Fair Go”

  19. Dear Dick,
    I have noted how the rest of the world craves the best pure produce from Australia and NZ. It puzzles me how the supermarkets are full of produce from overseas or goods that are mixed with ingredients from overseas. Furthermore, the shortage of infant formula on our shelves whilst tonnes of it are sent overseas.

    How can we make sure our produce reaches local consumers? Is there a way we harness the power of social media and get local co-ops going again, where farmers, dairy co-ops and even local manufacturers could meet local demand?

    Ian

    1. The reason our supermarkets are full of products from overseas is that they are cheaper and that the supermarkets make higher profits, that’s simply business. As you know, I have Dick Smith Foods supporting Australian farmers and producers and it’s dropped from 80 million turnover a year to about 18 million and is heading on the way to fail. Don’t blame the supermarkets, blame us consumers, you only have to see the way that German Aldi is booming on Sydney’s wealthy North Shore to realise that most Aussies buy on price, not on patriotism.
      Regards,
      Dick

      1. Hi Dick,
        I would like the supermarkets to have an “Australian Made” food isle.
        Easily to see and access.
        Would save us a lot of time. More time to spend in our congested roads to get home.
        I really resent finding USA lemons or Chinese garlic.

      2. And therein lies the problem eh. It is us. All this talk about renewable energy and how many people support it. Do they really? All they have to do is tick the box and ask for 100% renewable power. That would solve all of the electricity CO2 issue. Origin Energy charges 5.1c/kWhr or about an extra 20%. If we were really fair dinkum we would drop our power consumption by 20% and buy green electricity at no net extra cost. But we won’t will we. We won’t embrace sustainable anything until half or more of us are dead.

  20. Hello Dick,

    My name is Shane Stubbs, I am PE Teacher who grew up in Bega NSW (milked the cows that make the cheese!)
    I live in Sydney now and have created a business called PE 21 (www.pe21.com.au) and an education program called MY HEALTHY LIFE. I wanted to do something, rather than keep looking to others to solve a problem for our children and future generations.

    We use 21st Century PE Technology and my 30 years of experience in the classroom to make an impact on the health of children across schools in Australia and New Zealand.

    I am about to land a deal which will see us sell our program into schools across the USA (where 2 million students are using the same heart rate technology we use)

    MY HEALTHY LIFE is waaaaaay different to anything in schools ever seen before.
    My son is 8 years old – if he and his cohort don’t use a program like MY HEALTHY LIFE then current data suggests 95% of his peers will be physically unhealthy by the time they get to year 12. As my father died of a heart attack aged 47 in 1989, my Grandfather of a heart attack aged 60 in 1975, I thought it time we change the health of Aussie kids (and a few other countries)

    I would like to discuss what I have done with you in a meeting.

    Yes – of course we need help, thats the reason for wanting to meet.

    Please contact me on email or 0414 764 898

    Regards

    Shane

    1. Shane, unfortunately I can’t cope with my present commitments, I’m letting people down all of the time, so I’m really sorry, but there’s just no way I can meet with you.
      Regards
      Dick

  21. Dear Dick Smith,
    I am concerned about 2 things. The unemployed and the pensioners and Farmers. The first I am concerned about the loss of Australian farm produce from Major retailers, such as Coles and Woolworths and the refusal of these companies to even buy fruit or vegetables that have spots or colour on the fruit due to rain or the sun. I am not a farmer and I cannot imagine the pain of having to leave fruit on trees or vegetables on or in the ground due to low prices or aesthetic reasons after a year of hard work and spending thousands to get the crop. I know many are unemployed and some just want to have something to do to feel that they are valued and make a contribution to society. I have no idea of costs or the difficulty of getting Centrelink involved. However perhaps Centrelink could consider Farms as a place for those who are old or unable to find work due to health issues to volunteer for 15 or 23 hrs per week or whatever they can manage to collect their allowance. This would prove invaluable for their mental health. I know I would rather make an effort and pick crops or run a tractor, or help at a cannery, something that gives people self respect. They get the allowance and a bit extra for transport and “have a job” rather than just receiving a pittance from Centrelink to scrape by with. Centrelink payment and a bit extra for helping Farmers seems a worthwhile practice. This extra little bit could come directly from the profits for the Cannery. Here’s the money issue. I propose someone or a few who have wealth and a social conscience could build a cannery in each state. Employ a manager and training staff and have volunteers run the facility to reduce costs. All the products are put into retailers at a competitive price, which I believe over time will cover the initial cost.. Financially this would help Farmers, their communities and those who cannot find work. The mental health of people who often feel isolated should be something that is considered to be important. Too many of our citizens have committed suicide and unfortunately in this system we live in, it seems that if you have no wealth then you have no value…and if you have no job then without self respect and realise that you are on your own..
    I know exporting to China would reap rewards. Australia is seen as a clean country by the Chinese and they are prepared to pay higher costs for clean food.

  22. Dear Dick,

    I have read “Overloading Australia” which I found to be illuminating because it showed me how to look at issues and arguments in a different way plus facts and truths.
    It shows how the existing and future population together with our fragile environment needs to be given “a fair go” !!

    1. While the substance of the claims and arguments have no doubt not changed since it’s publication in 2008 perhaps the charts, diagrams, statistics etc could be updated and thus, draw an even more alarming future scenario.

    2. Have you, the publisher or the authors thought about making this book into a free down loadable e-book so that copies can go to every place of education, public libraries as well as to all politicians ?

    3. Advocates of a yearly immigration intake of around 70,000 people plus the yearly refugee intake of say 20,000 people are actually increasing Australia’s population.
    Even if we has zero immigration and zero refugees Australia’s population would still increase because the facts are, as per pages 77 and 78 in “Overloading Australia”, “… twice as many people are born in Australia each year as die. …even two child families increase the population. To think otherwise requires imagining imagining that parents disappear as soon as their children are born. …A couple who produce two children maintains the Theoretical Long Term Replacement Fertility Rate. This does not mean the population stops growing- in fact the family with two children just doubled – nor that births equal deaths. All it means that the new generation is no bigger then the previous one.”
    I wonder how many people grasp this above significant fact & think that about two children per couple is simply replacement, like I did ? We should be aiming for zero population growth.

    4. I do not know how we can make the voters and our big business and growth orientated politicians see the futility of population growth.
    As to wasting water. See Chapter 22 – page 180 and on wards of “Overloading Australia”. I can not see this happening on a community or mass collective level because people pay for water usage.
    The only thing that I think will stop population growth (being births, net overseas migration and refugees) will be an economic depression, trade wars or a financial crisis that causes a house price collapse and an increase in unemployment – which will I believe will cleanse the system. At worst war or a global pandemic thus isolating Australia. Have you any ideas how to change voters minds ?

    5. I think Australia has been over generous in it’s refugee intake and is not making any real impact when one considers there are at least 65 million world wide refugees and displaced people. It would be more effective to give aid.
    Why spoil our own lifestyle etc by over crowding and over populating Australia when they want to immigrate or seek refuge from a crisis due to over population in their own country. I say it is up to them to resolve their own problems.Would they help us if the “boot was on the other foot”

    1. Frank, my belief that we should reduce immigration to around 70,000 a year, is inclusive of 20,000 humanitarian intake.

      Regards
      Dick

  23. We need to tax all multi millionaires and billionaires at 49% tax bracket and if they do not want to pay, maybe we consider some justice. This is the requirement for a 21st Century finance taxation system.

    The immigration level brought to 70 000 should be an easy tasks. But bringing the rich men in alignment with the society is going require a movement of 2 million people. Hope I get an answer this time.

  24. Hi Dick,

    I am 52 and have lived through the boom in WA and now th bust .

    People are really scared to lose their jobs and like you say a pay packet away from financial ruin .

    We need to stop and really look after our elederly who are finding it tough and our kids future . How can we prepair them for tougher times.

    Who decides the immigration rate – the PM ?

    Do we all need to write a letter and demand they drop the rate to 70 000 or they will not get our vote ?

    Dare I say make Australia great again !

    One idea I would put on the table for a fair go for all is the government should have a “fair go super scheme “ which starts at birth . All Australians would have $1000 added each year until the age of 65 . So all mums and low skilled workers would still have a minimum $450k on retirement @5% Pa

    Plus there own perrsonal super ..

    See if Harry is interested in funding a couple of million Solar panels up in the Kimberly . I have worked with many aboriginal communities up there and they have huge amounts of land and sunlight forever . We could power
    The rest of Australia and drop electricity bills by half . We just need a great leader to make it happen

    Well done Dick 100%

    1. Dick says:
      Yes, Paul I understand that many Australians are concerned about losing their jobs and facing financial ruin. I really like your idea in relation to a Fair Go scheme. It would also be great if Harry Triguboff would become more open in his giving, as I believe it would motivate others.

    2. it’s interesting how the media wants a debate on gay marriage, on changing the date of australia day
      but there’s nothing on a debate about population !!!
      the media must be the gatekeepers -lol

      Good on you Dick ! 🙂

  25. Hi Dick,

    As a mother of 3 I am very worried about the lack of affordable housing and jobs for my kids. I too have felt for some time that we are running our migration rate at a non sustainable level which is having huge knock on affects to housing costs, gridlock, lack of wage growth (because employers have a massive choice of people who will work for less) and apprenticeships.

    I am also very concerned about Australia selling off our assets especially our farming land but also residential land to foreign concerns.

    Since you are not forming a party and want another party to pick up some of your ideas especially around population control, is to get up a poll. Until you present any party with evidence at how unpopular big Australia is, they won’t budge.

    1. Thanks Jackie for your comments. I am not sure if we need another poll, there has been a number that have already shown that 8 out of 10 Australians want a population plan and at least 7 out of 10 believe we already have too many in this country. Thanks for your thoughts.

      1. Hi Dick, concerns over affordable housing is a problem I’ve been working on for over 20 years now. I’m now 63 yrs old and have been a licensed builder since 1982. Late last year I made contact with Compass Housing who expressed their desire to discuss my ‘home ownership’ NFP business model. They said they were tired of beating their heads against brick walls using the existing ‘system’, and were looking at innovating in their space. My affordable ‘home ownership’ strategy appealed to them. I could have kissed them!!
        I’m meeting with their ‘Executive Manager Strategic Assets, Finance, Information & Procurement’ (what a magnificent title!) on Tuesday 6th Feb 2018 (exact date just in case you don’t get to read this reply for a while!) with a view to discussing a draft Memorandum of Understanding, to create a new partnership. At the heart of my idea is ethical and practical ‘PERMACULTURE’. I have in my heart (and I know you do too) a true love of nature – well our aim is to embrace permaculture and it’s design of natural elements, as the core strategy in establishing a new type of community. Compass will be able to use the new Fed Govt Bond Aggregator to provide finance for these people so they can purchase and live in their own homes, in a location they choose, instead of having to rent from investors using Govt incentives! Of course I have a lot more detail, for the sake of brevity I won’t include it here, but I have no doubt this will suit many people across the country – including Jackie and her kids! Dick, if you’d like to contact me, I’m a registered member of ‘Fair Go’ and ‘Sustainable Australia’. Hope this was informative. Regards, Kim Best

  26. Dick, I am 77 years of age now, and I feel strongly that our country is becoming less and less “lucky”.
    The extraordinary rate of immigration (did you say 230,000 a year in your pod cast?) and the unbridled passion for expansion (Berejiklian’s “foot on accelerator”) have a lot to do with it.
    I conscientiously support your stance against the actions of policy makers and billionaires who are causing our country to be overpopulated and our way of life to be destroyed.

    1. Thanks for your comment.

  27. Originally posted on Sept 16

    What is the overall efficiency of mining coal, burning coal to make steam to turn turbines to turn alternators consideringall the friction and heat losses through the whole process, and why no one has let the politicians andthepublic so they can compare against renewable energy.

    1. Hi Bryce.

      You’re correct, there are incredible inefficiencies in converting fossil fuels to useable energy in the home. However, the problem I see with renewables is the fact that when there’s no sunshine and no wind, there’s no energy being generated.

      In a place like Adelaide for example, you can days and days of basically no wind and virtually no sun. Renewables are competitive when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing. But when this is not happening, the costs go way up because of the costs of storage. It appears the most efficient are either batteries or pumped hydro. Any calculations that I’ve been able to do show that going 100% renewables in Australia at the moment would cost something between twice and 4 times what typical Australians may now pay for power.

      That’s the prime reason that it hasn’t been done anywhere in the world. It’s not so much that renewables are expensive than the fact that fossil fuels are so incredibly cheap. The Tesla battery for SA, I understand, will run the system at peak load for about 4 minutes. And there are times when you need peak load for many hours.

      Our present world economic system has been built on incredibly cheap fossil fuels and its going to be very difficult to move away from this.

      ~ Dick

      1. Yep, ERoEI (Energy return on energy invested). Nuthin’ comes close to fossil fuels yet. Australians are the worst of the worst regarding CO2 pollution per capita. It is not all the fault of the average person. Inefficient aluminium smelters are not the product of ordinary people. However, we must change and we must change drastically. That doesn’t mean we sacrifice any happiness. Life would just be different, simpler, with important things like family and friends being paramount.

        If we don’t change though, the prognosis is very bad. The IPCC has under-reported climate change. Limits to Growth, published inn 1973 and revisited 30 years later by the CSIRO has a convergence of catastrophic failure of resources to sustain us by around 2035. We are in a Climate Emergency but we are in an emergency on many fronts

        1. Steve, I like your comment ‘that doesn’t mean we sacrifice any happiness. Life would just be different, simpler, with important things like family and friends being paramount’. You are correct, but there are also other issues and that is how do you have enough money to pay for pensions and people who can’t get jobs. These are all very important issues that means we need to have a viable economic system. No one would want a repeat of Great Depression of the early 1930s. Fortunately we get 5000 times more energy from the sun every day than we use in the world even at our most inefficient way we do at the moment. So we do have potential for using renewables – we just have to get the storage problem down to an economic cost.

          1. It’s already there Dick. Advances in turbine efficiency have made pumped storage about 87% efficient. Wivenhoe Dam has Splityard Creek that can turn on 500MW in 12 seconds. It’s been operating for decades. That might not be fast enough but we will learn a lot with Elon Musk’s batteries in SA about millisecond response.

          2. I will take that as a comment

      2. Well put Dick. BTW love your work! Have you a thought on geothermal energy. I once invested in a company in northern SA and thought the idea was great but have not heard of any more advancements in this area. Ideally it can operate anytime for instant power generation. Seemed like a no brainer!

        1. Yes Lance, I’ve certainly considered geothermal energy. I’ve even visited that plant in Innamincka in northern South Australia. Unfortunately I don’t think it was viable and I don’t think the test plant is even operating at the moment. The problem is that fossil fuels are unbelievably cheap. To compete with fossil fuels is going to be very difficult.

          1. In late 2007 I was very active, having just paddled a kayak from Brisbane to Adelaide to increase awareness of global warming. At the time the whole of the Qld government geologist employees were engaged in looking for carbon capture and storage sites. I spoke to the head geologist who reckoned this was crazy stuff and that they should be looking for “hot rocks”.
            I disagree that competing with fossil fuels will be difficult. First thing to do is to take off the subsidies of $1700 per person. Watch what happens with electric cars in the next ten years. An internal combustion engine has 2,500 parts. An electric motor has 17 parts. An internal combustion engine is 17-21% efficient. An electric motor is 95% efficient.

          2. Thanks for your comment, Steve.

      3. Craig, I’ve spoken to William Bourke of Sustainable Australia and he assures me that the main policy of the party is related to ending unsustainable and endless population growth.

    2. The friction etc. losses pale into insignificance compared to the thermodynamic inefficiency, which comes down to some inescapable laws of physics. The efficiency of coal stations and the delivery grid isn’t hard to find on a search of credible technical websites.
      The efficiency of renewables is a bit harder to measure. Quite often, and erroneously, the energy that goes into making a renewable source, and the energy required to remake it, are not factored in, on purpose, to make them stack up a little better than coal. I do agree that we need to go to a fully renewable energy system but we can’t go cold turkey on coal and expect the renewables to magically take up the slack tomorrow.
      But here’s the thing – what is THE PROBLEM here – is it that we’re burning too many fossil fuels, or is it too many people (and more on the way), or a bit of both? Politicians never want to talk about population!

      1. Dear Linc – you are correct it’s very hard to measure the efficiencies of renewables because renewables don’t work when there’s no wind and no sun. In effect they have zero efficiency when there’s not wind and no sun. From my research, renewables are competitive when the wind is blowing and the sun is out, but at other times because you either have to use pumped hydro-storage or battery storage. The price goes way up and they become completely uncompetitive. This means our businesses would not be able to compete and our pensioners would not be able to afford to be warm in winter if we go completely to renewables. And as I’ve mentioned previously, there is so many opposed to nuclear, we seem to be in a bind.

    3. Hi Bryce, I thought you might like to read My submission to the ‘Select Committee into the Resilience of Electricity Infrastructure in a Warming World.’

      To The Senate Committee.
      As a global community, we need to address global warming! All actions taken should initially be based on this REAL & URGENT need! Reducing and eventually eliminating the burning of ALL fossil fuels (all coal fired electricity generation, all transport fuels) needs to be a logical starting point. ALL fossil fuels need to remain in the ground henceforth. The ability, knowledge and technologies exist to make changes, but the political will to encourage change does not exist!
      The committee should ask itself one question only “As the most intelligent species to ever walk on the surface of this planet, why do we continually strive towards destroying it?”
      My mentor Bill Mollison who established the permaculture movement (and who passed away recently) said “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them”.

      Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.
      While many of us come to permaculture for a sense of independence, a way of becoming self-sufficient and be responsible for our own destinies, by no means does that explain the gravity of what we are really doing, or what in fact permaculture was intended to do.

      In a larger political context, we are replacing societal systems that have become toxic and damaging in favor of permaculture which is positive and productive for everyone (and everything).

      Looking at the manner in which greater society produces food, builds homes, dispenses energy, and creates waste, permaculture puts us directly at odds with the politics, theories and proponents of most modern lives – ie pursuit of GDP growth, consumerism, waste generation, pollution etc.

      Permaculture is not just a trendy word or nifty means of designing what we are embracing, but rather an upheaval of what now is considered to be ‘normal’, and there is nothing so political as change. Adopting these ethics in a real way colors not just our life at home but also how we vote (or don’t), how we spend money (or don’t), and how we place ourselves in societal structures (or ….. you get it).
      In a sense (and a very peaceful one at that) we are conscious revolutionaries, against a status quo that we see as a danger to humanity, our environment, and us personally. It’s a big bite we are chewing on.

      However, what is largely different about this movement, this way of thinking, is that we are not problem creators. We are not problem escalators. We are problem solvers, and we try
      to find answers to the troubles we encounter. As Mollison put it so succinctly, ” You don’t have a snail problem. You’ve got a duck shortage.”

      The age of growth is over – GDP should not be the way we measure a nation’s wellbeing. Bhutan’s measure of Gross National Happiness is one worthy of serious consideration.

      There is much wisdom to be gained in studying messages from great philosophers – SOCRATES said “The secret of happiness is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”

      If the Gov’t is genuine in its belief that solar is more expensive than coal, I would urge them to realistically justify their position by comparing ‘apples with apples’ as follows:

      COAL: – you need to include exploration costs, mining costs (incl all profits, transport, margins etc)
      shipping costs and generation costs (incl plant construction+ profits etc); and (conveniently
      omitted from their tally)
      – THE HUGE, MASSIVE, ONGOING COST TO OUR ENVIRONMENT RE: AIR POLLUTION FROM
      CARBON EMISSIONS!!! – THIS IS A HUGE COST!

      SOLAR: – NO COST TO FIND IT! – the sun shines automatically everywhere, anywhere! (Aust has a
      sunny disposition most of the time); and
      – the generator build cost is VASTLY less, and allows MUCH more flexibility re location (incl plant construction+ profits etc); and
      – NO ONGOING COST TO OUR ENVIRONMENT RE: AIR POLLUTION FROM CARBON
      EMISSIONS!!! ZERO, NIL, NADA, NOTHING!!!

      WIND: – NO exploration costs, the wind blows more and more due to climate change! ; and
      – the generator build cost is considerably less, and allows more flexibility re location (incl plant
      construction+ profits etc); and
      – NO ONGOING COST TO OUR ENVIRONMENT RE: AIR POLLUTION FROM CARBON
      EMISSIONS!!! ZERO, NIL, NADA, NOTHING!!!

      As far as the transition is concerned, the Gov’t can’t be serious that coal should be regarded as a ‘saving grace’ and be retained as ‘part of the mix as long as possible,’
      surely to God!!!? Talk about ideological spin!!!

      The sooner they educate themselves and start supporting DISTRIBUTED ENERGY as the obvious solution to our BASE LOAD NEEDS, and in an honest manner, the sooner we’ll be proud to support a Minister and Gov’t with all of our interests at heart. This is the obvious solution for such a large country as ours! Get rid of the poles and wires!

      If every rooftop had solar panels with battery storage, they would generate 2.5 times the nation’s current electricity usage! This has been known for decades, but Gov’ts of all persuasions have chosen to ignore it because it was all too hard to make obvious and sensible changes.

      The electorate is NOT STUPID!!! and so should the Gov’t continue down the road they have started to travel, the next election will tell them everything they need to know about NOT being leaders – but RELUCTANT, SELF INTERESTED, IDEOLOGICAL FOLLOWERS! Dinosaurs still rule, but not for much longer!

      Today, Sunday 4th Feb 2018, I was extremely excited to hear on the news, the Premier of SA announced a (virtual energy plant) ‘Distributed Energy System’ will be introduced into SA and a pilot had already commenced. Solar + Batteries to 50,000 homes!!!
      Finally! – a political leader who is leading! SA is addressing the energy problems head on and moving forward into the future with confidence and a positivity sadly lacking in our current political landscape.

      I would be very reluctant to put words into Dick Smith’s mouth, but I think even he might…. just…. approve??? ….. maybe???

      I will end my comments by giving you a fact from the G20 that resonated with me.
      ‘The G20 pays polluters $633 Billion annually in subsidies’. – for God’s sake! I’d like to know how much the polluters pay the individual gov’ts in the G20 for their policy support!

      Enough! I’m off!

  28. Hello Dick

    I guess you would say that our interest in you began a few years ago when you strongly promoted “Buy Australian Made” and marketed your Dick Smith groceries. We actually had one Easter where we bought everyone a Dick Smith product or two rather than chocolate eggs. It was a bit of a change that went over really well. Still not keen on Ozemite??

    My husband does not receive birthday or christmas gifts unless they are Made in Australia and so sometimes this makes his gift pile a bit light on.

    We live in outback Queensland so of cause we don’t have a great deal of stores but we are still doing our best to buy Australian Made from local stores or have moved to buying online (sadly) so as to purchase Australian Made.

    In relation to your website…Dick Smith Fair Go…it is great that it exists. We also feel that Kochie has a very biased opinion on what he believes with population growth. Our fairly constant watching of Sunrise has died off as we have found for a while now that Kochie particularly does not give other people a chance to voice their opinions or views. We take our hats off to Pauline Hansen who still continues to appear on Sunrise but is usually not left to give her opinion for too long. She does however speak for a lot of Australians.

    Sadly people also keep forgetting that the higher the population the domino effect is that more and more country is cleared and a great deal of wildlife is being effected. Human do gooders at present seem to worry about the cute and cuddly (which is fair enough) but all flora and fauna whether that be snakes or even lizards need a habitat to live in also.

    Anyway Dick keep on keeping on

    1. Thank you Copie

  29. Just had to donate before I took your time with a question. At 74 years I’ve been about Australia a while.
    Firstly a Statement
    We do not have Politicians with any capacity or worldly experience to make correct decisions & lack understanding
    Our mess —and we do have a mess is our own doing !!!
    If we recovered ALL the money gone out on ALL manner of schemes by the last three governments we would NOT have a deficit in this country. Non existent Child care run by overseas migrants Billions !!
    Try : Front Page The Australian Wednesday 22nd November 2017
    NDIS spends $180m on :strategic advice —-AND bottom same page
    $8 billion :write-off” of Tax payers monies VET- Fee-help What a joke.
    I could go on but you would know of the scheme dreamt up by Pollies and NOT audited by public service
    NO one is accountable or responsible anymore.
    My Question: When and how are to bring these politicians to account before its TOO late ?
    Good Luck
    Fred R THOMAS

    1. Thanks very much for your comments, Fred. I think we will bring our politicians to account when a high number of voters are actually affected by some of the problems we have. Obviously it is not the situation at the present time – and then again may be democracy is flawed and we will just have to live with that at the moment.

  30. Hello Dick, I 100% agree there should be less immigration and most if not all people I speak to agree. I don’t see the adds in the paper perhaps they are only in the print editions? Anyhow as long as the message is getting out there. Most newspapers have had articles on population growth and the over supply of apartments etc and the comments are encouraging from people wanting less immigration. Hopefully this turns around and begins to happen, I know big business is keen for more people as are property developers but the bubble has to surely burst sometime, we have been propped up for too long by immigration, its a false economy! Keep up the great work!

    1. Thanks Geoff. Yes, but it is still going to be very difficult even though we have been running these ads and getting lots of comments. By the way, you can look at the ads by clicking here. We still don’t seem to be getting anywhere politically. I am almost about to give up!

      Yes, 8 out of 10 people want a population plan and have similar views to you and me however, our major political parties realise there are going to be problems with our economic system unless it keeps growing forever. Presumably they believe they won’t be around when the inevitable collapse comes.

      1. Dick, please don’t give up your stance on immigration. We can’t argue with facts, and Gov’ts have a duty of care to pay attention to facts (and NOT ideology) when making policy to spend our money to keep us well and safe. I’ll be one to support the idea of ‘quality not quantity’ when it comes to population numbers for this, or any place on this earth. I’ve always said there are too many people! It’s obvious! GDP should not be the measure Gov’ts use to determine its people’s wealth, health or well-being.

        From GDP to GNH:- to be replicated across the globe?
        Gross national happiness in Bhutan: the big idea from a tiny state that could change the world. Less than 40 years ago, Bhutan opened its borders for the first time. Since then, it has gained an almost mythical status as a real-life Shangri-La, largely for its DETERMINED and
        METHODICAL pursuit of the most elusive and precious of concepts – national happiness.

        Since 1971, the country has rejected GDP as the only way to measure progress. In its place,
        it has championed a new approach to development, which measures prosperity through
        formal principles of gross national happiness (GNH) and the spiritual, physical, social and
        environmental health of its citizens and their NATURAL ENVIRONMENT.

        For the past three decades, the belief that well-being should take preference over material
        growth has remained a global oddity. Now, in a world beset by collapsing financial systems,
        and perhaps the death of greedy capitalism, gross inequity and wide-scale catastrophic
        environmental destruction, this tiny Buddhist state’s approach is attracting a lot of interest.

        As world leaders met in Doha recently for the UN’s latest climate change conference,
        Bhutan’s stark warning that the rest of the world is on an environmental and economic suicide path is starting to gain traction. Last year the UN adopted Bhutan’s call for a holistic approach to development, a move ENDORSED by 68 countries.

        A UN panel is now considering ways that Bhutan’s GNH model can
        be replicated across the globe.

        As representatives in Doha struggle to find ways of reaching a consensus on global
        emissions, Bhutan is also being held up as an example of a developing country that has
        put environmental conservation and sustainability at the heart of its political agenda. In the
        last 20 years Bhutan has doubled life expectancy, enrolled almost 100% of its children in
        primary school and overhauled its infrastructure.

        This change from GDP to GNH is an idea whose time has come!

        How long do you think it will take for Australia to change the way we think and change the way we do things? We need real and measurable action to mitigate CCC.
        With the current mob of political dinosaurs, we’ll all be dead before they get around to divesting themselves of their coal stocks!
        Our politician’s minds are too rigidly mired in capitalism, GDP as the only measure of a nation’s wealth and health, and saving their dinosaur ideologies and their own asses – AT OUR EXPENSE! Regards, Kim Best…….. again!

  31. Mr. Smith, We are constantly told by the treasurer that we must get the welfare bill down as it has grown to unsustainable levels yet we continue to import people who will be welfare dependent, many of them for their entire lives. Many in my area seem to be making the most of system by having large families. Since the Government moved the goal posts I am not entitled to any entitlements apart from a seniors health care card. I have enough to live on but I worked my entire life for that yet I feel many hard working Australians are being stripped of entitlements to finance the welfare payments to refugees. Our standard of living is dropping while theirs is going up, our suburbs are being destroyed while being turned into the ghettos of the future, it’s very short sighted to think we can run our economy on building high rise units and importing people to fill them.

    1. I will take that as a comment as I don’t have any simple or productive way of solving the problem, plus others could come up with their suggestions.

  32. Hi Dick,
    I totally agree with your Population policy & have great difficulty understanding why our governments do not clearly articulate their “non-caring” stance. People are finally starting to recognise they need to speak out on this issue & demand better policies from our political leaders – Thank You.

    Some how you seem to link Population growth to Economic growth which is confusing. The issues around Population growth is multi-facilitated & include social, cultural & other non-economic matters. Just look at the continued push for more & more people being crammed into the Northern Beaches where you & I live. We can have economic growth via other means than a growing population. Improvements in productivity, technology & better utilisation of existing resources can make a big difference.
    The issue of continued population growth is on a head-on collision course with economic growth via new efficiencies coming from Automation & Artificial intelligence.

    1. You are absolutely correct, we can have economic growth without population growth but it is a lot harder. It is certainly easier for a company to have growth in profits if there is never ending population increase and more consumers.

      Yes, they can have growth in profits a different way, that is, bringing in efficiencies and lowering costs, however it is a bit of a pity if they lower costs like Aldi do, by not employing people or making sure typical Aussies are given the sack. That is a disaster and that is what is happening!

      Imagine, 12% youth unemployment now. It was around 3% when I got my first job.

  33. Hi Dick,

    Firstly I want to congratulate you on taking up this issue with such passion, it is a vitally important conversation that we, and in fact all, western democracies must engage in. Until now we have not had people of sufficient influence and standing prepared to press this issue.

    Whilst I completely agree with your viewpoint, I am more than a little concerned with a portion of the supporter base that you seem to have attracted. Whilst I note that much of the comments and questions on this page are very reasonable ones, I have read a lot of comments on your various YouTube posts which reveal that you have attracted a lot of racially fearful people who seem to think you’re giving legitimacy to the types of racist fears put forward by the likes of Pauline Hanson.

    Please correct me if I’m wrong but I believe that this type of racist fear mongering is not your intention at all and, like myself, you appreciate that in Australia’s case this is purely a numbers game. I don’t care who comes here and what racial and cultural mix our country is made up of, the only thing that matters are the numbers.

    If I have correctly interpreted your message, then are you at all concerned that by allowing yourself to be associated with this parochial demographic it will undermine the legitimacy of your message and make it easier for your opponents to write you off as an irresponsible populist fanning the flames of racist discontent?

    1. You state – “are you at all concerned that by allowing yourself to be associated with this parochial demographic it will undermine the legitimacy of your message and make it easier for your opponents to write you off as an irresponsible populist fanning the flames of racist disconnect”. Andrew, no, I have no concern at all. In fact, what you’ve touched on is the whole reason the population issue is not discussed. Some people will link it to racism and then that stops all discussion, which is what has happened.

      You have got to remember, Andrew, people like you and me are so good because we are not racist, whereas people like Pauline Hanson and her supporters are evil! In fact, I’m joking. I don’t believe for a second that you and I are any different to many of the people who are fearful about change taking place too quickly.

      To me a racist is a truly evil person – I equate a racist to someone like Hitler. Fortunately we don’t have many of those in Australia, however we do have a lot of dishonest do gooders who make out that others are racist but not themselves. If you said to them, “Well then, let’s be fair let’s open up our borders to everyone who wants to come here – yes, millions and millions”. I think you would very quickly find they would not want to do this.

      No, Andrew, you are not going to take me down the line that someone like you is “good” and other people are “bad”, I won’t buy that one.

      1. I’m not trying to take you down any line of “good” and “bad”, I’m simply confronting a reality that you will have to face up to if you’re truly genuine in your pursuit of this cause.
        You admit that when this topic is linked with racism it effectively stops all discussion. I agree totally but it isn’t people like me who inject the racism card into this debate, it’s the conservative supporters (like the One Nation people) who bring it.
        You infer that only “some” people will try to use this as an excuse to end the discussion but the reality is that every opponent you have debated this issue with on TV has tried to use it against you, somewhat effectively I might add.
        I don’t want these people to be able to continue to employ this tried and true method of muddying the waters on this issue, it’s too important. However, if you refuse to distance yourself from the people who are jumping on the band wagon to further their xenophobic agendas then you will fail to get mainstream acceptance of this idea.
        Unless of course you are hedging your bets that the xenophobic sentiment will win over the mainstream and you will therefore be well positioned to reap the rewards in terms of support numbers. That may explain the very politician-like attempt to deflect my question back as some kind of moral rebuke instead of risking the loss of the possible groundswell of One Nation supporters.

        Either way, I wish you the best of luck in promoting discussion on this topic, I just hope it’s for the reasons you purport.

        1. No Andrew, I’m not “hedging” my bets, that the xenophobic sentiment will win over the mainstream and that I “will therefore be well positioned to reap the rewards in terms of support numbers”. In fact, as I have stated before, I have virtually given up on this. I think you should take over the task and see how you go.

  34. Hi Dick
    I am a small business owner in northern NSW. I totally agree with all your views. We desperately need people like yourself in Parliament, people with common sense. High immigration will destroy the Australia we know.

    1. Thanks for your comment.

    2. Wrong Jack. It is not “will destroy”, better words would be “is destroying”. You can almost put a monetary cost on it as well. 235,000 people in one year at $200,000 per person is $47B last year. That’s how much we had to find extra. The country is falling to bits around us already. We are sleep walking into disaster on so many fronts.

      Dick Smith is not the answer either. We need an army of Dick Smiths, or at least a parliament of them.

  35. Thanks for standing up for the people like me who think the same, but are called “racist”. I chose to live in a white, democratic society. I am not a white supremasist by any means, but I have been attacked (once in a taxi, where I should have been safe) by males from other cultures because of our lifestyle.
    I lived in Germany recently when all the attacks went down in Cologne from immigrant men against German women. They rounded about them at festivals and raped them on the streets because they were drinking, smoking and wearing T-shirts and shorts.
    My personal experience was when I was living in Stuttgart around the time of the immigration influx. The Syrian men would stand on one corner, smoking, ogling and catcalling women (I was one of them) at a major train station in Stuttgart, whilst their wives and children were on the other corner begging for food.
    The Stuttgart council had to put a notice out before an upcoming street festival, that women were allowed to wear uncovered hair, shorts, skirts, tshirts, exposed arms and legs drink and smoke and dance as they wished, as that was part of the German culture. I really wish I had kept that flyer.
    Thanks Dick Smith. I’m 60 have contributed to Australia all my life as a working person and now find that I cannot afford rent. My house that I rent is now being sold and I don’t know what will happen.
    I wish you all the best in your crusade. Keep up the great work, and thank you so much.
    Sincerely yours and best wishes, Felicia.

    1. I will leave that as a comment

  36. Hi Dick,
    We are doing a school project and need to know what is the best way to deal with over population?
    We looked at another website telling us we need to set a birth rate of 2 children per family or less is this true?

    1. Thanks for your question about your school project. The best way to deal with overpopulation depends on where the situation exists. In developed countries like Australia where there are high levels of education, the increase largely comes from immigration. This is because educated families are sensible and whether they have 5 or more kids or 1 or 2, the average is about replacement level. In fact, a good example of how sensible educated families are is countries like Germany, Italy and Japan, where the birth rate is less than replacement levels and the populations are actually decreasing. This I believe is because families have realised they want to bring children into this world that can have a good and satisfying life and that’s going to be hard if we have perpetual population increase.

      When it comes to developing countries especially Sub-Saharan Africa, I think the job there is to lift the standard of education. What is shown is that once people are educated, especially women, they make sensible decisions on the number of kids they will have. Personally I am totally against any form of birth control such as what happened in China i.e. their one child policy. I would prefer that people are given the necessary level of education and then potential mothers and fathers make sensible decisions.

      In relation to your last question, no, I don’t agree that we need to set a birth rate of 2 children per family, I see this as control and I think it is completely unnecessary and takes away people’s personal freedom. Some families have 5 or 6 kids and can put in the extra work to give them a really good life, where other families have 1 or 0 kids. It’s surely up to the Mum and Dad to decide what is best in their particular circumstances. I think the most important issue here is that any children that are being brought into the world can have a good life. I’m sure you agree.

      1. Thank you.

  37. Hi Dick

    I would like to know about your thoughts on the following topics:

    – Artificial Intelligence is accelerating its replacement of Humans in the workforce (particularly white collar work).
    – Advances in robotics have brought us very close to replacing many human workers
    – We will experience rates of unemployment of over 25% by the mid 2020’s
    – Every new migrant effectively increasing the nominal unemployment rate in 10 years from now. This will be a massive burden on the public purse.
    – If we stop immigration now, we can reduce the future cost of looking after these future unemployed.

    Keep up the good work

    1. Thanks for your question. I agree regarding artificial intelligence and robotics, it is going to mean less and less jobs. You mention that we could experience rates of unemployment of 25% by the mid 20’s, this is staggering. That’s why I mentioned in the Fair Go Manifesto, see here, that we may have to start looking at a living wage. I think they are doing this in Finland at the moment. It sounds amazing that we would actually pay people not to work. I have a feeling that is what will have to happen in the future. It appears even Richard Branson and Bill Gates also believe we should look at a living wage. The problems will be how do you have self-esteem if you are not actually working in a productive job? How do those who are working in a productive job and paying their taxes feel about you? There are certainly interesting times coming in the future.

      Whilst I agree that migrants could go towards increasing unemployment, it is most important we look at the whole world. That’s why my Grim Reaper style ad was about the whole world, that is to go from 7 billion to 11 billion people is going to be a catastrophe.

      Yes, I think we should set an example here and try and get a stable population. Changing our immigration rate from a clearly unsustainable 200,000 per year to 70,000 will mean it is still very generous on world standards. We can give lots of people, including family reunions a chance to come here.

      Thanks again.

  38. Hi Dick,

    We watched the interview this morning between you and David Koch and unfortunately found him lacking in respect for your opinion, over-talking you and just basic poor manners. We have now read your information on the overpopulation issue and agree totally with your findings. If you ever find a honest & trustworthy representative, willing to create a political party with this policy plan in mind, we would support it 100%, to the point of running in our local electorate. Sometime has got to change & I believe we should start now…

    1. Thanks, I’ll leave that as a comment

  39. Hi Dick,

    I still remember receiving the first issue of Australian Geographic in 1986 when I was 10 years old.

    Whilst most children today spend much of their free time in front of iPad screens, my three children are busy restoring a forest in Gippsland. Our passion is biodiversity and a sustainable future for Australia.

    I’d be delighted if you would spare 8 minutes to watch the documentary we made, which screened at the Mount Best Short Film Event on Saturday.

    Here is the YouTube link: https://youtu.be/xL54lpysPik

    Enjoy! And thank you for everything…

    Katie James and Family

    1. Thanks Katie.

  40. Hi Dick , I definitely support your movement but you are wrong about a few things.
    You say that having more people wont help drought affected farmers- wrong, because that’s more taxpayers to pay for their agro- welfare that they need to survive.
    You say that every Australian family has a population plan, _ I don’t think people think that way- they are thinking of themselves. It costs a lot to have children in Australia , but people are happy to reap the financial benefit of population growth in other countries , i.e. The cheap labour that gets you a 30 dollar electric drill from Bunnings or a 2 dollar can of tomatoes from Italy ( most horticultural work in Italy is done by African migrants ).
    You say that we dont have to sacrifice anything to be sustainable – that’s wrong – the incredible cheapness of fossil fuels has made the modern world possible and all the things that go with it. I want to hear public figure say that we can and should accept a materially lower standard of living, but of course no politician will ever say that, and even you wont . But nevertheless you come the closest of any public figure I have seen, to telling this like it is – so I am on board!

    1. Lloyd, a great letter, however I have never said, “that we don’t have to sacrifice anything to be sustainable”. In fact, I’m positive that our present rate of using 1.8 times the world’s resources can’t go on forever.

      Also, I think we’re going to have a lower material standard of living forced on us in the future, however, if I supported such a thing at the present time I would be immediately accused of being hypocritical because of my own personal wealth.

      I agree most parents are thinking of themselves in relation to the number of children they have. It would be great if we could get our politicians to think of themselves, their own families and their grandchildren and also have a population plan. After all, so many things are driven by self-interest it seems to be a human frailty.

      1. Agree Dick, why don’t these pollies think of their childrens/grandchildrens future. Something needs to give and no one seems to listen, we’re ll going about our lives and I really think most people don’t realise how much immigration we actually have and have had for years!

        1. Thanks for your comment Geoff.

  41. Hi dick. Who do i vote for in the qld election

    1. Jason, I don’t know a lot about the Queensland election but I suggest you vote for a politician who has a population policy, otherwise there are going to be more and more young people in Queensland who will never have a proper career.

  42. Dear Dick,
    Congratulations with your new website because I agree with your views and what you are striving to achieve. I have not read all of your articles but when browsing the Questions and Answers page I was very surprised to learn that you support nuclear power for electricity generation.
    I do not support nuclear power for many reasons which I will not detail here. It will make my point too lengthy.
    I urge you to read Gar Smith’s book (which is American) “Nuclear Roulette: The Truth about the Most Dangerous Energy Source on Earth” which I hope, will change your mind about the nuclear industry.
    Did you know as a result of the Fukushima accident that the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency reported a “radiation cloud” over the country’s east coast with radiation levels eight times above normal ?
    Even uranium is a finite resource.
    Some web links for quick reading in case you decide not to read the book are:
    http://www.chelseagreen.com/nuclear-roulette
    http://www.truth-out.org/progressivepicks/item/13443-we-are-being-nuked-with-false-information-on-atomic-energy
    While it is true that wind and sunlight are not continuous, (a nuclear power plant needs to shut down to replace spent fuel rods).
    Gas or LNG is useful for sudden electricity demands. but then that is exported for “peanuts” and we are “charged the earth” !!! A point for you to raise ?
    Have you considered other continuous energy forms like – wave power, hydro , geothermal etc. ?
    Kind Regards
    Frank

    1. Frank, thanks very much for your question. Yes, I’ve certainly considered other energy forms like wave power, hydro and geothermal. They all appear to be enormously expensive or are not “continuous”. In relation to nuclear power, the reason I’m not turned off nuclear because of the Fukushima incident is the same reason I still fly internationally by airlines, despite the fact that lots of airlines have crashed. I believe after every accident safety is improved and I look at the resultant level of safety. You seem to be personally obsessed with Fukushima – where not one life was lost from radiation but fifteen thousand lives were lost because of the tsunami wave. The French seem to have 70% of their nuclear power humming away without any great problems. In my flights around the world France has always been the country with the least air pollution and greatest visibility levels. For base load power, I simply can’t see anything that is low carbon that competes with nuclear.

      1. Despite just joining I’m now leaving the group. There is nothing less responsible or sustainable, let alone regenerative, in nuclear power. When recorded goes back only a few thousand years BC it’s ludicrous to imagine humans being able to successively manage nuclear waste for a few hundred thousand years. Nuclear power is the ultimate pollution. Goodbye.

        1. Thanks for your views but I am sure you understand that you benefit in Australia from our huge export income from being one of the largest exporters of uranium in the world.

          I wonder if you would campaign for France to close down its nuclear power generators – currently providing 70% of power and much needed back-up power to Denmark and Germany when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing.

          Don’t worry, I think it’s unlikely we will ever use nuclear power in this country because most people are opposed. By the look of it, it just means continuing greenhouse gasses going into the atmosphere as renewables are possible but only affordable for the wealthy.

          Perhaps we should cross-subsidise power from the wealthy to the pensioners and then we would be able to move to renewable. I wonder if many people support that idea.

      2. hi dick it seems pumped hydro is now the go, in all its forms micro and mega,. a report on the news a couple of weeks ago stated, aust has more than enough sites for pumped hydro to cover our base load many times over. I personally would never vote for nuke power. nor would most aussies, it would go down like a lead balloon at any election and the party that proposed it would get a real hiding. keep up the great work more power to you , just not nuke power, lol

        1. oh by the way many nuke power stations run at a loss, in the us tree mile island couldn’t make money so cut corners , ka blam the Japanese nuke industry will now never make a profit, know one has a computer powerful enough to work out the final bill for their little hiccup. where it was found the company running things was again cutting corners so some of the fail safes did not work . imagine a aussie nuke power station with a private enterprise company running it on a shoe string to maximise profits this is a for forgone conclusion. or worse still the government with their shelberite mentality you know the one that led to many of our defence force secrets having pass words like test, or other silly lazy attempts I think we all know the answer, ka bloom.

          1. Re nuke stations running at a loss, you seem to reflect what most of my friends who are against nuke believe – that is everything is bad about nuclear power and nothing is good. Of course, you don’t mention that 15,000 people died in the Tsunami in Japan but not one person has died from radiation from the meltdown of Fukushima.

            I’m not saying nuclear is without risk, I just find it fascinating that my green friends go to France for the beautiful food and wine but seem to forget the French grid is 70% nuclear powered and provides the back- up power for Germany and Denmark at times when there is a peak load shortage in those countries.

            Wooworths has just deleted the Dick Smith fruit spread because we can’t compete with the French St Dalfour. Our fruit spread is made in Adelaide and the company can’t pay the higher electricity costs because of the move towards more expensive renewables whilst the French St Dalfour can make the jams at low cost because among other things, they are using nuclear power from Australia’s cheap uranium supply.

        2. I’m not sure if pumped hydro will ever be “the go” in acceptable scale, you’ve got to understand that because the pump water only stays in a particular dam, either the upper one or the lower one for a few days or even a few hours, it means that nothing will grow so you end up with a huge, destroyed muddy, eroded valley. I just don’t think typical Australians would allow the enormous destruction of hundreds of our beautiful valleys with pumped hydro.

          Yes, there are plenty of sites available but can you imagine if just about every valley you look at in the Great Dividing Range is just a muddy mess when the water drains out with more and more erosion.

          No, don’t think it is going to happen. I also agree with you at the present time most Aussies won’t vote for nuke power, we will continue on with fossil fuels, look at this quote from the Financial Times in the UK on 6th August 2012, “Modern economies are built on fossil-fuelled growth. Changing this model materially and quickly has proved to be untenable in the absence of a disaster. Business-as-usual emissions growth is the consequence. This may well produce a disaster that we will be powerless to redress.”

  43. Just a simple question from a simple soul. You say you hate ALDI coming into Australia but they have been great for us! Our big supermarkets were making us so angry by ripping us off so much but now they are so scared and just look how much they have brought their prices down! Unbelievable! I say thanks to ALDI and it’s great they are a family company so don’t have to pander to the shareholders – just their customers which is the way all businesses should operate. Just look at the hatred for the big banks now! Massive profits for the shareholders but jobs being stripped. Can’t understand why people don’t use building societies instead as they are owned by their members and profits generally go towards charities. So thanks to ALDI and you don’t have to shop there if you’re still a loyal Woolworths shopper!!

    1. I certainly don’t hate Aldi, in fact I admire them but I believe they are an example of “extreme capitalism” and they will completely change the way of life that we know in Australia today. I have always predicted they will be immensely successful because they have very low overheads – primarily from not employing many workers. They are incredibly smart and greedy capitalists. They are owned by a family trust in Germany, I think made up of the descendants of the original founders. Wouldn’t you think the billions they would be making in Germany would be enough? But no, or possibly they could have come to Australia because they feel sorry for Australians having to pay the higher prices from our Aussie owned supermarkets, primarily because they employ far more Australians and the overheads are higher.

      You say our big supermarkets are “ripping us off” however they are in a very competitive field making three or four cents in the dollar which is distributed to lots of Aussie shareholders, mainly superannuation funds and the like so it’s spread out amongst all Australians.

      Every cent of the Aldi profit will eventually go back to Germany, making that trust and family even wealthier. Wouldn’t you think they would already have enough?

      You are also correct they don’t have to pander to shareholders like the typical mums and dads who have their superannuation invested in Australia so they can have a decent retirement. I predicted that Aldi will eventually take over Coles or Woolies and then Walmart will come here and take over the other, we won’t own even our own supermarket chains and all of the profits and wealth will head off to the northern hemisphere.

      In the end Australians will be poorer with more and more people out of work. Never underestimate the incredible greed of modern “extreme capitalism”.

      1. Thank you so much. Very helpful information. We completely agree

      2. You are right in calling Aldi greedy capitalists, but then again greedy and capitalist go hand in hand irrespective of what company you care to mention. They have forced Coles and Woolies to markedly lift their game though and that has benefited consumers.
        I think it’s a bit of overreach to claim that Aldi will take over Coles and Woolies. Aldi’s market share has grown quickly but they’re still behind the other 2 and it’s slowed down a lot. As long as governments don’t sqib on extracting decent taxes from them then it’s not all lost profits to Germany. Besides Aussie companies bring money back in to the country from overseas operations so it is a two-way street.

        1. I’m not sure if I have called Aldi “greedy capitalists”, I believe I have said they are a case of extreme capitalism.

          The only way I can see Coles and Woolworths competing is if they sack at least 50% of their staff, that’s the Aldi formula, it is the only reason they are cheaper.

          The Aldi products are good but they have lower overheads because they have less staff. That is, they share the wealth with Australian workers less than Coles and Woolworths do. They give some of that saving to Australian consumers with cheaper prices and the rest of the saving goes off to Germany to make the Albrecht family descendants some of the wealthiest people in the world.

  44. hi dick greg from Adelaide why the hell are you not in parliament clearly you have the brains and something that the majority of aussies are screaming out for and that is common sense, please take the plunge if not only for this generation but generations beyond and you will have endless support my friend, kind regards greg

    1. The reason I am not in Parliament is that would be an incredibly frustrating place to be. I’m sure there are lots of good people there but the way our present democracy works and the way the media insists that our politicians follow a ritual and become actors would certainly not suit me.

  45. Are you going to run your party in the next Federal election? If you do you have my vote! We need someone with your vision at the helm. I agree they are ruining our country and we cannot sustain these high levels of immigration.
    Thankyou for your hard work.
    Jacquie

    1. You ask, “Are you going to run your party in the next Federal election”? Jackie, I don’t have a party, I’m hoping one of the major parties will bring in a population policy – if they don’t I believe they are doomed. My problem in getting into politics or starting a new party is getting enough competent people to surround myself with. My success has always come from getting lots of capable people to work with me and that takes years to develop competent and trustworthy people. At the age of 73 I don’t have that time, unfortunately.

  46. Dear Mr Smith,

    I’m a young entrepreneur just starting out my first production based business from home and I’m looking to expand in the next few years enough to finally employ people.

    There’s very few jobs in S.A and production is down big time, my first job was packing weet-bix for Sanitarium at the Adelaide Hackney factory, it was also the first time I was made redundant as they closed the factory and a lot of good people lost their jobs then.
    Since I’ve had many many jobs from working at the Royal Adelaide Hospital as an orderly to working as a teaching assistant in an Indigenous community in the N.T. It seems apparent to me that production based industry has taken a huge dive and this has cost a lot of people their work and our economy as well.

    My main questions are;

    1. How big of an impact do you think the APRA policies that are on the table at the moment (have been in development since 2012) will have on the housing market and the jobs market? The policies suggest that the gov and banks will be able to bail themselves out with depositors money which is utterly ridiculous.

    2. The Citizens Electoral Council proposed instating a Glass Steagall act to protect depositors with a public banking system for the housing market, micro business loans etc. This will separate the housing market from the speculative market (which includes positions which can be used to bet against businesses and economies).
    Do you think that’d work to protect the peoples assets from the tumultuous speculative markets?

    3. When you were 26 how many jobs had you worked by that time?

    4. Do you think we need to help our farmers change to higher leverage crops with higher production like Hemp or Moringa Olifera? Moringa is a tree than can be intensively cultivated to produce several hundred tonne per hectare annually of nutrient dense leafy greens and seeds which can be used to purify water compared to a lucky annual double cropping of wheat which on average produces only 6 tonne per hectare.

    If you’re ever in Adelaide I would love to talk with you sometime. I greatly respect your work, efforts, transparency and candor which are rare commodities these days.

    I apologize for the long questions, but APRA is going to be voted on in 3 weeks and it seems like nobody knows anything about this but they know everything about the same sex marriage debate. It’s a legitimate economic threat of a policy.

    1. My answers to your questions;
      1. I’m not an expert on this I’m hoping they will do something.
      2. I think it is a good idea to separate the housing market from the speculative market, but I don’t know if big business would allow that to happen. Remember, in a democracy where the funding of political parties comes from donations, the political parties normally have to keep big business on side. That’s why with my Fair Go Manifesto I would abolish funding of parties from donations.
      3. By the age of 26 I was running Dick Smith Electronics and I had two different jobs before then, one working for Findlay Communications fixing two-way radios and the other working for Weston Electronics fixing and then as a salesman selling two-way radios to the taxi industry.
      4. Yes, any assistance to farmers would be a good idea however we are wasting our time if we think it’s going to come from the government. Surely the farmers themselves must be looking at these crops to see if they can earn better money – I hope so.

      I’m sorry for such short answers unfortunately I have no plans to go to Adelaide at the present time.

  47. Hi Dick,
    I’ve been posing questions about compounding growth for some years across various forums, mainstream and not, and for me it’s a no-brainer; at some point unchecked growth must reach physical limits. Most recently I spent several hours on the North East Link forum (Melbourne) raising such questions, with little feedback.
    My firm belief is no-one really cares about compounding (perpetual) growth, the doubling effects over time, the drain on finite resources that make it all possible and as a result I choose to continue a completely unsustainable existence myself, along with my family and friends (perhaps I live more modestly than many, but that new car or boat or overseas holiday remains an attraction). It’s utterly obvious we live in a “growth is good” paradigm and to suggest otherwise rarely gets agreement.
    Here’s my question: Dick, can you convince me, an Limits To Growth proponent (and a builder who actually thrives on all the growth and debt others take on!), that you have a plan that clearly demonstrates to “enough” Australians that LTG is real? If so, I’m onboard.
    Here’s my 2c suggestion: Become a maths teacher. I realise people don’t do maths, but honestly they need to understand basic compounding to understand there are limits (heck, most of us pay compound interest on our home loans, we *should* understand the maths!). This is step one, IMHO, before any further inroads can be made. Walk us through a simple example, how a $1000 growing at 7% doubles over time – every 10 years in fact. Equate that to the growth of the Chinese economy, show how it’s impossible for it to continue doubling in size over and over indefinitely, how finite resources must be found and produced, the challenges involved.
    No amount of advertising or soap-boxing can replace basic knoweledge.
    Understanding basic compounding maths, as simply demonstrated by Prof Al Bartlett decades ago, was my lightening bolt moment. At present, people have no issue with growth; they believe it’s sustainable when in reality it’s an utter falsehood.

  48. dear mr smith, there is a lot of bullshit on face book but I would like to know how much are pensioners are paid fortnightly and how much illegal imigrants get and why

    1. Andy, I’m pretty sure the pension is about $888 per fortnight and I don’t know how much illegal immigrants get paid – I don’t think there is a very high number of illegal immigrants in Australia and most of them are here because they have over stayed a visa after coming in by plane.

  49. Heres a new argument to ponder…. If robotics and ai are on the increase and you increase the population in a particular region what happens to that population as they compete with all the legacy pressures as well as new pressures caused by technology

    1. Mark, a good point to ponder. I have a feeling that in the end wages and salaries will be pushed down. That’s why Bill Gates believes there should be a tax placed on robotics – in effect as there is on human labour, something well worth pondering.

  50. Dick can you tell me and the general public how much money has Julie Bishop given in donations and foreign aid of Australian money to other countries since she became Foreign minister ? I bet it will be hard to find out.

    1. Bruce, no, I can’t tell you how much Julie Bishop on behalf of the Australian Tax Payers, which is what I think you mean, has given away to overseas countries. I have a feeling that a wealthy country like Australia has an obligation to assist developing countries. I would like to see quite a substantial amount of the money going towards assisting families in developing countries so they have control of their own fertility and can decide how many kids they can give a good life to.

      1. we may give money to poor country’s but then we steel their doctors, which with there tiny g.n.p they can not sustain. oh some don’t get in the neck from us as bad as others. look at poor old Timor we did a great job of steeling there oil/ gas and I am Shure, a few doctors shame Australia shame is their nothing we wont stoop to.

        1. Really good point about how we steal some of the most educated from these poor countries. I brought this out in my documentary, “Dick Smith’s Population Puzzle”, see here

        2. Really good point about how we steal some of the most educated from these poor countries. I brought this out in my documentary, “Dick Smith’s Population Puzzle”, see here

  51. Hi Dick, How would you solve the electricity price hikes that are crippling many Aussie battler families.

    1. Vicki, the only way I can see us solving the electricity price hikes if we want to reduce carbon, is to go nuclear for base load power, however this is almost impossible because 60% of Australians are opposed to nuclear.

      It is a nightmare to me that even the Greens are opposed to nuclear when it looks to me as if nuclear is the only way of ensuring lower cost base load power with low carbon emissions.

      Constantly we are told that renewable can compete, however this is quite often a total con. Yes, when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing renewables are competitive however on a winter’s night with no wind blowing people will not accept having no power.

      Also, fossil fuels are incredibly cheap because they are result of hundreds of millions of years of stored energy.

      One of the reasons the world has got nowhere in reducing carbon in the atmosphere is that the whole world economic system is based on cheap fossil fuel power.

      France is 70% nuclear and even provides power to Denmark and Germany at certain peak times -when the sun is not shining or the wind isn’t blowing. Many of my really Green friends love to go to France because of the wonderful food and wine and they don’t seem to be worried about the 70 nuclear power plants humming away with what seems to be very high levels of safety.

      I’m not saying nuclear is without risk – everything in life has risk, however I have a feeling that a modern nuclear power plant is a very safe way to go if you want to reduce carbon in the atmosphere and still have pensioners being able to afford to keep warm in winter.

  52. Dick, Do you agree that there should an ICAC entity set up for all tiers of government? We’re horrified at the level of seemingly increased corruption over the past six years or so. Our local government elections were awash with pro development so called independent candidates being funded by developers and managed by the local LNP federal member. Never seen anything like it.

    1. Mal and Barbara, I’m not that pro putting in even more government bureaucracies, which this would entail. I had a feeling if we use the Fair Go Manifesto idea of banning political party donations, we would solve a lot of these problems.

  53. Hello Dick,

    Do you think Australia can ever get out of the United Nations?

    1. Lisa, I have absolutely no idea on that one. Of course, United Nations was set up with good intentions and let’s hope it has probably prevented a few World Wars, however I think it is most likely the fact that we now have nuclear weapons as the reason we haven’t had a third World War. Some would not agree with me, and in balance I hope being a member of the United Nations has advantages for Australia.

  54. Hi Dick,
    I am not expert on economics, but I have a query if let say in a developed western nation a party along the lines of a pro-environment/end to inequality/social balance eg. sustainability orientated one were to win a national level election and take government. What would be the immediate and possible short term reactions economically at the domestic or international scale?

    1. Luke, I think the difficulty would be for such a party to actually win a national election. In most cases the vested interests, primarily being the very wealthy, will do everything they can to keep the status quo, preventing a party like that being elected.

  55. Hi Dick,

    I totally agree that over population will destroy our quality of life, just as it has in other countries such as India and China, where a lot of immigrants to Australia come from. And people come here because they want a quality of life for themselves and their children, which no longer exists in the countries they leave behind.

    The other issue that also threatens our quality of life is the offshoring of jobs from this country by corporations, both local and foreign that are more focused on share price and excessive senior executive salaries and bonuses, than they are about Australians. There continues to a constant drive by these corporations to move any jobs that can be performed offshore, in order to reduce their operating costs. The insane thing about this action is that these corporations are also reducing their consumer base as they increase the unemployment rate in the country. Who can afford to buy the products and services these companies sell if they don’t have a job? It’s not just manufacturing that is being offshored, we are losing jobs, such as human resources, customer service representatives and information technology workers, to name a few.

    These foreign multinationals not only provide offshored services to Australian companies, but also to State and Federal government departments. Our tax dollars are being paid to foreign companies that provide an offshored workforce. The other issue is a lot of these foreign multi-nationals are based out of countries like Singapore, because of their lower tax rates, meaning a lot of these companies are not paying tax here, or minimal tax. It’s ironic that US companies are providing I.T. to the Australian Taxation Office and pay almost zero tax.

    The middle class in the US is becoming extinct, as workers there have lost their jobs to low cost centers in poor countries. The same has happened here and it’s about time we stopped. If this continues, then we’ll have more people on unemployment, no longer paying tax, on top of the foreign corporations that are no longer paying their tax. Any wonder the government think that by increasing the population here, that they’ll have more tax paying citizens, when they could just simply curb the offshoring/cheap shoring of the workforce and make these companies pay their fair share of tax on profits that have been made here.

    1. Ramon, thanks very much your well thought-out post. Of course, it’s all a consequence of our present economic system, which must have perpetual growth in profits otherwise share values will drop and we’re told the whole economic system will collapse. I see we need an adjustment in capitalism. I think it is only going to happen after some catastrophe occurs. We’re following the USA where our middle-class is becoming extinct, and that is very serious.

  56. Dick, Hopefully you will understand my reason for asking this question. If a group of people with similar convictions and beliefs wished to start a new political party to advance their cause (if they only have the one), do you think that adding extra aims and ambitions (sweeteners like ‘cheaper housing’) would advance their prospects. Or do you think that with each extra platform they risk alienating the original flock.
    0419 386 899

    1. Robert, a very good question. Yes, I think in many cases by adding a few sweeteners you’d get extra support for the political parties. We humans seem to be like this. But when it gets down to it, most of us realise that you have to pay you own way and eventually live in balance. That’s why with good leadership from the top, we can get our wealthy tax payers to pay a bit more tax and everyone to work a bit harder to ensure that our children have at least the standard of living that we’ve been able to have.

  57. Hi Dick,is it possible for the Federal Government to stop or reduce imigration,or is Australia told by outside influences how many we must take each year,and if not what are our chances of ever reducing this rediculous amount of imigration.Cheers Nick.PS keep up the good work,Australia needs you.

    1. Nick, it is absolutely possible for the Australian federal government to decide on the number of immigrants that are coming here. We are a sovereign country, and we can control our borders. Every country in the world does this. Just imagine if we had no immigration plan at all. There would be millions of people wanting to come here and very quickly the standard of life that they wanted to attain to could be destroyed. Gerry Harvey is wrong when he says that we’re going to go to 100 million people and we have no control over it. We’re a democracy and we have full control.

  58. Hello Dick, firstly I would like to start by saying how much I admire you, you tirelessly continue to try and make Australia a better place to live.
    Being a mum I found when shopping I spent a lot of time reading the labels of the grocery items I wanted to buy to see if it’s made in Australia and if the contents were Australian produce. Sadly it’s becoming harder and harder to find Australian made Groceries. I wrote to Coles and IGA and suggested as there are isles that contain Asian, European or even Gluten Free Groceries could there not be an isle that contains Australian made Groceries? That would save customers so much time and would help Australian Manufacturer as well as creating more Awareness 😁

    1. Antje, thank you very much for your positive comments. Thanks everyone for supporting Dick Smith Foods. We’ve now given a total of $9 million away to important causes, plus we’ve assisted Australian farmers and producers. So please go out of your way and look for our products – our peanut butter, breakfast cereal, and OzEmite etc.

  59. How do you intend to make the government understant the Australia cannot take 200.000 immigrants a year!? If your party makes it into Parliament, I suppose there’s a good chance. I feel the blindness of the govt in this area almost frightening & it’ll be worst if we get a Labor govt.

    1. Vivien, with 8 out of 10 Australians agreeing we need to have a population plan, I have deluded myself (hopefully not) into believing we can get one of the major parties to have a population policy. So that’s my plan. In the meantime, I’m certainly supporting Sustainable Australia.

  60. Hello Dick,

    After having spent several weeks campaigning local Councillors regarding a 10 two-storey development in a low density residential zone, with double garages, the developer is taking the rejected application to VCAT, as is his right.

    I would welcome any thoughts and advice regarding how to present the best possible case to VCAT.

    Regards,

    Sandra

    1. Sandra, my only advice would be for you to join Sustainable Australia. Or try to get one of the major political parties to abandon their endless growth plans. Just about every house is going to be bulldozed and replaced with high-rise if we’re going to have endless growth and end up with 100 million or even 1 billion in Australia. That’s the present non-plan. It’s one of endless growth and you won’t be able to solve it just in your local area unless we can get the federal government to have a policy.

  61. What are your thoughts on fracking and gas production in farming areas?

    1. Allie, I can understand why the government is pushing for fracking and gas production in farming areas. It’s because they have to have endless population growth and that will require endless increased energy usage. I’m amazed at those who are against fracking and gas production quite often do so little about linking it with our endless growth economic system. We have to solve the economic endless growth problem before we can solve the fracking problem in farming areas in my belief.

  62. I believe in what your doing Mrs smith .I am finding it difficult to find work and being unemployed for so long. What the government is doing is wrong. I dont have a problem with immigration but to much over crowding in the city’s housing affordability poor infrastructure to accommodate all the extra people not enough jobs for everyone more strain and impact on the surrounding environment the list goes on

    1. Good on you Brandon. Thanks for having the guts to write. I know there are lots of really genuine hard working people who can’t get jobs. And that’s going to be worse if we increase our population at the current rate. With automation and robotics, there’s likely to be less jobs not more. Of course it’s not just Australia, it’s the whole world that needs to reduce population growth. If anyone can help with some influence at the United Nations, that would be great.

  63. Why can’t we bring in a debit’s tax system so it is fair on everyone. This would mean corporations pay their fair share of taxes instead of legitimately ‘manipulating’ the system the way it is now. This would be one of the richest countries on earth if we did this. I don’t care that this system would make the big guys not do business in Australia, the only business they do here is to take our money and bolt anyway, there is no business left in Australia that is creating jobs, we will soo have to close down or hand it over.

    1. Debbie, one of the problems of fixing the tax system has already been covered by some of the questions in this section – that is that the big companies will immediately move overseas to a lower tax environment. Yes they are that incredibly selfish. No doubt they’d leave their kids here in high-quality private schools whilst they make all their money in some lower tax regime. Under my system, they’ll be outed because we’ll be publishing the tax that the wealthiest 1% pay.

      1. Naming and shaming is something foreign to most Australians but it’s time that we dropped those old fashioned attitudes because the criminal element has just got worse and knows that they can get away with anything.
        Naming and shaming the people who don’t pay their fair share of taxes, those who rort the system and particularly our lawyers, judges and magistrates just might be enough to bring them back to common decency.

        1. Greg, I have a bit of a problem with the naming and shaming, however simply having a law which states that the 1% highest tax payers have their tax published as everyone does in Norway sounds a reasonable way to go. Anyone who doesn’t want to be on the list can give away some of their money so they’re no longer in the wealthiest 1%! What could be fairer?

  64. Hi Dick,
    What do you think about how the people running this great country are selling off all of its assets while running up a huge foreign debt ?

    1. Andrew, it’s what our politicians have to do to balance the budget at the moment. It’s not good for future generations, which is why I’m trying to do something about it.

  65. Hi Dick, have you had any conversations with Corrie Bernardi, he is also pushing for a common sense approach. I am just not convinced that partnering with Hanson will enhance the Fair Go movement as she is not intelligent or articulate enough to be seen as anything other than racist. Other than that, I have no other questions as your views are exactly the same as mine…Mankind’s single biggest problem is first & foremost, mankind itself.
    Keep it up Dick…..you are doing a fantastic job, bravo!

    1. Thanks for your advice regarding Cory Bernardi. Wow – I’m sure I’d be attacked in the same way I’m attacked because I’ve spoken to Pauline Hanson. By the way, I’m not ‘partnering with Hanson’. Just stating the obvious – and that is that if one of the major parties doesn’t come up with a population policy (something that 8 out of 10 Australians want) they will end up losing votes to One Nation. It’s just common sense.

  66. Hi Dick, I’m a supporter of your policies regarding sustainable population however it is widely rumoured that you have made financial contributions to One Nation. If that is true do you intend to contribute financially to that party in the future? Thanks, Regards Peter

    1. Thanks for supporting my policies regarding a sustainable population. No, I’ve not contributed financially to One Nation. What I’ve said is that my plan at the present time is to find a publicity campaign at the time of the next election to ensure that candidates with a population policy get in. My plan (maybe dream-world) is that one of the major parties by the time of the next election will have a proper population policy. Why shouldn’t they? 8 out of 10 Australians want to have a population policy for Australia.

      PS. I’ve never been a member of a political party and over the years I’ve given some donations (primarily to Labor under Bob Hawke and a bit to the Libs – but not very much). I’ve recently joined my first political party – Sustainable Australia and I hope others will join with me in becoming a member of this party and giving William Bourke the maximum support. However, I’m still pushing for one of the major parties to have a population policy. I think we’re more likely to get change this way.

  67. All Australians should be active in bringing about immediate change to the lack of royalties being paid by multinational companies who are ripping our resources out of the ground for next to no gain for Australians. Look to Norway for a decent model on how to benifit from gas and oil assets they have saved a trillion dollars in futures funds and have spread the wealth amongst their citizens. In Australia we have an over taxed under serviced population in massive debt. Wake up Australia lobby our useless government who are more interested in pandering to big companies than looking after the Australian people…Absolute disgrace that this situation has been allowed to happen! Federal politicians past and present from all persuasions should hang their heads in shame…you have failed the Australian people.
    What do you think we can do to rectify this situation?

    1. Richard, I agree with you totally. Norway has an amazing sovereign wealth fund. We should be doing the same thing in Australia. We haven’t done that, so we’re basically selling off our children’s future. It is ‘an absolute disgrace’ but it will be hard to do something about it with our present economic system.

  68. I fear that the The Housing Affordability Crisis, fueled by speculation, negative gearing, international buyers and low interest rates will cause a massive financial crisis in the near future. Your average home in Melbourne or Sydney can earn more capital in a 12 month period than your average worker can in the same period. This simply doesn’t make any sense. I think speculators forget that borrowed money needs to be paid back…

    It seems that no political party wants to even look at the topic fearing they’ll be caught red handed with a pin in their hands when the bubble bursts. What are your thoughts on this issue? I fear we’re at a point now where there are very few good outcomes for they everyday hard working Australian.

    Thanks for standing up for us Dick! I’d also like you to know that my Career in Electronic Engineering was very much influenced by a fun way into electronics kit I received for Christmas at the age of 7 some 30 years ago.

    1. All good points. Yes it looks as if it is going to be some giant crash before we fix the problems. That’s when humans work best. But it’s sad that we have to get to that situation.

  69. Where do you stand on nuclear energy I’ve read it is very safe now especially in a country like ours not prone to earthquake’s or other major disasters

    1. Pat, it’s interesting to see the number of questions and positive views about nuclear energy. I am a supporter of nuclear energy for base-load power. However, I have a feeling it is going to be very difficult to get it in Australia. There is just so much emotive belief that links nuclear power stations with nuclear bombs. I feel sure that if the two bombs had not been dropped in Japan, that every small town would probably have a small nuclear generator today and the climate change problems would not be as great. Not that I was against dropping the bombs – I understand tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of lives were saved and there’s certainly some truth in the fact that nuclear weapons since the 1950s have prevented a third world war.

      1. Nuclear energy is not a responsible option as long as there remains no clear long term plan for the safe disposal of waste. No country has yet devised a satisfactory solution to this problem and until they do it is foolhardy to push that barrow.

        1. I don’t think the French would agree that they do not have a long term plan for the storage of nuclear waste. After all they have had nuclear power for over 50 years and have been storing the waste for that time.

          When it comes to Australia, I have been down into the Olympic dam mine and there are huge areas there, completely dry which would be ideal for storing nuclear waste.

          Look at this quote from the respected Scientific American magazine in 2007, “According to the world health organization statistics, there are at least 4,025 deaths from coal for every single death from nuclear power – coal releases more radioactive material than nuclear energy – 100 times more per the same amount of energy produced”

          1. The French do not in fact have a long term storage strategy in place. They are in the process of investigating the option of deep geologic storage (which is the globally accepted best option) but like all other nuclear producing countries have yet to actually implement it. The major prohibiting factor is cost as well as suitable locations. They identified 3 possible locations for research trials and ended up scratching 2 of them. This is not an encouraging sign.
            There are risks associated with the current on-site storage arrangements including stewardship cessation and sabotage/terrorist vulnerability to name some obvious ones.

            As far as radioactivity goes you are correct that fly ash from burning coal does contain radiation (yet another reason to ditch the stuff) but it is misleading to imply that coal is responsible for more radioactive material than nuclear energy production. The data you refer to relates to “releases” of radioactive material which is easy to see why coal rates 100 times more per energy output compared to nuclear because fly ash from coal power stations is freely released into the atmosphere, whereas spent nuclear fuel is captured and either stored or reprocessed. It in no way suggests that fly ash is anywhere near as radioactive as spent nuclear fuel, just that it causes more radiation pollution in surrounding areas because it is released in great volumes in a largely uncontrolled fashion.

            The bottom line is that if the long term cost of disposing nuclear waste or babysitting it forever is factored in, it becomes far more expensive than any other form of energy generation and therefore is presently unjustifiable.

          2. I will take that as a comment however, there are more and more people who would not agree with your last paragraph.

  70. Hi Dick,

    What do you have to say to this fellow who while he agrees with your ideas on immigration and getting money out of politics, criticises your tax proposals on the basis that they would lead to capital flight from Australia? :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hMs7wv59tg

    I’m also not sure how raising corporate tax like you suggest could be made to work without some form of protectionism or economic nationalism (not necessarily a bad thing) is this what you have in mind?

    Also if you’re interested in getting your message out via alt media, he has 64k subscribers on youtube and might be interested in a direct discussion with if you contact him you seeing as he just did an interview with David Leyonhjelm.

    Not taking a dig with this question, your main ideas are fantastic and much needed, this is more intended to foster some constructive debate on the implementation details.

    Cheers

    1. Oswald, I’ll look at the video and may contact him to get some advice. Yes many say that if we put up our tax rates, capital will zip out of Australia to lower tax countries. These are generally countries that don’t have the social services and other advantages we have in Australia. I’m amazed that the wealthy are so selfish that they would direct their money to where the tax was lowest, not to where you could give the benefit to most people. The reason our prime minister is saying the corporate tax rate must come down is so we can compete with countries like America – which have a minimum wage of less than half ours and which don’t even have a universal healthcare system. The next thing, we’ll be lowering our tax rates to that of the Cayman Islands and that would mean very little government services at all. It would be a catastrophe.

  71. I have read that you want to cut immigration to 70,000 per year.

    Why?

    When I look at our current population, and particularly Victoria where I live, I see that we currently, this year are making 50 gigalitres with the desalination plant and our natural rainfall is just below average. With these figures our water storage levels are declining. We also have “permanent water saving rules”. To me, that indicates we have more than reached the sustainable population level and we should be stopping immigration and considering ways to limit population growth.

    How do you view that?

    1. Bryce, you could be correct. But if I started a campaign to have zero immigration it would get absolutely nowhere. We probably need a ‘Hitler walking into Poland moment’ to do something about our present problems. Yes, some people say we’re already over our sustainable population level. Of course, with human ingenuity it’s amazing what we can do. I have a feeling we could possibly have 100 million in Australia. But that would probably mean tens of millions without a proper job and many others on a minimum wage of about $7 an hour like they are in America. That’s half our minimum wage.

  72. Hi Dick,
    My Q is in regard to housing affordability.
    My idea is price fixing, which simply means then when a newly constructed house is sold then the sale price becomes its value. The house could never be sold for more than this amount in the future unless there are significant improvements like pools or sheds.
    What are your thoughts

    1. Brad, it is an interesting proposal. Have you read my document ‘The Aussie Housing Affordability Crisis: An Honest Debate’? It would mean taking the housing industry out of our complete market place of the free enterprise system. I think someone would be very brave to try and do that. There’s possibly be very big down-sides.

  73. Hi Dick I am wondering if you can help us, with some advice with regards to how to fight a development application. We live In Tarrawanna NSW 2518, in a beautiful residential area of an older style. We are blessed to have a reserve behind us where horses roam, we have an abundance of wildlife and beautiful views to the Illawarra escarpment. the area in question has a creek running through it and we have always been told that it would be unsuitable for development as it is a flood zone. we have now received a DA proposing construction of 30 x 2/3 br 2 storey units, with underground parking and that 2 bridges will also have to be built in order to access the site. This is all 6m from our fence. We are horrified that this could be proposed and see it as development for the sake of development, providing no real benefits to our community, using the and purely because it is there land, absolute greed. How do we fight this, we are just regular home owners

    1. Michelle, this is a really difficult one as every major political party and most councils want endless growth. Lucy Turnbull, the wife of prime minister, is the chair of the Greater Sydney Commission and it talking about Sydney going to 8 million – then no doubt 80 million or even 800 million – I’m not sure. She won’t answer me on this issue. My suggestion is that you try to get people in your council and in government who will support Sustainable Australia. Perhaps you could get Sustainable Australia going in your area.

  74. Good afternoon Dick. We are facing an election here in Queensland. There is no doubt that infrastructure is a huge issue, especially in the South East corner. We are told about the large expected growth but no plans for real infrastructure. Water, power and roads, closely followed by rail. The Labor government hasn’t addressed it in any shape or form and sadly the LNP has no real plan. It’s a current disaster and will get much worse. We have serious issues. Will there be any involvement from you or the new party you are associated with? Cheers. Doug

    1. Doug, the problem is no politician in a major party is game to doubt the endless growth issue. They then have to claim that our only problems are keeping up with infrastructure. Of course, the problem is you can’t have endless growth in a finite system. That’s what we should be talking about. We have to somehow get our capitalistic free-enterprise system to work with a different form of growth. A growth in efficiencies, and removing waste. Not just in digging more and more out of the ground.

  75. cashless welfare, cards, do you agree with the concept of the cashless welfare card ?and should this be rolled out as a whole?, not necessary to those who misuse welfare, but as a technology based of going away from cash and offering more traceability and accountability of tax payers money.

    1. Tony, I don’t have any expertise on the cashless welfare card. I do understand that a special card has helped in some aboriginal communities and a number of aboriginal people I’ve spoken to are very positive about it.

  76. We need to make big changes, and existing political parties will resist all the way.
    The big 4 are so out of touch. What would the chances be of a party that stood candidates that we actually trusted?
    Public figures of great integrity and wipe the floor with this useless lot of politicians we have.

    1. Lew, as I’ve stated before, unfortunately to be a successful political candidate in Australia you have to be an actor. If you got up and said exactly what you thought, it would be beaten up by the media that you weren’t ‘party loyal’ and your preselection would be removed or the party would not endorse you. Yes, they tell me that our democratic system is better than many other systems but probably only just a little bit better.

  77. Hi Dick, What do you think of what is happening to the areas of the MacArthur, in South West Sydney. Developers own 83 % of our small rural town of Appin, Mt. Gilead is another example of a prime cattle farm still in use, with Historical significance dating back to MacArthur, Lend Lease has got its hands on that property. Mass Development in this area at a unsustainable rate. How can we tame it.

    1. Sue, I am very concerned about the development of land in South-West Sydney. I fly over it all the time and I see the most beautiful productive land being converted into homes- all squeezed together. But the only way we’ll solve this problem is bringing our population growth down so we can live in balance.

  78. Mr Smith
    Sir your name and logo are still part of kogan, i was your employee for 3 years and loved it!! I was a casual only never a permanant staff member, my dream died the day the stores closed for good.
    My question is..
    Will you consider re opening your brand of stores with prices that fit your employees and customers making it easier for staff to get more training and become permanant members of DSE and grow within the company, we need our jobs back!! Will YOU re consider bringing back DSE for good?
    Thank you
    Christina

    1. Thanks for your positive comments. It’s interesting, Dick Smith Electronics was destroyed because of the greed of modern capitalism. The Woolworths board had constant pressure from the superannuation funds to funds to have never ending profit increases. This pressure was put on the management of Dick Smith Electronics who ended up opening over 300 shops – a totally unsustainable number. This is what happens with endless growth in business – it end up in collapse. No I simply won’t be opening a new Dick Smith Electronics. As you know, Dick Smith’s mainly sold electronic components to enthusiasts. And my friend Gary Johnson – who worked with me at Dick Smith – has kept that tradition alive with Jaycar. That’s where I buy my parts!

      1. I understand where you are coming from but you kmow jay car wont hire people like me, they are only a male orientated store, its a shame because i was honored to work for you sir!! Would you consider putting more jobs out there for people like me and my hubby who are struggling to find jobs.

        1. I had no idea that Jaycar won’t hire people like you – implying that you are a female. Why don’t you send me your resume and the type of job you’re looking for and I will approach Jaycar and see if they are interested. Your resume can be sent to PO Box 418, Terrey Hills, NSW, 2084.

  79. How would you help our farmers and outback people to cope with this horrendous drought , that so many City dwellers & Politicians , seem totally ignorant about 🙁 .

    1. Pauline, a really important question. I’ve just come back from a trip in the outback. And there is certainly a drought in many places, and it looks as if it’s getting worse. There’s one thing I can say and that is by having more people, the problem will be harder to fix. In fact just about of all of our problems we have in the world today are going to be harder to fix with more people. That is why I want a sustainable population policy.

  80. Hi Dick. Great supporter of you and your businesses and had experience with you as a pilot back in the CASA days.

    Can i ask why you chose to support the new start up political group? I would have thought to make a change in the right direction you would have supported an established one such as one nation?

    1. Brent, really good question. You’re no doubt commenting on the fact that I’m supporting Sustainable Australia. And of course, if I supported as established party such as One Nation, I’d immediately be attacked by 90% of the media. They would make out – as most do- that anyone who supports One Nation must be a full-blown racist. Of course the facts are different. Many people who support One Nation do not have a racist bone in their bodies. Yes, they may be a bit ‘tribal’ as most of us are. We support our own tribe whether it be our family, our extended family, or our country before we go off supporting other groups. I think it possibly has evolved in us since we were hunter-gatherers on the plains of Africa. I’ve been greatly criticised because I support One Nation’s policy in relation to bringing the immigration level of the long-term average of 70,000. No, I don’t agree with a number of other policies from One Nation- particularly the ban on Muslim immigration. I really feel from the kids of Muslims who should not be stopped from coming here because of the religions decisions of their parents. I’m sure many would agree with me.

  81. Should we quarantine spending on transport infrastructure, such as urban railways and rural highways, from any possible cuts needed to rein in our national budget deficit? I get angry when I hear debates about deficit versus surplus, because I remember how the Howard Government built up bloated surpluses of more than $20 billion but didn’t put them into infrastructure, while the NSW Government is currently building transport links which won’t make Sydney’s network function properly. What good is a budget surplus when people are stuck in their cars because of woeful public transport? What good is infrastructure if you don’t build it right?

    1. Warren, I’ll take it as a comment.

  82. Hey Dick if a smart man like you opened up a super market that sold Australian owend products I think it would benefit farmers local industry any true blue Aussies would shop their first it would create jobs keeping the people going. Then we could start buying our country back do you agree

    1. Tony, the problem with an Aussie shop selling Australian owned products is its very difficult for it to be viable. I operated a shop for Dick Smith Foods at Belrose for about a year and we lost about $6000 per month. We just couldn’t get the turnover while selling at a reasonable price that would cover the high wages that we pay here in Australia.

  83. Hello!
    What is your opinion on Australia’s lack of investment on future nuclear for energy?
    I’ve seen before you have stated that Nuclear should be a last resort, but with the developments over the last decade, there are much more options that are both proliferation resistant and safer.

    As I’m sure you’re aware, nuclear reactors could bridge the transition between non-renewables to an approaching 100% target. For instance, the Whyalla Steelworks require roughly 60MW to be generated on-site, with the excess power purchased from the grid. Unless an entire thermal-solar plant was supplied to them, or some unknown power storage system, there is no renewable source available to use.

    Thank you for the opportunity to peer into your thinking process,
    -Aaron

    1. Aaron, in my view, so that our pensioners in future can afford power, if we want to go low-carbon I can’t see any other answer than nuclear. However, it’s going to be really hard. There is so much emotive pressure against using nuclear. It’s really sad. Imagine if we didn’t fly by airline because we judged the safety of airlines on the Russian Aeroflot company of the 70s. They crashed their airlines every few weeks and killed thousands of people. Yet, many people dismiss nuclear energy because of what happened at Chernobyl. By answer to them is: Well don’t get the old Soviet Union to build and operate your nuclear power station. Countries like the UK, France, and Germany have shown that nuclear power can be operated for many decades with very high levels of safety. Yes, everything has risk. However I have a fear the risk is greater from burning fossil fuels which looks as if is the way we’re going to go.

  84. From our greatly privileged position in the world it may seem that your campaign is focusing on the negative side of the immigration issue. Of course we need to bring the population growth to sustainable levels for the sake of our environment by reducing the immigration rate but this can only happen with increased foreign aid, increased refugee intake and extrication from Australia’s collaboration in foreign military activities that contribute greatly to these mass migrations of population. Could you please outline your policies regarding these three issues.

    1. Cam, you bring up some really good points. Lots of people say to me ‘Dick, with over 7 billion people in the world, why are you going on about whether we have 24 or 100 million in Australia. Surely it’s irrelevant.’ Have a look on my Fair Go Manifesto (www.dicksmithfairgo.com.au/pdf/Dick-Smith-Fair-Go-Aug.pdf) – I believe it covers my views on the issues. Most importantly I want to concentrate our foreign aid to educating women. So the number of children brought into the world are all wanted and can be given a decent life in the future. Some people say to me that because the world problem is so great we may as well not worry about it in Australia. I don’t agree. If I had power to do something, it would be to make sure the United Nations developed a population policy. For some reason, possibly based on religion, they’re not game to have any policy on this important issue.

  85. Hi Dick
    Another question. What do you think of welfare cards instead of welfare money being given out?
    Also, I think young people who have left school and two years later still not working should have mandatory enlistment in airforce, army or navy. What is your opinion on that?

    Thanks

  86. Hi Dick
    What do you think about Malcolm Turnbull, Bill Shortens leadership?

    1. Natalie, well I’m not that impressed. But I suppose they’re just reflecting what the opinion polls and their advisers tell them. Our democratic system has its flaws. And one of the flaws is that our politicians have to be actors. If you actually got a politician who said it as it was, say like John Hewson, they will end up not becoming prime minister. It’s us, the electors, that insist on having actors. And of course it’s the media who goes along with it. Also, in the situation with Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten, they are all members of a party. So they have to make compromises the whole time. It’s one reason I’m not interested in becoming prime minister until I’m called as dictator! – Just joking.

  87. Hi Dick. Comment first, We are in this situation with electricity because of our State and Federal Governments, allowing the sell off of the electricity generation plants, no one else to blame there very simple. My question is. When is our elected governments going to stop masquerading around like a bunch of clowns and do something positive, to fix the problem ?? They keep shifting the blame, you cant keep selling assets, and not expect there to no problems down the line .

    1. Paul, the problem is that our politicians will be thrown out if we don’t have perpetual growth in our economic system. That’s shown in our present system to be best gained by flogging everything off that you can. Can’t really blame the politicians – they’re reflecting what 51% – or at least 49% – of Australians vote for.

  88. Hi Dick,

    Are you planning on building a political party? Do you have candidates?
    What’s you opinion on renewable energies for Australia?

    1. No Travis, not planning to start a political party. Just far too hard and far too long a time to get enough capable people. In my business career it’s normally taken 2-3 years to get a capable person for each job. And that’s after trying 2-3 candidates that haven’t worked out. My plan is to try and get one of the major political parties to have a population policy in the meantime, I’m also supporting Sustainable Australia. In relation to renewable energy, I can see a real problem. In a given 12 months period, it’s easy to get up to 50% of the total energy from renewables. Germany has shown that. But it’s the other 50% that’s the problem. The only low-carbon way I can see of doing that is to go nuclear, but that seems to be a complete no-no in Australia. Everything else I’ve looked at is far more expensive than our present system of using fossil fuels for base-load power. Unfortunately, many of my friends who are pro-renewables fudge the figures all of the time to make the renewables from storage look ok. I’ve got an electric car which is completely powered from the sun and has a large battery back-up so I can charge it when I come back at night. That car costs about 4x per kilometer to drive compared to a petrol version of the same vehicle. That’s because the capital cost of the car and the solar equipment is quite high and has to be written off over a 10-15 year period.

  89. Hi Dick i have been following your efforts since i was a kid i’m now 68.

    What is you opinion on building a nuclear power plant or two in the middle of the dessert. we could get the water for it from the north and then develop the area into a huge garden for our food security. sure it would cost us heaps but with todays pricing it wouldn’t take long to pay for it surely.

    Thankyou in antipication

    Neil Ludbey

    1. Neil, over the past few years I’ve been positive about nuclear for base power, however, I just can’t see it happening here. This is because about 80% of people I talk to are against nuclear. Even the young kids will tell me that they’re told at school that nuclear is bad. This seems incredibly hypocritical considering we’re one of the largest exporters of uranium in the world. And some of that uranium goes to France where they have 70% nuclear power. Renewables are possible – especially in a place like Australia but I have a feeling that the costs will be far higher than using fossil fuels.

  90. Do you have any ideas on how to stop this monster adani from its plan … we are running out of time .. we have protested ,written … found endless reasons it should not go ahead ….can’t get labour onside …
    This spells a final disaster for a world heritage site !!!
    What can we do ????

    1. Jane, one of the problems re the Adani protest is very few are linking it to the fact we’re going to need more and more energy if we increase the population from 24 million to 100 million – that’s what it’s going to be at the end of this century at the present growth-rate of 1.6% per year. The politicians are concerned about the fact that energy prices will get higher and higher if we don’t open more cheap coal mines. And then the politicians will get voted out. The main reason we have such a high material standard of living in the Western world is that fossil fuels have given us incredibly cheap energy. It’s going to very hard to wean ourselves off fossil fuels. I would like to believe the claim that renewables can be as cheap. From all the research I’ve done renewables can certainly be cheap when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing. However, after five mornings of cloud and no wind, the only renewable power is that available from storage and that so far is very expensive.

  91. Gidday Dick…Why is our government importing so many immigrants that don’t work and is spiraling centrelink payments through the roof and what happens when they reach retirement age…??? And when we the real Australian is set retire get stuff all…???

    1. Rob, the main reason is that politicians behind all this growth is the fact that we haven’t worked out how to operate capitalism without perpetual growth in the use of resources and energy.

  92. Hi Dick,

    Can you clear up your position on one nation?

    I read an article saying you were supporting them.

    I’m back on board if that is untrue.

    Cheers
    Matt

    1. Yes, delighted to. This one is simply media distortion of the facts – happens all the time. However, I do support One Nation’s immigration policy in regard to numbers, in which they state they wish to return to the sustainable average of about 70,000 per annum. I do not support One Nation’s policy of Muslim immigration. However, it must be said I don’t agree with the common opinion that all One Nation supporters are racists. A racist is a truly evil and terrible person. A racist is a person equivalent to Hitler who believed because of birth alone some people are superior or inferior to others. This is clearly rubbish. One of the prime reasons we’re getting nowhere with this population issue – considering 8 out of 10 Australians want a policy on it – is that there are those out there who quickly link it with racism or being anti-immigration. This stops all discussion. It’s so easy to label someone racist when you don’t agree with all of their views. From what I can make out, nearly all of us are quite ‘tribal’ in the way we support our particular group. My Green friends are certainly very tribal. Also Matt, be very carful about rubbishing and putting down anyone who supports One Nation. Most of the people I’ve met who support One Nation are reasonable Australians and are not evil – they’re Australians who don’t want change to happen too quickly. That seems pretty human to me.

      1. Pure racism in the vein of Hitler’s views are much rarer in the western world these days. However, Xenophobia is alive and well and that is what people are really talking about when referencing One Nation’s views and supporters. These fears are not helpful in a society that is already very diverse and multicultural and only serve to divide communities. Perhaps most One Nation supporters are indeed reasonable people but they are also, on average, under-educated. This is the primary source of the fear they exhibit through their xenophobic outlook. Fearful people do not form considered and balanced opinions, they reach ill-informed emotional conclusions.

        1. If you are not xenophobic would you support opening our borders to everyone? Or would you have another reason why we would not do that?

          I’m also not sure that it is the level of education that decides whether a person is tolerant and kind or not. I have met some highly educated people who are quite extreme in their views.

          Do you genuinely believe that you are “better” because you are less or not xenophobic compared to other Australians who you believe are – supporters of Pauline Hanson for example?

          1. I’m not quite sure what point you’re trying to make here? Are you suggesting that to support a limit on immigration requires an inherent degree of xenophobia? And that to truly claim to be non-xenophobic would require a total open door attitude to immigration? If so I disagree. Immigration needs to be reduced overall to preserve our standard of living, not to maintain a predominantly white Australia. That reasoning may be driven by a degree of selfishness on my part but not xenophobia.
            I would like to see the refugee intake greatly increased and the legal immigration rates cut dramatically. I don’t believe we are served well by more cashed up Brits (for example) coming here to take advantage of a greater degree of currency exchange purchasing power. This just serves to drive inflation.

            As far as your reference to me thinking I’m “better”, I never said anything to that effect and I feel that’s a bit mischievous of you to suggest. I was only making the point that fear is usually based on ignorance and therefore we should be trying to educate people more rather than allow their ill-informed fears to feed into our national policy agenda.
            For example, I hardly think you’d be happy to let someone with no understanding of business or economics run your company just because you thought that you were no better than them?

          2. Then I will take it all back, you are a “better person” than most of us. Many Australians (not you or me of course) want to see that we remain the social mix that we have now and any change takes place really slowly.

            I don’t know if its xenophobia, I think it’s pretty much the human resistance to change happening too quickly.

  93. Morning Dick,.

    I share your dismay at our lack of public policy re population, you’ve given all the reasons so I won’t repeat them, my question is about local development.
    I’ve moved to the mid north coast, and am on the local council. (Nambucca Shire) We are being driven by developer demand for more subdivisions and opportunities for them to make money and not by community sentiment.
    At a council level, its like watching a zombie movie as we take the community in a direction without them every having any input into the level or type of ‘growth’.
    The Nambucca has a charm that has lots to do with it not resembling the Gold Coast, my question is.
    Do you see, as an extension of our need for a National population policy, that we need stability around regional population patterns?
    P.S. are you aware of whether the ‘Sustainabiliy Party’ is interested the third tier of government.

    Regards

    David

    1. Dear David – To answer your question, yes I definitely believe we should have a national population policy – and I think eight out of ten Aussies agree. As I’ve mentioned many times, every Aussie family has a population policy – they don’t have 20 children. Aussie families have the number of children they believe they can give a good life to. We should be doing the same thing for the country. Yes, I’m pretty sure the Sustainable Party, now called Sustainable Australia has an interest in the third tier of government and is already putting up some candidates. I suggest you contact them: http://www.sustainableaustralia.org.au

  94. Hi Dick

    So nuclear power is the the best way to be producing electricity at the moment, just look at France who has the lowest CO2 emissions in Europe and also some of the cheapest power with some of the new SMR having hydrogen as a by product which again is much cleaner to use than any battery powered car. Why is there never a sensible debate on this and how do we go about implementing this is Australia.

    1. Allan, you are correct about nuclear power in France, however it’s going to be really hard to get some reasonable debate about this. Everything involves risk. I have a feeling that the risk of a modern nuclear power station is probably less than the results of opening more coal mines.

  95. CAN YOU HONESTLY TELL ME THAT PRIVATISATION OF OUR UTILITIES HAS NOT CAUSED THE PROBLEMS WE ARE NOW FACING WITH OUR ENERGY PROBLEMS ????????,

    1. Hi David.

      I’m not an expert on this. But I do know that the Soviet system collapsed. That was where there was huge government ownership.

      I’m not sure if nationalising our energy supplies would have any huge effect on the price. The simple matter is that fossil fuels are sold at an incredibly low price – as if they’re everlasting. One glass of diesel has around $800 amount of energy of human work. And this low-cost energy and energy density is the prime reason we have 7 billion people on this earth.

      Fortunately there’s 5000 times more energy coming from the sun every day than we need, however we haven’t yet developed an inexpensive way of storing the energy when the sun is not shining.

      Also I have a feeling we’ll never get anything with the energy density and low cost of fossil fuels. So eventually we’ll have to make the change. Even for those who don’t believe in human generated carbon dioxide affecting the world, will also have to agree that one day the fossil fuels will either run out or become so expensive that they’re not viable.

      ~ Dick

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