We’re squeezing the life out of our cities


8 August 2017
By Judith Sloan for The Australian.

I have spent most of my life living in Melbourne. I was born and raised there. I have lived elsewhere, but have made Melbourne my home for at least part of the year, for more than a decade.

Take it from me, Melbourne is in the process of moving from being one of the most livable cities in the world to one of the most unlivable. Mind you, these international comparisons of livability have always been pretty dodgy: having a temperate climate scores a city a whole lot of points.

But would any Australian really choose Melbourne for its weather?

There is no doubt the primary reason for Melbourne’s loss of livability is the excess growth of its population, which has been apparent for at least a decade, but has accelerated in recent times.

Take the latest figures. Victoria’s population grew by 2.4 per cent over the year ending in the December quarter. Most of this growth was in Melbourne. Australia’s population, by contrast, grew by 1.6 per cent. The two states with the closest rate of population growth were NSW and Queensland, which recorded an annual increase of 1.5 per cent.

Last year’s census reported the population of Melbourne as 4.49 million, a figure that shows it closing in on Sydney, which has 4.82 million people.

Between 2004 and 2016, Melbourne’s population grew by almost a million compared with a rise in the number of residents in Sydney of 821,000.

According to Victorian government projections, Melbourne’s population is likely to exceed eight million by 2050.

When it comes to explaining why Melbourne, in particular, is growing so strongly, there are two principal reasons: overseas migration and interstate migration. Note that close to 90 per cent of recently arrived migrants opt for ­either Melbourne or Sydney.

Net interstate migration has also been strongly positive for Victoria in recent years.

While the annual net average figure for Victoria over the period 2005-06 and 2014-15 was 2885, more than 10,000 individuals moved to Victoria in 2014-15.

The 2016 census confirmed the continuation of this trend, with a remarkable number of people from Western Australia relocating to Victoria in the past two years.

For NSW, by comparison, net interstate migration has been consistently negative over the past decade, meaning more people chose to depart the state than ­arrive in it.

So what are the undesirable features of the galloping rate of growth of Melbourne’s population?

For starters, the new infrastructure projects that would normally be associated with such strong population growth have struggled to keep up. Think schools, hospitals, additional public transport and roads, particularly those linking different parts of the city — the list goes on.

The congestion on the roads and public transport at certain times of the day and week is something to behold. If I take the train to the city during peak times, the experience is akin to travelling in a sardine can. Even though we are not many stops from the beginning of the line, there is no hope of getting a seat or even finding a secure standing spot.

Driving is equally unbearable. Consider also the developments that have been allowed to occur in our precinct. On the arterial roads, the big houses have been sold, pulled down and replaced mostly by tacky-looking, albeit expensive, apartment blocks.

Nothing else has changed in terms of the local schools, local transport, local shops and other local amenities. There are many more people living in the area, but none of the supporting facilities has been altered. Evidently, we locals are being unreasonable trying to block this sort of development; we are guilty of selfish nimbyism and we just need to get with the program.

And that program is medium and high-density living, whether the longstanding incumbents like it or not. I used to think that it was our democratic right to express opinions about how our local suburb should develop, but apparently I was mistaken.

Perhaps I am also missing the point about the vibrancy, excitement and entrepreneurship associated with having such strong population growth, most of which is made up of overseas migrants. But it’s not entirely clear that these benefits are showing up in the economic statistics.

While the labour force participation rate in Victoria is slightly higher than the Australia-wide figure — 66 per cent versus 65 per cent — the most recent rate of unemployment in Victoria (5.9 per cent) is above the national average and well above the rate in NSW (4.8 per cent).

And while the rate of economic growth in Victoria on the face of it looks impressive, although not as impressive as NSW, it is per capita growth that is the more reliable indicator. On this score, the performance of the Victorian economy is only mediocre. Also bear in mind that most of the employment growth in Victoria has been in health and social assistance, public administration and safety, and education and training — all sectors dominated by the public sector.

Bear also in mind that the ­diseconomies of strong population growth, coupled with inadequate infrastructure provision, mean many Melburnians simply don’t feel as if their wellbeing is improving. Rather they feel stressed by packed trains and trams, congested roads, schools bursting at the seams and newly built hospitals that are already too small.

The policy implications are clear: there need to be steps taken to limit the rate of population growth in Melbourne, in particular, but also in Sydney. Blind Freddy could have predicted that excessively low interest rates, credit availability and rapid population growth would lead to skyrocketing house prices. For this reason alone, there should be some relief.

While the federal government has altered the provisions related to the entry of skilled temporary workers (the old 457 visas), which may have the effect of reducing the number of these entrants, it is as plain as day that the annual ­migration program — the permanent migrant intake — must be cut from 190,000, the figure that is in place for this financial year and the next three after that.

This number is simply too high given that almost all migrants head for Melbourne and Sydney and there are obviously limits to the extent to which these cities can absorb these extra people without causing serious downsides.

The only surprising aspect is why our political leaders have delayed the decision to cut the number of migrants. After all, Australia has nearly three times the population growth of the average of developed countries. Why this is sensible has never been properly explained.

Read the original article HERE.

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47 Comments

  • Dick, will the pitchfork revolution swam over aged-care facilities and free the poor souls there who are not only in aged-care against their will but living against their will? Euthanasia could relieve pressure on the healthcare system as it struggles to cope with the increased demand caused by population increases. The elderly tend to be medical-resource-intensive. Indeed 70% of the health care budget is expended on people in the last 6 months of their lives. Enabling people who want to die, to do so with medical assistance, could be one measure aimed at trying to balance the needs of the population with the resources available to meet those needs.

  • “Houston is the embodiment of Sunbelt sprawl, stretching more than 1554 square kilometres. It is a vast slab of concrete covering swampland, marshes, and prairie. Those swamps and marshes once served as ecological sponges, soaking in excess rainwater and filtering it through the region. But those natural floodplains are now blocked by sheets of pavement, the result of development that has allowed the metro area to swell to more than six million residents” (Nicole Hemmer SMH).

    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/choices-made-on-the-ground-are-behind-the-disaster-of-hurricane-harvey-20170904-gya60a.html

  • I moved out of Melbourne because of the climate, I’m gobsmacked by the idea that so many are moving there! What kind of nutcase would move from lovely WA to cold, dark and wet Melbourne??? Wet as in annoying drizzle, not as in life-giving rains.

    My primary school was bulldozed for economics – not enough students. The land was covered by new houses which were filled by families – with kids with nowhere to go to school! What was the comment I read about “only fools and economics graduates”???

    Judith, don’t kid yourself you’re living in a democracy! Somewhere between a hidden theocracy and an oligarchy is more accurate – government by the rich for the rich – which means standing on as many poor as possible in order to increase your self-satisfaction.

    Love your word “diseconomies” – must remember that one.

  • Can’t agree more with what has been said already. I’ve been on about this issue for a long time, but even trying to mention something a simple as immigration numbers in a conversation with some people is difficult, without them wanting to turn it into a racial debate.

    For Christ’s sake, it’s not about who, but all about how many. Our leaders from the top to the bottom have all ran with this fanciful and failed notion that artificial population growth is the way forward, unfortunately , the only beneficiaries are those selling toilet rolls, cars and houses etc etc. There was a time when post war migration benefitted Australia greatly, a time and purpose that is long past it’s use by date, but our Governments continue to follow the path of perpetuating these ridiculous migrant intake numbers.

    Is it any wonder that ALL Governments in this country, Federal, State and Local, are broke and borrowed to the hilt. We simply can’t expect to artificially increase our population the way we have been doing, particularly since the nineties, and not have to pay the piper at some point. All these extra people need to be housed, educated and have their health needs attended to, as well as a host of other services that goes hand in hand with living in a society like ours.

    Artificial population growth as we are experiencing, is creating a mad grab for land and resources more than would be the case if our growth was at a rational and normal pace. Australia is water poor, in a land that is often afflicted by drought, why would anyone think it was a good idea to artificially increase population numbers like we have if it wasn’t for the benefit of vested interests? Each new home equates to more flushes and more water usage, but this usage obviously exponentially increased with artificial population increase!

    Every time a new housing development is given the green light by council in my area, it’s nearly always on prime agricultural land, and you have to ask where will these agricultural products be grown in the future? Imported?…Yeah right, more failed thinking, and some may say that’s another story, but it’s an important part of this story!

    The nation’s debt and borrowings for infrastructure is proof enough that the millions brought to Australia in the last thirty years or so are NOT by and large self funding via their taxes, which flys in the face of those who have always claimed we need population growth to fund our “nation building projects”.

    All this brings us to a very pertinent point, and that is the current housing affordability crisis. What effect has this boundless artificial population policy had on the price of buying a house? Of course there are other factors as well, but the cost must surely be negatively influenced.

    Yes, our Governments are totally unable to keep up with the demands of infrastructure, roads, public transport, hospitals and the many other social services, and is why they are broke. The failed ideals of our leaders and the inept delivery of those ideals, is why we all pay through the nose for what we are encouraged to believe to be such a great and meaningful lifestyle. All we are achieving is making a few people very wealthy, at the expense of chewing up valuable national resources.

    • Great comment Ray! Amazing how you can cancel out all hope of a rational discussion by saying That’s racist!

      Look at the Indian palaces around for a couple of thousand years which are now falling apart simply because of the need for flush toilets in sufficient numbers to cope with tourists! That’s not racist, that’s simple observation and it works here too – humans cause waste (we don’t have dung beetles in our sanitary processing plants – and if we had sufficient dung beetles, we’d kill them off anyway).

  • Great stuff Dick. Politicians are so busy looking after themselves at our expense they don’t seem to understand how Brexit or Trump happened… hmmm! You don’t have to a rocket scientist.

    I have compared Oz to the days of Serfdom for many years now as I’ve watched our supposed Democracy crumble and fall, we used to have some freedoms in days gone by. Somewhere around the early 1980’s I think it was some beuarocrat signed a document saying parents weren’t to smack their children because they didn’t need to do that in Sweden or some other Nordic place, what has that got to do with us and we weren’t even asked if it was alright we were TOLD it was now the case. Parents who beat their children to death are still around despite this ruling but this was the very beginning of all the “stuff” that now stifles us.

    We are not allowed to protest about this or we are “racist” we are not allowed to talk about it or we are “racist” we’re not allowed to joke about anything anymore or we are “racist” yet all the minor elements can do and say as they like, take LBGQI (I think that’s right) they can do anything including getting married… marriage is between a man and a woman so how come they can be married? Let them be together with a certificate of Partnership/Union so they get the rights like Superannuation they’re entiteled to but they’re not getting married.

    Dick has told of the greedy rich Australians for years now and has anybody listened, no they’ve just kept up with their greedy ways like bringing in cheap labour to work in their businesses and make them more money without dispersing it.

    What happened to our “Lucky Country” the politicians got greedy and became the Lords of the Manor we became the Serfs, it’s certainly not lucky now and soon it will a desert as the East Coast is turned to housing and dust.

    • East coast housing will turn to dust pretty quickly, modern construction isn’t made to last any more than fridges and cars.

      Note our current PM is a staunch Republican because he believes an Australian (him) should be the Head of State – he wants to be king, that’s why he despises the real kings in Europe. I don’t have the funds (or inclination) to bet, but I’d wager if he became head of state there’d be another change in legislation allowing him to pass it down to his offspring. King Cromwell lives!

      There’s a T somewhere in LBGQI – I don’t understand all the differentiation but Transgender is in there too.

  • Dick, you are absolutely right. I live in The Redlands area, south of Brisbane. I moved here 25 years ago to get away from the rat race in Brisbane. Well it is all changing with developers getting a free hand from council to develop everywhere. Trouble is the young people can not afford to live here. No new transport for all the extra thousands moving in. Traffic is getting worse. I think the two main political parties are too busy fighting each other to see what is going on. Seems to me the government is dictated by the UN to carry out its will on us. Time to get a new government.

    • Brisbane has the worst attitude to public transport in Australia. You donkeys voted that Liberal in Labor clothes in to Save the Reef, don’t notice that she’s NOT saving the Reef (which provides oxygen along with all our oceans) and don’t force her to make CO2 saving public transport a priority.

  • Everyone is missing the elephant in the room. Has anyone been to Box Hill lately ? There is a 36 storey twin tower being built for Chinese migrants with approvals for many more to come. Walk through Whitehorse Plaza and count the number of businesses who employ anyone other than Asians. The same goes for Springvale, Glen Waverley,Mount waverley, East Doncaster and many other suburbs. This population boom is mainly coming from one country.

    • Continent. But I agree, last time I drove through Springvale I can’t recall a sign in English. They also push you off the footpath or try to drive you off the road if you’re white, but I can’t say that or I’ll be the one branded racist…

  • Austalia is definitely not the lucky country anymore. Its stupid and irresponsible to keep importing more people out here when our own cant even get a job let alone afford to buy a house. Good on you Dick Smith

  • I read a few years ago about Dick Smith and the growth problem, and totally agree with what he says. The problem is most politicans are spinless, except for the Jacki Lambies, Pauline Hansons, Darren hinch these people speak up. The rest are spinless sacks that are just looking after their Goverment pension cheques when they retire and are so politically correct it makes me sick in the stomach. Pauline keeps coping a hiding on the news recently with the burqua debate, yet a poll showed more Australians agreed with her yet the sacks and media shot her down. The irony of that story is i was confronted by 2 foul mothed full burqua muslims and threatened with a bomb in 1990 at my place of work, yet in a lineup i wouldnt be able to identify these to filthy people, as the Goverment thinks it racist or not politically correct. The problem is the Goverment is all about making money today and being politically correct and will import millions more in the next decade. Hospitals cant cope now, farmers are giving up and selling out, and pensioners who have worked all there lives are paid pittance in return for their hard work. Statictics show most refugees dont find work, so go on unemployment, but also need housing. More and more are coming, it dosent take a mathmatician to figure out the sums of money food and housing needed. But its all about the Growth and the Goverment pension and perks when they retire.

    • I wouldn’t even support this lot – Pauline Hanson apparently wants to cut the pension, forget the scandal about Jacquie Lambie and her son but she still wanted to pull strings for him over other regular Australians and Derryn Hinch believes that all gay men are paedophiles – I was raped as a child by a straight man – does that mean I can have Derryn dumped in jail because he’s a straight man???

      PS scientific studies have shown that rats turn gay when put into major overcrowding such as our cities so if you want to keep the gay population down (India, China, Indonesia…) cut the crowds!!! Not politically correct, but scientific!

      • At least they speak up, thats the point! I was puting across. And all the other politicians are perfect Angels, ok then. You didnt mention the 2 foul filthy burqua terrorists i was confronted by but. That really was my point, at least Pauline wants it removed. Til your threatened by a bomb with a black bag over ones head, then you will face reality! Good on ya Pauline

  • The land of oz : ‘Lotus Land’, a description i gave it 30 years ago.

    I was born in East Fremantle in Western Australia a very long time a go, even remembering draught horses pulling drays in the main street of Fremantle!. My dad was a ‘lumper’ : waterside worker. We lived in present terms :very well! -on 3 acres of land which was used as a market garden, poultry farm and flower shop.

    I don’t know how my dad coped looking after three kids, because mum had nicked off when i was five years ‘old’. He also dug a well 144 feet deep to get a good water supply. I get claustrophobic even thinking about it now. So i do know about the ‘good old days’.

    In the present miasma of political greed, state and local governmental mismanagement, federal lunacy, I mean who really gives rats ass about gay marriage, this poor country is in the grip of the U.N. charter which gives us the responsibility of accepting so many immigrants, refugees etc. each year. It is becoming apparent that these present day immigrants flooding into our country have no intention of accepting our culture, but are forming cliques and almost ghettos reminiscent of their exit country.

    99% of our population is within 50 kms or less of the coast of oz. there is very little incentive or determination to populate our interior, to the detriment of our fragile coastal environment. It seems that the present day politician is even more stupid and grasping than the preceeded mob. What exactly has Bill Shorten done to further the country’s interests? Even more so, what has Malcolm Turnbull done to emphasise his prime
    ministership? Many Americans wish Vlad. Putin was their president, and many european peoples too. Strange? Yes indeed. But why? Are our ‘leaders’ so puerile that a country’s people would prefer a supposed villain on the world stage to be their preferred president?

    In reality I would not like to be a politician. The hours are definitely unmanageable. And the press is forever misquoting them or taking something out of context. So vote along party lines and retain the status quo. Light up the barbie, bring on the grog and helelujah! lets drink to us! and bugger the rest of the world. That’s us from oz. I love Australia and particularly west oz. I know the botanical name of almost every eucalypt in the south west zone of W.A. and most of the indiginous names too, also other species like acacias, sheoaks, sandalwood, etc and the myriads of orchids and shrubs that abound in the ‘wildflower’ state. And i am blessed to have experienced all of this in my 79 years. I played footy at East Freo oval and cricket at Fremantle for many years. It seems like yesterday, but yesterday is unfortunately gone as has many of my teammates from that era. What remains is exactly that..remains of an honest era. I hope i wasn’t too long here. I know it took a long time to type:-) cheers from west oz

    • Not enough water in the interior, Ron. Our largest lake is 99% of the time a salt lake. Not that much population between Perth and Broome either, no rivers. Lucky you!

      • Anyway, this is not Oz. Oz is green in the centre, Australia (Aus) is red – the opposite. Oz is surrounded by the Deadly Desert, Aus is surrounded by oceans we’re madly killing off. In one of the early Oz books, there was no money, everyone just did the best they could for the good of everyone and everyone was fed, housed and clothed. Later on L. Frank Baum became corrupted by money and there was a revolt where stupid young girls ripped out the gemstones from the Emerald City, but the revolt was put down and loving craftsmen restored the city to its former glory (unpaid!) Here it’s the politicians who rip out the assets and don’t have anyone to replace them.

  • Like Melbourne and Sydney the Sunshinecoast in Queensland is overdeveloped, council call it infill and greenfill . This relentless urbanisation being pushed by State government has devastated remnant green corridors and turned the area into an oppressive urban sprawl ,an extension of Brisbane, not the healthy regional centre anymore. Crime is out of control ,the pitchforks are being sharpened. Well done Dick Smith , now is the time to draw a line in the sand and act on population constraint and greed .Thank you Fair goers.

    • Yep, didn’t take long for the green belt between Big Smoky Brisbane and the Gold Coast to disappear – about 10 years I think. I’m surprised at Judith saying Victoria has so much interstate migration, most Queenslanders grumble about the Victorian infiltration up there (so there must be a HUGE number going to Vic to make up those figures from the mass exodus to Qld.) One reason I can state categorically – NSW electricity prices! Housing is bad enough, but electricity is almost 50% more in NSW than in Vic (and at least 25% more than Qld). I just did the research and unusually for me swore at the woman on the phone when she got around to telling me NSW prices. Queenslanders I know get a stiff drink before opening the elec bill, they don’t believe me when I tell them how much more NSW is.

  • I’ve got to agree, robber barons, slum lords, a kleptomania of nepotism, has made Melbourne and Sydney unlivable. They bring in their immigration slaves, who wind up working for half the minimum wage. Nothing that they like more, than a working poor servant, in their home countries, they’re wealthy, they come here and they become working poor.

    Or they’re warehoused on welfare, more New Zealanders are going home, than coming to Australia, because the rent or mortgage, means it’s not worth the effort. With wages stagnant and disposable income disappearing, what’s the point. Then those who can get away, go to Newcastle etc., where they discover that homelessness has arrived there too.

    The levels of road tolls in Sydney, means that escaping to the distant suburbs, won’t save you much money soon. Former NSW premier Bob Carr, says he wants lower immigration, so they buy him off, with the foreign minister’s job. People spend 80% of their income, sometimes in Hobart, on rent, it’s a contagious effect, the housing affordability crisis.

    Only Clean Disruption, the roaring twenties, can save us from this greed, of the 1% and maybe not even that. Once it’s over, then there’s market saturation and possibly the Grand Depression, in the 2030’s.

    • Do they still do the exposes about the Asians locked by their own countrymen in dungeons when they’re not at their underpaid work? We condemn Dubai for this but we do (or did) the same! Probably not, not PC. Same in Mexico and Texas, but who wants to live in Mexico or Texas??? No one tells these poor people the reality of a move to a wealthy country, they spin them pipe dreams and put many of them in debt for the rest of their lives.

  • This beautiful country of ours is being steadily choked by our politicians in government and in opposition ” liberal and labour parties” by their gutless inaction and lack of want to follow the will of the great majority of Australians . I have been working as a fitter and turner for 41 years and in that time i had always voted for the labour party as they represented the working man but this very leftist party now is totally out of step with me and the great number of men “young and old” who i work with . Dick i absolutely agree with what your saying and the number of people our country can support but we need a political party that will listen to the bulk of Australians and and stop migration until we can guarantee the great future of our country and its people . Thanks for having the balls for saying what needs to be said .

    • We had the Democrats to Keep the Bastards Honest, but they got buried. I don’t see the creation of a new political party as the answer, like Labor becoming so Liberalized, when they get the power it corrupts them – or they get canned like the Dems.

  • Nothing is going to change. Governments do whatever big business tells them to do, which in this case is to open the floodgates to whomever wants to live here.

    How Melbourne gets rated world’s most livable city is beyond me. It’s bloody awful. Traffic congestion, pollution, multiculturalism, lack of parking, poor infrastructure – we’ve got it all.

    • Oh good, I thought it was just me who yells In What Universe??? every time I hear about the supposed liveability of Melbourne…

  • Looks up Kevin Rudds Big Australia policy. All this immigration to Australia is to unhinge Australias white majority. More racist leftist politics at work.

    • Anyone who wants to disrupt Australia’s white majority can go live in Zimbabwe. Dangerous enough in South Africa but Mandela was at least humane, Mugabe is NOT.

  • these comments are all spot on thank christ i didnt bring any of my offsprings into this garbage can that the world has become

  • Melbourne’s status as most liveable city in the world has fallen victim of the property developpers’ greed with the complicity of the local government too happy to grab its share on stamp duty.
    Greens wants to get cars off the road by having more pushbikes and public transport. But the root cause is the out-of-control population growth and a crowded tram is not more comfortable than a traffic jam.

    • “Road rage assaults have jumped by 85 per cent across Victoria in the past five years, with the number of reported cases increasing from 210 to 389 in the past five years, according to Crime Statistics Agency data”. This is what happens to a population under stress.

  • Time to leave Sydney I think. It’s not the quiet livable town I grew up in that’s for sure. Been living on the lower north shore for 40 years. It’s all full of new Australians now. It just occurred to me that the people who immigrate to Australia or not typical of the average demographic of their birth country – they all mostly rich. Dick Smith is spot on there – They arrive here looking for a new life, (and who can blame them) but they are cashed up and and buy up our homes forcing up the prices for everyone, and/or move into the job market killed wage growth for everyone.

    I have nothing against the people who choose to immigrate here. Good on them for making the move to somewhere better if they can. It’s our criminal government who take money/bribes etc from corporations lobbying for high immigration to increase their sales and reduce wages. I like the immigration graph. A steady increase over 15 years, with few big yearly increases to disguise the effect on our society over time.

    Grats to you Dick Smith for taking a stand against the criminals in all politcal parties who now run our country.

    • I can’t understand why you’d want to move here if you have the money to do so in India or thereabouts. If you have that kind of dosh, you have servants which you can’t get here, it’s a major culture shock. I also heard reports about the plight of Indian nurses in NZ – they’re expected to go “home” every year taking expensive presents because they’re so well-paid. You can’t explain that their higher wages go in higher rents, electricity, petrol etc etc and they’re actually no better off than they were at “home” – worse off with the costs of trips and presents. On top of that, they supposedly move here for a “better” life, but they bring all their old ways with them and live mostly in enclaves, so what’s better about it???

  • Totally agree. Sydney is a nightmare – traffic jams, pollution, hospitals unable to cope, schools unable to cope, heritage buildings regularly razed by greedy developers, more pointless roads being build that will be just as congested, trains over capacity – -all encouraged by government departments with the big excuse of a growing population. Try going to a major hospital emergency department and see the chaos – too bad if you really need treatment. I could not believe if when I had to catch a train to the CBD for the first time in about 3 years and found it was more crowded than the London Underground. Our trains were never crowded like this a few years ago.

    Immigration levels are out of control due to too many vested interests (big business, politicians, ex-politicians, so called independent think tanks totally funded by government, developers, so called planning professionals, etc) getting money out of it one way or the other.

    • Nothing like being in pain and in a hospital A & E waiting room and eyeing all the, um, very new Australians to feel unpleasant thoughts coming on, which is to say human beings have relatively fragile termperaments. We shouldn’t be exposed to severe stress as we tend to react in a manner most uncivilised. But try telling that to the Progressive side of Politics which is hell bent (and hell it will be) on provoking the dark angels on our shoulders. Human beings tend to get along with each other reasonably well until we need to compete for resources whether medical assistance or a parking space. The Progressives dismiss such talk along the lines that population growth isn’t the problem, it’s the failure of social infrastructure to meet the higher demand for services but the naivete with their response is that necessary infrastructure can rarely if ever be established in tandem with population growth because population growth happens so rapidly. Case in point – Fairfield, Sydney, NSW.

    • Yep! Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane… It won’t be Australia the country one day, it will be the city of Australia! YUK!!!

  • Great article.
    I absolutely agree. Australia is being destroyed by this.
    Looking back, Australia was awesome when I was growing up.
    It is rapidly going downhill as governments use mass immigration as a means of pump priming the economy.

    The part I find most offensive is the silence from both Labor and Liberal over this issue. It is like they think we are serfs….

    • If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, assume it’s a duck! You’re a serf if you work your butt off for no disposable income at the end of a week and therefore have no chance of ever buying yourself out of a situation and you have to obey the bosses unquestioningly. They don’t think, they know…

  • I note a newspaper report that parts of Europe are turning anti-tourist, something previously unheard of. And there have been outbreaks of violence – activists attacking tourist buses and terrorising the passengers. Which all goes to show what happens to the human pysche when people feel pressured by too many people. As Philosopher Jean-Paul Satre said: “hell is other people”.

  • So many people. So many competing needs. A nightmare in the making. Bill Gates warned of the possibility of a serious flu epidemic in the next 10 years. This year NSW saw its worst flu season on record. It’s madness to concentrate so many people under the same roof. But human beings tend to only learn through bitter experience. As the New Orleans hurricane crisis showed, social organisation breaks down very quickly in such situations. The super-rich seem to think something unpleasant is in the wings (pandemic;nuclear war) and have all established bolt-holes in New Zealand. So my advice to Judith is to forget about our politicians ever implementing a sensible population level for our cities and …get out!

    • Mother Earth is fighting back!

      But on a different tack, the metaphysical reason for colds and flu is Doing Too Much – this insane run, run, run world, Soldier On instead of doing as your body is telling you – RELAX! Stop for a bit! Take it easy, we weren’t made for being on the go 20 hours a day, 350 days a year. We condemn the hardships of the hunter/gatherer existence, but the average hunter/gatherer worked 2 hours a day, not 10-12 as we modern, progressive humans do. Our bodies are essentially the same, we just work them into the ground without even noticing. We even think it’s a good thing that the hunter/gatherer lifestyle wouldn’t support this population, more warped thinking that this is progress! And to those who believe in “Paleo Choc Muffins” – GET A GRIP!!!!

  • WHAT CAN QUALIFY FOR A PROPER COMMENT. EVEN IF NOTHING WAS SAID, A THINKING INDIVIDUAL CAN OBSERVE THE CURRENT TRENDS AND DEDUCE THE FUTURE CONSEQUENCES. THE QUESTION IS: WHO OR WHAT FORCE IS BEHIND THESE SELF DESTRUCTING POLICIES? I UNDERSTAND THE SO CALLED “DO GOODERS”, THYEY ARE IMPOTENT TO SENSE THE CONSEQUENCES. ARE THEN PEOPLE IN POWER FOLLOWING THE TREND WITHOUT PROPER ASSESSMENT? WHAT IS THEIR EXPLANATION?
    I HAVE IMMIGRATED HERE BACK IN 1969 AND FOUND THE COUNTRY TO BE, MY DREAM REALISED. EVEN THE RED RATTLERS FITED IN. IT WAS LIKE A METICULOUSLY CARED FOR VINEYARD. NOW, SYSTEMATICALLY THE WEEDS AND SHRUBS ARE CREEPING IN. TOO MANY PEOPLE TAKE AUSTRALIA FOR A MILKING COW, AND DON’T CARE WHO WILL FEED IT. JOE LAZANJA

    • You said it in your first sentence Joe – THINKING individual! If you have to have a smart phone to survive, you’re incapable of rational thought…

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