The truth about the lies re the Big Australia

23 01 2013

Joe Bish notes that the growth lobby have given up on getting Australians to like Big Australia, and are falling back on the discredited Ageing Population Scare.

Note former treasurer Peter Costello’s comments below, and his incorrect claim that “having a high percentage of retirees meant fewer taxpayers paying crippling tax rates.” This has been repeatedly shown to be false.

See the Sydney Telegraph’s
Can there be too many Australians?

  • From: News Limited Network
  • January 24, 2013


PEOPLE are overwhelmingly against a bigger Australia, almost three-quarters of us hoping the population does not hit the 40 million mark projected by 2050.

In a Galaxy poll of 1000 people for News Limited, the majority of respondents nominated 30 million people as the preferred mark.

There are currently 23 million people living in Australia.

One quarter of people said they wanted things to stay the same while 8 per cent wanted the population to shrink.

Only 13 per cent voted for 40 million citizens – the mark likely to be hit by 2050 – and 70 per cent hoped that wouldn’t happen. Less than five per cent hoped for 50 million countrymen.

But former Treasurer Peter Costello, who famously urged parents to have a child for Australia, said people weren’t considering the makeup of the growing population.

“When I encouraged families to have one for mum, one for dad, and one for the country, what I was drawing attention to was the fact that we are an ageing population,” he said.

“To me one question is whether it should be a big Australia or a small Australia.

“A more important question is should it be a young Australia or an old Australia.”

He said having a high percentage of retirees meant fewer taxpayers paying crippling tax rates.

The country would not be able to afford all its services like healthcare and welfare and economic growth and living standards would decline, he said.

“Whether the population is 20, 30, 50 or 100 million, what we need to do is we need to get a higher proportion of younger people,” he said.

“We’ve got to keep our birthrates up if we want to have a balanced population of young and old people.”

Mr Costello said the problem had been on the Howard Government’s agenda but had been forgotten by Labor.

A spokeswoman for Population and Communities Minister Tony Burke said the Gillard Government did not have a population target but was working toward a “sustainable Australia”.

“Population change is not only about the growth and overall size of the Australian population,” she said.

“It is also about the needs and skills of our population, how we live, and importantly, where we live.”

The right mix of services, jobs and education opportunities, affordable housing, amenities in cities, outer suburbs and regional areas were all an important part of that, she said.

The article raises interesting questions about the so-called minister for environment and population, as represented by his unnamed spokeswoman.

In a perhaps similar area, Andrew Glikson, in “The Conversation” today, quotes the climate change scientist James Hansen in  Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity

as saying:

Ladies and gentlemen, your governments are lying through their teeth. You may wish to use softer language, but the truth is that they know that their planned approach will not come anywhere near achieving the intended global objectives. Moreover, they are now taking actions that, if we do not stop them, will lock in guaranteed failure … The problem is that our governments, under the heavy thumb of special interests, are … pursuing policies to get every last drop of fossil fuel.__”

–and every last dollop of media support or donation-support out of those businesses that profit from growth?


Mark O’Connor

For those who want more info. on why the Ageing Population Scare is plain wrong, as shown in my book Big Australia? Yes/No, Pantera Press 2012 here are some sites with further information:
Dr Ben Spies Butcher, “The myth of the ageing ‘crisis’”, The Conversation, 26 April 2011.
cf. Ben Spies Butcher, “What ageing crisis?”, 31 January 2011.

Similarly, in the UK, the Select Committee on Economic Affairs of the House of Lords concluded that: “Arguments in favour of high immigration to defuse the ‘pensions time bomb’ do not stand up to scrutiny”.
For a list of “myths” the committee rejected, see Sir Andrew Green, “Devastating demolition of the case for mass immigration”, Daily Mail, 31 March 2008. e.g. “The Government’s key claim that immigration increases Britain’s overall gross domestic product (GDP) is dismissed as ‘irrelevant and misleading’ – even though, as the report points out, it is a claim that has been ‘persistently emphasised’.”

See also Jane O’Sullivan, “The downward spiral of hasty population growth”, On Line Opinion, 8 March 2010. She argues that the costs of population growth are 30 times larger than the savings that might be made on old age pensions. Jane N. O’Sullivan, “Submission to the Issues Paper on a Sustainable Population Strategy for Australia”, 2011, pp. 16-19

Wiliam Bourke of the Australian Stable Population Party wrote recently: In 1901 when life expectancy was in the 50s and there was an average of four children per family, there were about 1.5 people aged 15 to 64  (i.e. of working age) for every person aged under 15 or over 64; in 2051 (and 2100) there will still be around 1.5 people aged 15 to 64 for every person outside this age bracket, regardless of how many migrants we bring into the country (migrants also age!).