Dick Smith is a national treasure. Yesterday he used his own money to fund an ad in Australia’s major newspapers challenging Lucy Turnbull – the chief commissioner of the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC) – on mass immigration, and asking her what her eventual plans are for the population of Sydney – querying whether it could be 16 or even 100 million.
Below is the ad:
The response from Lucy Turnbull’s office was pathetic. From The Australian:
The Australian sought comment from Ms Turnbull, through the Greater Sydney Commission. Commission chief executive Sarah Hill responded that Sydney’s rate of population growth was the “hallmark of all successful cities around the world”, and the group based its planning on a middle range of growth forecast, prepared by the state’s demographers.
“More than half of this growth is through natural increase,” Ms Hill said. “Our responsibility is to plan for this to make our city more liveable, sustainable and productive, rather than to debate the facts.”
So, “more than half of this growth is from natural increase”, according to the GSC? Not according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). As shown in the below charts, net overseas migration (NOM) into NSW (read Sydney) accounted for 67% of population growth in financial year 2016, and has done so on average over the past 30-plus years:
However, the above charts significantly understate the true impacts of immigration on Sydney’s population growth because “natural increase” captures the children of migrants. That is, NOM brings with it an immediate direct boost to population as well as a subsequent boost as new migrant arrivals have children (subsequently classified as “natural increase”).
For this reason, the Productivity Commission this year estimated that Australia’s population would peak at 27 million by 2060 under zero NOM, versus 41 million under NOM of 200,000 – a difference in population of 14 million! This comes despite only 9 million of this population increase coming directly from NOM. The other 5 million comes from migrants and the decedents of migrants having children (see next chart).
These are “the facts”, which the GSC seems only too willing to ignore: it is primarily mass immigration that is causing Sydney’s infrastructure woes, as well as pressuring housing.
Clearly, the best way for Lucy Turnbull to make Sydney “more livable” is to tap her husband on the shoulder and convince him to rein-in Australia’s mass immigration program.
Because as far as high immigration goes, the buck stops with the federal government. If you are in local or state government then you don’t have much choice but to cope with continuing mass immigration putting an ever-increasing strain on already stretched infrastructure, housing and public services.
Lucy Turnbull is in a unique position to influence federal policy and effect change for the betterment of both Sydney and Australia. But like her husband she is a mouthpiece for the ‘growth lobby’ that gains from never-ending population expansion at the expense of the rest of us.
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