Greens’ immigration policy to create giant enviro-stomping Australia

By Leith van Onselen

On Friday, I labelled The Greens a fake environmental party because of their support for mass immigration and a ‘Big Australia’.

My growing frustration about The Greens has come about because for nearly 20 years they have failed to utter a word in protest as the federal government, under both the Coalition and Labor, massively ramped-up Australia’s permanent migration intake from 80,000 at the turn of the century to 200,000 currently (see next chart).

It is this increase in the permanent migration intake which has driven the huge acceleration in Australia’s population growth, which is projected to continue for decades into the future (see next chart).

Rather than protest Australia’s world-beating population growth, The Greens stood by silently as Australia’s population surged nearly 30% over the past 19 years, which has placed undue strain on Australia’s environment – supposedly The Greens’ core concern. Indeed, just last month, the latest federal government State of the Environment report revealed that Australia’s natural environment is being placed under acute strain as Australia’s population grows out of control.

These environmental concerns come on top of the deleterious impacts mass immigration is having on living standards in the big cities – such as packed trains, worsening traffic congestion, and deteriorating housing affordability. Under current immigration settings, the population’s of both Sydney and Melbourne are projected to grow at a breakneck pace for decades to come (see below charts).

ScreenHunter_15805 Oct. 31 13.53 ScreenHunter_15806 Oct. 31 13.53

It wasn’t always like this. As documented in Green Left Weekly in 1998, fears of being associated with Pauline Hanson’s “racist” and “xenophobic” views caused The Greens to abandon their policy of “stabilising” Australia’s population and “a zero net migration policy” to one of opposing cuts to immigration – hence their deafening silence as Australia’s population boomed!

Former Prime Minister John Howard wedged The Greens even further when he performed an immigration ‘bait-and-switch’ in the early-2000s, effectively slamming the door shut on the relatively small number of refugees arriving into Australia by boat all the while stealthily shoving open the door to economic migrants arriving here by plane.

John Howard never articulated to the Australian people that the Government was going to dramatically expand the nation’s immigration intake. Why? Because he knew the electorate would be dead against it. Instead, Howard scapegoated refugees to give the impression that he was stemming the migrant inflow while proceeding in secret with his ‘Big Australia’ plan.

And rather than oppose the subterfuge, The Greens abandoned their roots and stood by silently for fear of being labelled “racist” and “xenophobic” if they opposed such high levels of immigration.

Worse, last week we witnessed The Greens attempt to scuttle the Turnbull Government’s modest (and sensible) changes to so-called ‘skilled’ 457 visas, accusing the Government of using “cheap politics of racism and crass anti-migrant sentiment”.

What few people realise is that under The Greens’ immigration policy, Australia would see its population hit a massive 43 million by 2060 – well over double the 19 million population that existed when The Greens abandoned its stable population policy in 1998!

Let me explain.

One year ago, The Greens announced a plan to massively increase Australia’s humanitarian migrant intake without providing any offsets to Australia’s current permanent migrant intake of 200,000 (full policy announcement below):

The Australian Greens have unveiled a bold yet fiscally responsible vision to harness the nation building capacity that people seeking asylum represent, ahead of the 2016 Federal Election.

By closing the detention camps on Manus Island and Nauru while welcoming 50,000 people seeking asylum per year, which includes 40,000 under the humanitarian intake and 10,000 under a new ‘Skilled Refugee’ programme, the plan would create a safe way for people in our region to seek asylum in Australia.

“Australia doesn’t need to respond to people seeking our protection by turning our backs or locking them up – there is a better way ,” said Australian Greens Leader, Dr Richard Di Natale.

“Today the Greens are announcing a vision that would welcome a record number of people to live in safety in our community every year and recognise the contribution refugees have made to this country over generations and will continue to make.

“Our bold plan would not only welcome 50,000 people per year and offer a safe way for people to seek asylum in Australia, it would also save the budget $160 million over the next four years,” Di Natale said.

“For too long, the national political debate has portrayed migrants and people seeking asylum as a problem instead of an opportunity,” Greens’ immigration spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

“By offering 10,000 ‘Skilled Refugee’ places per year through the skilled migration pathway, we will be helping to save lives while letting those very same people contribute to the future prosperity of our economy.

“Modern Australia was built by generations of hardworking, self-started people who came to our country in search of a better life. People want to protect their families and to give their children access to an education and a life free of violence. We should be allowing them to get on and do that in Australia.

“Using the savings from closing the offshore detention camps to build a genuine regional solution, which assesses people’s claims for asylum where they are before flying them to Australia safely, will save thousands of lives.

“We need to get children out of immigration detention, including those who are on Nauru, and allow people to get on with rebuilding their lives in safety.

“The government’s cruelty towards people seeking asylum has gone on for too long. It’s time we treated others the way we would want to be treated and let them contribute to the future of our nation.”

As shown in the first chart above, Australia’s current permanent migrant intake is 200,000, comprising 186,000 under the non-humanitarian intake and 14,000 under the humanitarian intake.

Under The Greens’ plan, Australia’s permanent migrant intake would increase to 236,000 a year.

According to The Productivity Commission’s recent Migrant Intake Australia report, Australia’s population would hit 27 million by 2060 under zero Net Overseas Migration (The Greens’ old policy), 41 million under 200,000 Net Overseas Migration (the current settings), and roughly 43 million under 236,000 Net Overseas Migration (see below chart).

Since The Greens have advocated raising Australia’s already turbo-charged immigration intake, it would appear that The Greens support a very ‘Big Australia’.

This is why I view the The Greens as a fake environmental party that is hellbent on destroying the Australian environment and incumbent residents’ living standards via never-ending mass immigration and rapid population growth.

There is a way for The Greens to once again become a genuine “green” party as well as ensuring social justice concerns are met: argue to increase Australia’s humanitarian intake (currently 14,000 per year) while massively cutting Australia’s economic intake (currently around 190,000 people per year). This way The Greens could achieve both goals: significantly reducing population growth and saving the environment while also being a good and caring global citizen. After all, when it comes to protecting the environment, it is the overall numbers that matter, not how the migrants come.

Of course, The Greens should also highlight the associated benefits from running a moderate immigration program, including less pressure on housing and infrastructure. But the environment should be its main focus.

The key point is that The Greens, and the left more generally, must stop playing the race card on immigration (or ignoring the population issue) and actively enter the debate. Otherwise, they will be left behind – both in a policy sense and at the ballot box.

[email protected]

Unconventional Economist


    • Not a Green, morally opposed to them on almost every front. However, with a country like ours we need a larger population, even on a security basis. Numerous nearby big countries that could easily influence our collective futures in major direction – we have an empty land. Victoria is the size of England, and it has over 50m people! Are they less environmental than us???

      I do believe in strong migration control – and the flagrant abuse of the 457 system is appalling. Purely on a national interest basis.

      However, arguing for a smaller migration programme based “environmentalism” is fundamentally flawed, because its based on a premise that a person outside Australia does not make an “environmental” impact elsewhere. “Environmentalism” is this universalist bogeyman, that elites like to bang our collective heads, taking morally superior position that we should not question. Questioning this “environmentalism” (which has nothing to do with the environment) is akin some religious revelation.

      Migration should be argued on a benefit basis to that national country. Japan is opening its doors in a belated recognition they are economically stuffed, with a third of their population in their 20’s and 30’s not procreating at all. Korea, Italy, China and Germany not far behind.

      At any point in time, migration levels are either too high – or too low, and the reasons should be eloquently elucidated on a benefit basis only. If they are currently too high, or the wrong people are abusing the system – that should be sufficient test on a national interest basis. Environmentalism is an illogical basis IMHO. And will convince no one but a Greenie – and as you have correctly pointed out, they would create a situation of open doors where millions would arrive… annually.

      • Researchtime,

        Sorry mate but your post is insanely illogical.

        So we need a high immigration intake for security?
        Why? So an invader has more people to shoot before they get to you and I?

        You say we might as well suffer the environmental impact of overpopulation here as have those people make their impact somewhere else? No thanks.

        Also, I would rather that the ever swelling population was not making it impossible for my kids to ever afford to buy place to live.

      • I agree with John, researchtime.

        A high population based on fear is not a rational option.

      • Your argument is fundamentally flawed because in AUS people travel by car and in Holland or Denmark most people travel by bicycle. So you should not want immigrants to come to high-energy-use AUS.

        Banning luxury showers and toilets in AUS is no solution either and makes me very angry.

        “National interest” does not mean anything now because the 1% have so much wealth. In some nations, the 1% have most of the wealth!

        Having a large population does not prevent a military attack. There is a thing called a cruise missile.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Hey Jay,
        WTF are these “luxury showers” and toilets I keep hearing about?

        My old 1960 pink porcelain toilet has a matching 12 litre flushing cistern and I must admit the old bakalite toilet seat is more comfortable than any modern toilet seat I have ever installed.
        Even the Japanese, $12000, washes your arsehole by remote control Toilets
        Have an uncomfortable seat to sit on.
        The first one I installed, was at James Packers “pool house”, next to the family homestead at Ellerston.
        After christening it with a rather large “cable” the remote control arse washing feature had me cracking half a fat!

        I get lots of well paying, easy to unblock chokes, thanks to these 3-4.5 litre flush cisterns,…combined with the increased use of “wet wipes” which dont break down,… we plumbers are enjoining a dunny fueled Boom!

        Thanx Greenies!

      • “Not a Green, morally opposed to them on almost every front. However, with a country like ours we need a larger population, even on a security basis”.

        Wars of the future won’t be fought and won on manpower, but by technology (e.g. increasing drone use). Destroys your argument right there.

        “However, arguing for a smaller migration programme based “environmentalism” is fundamentally flawed, because its based on a premise that a person outside Australia does not make an “environmental” impact elsewhere.”

        Australians (and The Greens) should be first and foremost concerned about the health of Australia’s natural environment.

        “At any point in time, migration levels are either too high – or too low, and the reasons should be eloquently elucidated on a benefit basis only”.

        What, ignore costs? Are you serious? This site has argued “eloquently” that Australia’s mass immigration is far too high for a variety of reasons, which is why it needs to be cut back to historical norms.

      • We will never have a population anywhere near that of Indonesia, China or India. So you can forget importing very expensive cannon fodder. We will never have conscript armies to match these nations, if it comes to that we are doomed. The best we can do is stay as rich as possible per head of population, so that our tax take is large enough to afford all the death bots we’ll need to mow down any comers.

      • Numerous nearby big countries that could easily influence our collective futures in major direction – we have an empty land. Victoria is the size of England, and it has over 50m people! Are they less environmental than us???

        Australia would be the tenth largest country in Europe, with almost 50 countries coming after us – so no – bullshit.

        And no – England does not have a Kakadu, Great Dividing Range or anything like Australia’s virtually pristine habitats.

        You are talking straight up shit.


      • I’m with Researchtime on this issue. As far as I’m concerned the laws of Physics will always trump the laws of men, somewhere near the top of the list is a law that basically states that Nature abhors a Vacuum.
        Lets face it most of Australia is a Human Vacuum, sure there are good reasons for this (no water shitty soild….) BUT the fact remains that we’ve got miles and miles of nothing while countries like India and China have miles and miles of people crammed in like Sardines. As these Sardines get rich they’re going to want more space and they’re going to occupy our space.
        That leaves us with three choices:
        -Stick our head in the sand and scream I cant hear you
        -Manage the transition process
        -Give up and let someone else do the job

        This site seems to favor some combination of methods 1 and 3 while I’d rather accept my fate and maintain maximum control over the process, btw maximum control will also translate into maximum profit for those in control, (which is us at the moment).

        • “I’d rather accept my fate and maintain maximum control over the process”

          Yeah, me too. Cut immigration back to the long-run norm of 70,000 and maximise Australian living standards.

      • Ronin8317MEMBER

        Australia must find a way to absorb the increase in population outside of the capital cities, otherwise any increase will not solve the problem mentioned. Our capital cities are full, but there are very little industries outside of the capital cities.

      • Wars of the future won’t be fought and won on manpower, but by technology (e.g. increasing drone use). Destroys your argument right there.
        Just out of interest: Do you see Australia’s highly educated Technically sophisticated local population as Masters of this Technology or Slaves to it?
        Technology has always been a two way street, in that Cheap drones are cheap for both sides, so in the end both sides remain matched in terms of the capabilities that they can afford to purchase/deploy yet differentiated by their skills and abilities to effectively deploy these technologies.
        If this contest will be won by those with a superior understanding of the underlying technologies and the limits that the laws of Physics impose on these technologies than as Aussies we’re royally Farked.
        I’d give us at most 20 years before our own ignorance seals our fate.

      • Yeah …. I agree over 7 billion people on the planet … we need more. Not enough. We should be like China and India. Population 1 billion +. Good for the environment and general standard of living.

        Units atop Uluru. Casino in Kakadu.

        Your a visionary RT

      • ‘Wars of the future won’t be fought and won on manpower, but by technology (e.g. increasing drone use). Destroys your argument right there.’

        Clearly a gaping hole in the research! Where do I conscript and can I have my ration of bully beef?

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        As these Sardines get rich they’re going to want more space and they’re going to occupy our space.

        How are they going to get here ?

      • The Greens might be wrong about immigration and population, but Researchtime is wrong about EVERYTHING.

      • RT,

        Security basis my arse, would you care to back that up? Even with 50m this country’s defence force will still be no match for China and Indonesia will never be an issue for us; drop your dumb christian fear of them and Islam.


  1. Well, under a Green Government, most Australians would be living in Yurts – and I think we all recognise that would solve many problems.

  2. I am delighted to see that you are taking up the environmental concerns that I have expressing for over 12 months in these pages, Leith.

    You must, though, stop fudging at the level of immigration. The Greens were RIGHT when they proposed a ZERO net immigration policy.

    You must change your own big Australia policy and stop advocating for a return to historical levels of immigration.

    If we have ZERO net immigration then we will also achieve significant economic benefits as I have outlined in some of my recent communications with the Greens.

    Below is one of my recent communications with the Greens:

    Saving the Human and Natural Environment via Economic Policy:

    Please consider my suggestions below and adopt them as Greens policy. Please reply as to your intentions.

    To improve the well being and living standards of all Australians the first thing we need to do, because it is so easy to do, is to reduce immigration to ensure ZERO population increase for the long term. We can then engage in the robotization of manufacturing industries (less jobs and cheaper products) and development of a high tech economy by a proactive R & D government.

    The Way To Economic Prosperity:

    Fiscal stimulation (of the right type and that does not mean by lowering taxes) is what is needed.

    The truth is that ‘reasonable’ governments have, in the past, been the driving force behind economic change and innovation.

    We need massive government spending (that means massive deficits) on R&D in potentially deflationary industries including clean alternative energy supplies, robotization, nano technology research and development, and medical research (including the effect of lifestyle and diet on diseases such as cardiovascular, diabetes and cancer). A subsequent deflationary effect will then occur in all of these industries and parts of the economy affected and will bring, for example, lower power prices and medical costs and long term population health and productivity and happiness due to good health. This deflationary effect will pay for the government expansion and the expansion itself will provide employment in a transformed high tech Australia.

    This a a form of QE for the people instead of for the finance and banking industry at a time when new private debt cannot be used as a stimulant because private debt is too high.

    Coupling such an approach with ZERO immigration (except for experts who are essential to fill job roles in the areas of expansion) and the end of negative gearing, and the end of superannuation advantages for the rich, and other similar measures will provide government with additional tax cash to beneficially use to further the expansion. Further, by establishing ZERO population growth, the cost of business and other premises for use in the expansion will fall, as will the cost of homes in which to live, and the expansion will be further fired-up with many more opportunities for entrepreneurism. Ending Stamp Duty, Capital Gains tax and Land Tax, will allow for capital formation and efficient capital mobility to further the expansion. Lower real estate prices will also allow for greater social uses of cheaper real estate such as community buildings, educational and privately run social development and charitable organizations.

    The environment will benefit through less need for land to develop. At the same time decentralized development projects can be encouraged by government and the best of living environments, built into the natural environment, can be facilitated as people move out of the worst of current housing and into better standards of living. This will put further downward pressure on real estate prices over future years.

    Take a few minutes to watch this informative and entertaining TED TALK by Mariana Mazzucato

    Titled: Government — investor, risk-taker, innovator

    And see how government economic involvement has been good for us all; from creating the internet to cleaning up the environment.

    Here is the link:

    I recommend and suggest that you watch the following video by ex World Bank economist Richard Duncan who will help you to understand the approach I am recommending,. My recommended approach will make life more socially enjoyable for you, your family, friends and relatives, raise your income, reduce your cost of housing, and protect the Australian environment.

    To watch the video go to this link:

    • desmodromicMEMBER

      @ naturaltrust. ‘Must’ is a strong word and I suspect LVO and HnH won’t, and neither will most others. Your message is lost!

      • Let’s have some healthy comment from you desmodromic. Putting your head in the sand, and making substance free comments, and attempting ad hominem attacks is not helpful and is a waste of my time.

        I do not believe that you have permission to speak for others. Please let others speak for themselves.

        Please put up a comment of substance.

    • Geez Natural Trust. Do you honestly believe that you have influenced my articles on immigration? I have been writing these posts for five years. You are a ‘Johnny come lately’ on this issue compared to me.

      • I’m guessing that he once read about NLP and thinks that he’s planting some auto-suggestions to swing your opinion on land tax.

      • You need to acknowledge how influenced by the comments you actually are – in fact you sometimes even use the language.

        A great example was your adoption of the “Everything is Awesome” theme form the Lego movie – came straight from the comments.


      • You are once again attempting to avoid the issues, Leith.

        I have shifted you to focus on this issue of immigration numbers.

        I have shifted you to focus on immigration and its effects on the environment.

        I am still working on shifting you to move away from YOUR BIG AUSTRALIA DESIRE to maintain average net immigration levels.


        You should be pleased and proud that I am giving up my valuable time to help you.

        • NT. I rarely read your comments and ascribe zero weight to them. If you want to believe that you are influencing me, suit yourself. But just know that I have been writing the same arguments for five years – long before you discovered this site.

      • Naturaltrust, old boy, we get it. You think you’ve been hugely influential and you will keep repeating it until somebody… anybody!… agrees with you. Could we just skip that part in your comments from now on? Perhaps just put a code at the beginning so we can take it as read? “++++” or something like that?

      • I am only referring to the period since May 17, 2013 Leith. That is almost four years.

        That represents a very valid sample over a long period of time.

        I repeat:

        You are once again attempting to avoid the issues, Leith.

        I have shifted you to focus on this issue of immigration numbers.

        I have shifted you to focus on immigration and its effects on the environment.

        I am still working on shifting you to move away from YOUR BIG AUSTRALIA DESIRE to maintain average net immigration levels.


        You should be pleased and proud that I am giving up my valuable time to help you.

        • Whatever dude. Believe what you want. The only reason why you are not banned for spamming and trolling is because you are a paying member. That’s how much weight I ascribe to your comments.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        I must admit that NaturalTrust has convinced me, during his time here, that we as a Country, Simply must adopt some kind of hefty land tax.

        His persistent, relentless and extreamly transparent campaign against such a Tax, has convinced me that such beneficiaries of inherited Real estate, like his good self, need to have the bejeasus taxed out of their unearned wealth.

        No doubt an unintended consequence on his part.


      • “Whatever dude. Believe what you want. The only reason why you are not banned for spamming and trolling is because you are a paying member. That’s how much weight I ascribe to your comments.”

        You have problem with morality and anger, Lieth.

        I will pray for you.

  3. the greens are foremostly a VIRTUE SIGNALLING party not an ENVIRONMENTALIST party. their main objective is to signal to other people their ethical and social superiority and their means of doing this is to vociferously pontificate on the most important article of faith in the modern western secularised theology – immigration. even if this is in contradiction with their environmentalist “ideals” it doesnt matter– it gives them an opportunity to virtue signal even if it makes no logical sense in the context of their broader, environmentalist world view.

    THERE IS NO POINT IN TRYING TO ACTUALLY POINT THIS OUT TO MOST GREENS. it does not matter. they don’t care. they, like most people, are not swayed by rational arguments– most positions are prior, assumed on the basis of ingrained biases that direct individuals, subjectively, towards psychological and social goals that further their well being and enhance their hierachical status. the greens are largely no different. they’ll never “get” the connection between the environment and population because it makes no sense to do so within the context of their social interests.

    • There is a combined pair of unreasons, too, that the Greens are the most guilty of. Besides the mass immigration that they support out of virtue-signalling, their ideology is primarily responsible for the “save the planet” urban planning that turns population growth 100% toxic – none of the assumed benefits, which were historically true, are true any more.

      If Australian cities growth policies re land supply and infrastructure supply were still the same as what provided decent median-multiple-3 houses for the baby boomers, and serious foresighted planning of highways and other infrastructure, then at least there would be some dividends from the population growth today. The provision of infrastructure and supply of housing, SHOULD benefit from “economies of scale”. Instead, capital that should have been channelled intelligently into providing infrastructure (as well as growing productive capital) has gurgled down the urban-dirt Ponzi funnel.

      • I live in dubbo so i cant tell you what’s going on in the capitals, but new groth here is largely hierarchical transportation system suburbia replete with cul-desacs, distributor roads and rigidly enforced single-use zoning that makes getting from your house to the shops a 15 minute journey. if this is what you’re talking about, this is the kind of urban development that exacerbates and intensifies the environmental impact of.population growth.

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      “it gives them an opportunity to virtue signal even if it makes no logical sense in the context of their broader, environmentalist world view.”

      I witnessed this first hand at my first Labor party FEC a few weeks back.
      In my view its not an Environmental stance, Labor should be taking against to high an intake, but rather in advocacy of preventing a lowering of the working and middle-class’s standards of living.

      The issue of Housing affordability was discussed at length at this meeting and at first I had decided to speak up and put forward my opinion that, rapid population growth, through the highest per capita immigration rate in the world, was a major contributor to this housing crisis being so passionately discussed.

      But I didn’t,…I held back,…partly because im a newbie (I only joined a year ago) and this was my first FEC (and it was the AGM),… but more, because I was becoming increasingly intrigued at the fact that nobody was going anywhere near the subject of immigration in relation to this housing affordability discussion going on around me, inspite of over half of the 20 or so people present,…intelligent people,…articulate people, attacking “the bubble” and the unfairness of housing Unaffordability from every angle,….every angle, other than our migrant intake.
      The closest the conversation came to the subject was the foreign ownership of Vacant properties and much support was voiced for a Canadian style of vacant property tax.
      Someone questioned the extent of these ” Vacant” properties and I dpoke up and said it was culturally quite common for Chinese investors to leave properties unoccupied as their investment strategies were more focused on Capital preservation, Capital gain and as an exit strategy out of China. This did not go down well, with audible inward drawings of breath and no reply.
      The logical disconnect, really took my breath away. How many other people here are thinking the same I wondered.

      Next meeting Ill be bringing the subject up,…and persistently continue to do so.

      • “Capital preservation, Capital gain and as an exit strategy out of China. ”
        Most Chinese don’t have exit strategy out of China. They have neither the skill nor the fund to get residency outside their country. They only invest here for capital gains, and for sort of for capital preservation due to the belief Aussie prices always rise. If it’s not the case, no Chinese will invest here.

        Also, leaving properties vacant is not exclusively a Chinese trait, Aussies also do it to a lesser but significant extent.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Sure,..of course its not an exclusively Chinese phenomenon.

        Property in the Anglo-sphere is seen as the same kind of safe haven as is a Swiss bank account or holding Gold.
        Money from questionable origins is always looking for somewhere to hide.
        Alot of that money is partly responsible for bidding up Syd and Mel house prices, out of the reach of most Australians.

      • I do admire your efforts EP. I hate to tell you you’re pissing into the wind. Through email interactions on various subjects with Mike Kelly it’s become clear that they’re not going to do anything about anything! Just like Malcolm they have their orders – Do Nothing, stay out of the way & obfuscate!

        Nothing’s going to change unless it all blows up – & even then I doubt anyone currently bunkered in the dung hill will have any workable answers to reconfigure for a fairer future, they’re all too invested in what’s happening now.

    • Question stagmal: Is it possible to persuade the Greens to change their position? I know what won’t work, and that is it to frame the debate in terms of immigration (even though it is) because you will be smacked down with the racist tag. It must be discussed in terms of “population policy” and the sheer impossibility of Australia reducing it’s carbon emissions while growing our population by 400,000 people p.a.

  4. We have this stupid party as a result not of stupid voters but of a broken voting system. The very foundation of our representation is busted so the existence and positioning of single issue parties base on senate is part of systems failure. !

  5. Tassie TomMEMBER

    The other day MB posted an article titled “Urban sprawl is not a threat to our food bowl” (or something similar).

    While that is not quite 100% true, it is largely true. Similarly, “Big Australia” alone is not the biggest threat to Australia’s “environment”. The most important segment of the “environment” to be protected is “habitat”, and most (but not all) of the high quality habitat (land, riverine, estuarine, and oceanic) is not under direct threat from “big Australia”.

    However, the environment is very much under INDIRECT threat from “Big Australia”. This is because our rapid growth rates support capitalism (if you’re born with capital you’ll die with capital, and if you’re born without capital you’ll die without capital) and impede egalitarianism and social mobility (egalitarianism = if you work hard on your education you’ll get a good job, and if you work hard in your job you’ll get rich).

    High population growth rates push up asset prices and other expenses as the supply can’t keep up with demand so they become scarce resources, and it pushes down wages by obvious mechanisms. People are no better off than they were 5 years ago, and will be no better off in 5 years time than they are now (except, of course, those who began with significant capital).

    When people are like this they become dispossessed and self-centred. Society has not given them a “fair go”, why should they give a stuff about society? They will be more inclined to vote for the perceived good of their nuclear family than for the good of society at large. They will lean toward scapegoating others who seem to be at an advantage to themselves (refugees, “reverse racism”, favours for the rich etc) – this is largely to make themselves feel better about their dispossession and lack of social mobility, and the lack of opportunity that they are able to provide their children to have a better life than themselves.

    (Rapid population growth isn’t the only thing causing the above, but it certainly doesn’t help).

    If they hear “Protect the forestry industry, Jobs, Economy” or “Increased water extraction, Productivity, Trickle-down”, or “Estuarine canal development, Construction jobs” – the environmental impacts are less likely to form a concern for them.

    If The Greens want to protect the environment they need people to vote to protect the environment, and people are only going to vote for the environment if they give a stuff. If people have shitty living standards no matter how hard they struggle while they watch the rich get richer, they’re going to want to look after themselves first and not give a stuff about the rest of society including the environment, they won’t vote for it, and it won’t be protected.

    PS – I’m very much against “Big Australia”.

    • That article was a scientific and intellectual disgrace.

      As has been pointed out in this thread people are swayed by their cognitive bias – that article was an absolutely PERFECT demonstration.

      Scientifically speaking – our food bowls are on the verge of collapse, politically speaking – we can expand our rice growing regions straight into the Wimmera and grow wheat on the slopes of Mount Bogong, with plenty of Oranges to be grown in Foster.


      Moronic post of the highest order.

      • Tassie TomMEMBER

        @ Graham: I know I shouldn’t get involved, but that article was absolutely correct. You were the only one going off your head left, right, and centre, preaching in the name of “science” without actually applying any of it.

        If you knew anything about Australian agriculture you’d know where our food is grown, and how much is grown where, and you’d realise that the magnitude of our food encroachment by urban sprawl is barely a rounding error.

      • Respectively disagree TT – urban sprawl does affect food bowls, because many agricultural inputs need to be close to market to be sustainable. Market gardens, etc.

        Moreover, the environmental cost of people spread out, impacts on water and waste supplies, electrification, transport hubs, rail and road. Hence my point above, which people absolutely refuse to consider, England, the size of Victoria has over 50m people, yet has numerous wild areas, green belts, farmland, etc. Houses that make sense, yes smaller than the average Australian house, but in most part very efficient.

        We have none of that in Australia. Urban sprawl does now make a big part of Australia’s developed fertile land mass. Even from a Tasmania perspective, probably the worst offender and largely done during the Green/Labour alliance ironically – is the massive expansion of five acre lots on the Eastern Shore outside Hobart toward the Airport, and the destruction of farming down the Channel and Huon via hobby farmers. From own own perspective, a large farm, now in 12 different lots, produces no cattle, no small fruit. Its a crying shame.

  6. I’ve heard stories that the government have been releasing the boat people refugees from onshore detention back into the community as well after years inside so I don’t understand why we are still running the offshore centers, bring them all hear which would save a dollar or two as well!

  7. People are still getting confused between ‘The Greens’ and ‘Greenpeace’. They have nothing in common. One are true environmental warriors, the others are a bunch of deluded marxists.

  8. Ha! You think The Greens are absent on immigration? Try talking to them on taxation or economics and watch them glaze over in 3 – 2 – 1.

    This party could be doing so much good. Instead, they have taken environmental matters out of mainstream discourse and driven it to the left. Most Australians find The Greens’ stances irrelevant and repugnant. See: any opinion poll.

    They are a gift to the Tories.

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      “They are a gift to the Tories.”

      Yes I agree, they divide the “Left” and worse still, frame the “Lefts primary positions” around Identity politics and Culture waring”
      The labor party, to only a slightly lesser extent, are guilty of the same travesty.

      In my view, the best political outcomes for the Australian People can only be achieved, in our, in effect, 2 party democratic system, if the 2 parties are actually opposed to eachother on most Economic, industrial, privatisation, taxation and trade policy issues.

      A “Liberal” party that advocates for Capital and plutocrat interests and a Labor party that advocates for the disadvantaged and working people,…battling it out with each other with both being forced to make pragmatic compromises in the process, for the benfit of the Country as a whole is what we need to return to.

      The “Parties of the People” simply have to be retaken, with their direction set by a rank and file, of common people, not some Proffessional class of Aparachiks,….for there to be any hope of breaking the Careerist and Plutocratic dominance of every aspect of the political process,…Identity politics being the only thing left to any kind of real democratic difference between the parties.

      Your help and participation is required.

    • Yes, the Greens have been blind about Land Tax for years.

      They have blindly refused to take Land Tax out of their tax platform for years when I have spoken to them.

      Fortunately they lately seem to be weakening on this issue as they recognize the true insidiousness and problematic nature of Land Tax.

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      Instead, they have taken environmental matters out of mainstream discourse and driven it to the left. Most Australians find The Greens’ stances irrelevant and repugnant.

      Environmental matters involve pro-active planning, regulation and empathy. They’re pretty much inherently a “left” issue.

      Most Australians, presented with most of the Greens’ stances absent the information they were the Greens’ stances, would enthusiastically agree with them, I have little doubt.

      Strong public services, public ownership of critical assets, fair wages, workers rights, liveable welfare, higher wages, strong regulation of the FIRE industries, properly taxing the wealthy and corporations, “a fair go”. Which of these stances do you think “most Australians” would disagree with ?

      I’m pretty sure you’re a supporter of SAP, David. There’s about a 99.9% policy overlap between SAP and the Greens, so I find it odd you’re in favour of one but find the other “repugnant”.

      See: any opinion poll.

      You mean the same opinion polls that show some 2/3 of the population endorsing the “stances” of the Coalition and Labor, that are responsible for the situations we have today ?

      • You know my view on Labor, Ermo, they are irretrievably infected with the cancer and have been chasing the Coalition off rightwards for thirty years. Keating was ground fucking zero in this country for neoliberalism, for fuck’s sake.

        Substitute in “the Unions” for “big business” and there’s barely daylight between Labor and the Coalition.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Thats why we need you Brother,…to help put Labor back on their traditional path.

        Be in both,…and keep it a secret.

        I won’t tell.


  9. It gets worse for the Greens.

    The Greens also supported the original $5.000 baby bonus (I guess as some sort of social welfare payment!) and have stood by while family planning funding was cut, especially under the Newman government in Queensland.

    It is said that the main beneficiary of the baby bonus was Harvey Norman!

  10. It’s worse than that a lot of those types want no borders. I almost want that to happen so I can see the look on their face when they get done over by a newly created crime gang.

  11. The Greens have started to the slide in the direction that the Australian Democrats took before they disappeared from the scene. Instead of keeping the ‘bastards honest’, the greens have tried to be equal with either labor and or liberal.

    • Agreed. It’s quite frustrating to see them throwing away the opportunities to do good in an attempt to be more “mainstream”.

      But then again it’s hard for them to get any positive press when the system is so heavily stacked against any incursions against the two-party status quo. The “elites” may disagree on some things, but undermining any real improvements in democratic representation is something they’ll happily collaborate on.

  12. Excerpted from the Greens Immigration policy:

    4. A review of the family, skilled and business migration streams to prioritise family reunion and meeting skills shortages.
    5. Skilled migration programs that do not substitute for training or undermine wages and conditions in Australia.
    6. Consistent, timely and fair processes to assess the qualifications of skilled migrants permanently settling in Australia.”

    I know they’re politicians and not to be trusted, but for my money there is no way to achieve those aims without leading to a massive drop in the total number of immigrants to Australia, especially point 5. I agree that the consequences of the wedge is that the policy contains far more about refugees than it ought, but in some respects that isn’t the Greens fault.

    A more useful criticism of the Greens policy platform as a whole is that there are ‘Aims’ but no section on how they are to be achieved.

  13. The Greens focus appears to be on second order issues. They are apparently sending Nick McKimm to PNG to fact find on the latest shooting episode at the offshore detention centre, presumably to check if Peter Dutton’s version of events (and not that of the PNG authorities) is correct. Fine, nice to know the truth. But really, who GAF about this. Did us knowing that little Johnny and his mates lied about children overboard materially change voting behaviour?
    As for the current mob of Greens being an environmental party – does anyone seriously see Richard di Natale getting down and dirty at the next enviro protest, chaining himself to a tree/blocking a dozer etc. Funny but I think he is more likely to pop up in the next Gucci/Loius Vuitton ad.