Sustainable Australia fights back against population ponzi

By Leith van Onselen

In the wake of the latest Census results, which reported a 1.9 million (+8.8%) surge in Australia’s population in the five years to 2016, driven by 1.3 million new migrants, Sustainable Australia’s president, William Bourke, hit the airwaves yesterday appearing on multiple radio shows to lobby for a cut to Australia’s net immigration intake from 200,000 currently to the historical average of 70,000 people per year:

The below appearance on 3AW’s Neil Mitchell program was especially noteworthy (listen to audio here). Below are some highlights of this interview.

Mitchell: “When you look at these [Census] figures, how do you argue it’s changing Australia?”

Bourke: “It’s changing Australian in every way possible. We need to talk about the numbers rather than having racial rants.  This is about an Australia being better rather than being ever-bigger. There’s no mandate for this rapid population growth. No party has taken this to an election, so that’s the starting point”.

Mitchell: “How is it changing the country…”?

Bourke: “The big issues we feel are job security, housing affordability, planning in our suburbs and our environment. And all of those major indicators are going backwards with this onslaught of rapid population growth. So, it’s changing our daily lives. It’s gone beyond some big number into the future. It’s actually hitting us in the face when we drive out of our driveway in the morning and we try and get to work. Or when we try to look up a job when we try to get our next opportunity.  Or when we look at our green space in our suburb that’s disappearing. Or looking at our urban heritage… that’s just being bulldozed for this highrise development”.

Mitchell: “Do you believe that immigration should be based on race?”

Bourke: “Absolutely not. It’s an issue of numbers. The real issue is that the permanent immigration program to Australia – which is the key driver of our population growth… The key driver of our rapid population growth is our record immigration program of around 200,000 per year. That is triple the long-term average of 70,000 per year. And that’s why places like Victoria are growing by 150,000 people a year rather than its traditional 50,000 per year”

“All we need to do is wind that [immigration] back to what it was 20-years ago to that long-term average – no discrimination based on race or religion or any of those things – just dial it back to the long-term average”…

Sustainable Australia is the only political party to have questioned Australia’s mass immigration program in the wake of the Census. And it has done so in a sensible non-racial way. Well done to William Bourke for putting the issue out there and educating the public.

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  1. AndynycMEMBER

    Not enough people have heard about the party, most people when I mention them give me vacant stares. They need some billboards on the congested freeways “you voted for this”

    • hareebaMEMBER

      I know it takes cash but I think highlighting the Issue on the side of buses in Sydney and catching peoples attention while stuck in traffic would work. I am sure you guys have probably thought of this anyway.

      • HadronCollision

        Buses. That get stuck in the traffic

        They should release some well designed cycling kit and make it super cheap to buy (and high end Italian stuff) for all the commuters, and plain activewear tops for the commuters who don’t wear lycra. Also bumper stickers

        Imagine that. Sitting on Beach Rd at Brighton Sea Baths in dead standstill whilst 10x cyclists with YOU VOTED FOR TRAFFIC on their kit, and then you hoot your horn in anger at these traffic causing CARBON CLOWNS and then look to your car in front where on the bumper is an SAP sticker saying YEAH YOU VOTED FOR THIS

  2. hareebaMEMBER

    What was Mitchell’s tone towards Bourke? Did listeners respond favourably?

    I have noticed in the past month MSM have decided to cover variants to this issue in significantly greater depth. Although, still far from adequate. Latham’s article, Sloane, Channel 7 Sydney, and even the Sydney Morning Herald has let through anti population ponzi sentiment in the letters to the editor section.

    All off the back of you guys.

    Good work.

    • Mitchell did ask Turnbull whether he foresaw a freeze (cut to zero?) in immigration on Tuesday morning. The intellectual genius immediately jumped on the we stopped the boats argument and how his Government have regained control of our borders. He won’t broach it, just like his wife who refuses to respond to Dick Smith. Hosts may vary somewhat but 3AW through Tom Elliott in particular are doing a reasonable job in promoting the debate.

    • I heard the interview and Neil Mitchell’s tone towards William Bourke was very positive. I hope Bourke gets a whole lot more air time. Unfortunately though, not many young people listen to 3AW so the message somehow needs to get to the young lefty bleeding hearts.

  3. The Patrician

    Kudos to Mr Bourke
    and you too Leith
    Malcolm Turnbull has increased the migration intake by 16.5% in the last 12months.
    That is the hidden story in the latest data

    • That is unbelievable given the level of unemployment.

      I think Pauline Hanson is starting to betray her base as well. There was a recent article about a ONP Senator giving permanent residency to a 57 year old electrician from the 3rd world. Because there are not enough unemployed electricians in AUS?

      I think in 2004, immigration was geared towards people under the age of 30!

      • HadronCollision

        Depends where
        in my area they don’t ring back
        same for draftsman
        can we have some well mannered 457 draftspeople to the regions please

      • I think in 2004, immigration was geared towards people under the age of 30!

        Opening up to older migrants is the only way to keep the numbers up in our Asia-centric migration program -the median age in Asia rose from 27.4 to 30.3 between 2005 and 2015.

  4. Julia Gillard said on TV in 2010 “I do not want a big Australia” to get our vote. I thought that mass immigration will come to an end in 2011.

    Tony Abbott kept telling her to “specify a number” (how many would you let in).

    Both Tony and Julia are immigrants from Britain, utterly stupid, and turned out to be pathological liars.

    • Gillard said she was not in favour of a Big Australia when she was already PM, but promptly turned on the tap harder. Maybe she thought we wouldn’t notice. What we did notice was that she lied… yet again. However, I don’t know which is worse – saying one thing then doing another, or refusing to talk about it altogether, like Turnbull.

  5. Premises for a sustainable country:

    #1 Food and water production capable of supporting 150% of the population DURING THE WORST RECORDED DROUGHT. If this gets to 160%, we can consider adding more people. Why 150? Because numbers WILL be fudged.

    • +1 Freeze the migration intake until international enviromental benchmarks are met and maintained for 12 months.
      Where are the Greens on this?

      • Where they’ve always been – languishing and probably sitting outside an alternative coffee shop in Fitzroy.

      • bolstroodMEMBER

        I wrote to all sitting Greens MP’s a few months ago about where they stood on Australia’s population growth, half responded , all with identical words about taking an international view and being a good global citizen having a responibility to take our fair share of the burgeoning world population.
        They did not address the issues I raised about Australia leading the extinction of species , over crowding in our cities,greater evironmental destruction, wether they were conflating refugees with Immigration,and lack of infrastructure to accomodate the
        influx of migrants.
        They are part of the Ponzi.

      • Water?

        We were FORCED to build desalination plants during the last drought. Sure, the rains came, but if they didn’t the plants would have been touch and go whether they made it in time.

      • bolstroodMEMBER

        We produce enough food to feed 160 million people .
        Australians waste about half the food we buy, our super market chains waste staggering amounts of food through their insistance that not a speck or blemish be allowed , like bananas be straight. Well have you ever seen a gay or stoned one?

      • Cameron,

        See Tor Hundloe, Sarah Blagrove and Hannah Ditton. eds., “Australia’s Role in Feeding the World”. We are feeding about 60 million people, and this is cut in half in a bad drought year such as 2004. According to the World Bank tables, only 6.2% of Australia is arable, and (also from the World Bank tables), the average quality of that arable land is very low compared to Europe or North America. Judging by total hectares of arable land and average grain production per hectare, France can feed around a third again as many people as Australia, even when we are having a good year. Myne’s conditions for shutting down population growth appear to be met.

      • So Cameron, doubling Australia’s population in the next 70 years (ABS Series “B” as of 2013 and doubtless to revised to sooner) largely by immigration will make food cheaper here and allow us to continue exporting as much as we do now?? I think not. Rather, prices here will rise and we will export less. BTW that article (but thanks anyway) is written by something of an agricultural industry marketer. And to jump to something from Ross Garnaut here (not otherwise mentioned) but to contradict your assumptions. There’s Garnaut’s admission of the obvious in a paper long ago, that Aus population increase will cause food demand & prices to rise for the benefit of farmers – but that this will be at the cost of those already here, and of newcomers too of course. So I ask you whether you want an Aus that merely struggles worse ever more to eke out an existence or want it managed for the benefit of those already here?

  6. Well at least now they are not calling for reduced fertility as they have in the past. Dear me….

  7. I left school in the year 2000. I think Australia was at its peak then and Sydney shone bright on the world stage thanks to the Olympics. It truly was a good place to live then.
    Since that, every year has got progressively worse. My staff member who recently returned after 2 decades in the UK keeps questioning me on why Australia is doing all of these stupid things.
    I just shrug my shoulders and say “well you see why I intend to leave”.

  8. Boundless Plains?
    A different view
    Those who talk about Australia’s “boundless plains”, and the vast population these ought to sustain, need to check out the links to the maps produced by Dr Chris Watson during his career as a CSIRO soil scientist and take note of Professor Henry Nix of the ANU’s Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies who estimates Australia has 77 million hectares of potentially arable land, including marginally arable — making about 3.5 hectares of (mostly indifferent) arable land per person. From the current land use, he estimates Australia could feed about 50 million people.
    However this involves maintaining the present heavy use of oil-based fertilisers that allows Australian farmers to produce crops like wheat from infertile soils. If Australian agriculture is to pay its costs, or provide net export earnings, much of the crop must continue to be exported to pay for the fertilisers and imported oil required to grow it. Very high future oil prices could make much of Australia’s wheat land unviable, as could continuing erosion, salinification and acidification.