Bob Brown, Laura Tingle, Richard Denniss, Ross Gittins back Dick Smith

By Leith van Onselen

The Australia Institute’s chief economist, Richard Denniss, has started an excellent new podcast entitled The Lucky Country, which this week included a segment (from 23.00) discussing Dick Smith’s campaign to lower Australia’s immigration intake back to the historical level of 70,000 people a year, while at the same time increasing the humanitarian intake.

The most interesting comment came from the founder of the Australian Greens, Bob Brown, who implicitly backed Dick Smith’s agenda:

Richard Denniss: “So Bob. Parliament house is hardly full of shrinking violets… Why do you think people are afraid to have a debate about something like population as opposed to asylum seeker policy? Why is it easier to argue about the small flow of asylum seekers than the large flow of immigration levels that have had bipartisan support for so long?”

Bob Brown: “Well I think Dick Smith has his alarm bells going on this… It’s really tied up with growth economics and the future of our society. We need prosperity, but can we continue to consume more out of a finite planet? And the answer ultimately is no, we can’t. So how are we going to make this transfer?”.

“And one of the things about the population debate is that ultimately, there were two-and-a-half billion people when I came to the planet in 1944. There’s 8 billion now. It’s more than tripled. We just can’t keep that going”.

“And internally, we have the debate about Australia… It’s the immigration policy that is actually leading to the fairly rapid growth in Australia’s population. And ultimately, that can mean a decline in living standards rather than an increase. And I tried very hard in parliament… to look at – because it is tied to growth economics – the big section of that immigration intake is people that can pay $750,000 to come into the country or have high skills, which would be much better-off used back in their poorer countries. Or who are well-off. A very, very small section come as refugees compared to that number. And the question is, have we got that mix right. I don’t think we have”.

That is a straight endorsement of Dick Smith’s Fair Go agenda. So why hasn’t the current generation of Australian Greens entered the debate?

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.

Accordingly, The Greens have stood by silently as Australia’s population has surged from 19 million in 1998 to nearly 25 million currently, with official projections having Australia’s population surging to 40 million mid-century – more than twice the level of 1998 when the Greens abandoned their stable population policy.

Worse, last year The Greens announced a plan to massively increase Australia’s humanitarian migrant intake without providing offsets to Australia’s current permanent migrant intake of 200,000 – a move that would see Australia’s population increase to a massive 43 million by 2060.

Hence, rather than pushing back against the population ponzi and a Big Australia, the modern Greens have a platform for an even bigger enviro-sucking Australia!

There is a way for The Greens to once again become a genuine “green” party as well as ensuring social justice concerns are met: follow Dick Smith’s plan to increase Australia’s humanitarian intake (currently 14,000 per year) while cutting Australia’s economic intake (currently around 190,000 people per year) to 70,000.

This way, The Greens could achieve two goals: significantly reducing population growth and saving the environment while also being a good and caring global citizen.

As an aside, the podcast also has the AFR’s Laura Tingle endorsing the Dick Smith debate. And Richard Denniss himself is one of the few notable economists to voice great concern over Australia’s mass immigration ‘Big Australia’ program. In July 2015, Denniss gave a masterful interview on Sydney’s 2UE Radio explaining in no uncertain terms why the drive towards a Big Australia is destroying Australian living standards:

“Since the Sydney Olympics, Australia’s population has grown by the population of Sydney. Australia is one of the fastest growing countries in the developed world and our infrastructure isn’t keeping up. It isn’t keeping up now and hasn’t kept up for the last 10 years, and it’s not budgeted to keep up in the next 10.”

“What politicians are doing is every year they announce record spending on this and a new that, but what they don’t point out is that on a per person basis, per person we are spending less on health, per person we’ve got less access to transport, per person the reason the queues in the hospital keeps getting longer is because we are not building hospitals as fast as we are growing our population. They all know it, they just don’t say it”…

“If you were going to invite a hundred people to your house for a party, you would probably put the food and the chairs out before they arrive. But, what we have done for nearly 15 years now is we’ve significantly increased the rate of population growth and we are saying “we’ll build rail in the future… we’ll build the hospitals in the future”. Yes, there’s no doubt that any minister can rattle a list of things they are planning to build. What they don’t say is that given that our population’s gonna grow by around 400,000 people this year, we are not building nearly enough hospitals and schools and roads to keep up with that. So, yes, there’s always a big pipeline, but what they are not telling you is that per person, the amount of infrastructure is declining. Per person, the amount of spending on health is declining”…

“If you want to double your population – and that’s our plan – we want to double our population – you have to at least double your infrastructure to maintain people’s standard of living… We’re talking schools, we’re talking hospitals, we’re talking trains, we’re talking roads, we’re talking police”…

“Population growth costs a lot… If you double the number of citizens then you double the number of teachers and double the number of nurses. It’s pretty simple math. But of course, you don’t have to double them if you gradually plan to lower the number of services. If you are happy for us to gradually lower the number of services in our health system, our aged system, if you are happy for congestion to gradually get worse, if you are happy for the amount of green space per person to decline, then you can do what we do. But the trick is at the moment is every budget – and all governments do this – every budget the minister says “I’m spending a record amount on health”. Well, of course you are, we’ve got a bigger population than we’ve ever had before. Every year has to be a record. But, their own data shows that on a per person basis, it’s just not keeping up”.

The Australia Institute also produced an excellent research paper in March 2015, which called for a national debate on the issue.

Lastly today, no doubt prodded by MB, Ross Gittins finally broke his silence on the impacts of mass immigration:

Economists aren’t supposed to believe in growth for its own sake. Their sales pitch is that economic growth is good because it raises our material standard of living.

But this is true only if the economy grows faster than the population, producing an increase in income per person (and even this ignores the extent to which some people’s incomes grow a lot faster than others).

This simple truth is obscured by economists’ practice of measuring growth in the economy without allowing for population growth.

Take the national accounts we got for the June quarter last week. We were told the economy grew by 0.8 per cent during the quarter and by 1.8 per cent over the year to June.

Allow for population growth, however, and that drops to 0.4 per cent and a mere 0.2 per cent. So, improvement in living standards over the past financial year was negligible.

Over the past 10 years, more than two-thirds of the growth in real gross domestic product of 28 per cent was accounted for by population growth, with real growth per person of just 9 per cent.

It’s a small fact to bear in mind when we compare our economic growth rate with other developed countries’.

We usually do well in that comparison, but rarely admit to ourselves that our population growth is a lot higher than almost all the others.

Our population grew by 1.6 per cent in 2016, and by the same average rate over the five years to June 2016. This was slower than the annual rate of 1.8 per cent over the previous five years, but well up on the 20-year average rate of 1.4 per cent.

…I oppose “bizonomics” – the doctrine that the economy should be run primarily for the benefit of business, rather than the people who live and work in it – and the older I get the more sceptical I get about the easy assumption that population growth is good for all of us.

For a start, I don’t trust economists enough to accept their airy dismissal of environmentalists’ worries that we may have exceeded our fragile ecosystem’s “carrying capacity”.

But even before you get to such minor matters as stuffing up the planet, there are narrowly economic reasons for doubting the happy assumption that a more populous economy is better for everyone.

The big one is that the more we add to the population, the more we have to divert our accumulation of scarce physical capital – housing, business equipment and public infrastructure of roads, public transport, schools, hospitals and 100 other things – from “capital deepening”, so as to improve our productivity, to “capital widening”, so as to stop our average productivity actually worsening.

Well done, Bob, Richard, Ross and Laura. Finally the debate is being wrenched away from the nutters at One Nation and towards the evidence-based policy centre.

unco[email protected]

Unconventional Economist
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  1. someone did a write up on reddit about how immigration is apparently a boost to the australian economy. has there been any macro articles discussing any of the papers cited in this post?

    “Before we start blaming every negative thing ever on immigration..

    Study from last year:

    We examine the relationship between immigration to Australia and the labour market outcomes of Australian-born workers. We use immigrant supply changes in skill groups, defined by education and experience, to identify the impact of immigration on the labour market. We find that immigration flows into those skill groups that have the highest earnings and lowest unemployment. Once we control for the impact of experience and education on labour market outcomes, we find almost no evidence that immigration harms the labour market outcomes of those born in Australia.

    Recent study specifically focused on Australia:

    Immigrants do not effect the per capita income level of Australia

    Overall, our results reveal that immigration inflows do not harm the employment prospects of Australian residents.

    Immigration department report on GDP growth per capita:

    there are indications that migration in the range of 160,000 to 210,000 provides the most beneficial impact on the rate of growth of GDP per capita.

    Australian net migration is currently steady at 180k per year, which fits within this sweet spot.

    In regard to wages, a recent paper by Bond and Gaston (2009) concluded that immigration has a positive impact upon the wages of the domestic labour force, not a negative impact as is usually assumed.

    It also notes that slowing per capita GDP growth is due to an aging population, not immigrants.

    Whatever immigration or participation strategy is followed, the modeling shows that, with constant productivity, a sharp fall in Australia’s per capita GDP growth is inevitable from 2010 to 2020. After that, per capita GDP growth starts to rise again reaching a new peak around 2040 and thereafter remaining relatively high (Figure 14). This is simply the result of the inevitable ageing of Australia’s population, the retirement of the large baby boom generation.

    Have another:

    Using the national labour market approach, we find positive effects of immigration on native earnings.

    This part might particularly shock the xenophobes:

    Immigrants originating from primarily non-English speaking countries have a greater positive effect on native earnings than immigrants from primarily English-speaking countries.

    Another one:

    The core finding is that there is no robust evidence that immigration exerts discernible adverse consequence on wages in the Australian labour market. This basic finding holds whether the immigration rate is specified in aggregate form or whether it is decomposed into the two main subsets of skilled and unskilled immigrants. In fact, there is some evidence that overall immigration may exert positive effects on wages in Australia.

    A more general study that looks at the world instead of Australia:

    Despite the popular belief that immigrants have a large adverse impact on the wages and employment opportunities of the native-born population, the literature on this question does not provide much support for this conclusion.

    • Thanks for the post. The societal impacts, aside from economic activity, together with the need to build infrastructure, spread the benefits of such expenditure amongst the migrants and not the natives.

    • There are studies that deliver both outcomes. The problem is twofold:

      1. most do not include the externalities of falling infrastucture efficiency, and
      2. most do not examine what running high immigration into an oversupplied economy and labour market achieves.

      After all, if we ran high migration into mining boom tight labour markets to suppress wages ipso facto then running high immigration into mining bust loose labour markets is going to do do what?

      • But even during the mining boom, there was no need to flood AUS with IT staff from the 3rd world. What do IT and accounting have to do with mining? Why not tell the firms to import staff from New Zealand, USA, Europe? Oh yeah, the wages in India are much much lower.

        If IT was a well paid profession, more and more Aussies would be studying IT – but the number of Aussies studying IT peaked long ago. It is now a low paid profession in AUS! All because of mass low-wage immigration and because the ALP thinks Aussies are incapable of networking a few computers together. I do not expect politicians to understand every single occupation and thus the solution is to put a massive tax on each 457 visa. $100k upfront. And tell the firms to import staff from Auckland. Of course there are computers and accountants in Auckland!

    • I am more concerned about quality of life Stagmal. Sydney is choking. While wages have stagnated the traffic has not.

    • “Immigrants do not effect the per capita income level of Australia”

      As long as we keep can keep the rate of debt growth and asset sales high enough to fund that income!!!
      ” If something cannot go on forever, it will stop” Herb Stein

      This leaves aside all the social and environmental impacts well noted by others

    • I suspect that those articles are all rubbish. That’s just my intuition, not an assessment of the arguments, but the arguments seem so divergent from the reality of my life that it’s hard to give them credence. Numbers can be juggled to support just about any conclusion, and one only has to drive around Sydney on any day of the week to see that massive immigration isn’t doing this tired old country any good.

    • Theresa May and I totally disagree.

      Foreigners come here to work for $2 an hour. Do you think the foreigners in 7-Eleven comply with the wage laws and income tax laws? No. They are on $10/hour.

      There are 64,000 illegals in AUS now. I wonder what wage they are on?

      How come most cases in Fair Work Australia involve foreign workers! And those are the ones brave enough to take on their boss. What about the meek ones?

    • Stagmal, it’s very simple:

      1. Economic growth is entirely possible with a stagnant (even falling) population
      2. The immigration ponzi exists only to support the other ponzis: 1) welfare 2) house prices 3) the gigantic debtberg … while keeping nominal GDP tracking in the right direction.

      End of.

    • Stagmal why don’t you take a look at some of the methodology used to support your inaccurate beliefs: For example the analysis used to support the statement that non-English speaking migrants have a positive effect on native earnings than immigrants from primarily English speaking countries is outrageously out of date using data drawn from the Hilda survey 2001-2005 and only from the first wave of migrants in 2001, which in itself used data from the previous 5-10 year information. Stagmal we are concerned with the current 200,000 migrants not migrants that arrived here before 2001.
      Stagmal it really pays to be able to pick up academic fraud research especially from the far extreme political left because society has been drained in their stuff-of-nonsence research for decades AND I seriously now believe the public are fed-up with academic research-fraud being used to manipulate them.
      Don’t have the time or inclination to check your remaining research…..too error prone……

      • what, supernova? i didn’t write that; re-read my post. it was a copy-paste from a post defending immigration that gained some traction on reddit australia yesterday. i was querying it on here because i was looking for counter-research; i suspect most of it is bullsh1t/obfuscatory. have you read my post history at all? i’m not pro-immigation whatsoever.

    • We find that immigrants flow into those skill groups that have the highest earnings and lowest unemployment.

      Did anyone read beyond that ? Because I did and they made a calculation –

      𝑦ijt=𝜃Pijt+ s𝑖+Xj+𝜋𝑗+(S𝑖×X𝑥𝑗 )+(S𝑖×𝜋𝑡 )+(Xj x 𝜋t)× εijt

      Yes – this is their actual formula…….

      Oh my god. The rest is utter verbiage, dressed in loquacious verbal daihorea.

      Went through the rest – all equally risible shit.

      Spent one second checking sources – IPA was the primary source.

      Mate if you think importing a million people to work at 711 is the peak income and education levels – you’re on crack.

      If you think a study which looks exclusively at the incomes of people during the two years of the biggest mining boom in any countries history is indicative of the impact of galloping migration then all power to you Forest Gump.

      No wonder countries go to pot so easily – once you have people willingly accept the destruction of their own education, idiots pop up everywhere with “sciency maths rubbish” to prove their points.

      Tell me how all this works with the highest debt levels on earth – CHAMP !


    • It’s interesting that the DBPI paper you cite is so reticent about the effect of mass immigration on the ageing of Australia’s population. This is one aspect that Big Australia advocates have talked up for decades. Even recently, we have dire warnings about our dismal geriatric future unless we open our borders to young, vibrant migrants.
      A careful analysis of demographic studies looking at mass immigration and population age profiles clearly shows that the benefits are marginal at best. Unless our new migrants are Peter Pan and Wendy, they will age at the same rate as native born Australians, thus enlarging the older population in future years. The only ‘popular’ approach which deals with this problem is the population Ponzi scheme, whereby bigger and bigger numbers of migrants are introduced each year until the size of the population becomes completely unsustainable (and hopefully by then we’re dead and it’s our children’s problem).
      There is another solution that would limit our overall population to a sustainable number AND keep our age profile similar to today. It would involve increasing our native birth rate to closer to 3 children per couple and adopting a zero net migration rate. But one suspects that this would fail the corporate benefit test; newborn infants take too long and too much investment to get to worker/consumer status. Far simpler and cheaper to import young adults from elsewhere.
      A number of the other papers that you list cherry-pick data or oversimplify to paint a rosy picture of mass immigration. For example the finding that immigration has little effect on wages – this is true on average. But in reality, countless studies have shown that immigration benefits those on higher wages but actually does negatively affect wage outcomes for those on lower wages. As can be easily observed, the negative effects of mass immigration fall disproportionately on the poor and disadvantaged in Australian society. Those with the means to insulate themselves from its effects do so. This makes me wonder why so much of the Left in Australia is so wedded to mass immigration. IMHO, stopping it would be the single most beneficial thing that a Federal government could do for this nation.

  2. Good on you Bob. Sarah Hanson Young is more concerned about the skin colour of the people in political ads.

    We could shut the inhumane and expensive offshore detention gulags tomorrow if the Greens demanded an end to mass low-wage but supposedly “skilled” immigration. But SHY loves the gulags!

    We could triple the foreign aid budget.

    We could give Aussie kids and the kids of immigrants the decent jobs instead of 457 visa staff.

    Ross Gittins is not gagged! –

    • I just looked on smh couldnt find it so theyve buried it. But 13 people reading it nonetheless.
      Not even under his name tag.

      • 683 reading Gittin’s article in the Canberra Times right now. Would be many multiples of this if you include the SMH, AGE etc. Hundreds of comments.

        About time Ross.

    • Mr SquiggleMEMBER

      Bob Brown continues to deflect the issue of Australian population growth by referring the question to Global population growth. This is how he weasles his way out of the debate.

      The world population growth rate is about fertility and net births whereas Australia’s population is driven by migration.

      Referring the debate to a global issue is how Bob Brown and greens dodge away from the issue and avoid facing into the population challenge for the Greens, which is how to say no to migration and yes to diversity, tolerance etc

  3. I don’t understand your constant suggestion to increase the refugee intake. We could help many more people by using the money we would have spent on the welfare of 10,000 to instead properly get ourselves off coal (and its export) or support and fund the rights of millions of women worldwide to get an education and control their own fertility.

    Or is the increased refugee intake just a virtue signal that we are not racist for wanting to cut immigration? It certainly doesn’t make any economic or utilitarian humanitarian sense.

    Even after many generations there are still problems with crime for Vietnamese refugees, and massive problems with crime and unemployment for the African refugees that we have taken in.

    • Well the refugee intake increase would do a few things:

      A) grab votes from the bleeding hearts
      B) kill the Greens because the Greens advocate increasing the refugee intake without cutting the 457 visa intake
      C) allow us to close the expensive and inhumane offshore detention gulags

      I do not care if refugees are on welfare for life. I really do not. It is not a lavish lifestyle. Hardly anyone wants to be on welfare.

    • While I am not sure what you meant by “..there are still problems with crime for Vietnamese refugees ..”. It does not sound like there were major problems back in 2009 and I suspect those issues would have continued to fade another decade down the track.

      Though as the report noted there is a risk that they might adjust and become AS criminal as the general population!

      “..The critical finding of the research is that, in New South Wales at least, Vietnamese youth offenders have a significantly lower crime rate than their non-Vietnamese counterparts. This result suggests that sensational media reports are not indicative of the level of criminal activities within the Vietnamese community.

      The quantitative analysis which is the focus of this report makes an important contribution to our understanding of the issues. Further research on the topic is recommended, both to assess the applicability of the findings to other locations and over a longer time period, and to undertake qualitative analyses of the socio-economic and cultural circumstances which may affect crime rates and types of crime committed by Vietnamese youth. For example, one question raised by the present research is whether acculturation of the Vietnamese community may increase participation in criminal activities, perhaps to levels similar to the Australian population in general

      • I think Johnson11’s problem with Vietnamese refugees is that their kids are getting better marks than his kids at school.

        It’s un-Australian not to be a slack-arsed student!

    • If you read MB a while youll notice odd mention of angloceltic people committing white collar crime, to balance your perspective.

    • Why pick on the gentle Vietnamese? The Lebs are the ones shooting up Sydney. Ghastly lot. Yes I am racist. So what.

    • Politics. Its not ‘virtue signalling’ so much as ‘policy signalling’. You demonstrate to a class of voters that your goals are in alignment with theirs. Whats the point of having a great policy if you can’t ever get enough votes to implement the policy?

      Increasing refugee intake not only secures the votes of people wary of racists/xenophobes etc, but does actually broaden our society.

    • Saw an interesting article or YT vid (Can’t remember) recently making this exact point.
      It made a lot of sense.

      However, I’d love to see some data on the number of (genuine) refugees that come here, get a degree or skills (ie. doctor etc) that are then transferred back home.

      I’m interested in understanding to what extent they can leverage our education etc and take that back home to help improve things at home (i.e. address root cause). And I have no problem with them coming here, going on welfare, getting education subsidised by taxpayer, maybe working here for a bit and then staying here forever (maybe paying some PAYG and contributing to a diverse society) or taking this back home to make their home a better place.

      Again, would love to see some data…

  4. SMH editorial also dares to question immigration:

    “That leaves a very large group of voters, moderate and centrist in outlook, who are deeply concerned about the environment and climate change, who don’t want to be labelled racists if they express legitimate concerns about immigration”

    While Crikey goes nuts:

    Um, no, that is not cash for comment. That is like The Guardian and Wikipedia asking for donations (which they do) and a man donating $2500.

    I think Ross broke his silence because even the SMH editorial is saying “maybe the immigrants should go to a nation that has no coal power stations instead of AUS which has 5 big desalination plants”.

  5. In a long quote about population and population increase, Gittens still could not use the word “immigration” !!!

      • A little bit of stretch to say Tingle is onboard.

        When I listened to the podcast last week my impression was that she wants a debate but only if it is between sensible people who all agree that the current rate of immigration is fine. She seemed clearly of the view that only unreasonable people are arguing against reducing the rate of immigration.

        In other words what she seems to mean is have George Megalogenis give lots of speeches with Gerry Harvey.

      • Of course Tingle would call for more debate – gives her more policy stuff for her to cover. However I don’t think she usually expresses her opinion on policy matters when she covers them.

  6. it’s good to see immigration being tackled on the legitimate concerns from an economic perspective. this immigration policy isn’t far short of treason in my mind. And to those who’ve rode high on the hog (windfall gains on property) and have the next generation struggling to get a deposit on a 1-brd apartment – STFU!

  7. Another great post and excellent follow-up material from other readers. from my own experience there are a number of people in the Greens who oppose the open borders and mass immigration nonsense that currently holds sway over the party. Only just starting to understand what’s driving it, but acknowledge it currently has a very strong grip on party thinking…even though own policy platform advocates sustainability. Thanks again for the great material will be using it to continue my efforts to bring about substantial policy change.

  8. I wonder how much influence Bob Brown still has within the party? I reckon that a fair few of the members would at least listen to what he’s got to say.

    Also, if the media still listens to Bob Brown (and they do, it’s just whether they pick up on this or not), then they might start asking sitting Greens members about the topic. At least the members will have to think carefully about their answers now (if they get asked at all – that is. The Media needs the immigration ponzi to keep their real-estate advertising businesses humming).

    Imagine if you could get John Howard talking about the collateral damage of a Big Australia?

    PS – Well done Dick Smith. The conversation is almost started.

    • Jesus you’re right, he wants us to take in the most useless in their own country so they can keep the well off and talented. Typical lefty, talks about growth economics and gets it all wrong. Hey Bob, it’s the usury stupid…

      • “Hey Bob, it’s the usury stupid…”

        I don’t know about Bob Brown, but many “leftie” skeptics of “growth economics” argue that it is the obsession with economic growth that has actually driven a lot of things like unethical lending, today’s monetary experiments, and a lot of the bs we see today. Usury is basically used to prop up a broken economic paradigm.

      • No, usury is the model – that’s where the demand for growth comes from, to settle the compounding growth in debt.

  9. Lastly today, no doubt prodded by MB, Ross Gittins finally broke his silence on the impacts of mass immigration

    This is some serious delusions of grandeur we have here.

    I’m pretty sure Ross Gittins doesn’t care what MB thinks as he raised this very issue literally years ago.

    Are you blokes going to take credit for every person who publicly backs a position you hold?

    You blokes recently already claimed credit for the “do nothing Malcolm” meme even though it was one of the reasons why the public almost tossed him out at the 2016 election.

    I like MB articles (which is why I’m a paid member) but seriously, this is becoming a joke.

    • MB has been giving Gittins a pretty hard prod for months now.
      Today, he writes an article on the subject, after a long silence.
      It might be coincidence, but it’s not unreasonable for MB to claim it’s due to their prodding is it?

    • I think it’s more likely that Gitto was prodded by Dick.

      Indeed, sometimes Dick is hard to ignore when he’s in your face like that.

  10. And so we have begun to scale the great wall of soft, white fatness that has built a wall around its investment properties. For the benefit of the people of course, for they are the people… well, the important ones at least.

    From their tubby parapets they pour vats of boiling accusations of racism upon us. They shoot fleshy arrows of prosperity at us. They fill our ears with nonsensical screeching of the fairness of giving poor other people their chance at getting one over whitey, you being whitey, not them because they get it, have hated themselves, and have been saintly enough to forgive themselves their sins. They fill their moat with tears for themselves. Still we climb.

  11. So much for Dick Smith being tarnished for associating with the fish and chip woman. According to other bloggers on this site his efforts have been amateurish etc. I think he knows what he is doing

    .Thanks to MB and Dick this issue is now getting some airtime. Obviously still a long way to go but a trickle will soon become a torrent. Bob Browns endorsement has to have an impact.

  12. It just occurred to me that these are all old people (I had to look-up a couple or refresh vague memories, Denniss and Tingle). I’m not sure they speak to a younger audience that has grown up with or is growing up through with large scale immigration. In that way they are a bit like Dick Smith.

    “Everything was bettter back in the day” may not inspire the young now who are mostly happy and getting on with things and are probably almost blind to immigration, it’s what they know.

  13. You hardly hear anything about it for years and then suddenly Dick’s all over the internet.

    He’s popping up everywhere, in an explosion of popular sentiment.

    It’s like the second coming.

  14. I presented the NSW government’s own number crunching here:

    27 Feb 2017
    Sydney would peak at 4.9 million with zero net overseas migration

    And the Libs lost out in the Council elections because of over development

    Newly-elect Lord Mayor Phillip Ruddock should now lobby the Feds to reduce immigration to levels he has seen during his time as Immigration Minister.

    And add the peak power demand problem of 1.5 m new arrivals

    It’s all summarized in a recent paper I handed over to the Parramatta Administrator, available in my downloads menu

    And light rail is misused to justify residential towers

    Sydney planning chaos: New Planning Review makes no provision for light rail at Epping station (part 2)

    Sydney planning chaos: New Planning Review makes no provision for light rail at Epping station (part 1)

    • Matt,

      Good work. That the proposed light rail ends at Carlingford confirms that is nothing but a joke – we are talking about 2-3 kms of track to create a connection at Epping.

      Another bit of LNP cheapo brain dead developer driven infrastructure.

      The LNP in NSW vandalised the Chatswood to Parramatta raillink so they could produce a metro line from the northwest on the cheap.

      It always made sense to complete the Epping to Parramatta section and have the north west rail/metro intersect it at Epping (for Chatswood or Parramatta transfers) and then continue down via Top Ryde along Victoria road through Gladesville and on to the city via Drummoyne and Balmain etc.

      About 20% of the people catching the western line to the city stay on the train across the bridge (myself included). If the Parramatta to Chatswood line was not ruined they could go via Chatswood and free up a lot of city

  15. It was great to see so many comments in support of Ross. There were less than a handful against. It is clear that the vast, vast majority wants lower immigration, even while the main parties are not up to even discussing this issue. I sincerely hope they all get a shock at the next election. Sustainable deserves a landslide victory (not saying they’ll get it, but they certainly merit it).