Residents declare “Sydney is full”. Curb immigration now!

By Leith van Onselen

With NSW’s (read Sydney’s) population growing at a break-neck pace (see below chart), last month it was revealed that there was a revolt underway from within the NSW Liberal Party against the federal government’s mass immigration program and over-development across Sydney (watch video above).

The most important quote from the video was the following:

“Government MPs have all told me the same thing: Sydney is full. They believe the federal government needs to have a difficult conversation about curbing immigration or it simply will not be possible to keep up”.

Now the revolt has spread to Sydney’s long suffering residents, with more than two-thirds of those surveyed declaring “Sydney is full” and off limits to further mass development. From The SMH:

With plans for hundreds of thousands of apartments in the city’s “priority precincts” over the next 20 years, the ReachTel poll conducted for Fairfax Media shows 66.4 per cent of NSW residents oppose more development in existing areas to accommodate a bigger population…

Significantly for the Coalition government, 61.7 per cent of Liberal supporters believe Sydney is full… Of Labor voters, 68 per cent are opposed to more development in existing areas…

The results will fuel tensions over the Greater Sydney Commission’s plans, spilling into the upper echelons of the NSW government…

The Greater Sydney Commission, established last year to lead on planning and development issues and chaired by former Sydney lord mayor Lucy Turnbull, says the city will need about 725,000 extra homes over the next 20 years to accommodate a growing and ageing population.

Sydney’s population is expected to grow by about 1.74 million people by 2036…

On Sunday, a spokesman for [Planning Minister Anthony] Roberts said… the population was increasing because people were living longer, more children were being born and more people were moving to NSW due to it having an economy that was “the best in Australia”.

The last paragraph is the funniest. It pins Sydney’s break-neck population growth on everything but the actual driver: the federal government’s mass immigration ‘Big Australia’ program, which massively ramped-up Australia’s immigration intake from the early-2000s to around 200,000 people annually:

The NSW Government’s own population projections show that Sydney’s population will increase by 1.74 million people (1,650 people per week) to 6.4 million over the next 20-years, with 1.53 million of this growth (1,473 people per week) coming from net overseas migration:

Sydneysiders are not stupid. They know that extreme immigration-fueled population growth is destroying their living standards, with roads, public transport, schools and hospitals all crush-loaded and housing becoming hideously expensive.

The NSW Liberal ministers are right to revolt, as is the electorate. But they need to take the fight to the federal government, which is driving the mass immigration ‘Big Australia’ agenda, and demand that it immediately halve Australia’s immigration intake back to sustainable historical levels.

[email protected]

Unconventional Economist


  1. These Liberals are self-serving wankers

    They didn’t care when it was Labor and Greens electorates which were having tens of thousands of poorly constructed apartments built in them.

    I strongly suspect if Liberal electorates had development cut back, this “revolt” would end overnight.

    • Exactly. The numbers speak for themselves. Most of the toxic development is happening south of the harbour, and most of it is in Labor seats. I hope they cram as many in in Ryde as possible, flatten the place and cut down all the trees.

      • proofreadersMEMBER

        It’s not just south of the harbour – for years now, there have been plenty of “dogboxes”/”ghettos in waiting” built in the northern suburbs.

      • Yep – Military Rd and the upper north shore from Chatswood onwards is getting as bad as Alexandria.

      • @proofreader the numbers quite literally speak for themselves. What is happening in your leafy backyard is nothing compared to what is being foisted on south of the harbour Sydney residents.

      • When you look at some of these crappy developments and their location you if wonder if any planning rules were actually followed. I visited some of these developments out of interest. They are small, shoddy, low cost fittings and now have the liability of flammable cladding.

      • Sadly it is already happening in Ryde, with massive new apartments in Eastwood and along Victoria rd from West Ryde to Gladesville, and large developments around Macquarie Park and Macquarie Uni.

  2. Well the people love their ever higher property prices, fuelled by ultra cheap credit, black money from OS and buttressed by ever expanding immigration, tight zoning laws, urban boundaries, government grants to first buyers, tax write offs, etc, etc etc

    Let them stew, and come to a slowwww boil. They’ve earned it. HAHAHA !

    • @St Jamie’s
      Agree 100%
      Persona non grata 5-8 years ago for mentioning the unmentionable – riding house prices and cost of living in polite society. No one gave a rats a$$ back then and only pretend to now that roads and services are biting. In Uber wealthy suburbs they love and fawn over illegal foreign owner/buyers as they increase value of their portfolio out in the burbs. Personally I hope the property market crashes to kingdom comes and sends all property investors to the wall. Quid pro quo. They have not given a rats a$$ to renters or people putting a roof over their heads. Anyway reap what you sow.

  3. 2% population growth will double the population of Sydney in 36 years
    That means we have to double everything to stand still. Housing, schools, roads, trains, water supply, sewerage processing, electricity generation, electricity network, gas usage, playing fields, stadiums, shopping centres, buses, air pollution, water polution.
    Some things we halve like the value of remaining resources on a per capita basis, the time it will take to use up each known resource. How bad would the gas shortage be if we had double the population
    If we cut population growth to 1.5% then it would still double in 50 years.

    Our politicians don’t want to know about compound growth, doubling times and that we use more resources than in our whole history every time we double the population.
    Here is the most important video you will ever see if you want to understand population growth.

    #stop the planes

    • “the power of compound interest the most powerful force in the universe.” Albert Einstein

      But still, given other cities, more density and more infrastructure – and it/Sydney will work just fine!

      Lets be real here, this growth is not going to stop, moderate, yes, maybe? Stop – No.

      Which means, we have to build more schools, a real tube, hospitals, etc, etc. And do it now… not later, now!

      • Can I also say, that an 80 minute drive peak, that takes 20-22 minutes non-peak, is just not acceptable.

    • The other equation to know is the time to completely exhaust or consume a finite resource, which is about 10 doubling times.
      So if the rate of growth in consumption is a ‘pleasing’ 5% pa, doubling time is 14 years and the time until it is all gone is 140 years.

      Given that we started lifting gas in the 1960’s, and the rate of growth in demand was probably higher in the early years, we are most likely half way through burning the total available resource.

  4. Sydneysiders are not stupid.

    Sydneysiders asked for this. Just peruse the Australia and Sydney reddits or the Twitterverse and witness the “useful idiot” neolib Gen Xers and Ys begging for more of these filing cabinets to fill the skyline so that their parent’s place (in a leafy burb) might be worth a little more. Anyone who says otherwise is shouted down as a racist.

      • sydboy007MEMBER

        Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame) recently coined the term Peacock to replace the warrior part of the Social Justice virtue signallers.

        I’m hoping it catches on as a lot of the social justice types like to think they’re at war fighting nazis, but the reality is they’re just a bunch of wanker Peacocks strutting around virtue signalling how good they are.

      • I like to change the warrior to wanker – confuses their bovine eyes a bit when they hear it

    • /r/australia along with probably half a dozen of the other major subs like Sydney (not Melbourne) are controlled by vested interests who will ban absolutely ANYONE who disagrees with their narrative – within minutes.

      I have been on reddit since it was founded and have accounts that go back to almost day one which are fine – however – I have had to create at least 40 or 50 accounts in order to be able to post on /r/Australia due to the level of censorship.

      It is BOTH heavily spammed with corporate promotions in the guise of astro-turfing like no other subreddit on the site (/r/worldnews excluded which appears to be almost entirely controlled by the State Departments Global Engagement Centre however you literally can not post a single issue questioning Islam – at all – on the site.

      Subsequently several years ago /r/circlejerkAustralia was set up to make fun of just how absurd /r/Australia had become, and in the last 4 years /r/Australia has dwindled from a massive online community with thousands of posts and submissions into one which receives only the most banal absurdly irrelevant posts each day.

      It really has become the most ridiculous parody of what it once was – all because it “chased the money”.

      So yeah – reddit is dying fast – most people see it as a slightly better version of now days compared to what it was only 3 or 4 years ago.

      • Yup, been on reddit since the start and wholeheartedly agree with what you say. The astroturphing on that site is out of control these days. Lol, banned on worldnews, Sydney and Australia. All within the last six months for basically calling people out on their bullshit.

        Edit: and in a fit of irony…. “your comment is awaiting moderation….”

  5. “On Sunday, a spokesman for [Planning Minister Anthony] Roberts said… the population was increasing because people were living longer, more children were being born and more people were moving to NSW due to it having an economy that was “the best in Australia”

    And they expect us to take them seriously! When they come up with that sort of dross it just means I can’t take them seriously on anything!

    • sydboy007MEMBER

      I don’t know what’s worse…

      That they think we’re so stoopid we’d accept what they say as true
      That they’re so stoopid they actually believe it.

  6. proofreadersMEMBER

    “On Sunday, a spokesman for [Planning Minister Anthony] Roberts said… the population was increasing because people were living longer, more children were being born and more people were moving to NSW due to it having an economy that was “the best in Australia”.”

    Roberts needs to get out of his “ivory tower” more and see what is really happening – probably even in his own electorate?

    • Ivory Tower you say? … I think that he soon may find out that his ivory is actually polystyrene-aluminium cladding in search for an open flame.

  7. Why is retail struggling? Are all the migrants are just buying houses and foreign made cars? They don’t shop for food and clothes?
    I call the migration monster B U L L S H I T !

    • sydboy007MEMBER

      It could be due to the fact the AUD jumped like 10% over the year, so we could be buying more yet the $$ total is falling.

      It could also be due to the move away from I/O to P/I loans which would knock out a lot of cash flow for a decent chunk of consumers.

      It could be the fact that most people are seeing a falling real income since a lot of the basic costs of life are rising at multiples of increase in income – that’s if you were lucky enough to get a pay rise.

      I suppose it’s our imagination that peak hour on the trains is now much of the day, that traffic congestion in the CBD on the weekend seems worse than a weekday, that schools are increasingly over crowded.

      • @Sydboy
        Yes and it’s in my imagination that all the half wit drivers in late model prestige vehicles crawling along at 20km below speed limit in the right lane are almost always DWA (a Singaporean & Los Angeles phenomenon that has made its way to Australian shores in last 10 years. The only other wankers doing this are boomer drivers cruising in a Ferrari or Merc too scared to accelerate. Cars purchased on the back of a foreign buyer /equity maaaate windfall. It’s a disgrace. Crash please!

    • Migrant and visa worker arrives, desperate for work, so undercuts locals wages legally or illegally (kick backs, cash in hand at thousands of small and medium businesses).so puts the squeeze on wages for everyone, especially new job entrants or the unemployed trying to get back in. Makes bad underemployment situation worse. Nett result, squeezes wages and therefore discretionary income, especially in the land of the mega mortgage and rising basic costs like that wiz bang new toll road you have to pay to get to and from work every bloody day because of surging population growth. He (much more often than not) is skint lives meanly (ie- spends minimum at shops and rarely “wastes” money at cafes, restaurants, etc. Maybe hot beds it in crowded to the rafter rental (pushes up rents for everyone). Nett result, wages squeezed, living costs up, less discretionary spend available. Note, there are many small businesses scraping buy on the margins as people seek to scrape together a living – pushing commercial rents up to the limit they can bear, and some – on top of that the internet Amazons are bearing down. Fun times.

      • Agreed on all points. There are few silver linings (if any). We have basically consumed our future (via an egregious debt binge) and the eventual result will be substantial social discord – high unemployment, uprisings by those who’ve lost out and money printing on a huge scale as the government tries to spend its way out of trouble and placate the under-class.

        …. followed by inevitable collapse of the economy and currency.

        Beside that though, things are rosy 😉

    • They do indeed shop for food and clothes, it’s just that most operate in the ‘cash economy’ so the transactions are not recorded and no taxes are paid.

      But we’re expected to pay for new infrastructure with all the taxes that the, er, immigrants pay to .Gov ..


      • My point is pretty simple: the constant flood of more labour into an over supplied labour market with lots of hidden underemployment is putting constant incremental downward pressure on wages overall at a time when living costs, including taxes and tolls for the new infrastructure plus high housing costs, are rising inexorably. Therefore discretionary income is being squeezed at a time the population as a whole is pretty tapped out by debt.. And I’d hazard a guess that out of either habit or necessity, a very good proportion of these immigrants and visa workers are tight wads, with some percentage remitting a good proportion of their incomes to their families.

    • The current immigration levels and ratios are certainly beneficial to certain sectors of the ‘education’ racket and associated beneficiaries.

    • A bit more than 10 years I knew a guy who never took the toll roads. Didn’t even have a pass. “I pay my taxes for roads, why would I pay more to use someone else’s?”. Around 10 years ago he started using toll roads because the side roads were “permanently clogged”.

      I used the M5 (thats the one at the airport right?) 2 years ago in both morning and evening, hosting a guest from the US. The traffic was awful. At 6am it was deadlocked. At 6pm it was a 10-20km/h crawl.

      Sydney looks like a deeply uncomfortable city to live in now. Its public transportation wouldn’t be up to the task, but neither is its roads. I’m surprised politiicans weren’t more wary. It takes a really long time to build out infrastructure, but 1 meme can start a fire. Finding a population’s breaking point this way is just incredibly crazy.

      • When Dave and I caught a taxi from Sydney’s CBD to the airport at 7am following our recent tour event, we were shocked at the congestion. The M5 into the city was completely gridlocked and the traffic to the airport was slow and very heavy.

        Melbourne traffic is very bad, but Sydney is the stuff of nightmares. Adding another 1.73 million people over 20 years would be an unmitigated disaster.

      • I spent a couple of days on vacation at a hotel in the Sydney CBD recently. Getting there through the traffic was a nightmare that will leave me requiring therapy. We walked around the city in the evening looking for a place to eat, and the pedestrian traffic was 90% or more Asian. The Spanish restaurant we dined in was full of foreigners. I listened to some of the conversations which were all in foreign languages, and with perhaps one person at each table speaking English to the waitress. Getting out after lunch on Tuesday was relatively straightforward, but sloooowwwww….crawling along arterial roads and freeways at jogging pace for many kilometres.

        The place has become an overcrowded Asian slum. It’s buggered now, and I can only see it getting worse.

      • “When Dave and I caught a taxi from Sydney’s CBD to the airport at 7am”

        You should have taken the train. Cheaper, faster, infinitely less unpleasant.

      • Yep + 1 to road rage, glad I don’t have to drive to get into work.

        I don’t know if it was always this way, but I often visit places in Burwood, Ryde, etc.. and am shocked at how few “white Australian’s” I see. I don’t mind multiculturalism but I do mind when there is a lack of diversity and I start to feel more and more like a minority in this country.

        It’s not the same out of the city but I definitely think there has been a majority demographic shift in parts of Sydney in the last 5 or so years. As for weather or not that’s bad I don’t know? I guess I don’t have a lot of trouble in these areas and so at least there isn’t a huge crime increase.

        But it does make me wonder if moving to Newcastle, Wollongong, Tasmania, Geelong, Adelaide might be worth it, to escape the traffic and perhaps have a bit more of the “old” Australia back.

      • > (…) But it does make me wonder if moving to Newcastle, Wollongong, Tasmania, Geelong, Adelaide might be worth it, to escape the traffic and perhaps have a bit more of the “old” Australia back.

        Gavin, my pessimistic streak tells me that it’s only delaying the inevitable. Problem is, however, 1). spouse willing to move 2). jerbs.

      • Sydney drivers were the most aggressive I’ve ever experienced when I was living there 10-15 years ago. I can only imagine what it’s like now.

      • @Unicorn- only an Aussie could think Sydney’s train situation is acceptable wrt the airport. Absolute rip off.

      • Had to drive from Newcastle to Sydney Airport yesterday. Took three and a half hours. The 35km section from Hornsby to the Airport alone took nearly an hour and a half. As always, I came away wondering why the hell anyone would want to live there.

  8. “Sydneysiders are not stupid.”

    This is wrong. They are stupid. They think their capital gains on the house > more crowded schools and roads. And that is if they think at all. Most don’t see the connection.

  9. ceteris paribus

    Old Melbourne and Sydney are gone- forever. Yep. I hate it too. But you and I don’t get a vote. The dollar rules.
    You can still go bush. But the bush, outside of the capitals, has been a foreign land to most Australians for 70 or more years now. So grieve- but adjust. Don’t live in nostalgia. No one- except yourself- can stop the.march of capitalism in your own life.

    • Some truth to this, I still think parts of this country are great to live in, but I don’t think they are Melbourne or Sydney (if you’re not already super wealthy) and you’re better off moving to some of the smaller coastal towns if you can.

      • Refer to ino just above! The coastal towns are losing their souls & sense of community due to being overwhelmed by a disparate horde of city escapees. You need to go somewhere no one wants to live to escape it.

  10. Yep I’m in the food hall of biggest shopping centre in Melbournes west and the only Caucasian in a sea of faces. All speaking foreign language. It’s like this everyday. My mouth hurts from 90% in broken English. It’s exhausting but truth be told they’re the only ones with cash or inclination to spend.

    • The old saying was spot the aussie now its spot the non-Chinese.
      Agreed though they all have the money.
      Hopefully they are spending Shanghai apartment equity being redrawn against rising apartment prices with debt provided by China’s shadow banks………wouldn’t that end well?

      • This is, in essence, what is happening. I believe.

        The idea that there are seemingly infinite numbers of wealthy Chinese is a fallacy. The spending you see here (and elsewhere in the world) is simply an outgrowth of the gargantuan credit bubble in China. When that craters the entire global economy will be sucked into the abyss with it.

  11. Property locusts were quick to swarm on this. BCA just published and op-Ed pledging us to ‘think of the children’ and build, build, build!

  12. And props to Fairfax for running/funding the poll, and for keeping up the stories on population growth and impact on Melbourne and Sydney in particular. Hope they run a poll in Melbourne. Amongst the Fairfax journalists there’s still a few holdouts (Michael Pascoe, David Uren, ?), but reckon most have get it. I reckon Fairfax have come in for a bit of a hard time here, but don’t reckon justified. (As say it is for The Grattan Institute, and The Greens)

  13. Why is retail and other services struggling? What about static and falling prices for agricultural goods? What about all the struggling small business and restaurants, clothing stores? Migrants bust be just buying houses and not eating or clothing, ah?