AFR demands giant 75 million environment-destroying Australia

The big business shills at The AFR View have penned another spurious article calling for Australia to triple its population to 75 million people over the next 70 years:

By census night in August last year, Australia’s population had swelled to 25.5 million.

That is triple the paltry 8 million people who inhabited this island-continent when The Australian Financial Review was launched 70 years ago. Tripling this again over the next 70 years would lift the nation’s population to 75 million towards the end of the 21st century – not that many more than squeeze into the United Kingdom today.

Achieving that would require political leadership. Australia is still a sparsely populated frontier economy that should naturally draw people in to develop and build a still wide open continent…

After riding on the sheep’s back, Australia has grown prosperous exporting minerals to fuel the industrial revolutions of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China…

Australia’s strategic goal as a high-income middle power is to maintain a rules-based free and open Indo-Pacific in partnership with like-minded allies, such as through the Quad grouping with India, Japan and the US. The weight of population numbers, and the commensurately bigger economy, would help to give Australia’s diplomacy greater heft…

This should also be recognised as a competitive advantage that Australia should use as a magnet to attract as many migrants as possible to these shores amid the global war for talent.

It’s common for politicians including Prime Minister Anthony Albanese – with his Italian surname – to celebrate Australia’s multiculturalism. But it’s rare for our leaders to speak as glowingly about the immigration that makes multiculturalism possible, let alone about the British and Enlightenment roots of Australia’s success as a migrant-attracting nation.

All these things should now be brought together in a coherent population policy with the explicit goal of attracting more migrants to a bigger nation that will gain the size needed to secure the Australian project.

The AFR’s claim that “Australia has grown prosperous exporting minerals to fuel the industrial revolutions of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China” is an argument against running a strong immigration program.

Most of Australia’s export income is earned in regional Western Australia and Queensland, whereas the overwhelming majority of Australia’s immigration has landed in the capital cities (especially Sydney and Melbourne).

This immigration, in turn, has driven huge trade deficits in the migrant epicentres of New South Wales and Victoria:

Trade balance by state

Anybody with a shred of common sense would recognise that sharing Australia’s fixed mineral endowment (and commodity exports) among tens-of-millions more people will necessarily dilute per capita incomes and living standards (other things equal). It is basic maths.

Does The AFR believe that residents of Brunei, a rich oil-exporting economy, would be wealthier if its population was 1.5 million instead of 500,000 people? The same principle applies to Australia.

The mass immigration program ran in the 15 years pre-COVID also suppressed Australia’s productivity growth, mainly by diverting resources (eg, capital and labour) from the tradable to non-tradable sectors.

Australia has held the pillow over its globally exposed manufacturing and replaced its employment with careers in a never ending housing construction sector that never provides enough homes for Australian housing to become cheaper for Australians.

Tradable goods and services are those that can be sold at locations other than at the place of production (i.e. can be exported overseas). Non-tradable products are those than can only be sold at the place of production (eg, coffees, personal training and haircuts). Tradable firms are typically more productive than other businesses because they benefit from economies of scale and must be competitive against firms both nationally and internationally.

Thus, the diversion of resources resulting from mass immigration encourages growth in low productivity ‘people-servicing’ industries, alongside diverting the nation’s productive effort into houses and infrastructure.

Australia’s economic performance over the pre-pandemic years are consistent with this argument given the fall in both productivity and non-mining business investment as the Australian economy because increasingly concentrated on ‘people servicing’.

Non-mining business investment

The world has 7.6 billion people. We don’t need to import them to sell to them.

Tripling Australia’s population to 75 million would also be an unmitigated disaster for the natural environment and would obliterate Australia’s emissions reductions targets.

Australians also overwhelmingly oppose a return to pre-COVID levels of immigration. They recognise that the mass immigration program of 2005 to 2020 was managed appallingly and crush loaded everything in sight, resulting in widespread infrastructure bottlenecks across Australia’s major cities and reduced liveability.

Sadly, the shills at The AFR shamelessly represent vested interests in the property/business lobby rather than the interests of the Australian people. That’s why they should be ignored by all and sundry.

Unconventional Economist
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Comments

  1. gee imagine our carbon footprint with that lot running around sydney & melbourne at 25m in each city? so much to laugh about but this is the biggest laugh. might need more than some windmills & solar panels to cut our emmissions to whatever unacheivable target we say we’ll get to.

  2. DoneTheMathMEMBER

    They say “This should also be recognized as a competitive advantage that Australia should use as a magnet to attract as many migrants as possible to these shores amid the global war for talent.” Why do we need so much talent? What would they actually do here because they’re not going to be working in high tech jobs? Let’s be honest, we ain’t a high-tech economy.
    NSW and Vic being suckholes is only because we don’t have dirt to export. If it weren’t for dirt, WA would be a suckhole too, albeit a more pleasant one to live in. Which goes back to my point, what would these talented people actually do, dig up more dirt? Perhaps its finding clever ways to keep house prices going up. From that perspective, you could argue we’d need a bucket load of talented people over the next few decades.
    As you’ve been saying for years, this is a a scam. I’d be more sympathetic to those environmentalists who brought Sydney to a standstill the other day if they were out there protesting about this.

    • Paul TuckerMEMBER

      Agreed. Good luck finding one single so called environmental group in this country prepared to stand up to mass immigration and rampant population growth.
      Utterly craven.
      Looking at you too Adam.

    • Fishing72MEMBER

      Australia’s “population problem”……?

      Room to swing a cat is problematic?

  3. And we thought Kevin Rudd (also Planning Institute of Australia) were nuts, braying for 50m in the “frontier economy”.

    Sooner or later, probably in his October budget, Jim Chalmers will have to come clean about the Labor Government’s population policy. Almost certainly, his Treasury will reconfirm a return to massive levels of immigration. For him, being Labor Treasurer is just a job application for a lucrative gig with the same selfish corporate and property interests that control AFR.

  4. SkepticviewerMEMBER

    Most of the wheels have already come off. Environmental events will become more common and the billion-dollar repair bills will become annoyingly hard to hide under the carpet. The cost of manufactured items will go through the roof as China develops its Covid lockdowns to 2027 policy. Further, the WWIII now in progress will take or distract or wake Europe from the global trade dream. I would say the soon-to-be high unemployment, poverty level degraded housing and its associated health and social costs, environmental disintegration and the realisation that Nations that make nothing and have massive energy costs with only natural resources extracted by Oilgachs are meant to house shoeless dirt-poor wrenches – Congo. We will attract like immigrants to add to the misery.. In that degraded environment, any old Trump could win an election. Besides with 70 mill mostly, I am assuming Indians, who gets to choose the PM.

  5. desmodromicMEMBER

    A koala killing policy. Australia already has a world beating rate of fauna extinction due to land clearing and introduced predators.

    Thankfully I won’t be here in 2070.

    If these fckers want to live in something resembling Hong Kong or Mumbai, then move to those cities rather than make a mess of what is now a unique place to live.

    • Fishing72MEMBER

      Victorian legacy citizens will be relocating to Nepal now it’s emptying out. Apparently the climate makes Noosa look like Cornwall.

  6. Fishing72MEMBER

    75 million is amateur stuff. I don’t understand why we are aiming so low? Let’s shoot for the moon and beat India at its own game. Even if we’ve got to import the entire subcontinental population to achieve the win.

    Get set for the Crocodile Dundee reboot in 2050. The audience will fall to pieces when Crocodile Patel visits the relatively uncrowded paradise of Mumbai in this fish-in-more-water tale where he pulls out a photo of his adopted Australian homeland to show the Mumbai locals and drops the famous line: “That’s not a slum….THIS is a slum!”

  7. Grand Funk RailroadMEMBER

    ……a bigger nation that will gain the size needed to secure the Australian project.

    I reckon whoever wrote that let rip with a gutteral groan/roar before wiping his schlong with his sock, lighting up their vape, and the searching up some more porn…..

  8. Fishing72MEMBER

    But….Nepal only has a population of 29million?

    The rest must be coming from India. You really think India is going to just watch 40 million of their best and most talented just hop on a plane to Australia?

    Oh wait……

  9. Short memories indeed. Doesn’t anyone remember that Sydney nearly ran out of water a few short years ago? Do they think that with a larger population suddenly it will rain more?

    Where is the water going to come from to support such a large population?

    • Diogenes the CynicMEMBER

      +1 Perth is now building its third desalination plant! And yet we get the same crap in our local rag here about needing to grow. Perth is already a city of 2m it was about 600k when I was born. It is still liveable but there is congestion in hospitals, schools, roads, lack of housing and services. We pretty much sit on the edge of the desert and it is getting drier. How are more mouths going to help us?

  10. While the commentariat energetically direect our attention to refugees and scary gross migration figures, here is another, real story:

    “Australia continues to attract HNWIs, coming in second behind the UAE. According to New World Wealth, approximately 80,000 millionaires have moved to the Land Down Under in the last two decades.

    “A few things that attract migrants to Australia are the country’s low costs of healthcare, its lack of inheritance tax, and its generally prosperous economy.

    https://www.visualcapitalist.com/migration-of-millionaires-worldwide-2022/

    HNWI’s need lots of service workers.

    Reusa’s relations parties must be well attended and … effervescent.

  11. Grand Funk RailroadMEMBER

    The lucky country needs a bigger Australia ambition
    https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/the-lucky-country-needs-a-bigger-australia-ambition-20220627-p5awy2
    Jun 28, 2022 – 7.12pm

    On census night in August last year, Australia’s population had swelled to 25.5 million. Tripling this over the next 70 years to 75 million will require political leadership.

    The prospect of tripling Australia’s current population over the next 70 years could also imply violent civil uprising

    The 2021 census underlines Australia’s demographic destiny as an increasingly diverse migrant and multicultural nation.

    The census shows that migrants from India have overtaken China as the largest source of “new Australians”. As with the waves of people arriving from southern Europe after 1945 and from Asia after the formal end of the White Australia Policy in 1973, immigration continues to reshape the complexion of the nation – which, as the census also shows, is also becoming less Christian.

    All true enough there, also worth noting much less likely to profess any religion whatsoever…

    But Australians would also note that somewhere along the journey the type of migrant changed, from the battlers who were in life as we were through until the late 1980s and had to make things work after departing war ravaged homelands for new life abroad, to the citizen of convenience, plausibly here to cash in on money made elsewhere where the eyes of wherever else had less legal scope for making them account for their wealth.

    Unlike the Australia those post war migrants came to where housing was dirt cheap with jobs aplenty, the latter have increasingly tended to be ‘professional’ and looking to slot into a social strata above the rest of us, against a backdrop of Australian housing being steadily priced from the reach of ordinary Australians and becoming a thriving laundromat for corruption proceeds from elsewhere, as well as a speculative asset class nonpareil .

    Australians in all major cities are also noting the increased congestion, increasing queuing required for infrastructure and healthcare, and increasingly asking questions of Government about the need for such heavy immigration – questions which have only been underlined by the cessation of immigration during Covid.

    That Australia has not had populist-nativist uprising against migrants as in parts of Europe and the US speaks to the overall political support for, and success of, its large, legal, and non-discriminatory immigration program, backed by a firm border control regime.

    Well the jobs market remains strong off the back of government Covid stimulus and mass unemployment hasn’t yet arrived. The experience elsewhere is that major social protest about immigration only really arrives after employment and income issues arise or there is increased competition for resources – see houses – creating net losers. Australia isn’t there yet.

    Australia was on the world’s largest recession free run from 1991 to 2019. Australians have also increasingly taken on world leading volumes of debt to cope with everyday life and finding an abode, and increasingly found themselves in dead end jobs with poor income expectations, having to pay more for housing and services because of the additional demand Australia’s heavy immigration represents.

    Yet this also exposes the contradiction that is the political system’s wary attitude towards talking up immigration. That was shown at last month’s federal election, where neither side of politics could bring itself to back a catch-up intake to alleviate crippling labour shortages and make up for the loss of migrants from the closure of the international border during the pandemic.

    The fear of both mainstream sides of Australian politics was not about touting any catch up intake, but being exposed for the nefarious need for the immigration volumes we have had since the trebling of NOM post 2005

    This follows the backlash against former prime minister Kevin Rudd’s support for a “big Australia” more than a decade ago – including by the woman who deposed him, Julia Gillard.

    …and the house prices and the generations worth of low incomes growth and mounting debt required just to live an average life, and reduced potential outcomes seen for children against this perception.

    Yet Australia’s attractiveness as a destination for enterprising people wanting to make a better life is an indicator of national success. The boost to national income from the resources boom that peaked a decade ago helped generate both the demand for more immigrant labour and the supply of new migrants. By census night in August last year, Australia’s population had swelled to 25.5 million.

    The only ‘enterprise’ they support is life inside the economic bubble Australia has become, generally in tax farming or tax avoiding investment or employment circumstances, which ultimately only adds to the need for Australian society to make an economic adjustment at some point in the future, which numerous Australians can identify will be quite painful for many Australians.

    It’s rare for our leaders to speak glowingly about the immigration that makes multiculturalism possible.

    Because they know it is a sham ‘population ponzi’ simply shifting costs to the next generations with the benefits going to those who own assets now.

    That is triple the paltry 8 million people who inhabited this island-continent when The Australian Financial Review was launched 70 years ago. Tripling this again over the next 70 years would lift the nation’s population to 75 million towards the end of the 21st century – not that many more than squeeze into the United Kingdom today.

    What would that achieve? How would that affect the quality of life of Australians? What would be the environmental and water impact? What would be the carbon effect? How would that Australian craft its economic fortune if not by selling off the natural bequest and dividing this between vastly more people to no net effect?

    Achieving that would require political leadership. Australia is still a sparsely populated frontier economy that should naturally draw people in to develop and build a still wide open continent. But a bigger Australia also has an important role in promoting Enlightenment values – such as the rule of law, individual rights and democracy – in the region in which our security must ultimately be found.

    Three quarters of the country is barren desert and much of the rest has experienced a succession of rolling droughts since the early 2000s. The only thing driving the economy is the exploitation of natural resources – not anything reflecting the initiative or endeavour of the people here – and if that is all we do then we may ask if our fortunes would be better if we divided that between as small a number of people as possible.

    Putting a strategic framework around a bigger Australia is not to hark back to the “populate or perish” fears of Asian or communist invasion after World War II.

    That’s right, it is now a matter of ‘Populate profits for big business or perish’

    After riding on the sheep’s back, Australia has grown prosperous exporting minerals to fuel the industrial revolutions of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China. The peace and stability created by the operation of a rules-based international order in Asia – the Enlightenment alternative to the rule of brute force by great powers – allowed a mostly white Australia to integrate into a racially and culturally different region.

    That’s the resources – note there is no mention of anything actually competing or using the initiative or human capital of Australia to do something productive. That ‘peace and stability of a rules based international order’ has trashed the middle east in the last two decades and revolves around exploiting the resources of the developing world while leveraging the demand from that developing world for places in the developed world. The same order is currently setting the scene to either bring itself down or exploit Russian resources in Ukraine/Russia (after knocking off circa $450 billion in Russian reserves). This proposal is about using Australia as a receptacle to assuage developed world guilt about colonialism and overall exploitation – and if that’s what its all about then they can go to the societies that have done most of the exploiting.

    Australia’s strategic goal as a high-income middle power is to maintain a rules-based free and open Indo-Pacific in partnership with like-minded allies, such as through the Quad grouping with India, Japan and the US. The weight of population numbers, and the commensurately bigger economy, would help to give Australia’s diplomacy greater heft.

    Is this paragraph suggesting we structure a society for ‘diplomatic heft’? Australia’s strategic goals might also be seen as maintaining a basis for exploitation of the indo pacific, while wearing a ‘deputy’ badge on a white shirt.

    Amid the greater awareness of its ancient Aboriginal past and contemporary Indigenous disadvantage, it has become controversial to celebrate the British origins of modern Australia.

    Has it? Or is it only those proto fascists who have brought us an acknowledgement of nation without anyone getting a vote on it or getting a say on whether or not it was what they felt appropriate? The Poms gave is the language, the laws, the cultural and educational institutions, and the political institutions which define us today. The main people positing any controversy about any of that are those wanting to sell us as a society a guilt trip – and generally wanting us to flood the country with immigrants to address the guilt they want us to feel.

    Yet Enlightenment precepts that were transplanted here, and which have become the enduring foundations of Australia’s institutions, continue to make this the lucky country of freedom and opportunity for many of the migrants who come here from less fortunate places.

    The British and Enlightenment roots of Australia’s civic culture should be celebrated – alongside the Indigenous heritage and migrant contribution – as part of maintaining national unity amid the growing multicultural diversity.

    Yeah OK

    This should also be recognised as a competitive advantage that Australia should use as a magnet to attract as many migrants as possible to these shores amid the global war for talent.

    The question these twats bring us to is ‘Is our culture and society a “brand” or is it a reflection of the people in it?’
    If it is a brand it is about enhancing revenues for someone, somewhere and this logically leads to whom and when. The question Australians need to ask is are they going to be the beneficiaries of the upside of heavy immigration required to get the population anywhere near what the AFR is touting . Or are they the ones going to be sold myths about families wanting to live in apartments or their workplaces becoming more ‘flexible’ or treating family and friends more as contractual arrangements.

    It’s common for politicians including Prime Minister Anthony Albanese – with his Italian surname – to celebrate Australia’s multiculturalism. But it’s rare for our leaders to speak as glowingly about the immigration that makes multiculturalism possible, let alone about the British and Enlightenment roots of Australia’s success as a migrant-attracting nation.

    Because the basis of Australian success as a migrant nation was a manufacturing sector which employed previous generations of migrants and which has been held under the pillow by governments saying ‘squeeze in’ and telling us that was a sign of a thriving economy.

    All these things should now be brought together in a coherent population policy with the explicit goal of attracting more migrants to a bigger nation that will gain the size needed to secure the Australian project.

    People have been requesting a ‘coherent population policy’ for a generation and our politicians academics and bureaucrats have been avoiding that like the plague because that would require data, and addressing questions which would give voice to considerable pain being experienced by a lot of Australians – and they are frightened of the answers or the implications that providing answers might have for those Australians.

    As for

    ‘with the explicit goal of attracting more migrants to a bigger nation that will gain the size needed to secure the Australian project’

    We might as well establish a national dick policy. Bigger may not necessarily be better, the people getting the reaming may be us, and the beneficiaries may not love us any more in the morning.

    The Australian Financial Review’s succinct take on the principles at stake in major domestic and global stories – and what policy makers should do about them.

    The Australian Financial Review’s flatulent exhortation of a ritualised form of psychic masturbation, more like it.

    • +1
      and at least the Brits all crammed into the UK have a government policy for a high tech highly skilled economy, which is north what we have (despite our immigration policy, I know heaps of immigrants that are not working in the industry related to their degree but in areas that doesn’t require a degree eg own small businesses, restaurants, estate agents etc)

  12. Let’s face it, Australia’s just a big undertaxed mine where the pissy tax we do take is then frittered out in bullshit govt. jobs and education migration schemes. There are no real industries and no real jobs

  13. They cant even keep the ones they’ve already got. Where they all gonna live? Queensland?

    No thanks.

  14. The AFR are publishing article after article at the moment on how we can bring in more migrants more quickly, by getting rid of the skills shortage list and labour market testing, streamlining visas, etc. They have also run the former head of the Immigration department, Abul Rivzi;s ideas on what should happen. Their journalist Tom McIlroy and him regularly converse on these issues on Twitter.

  15. Paul TuckerMEMBER

    The Fin Review really are pathetic. They are to the property lobby what News Corp are to conservative politics.
    Time to put them out of our collective misery and let them rot behind their pay wall.

  16. Trippling from 8 million added about 16million people.
    Tripling from 25 million will add 50 million!
    The fool who wrote that article clearly has no idea the effects of trying to add that many people into our cities/towns, these things are NON linear, growth will not be spread out but concentrated in the larger cities!

    (Never mind the fact that the “suckholes” above show that the current immigration system is not productive, what happens when our commodities & terms of trade fall, we’ll have immense social economic problems with 75 million!)

  17. blindjusticeMEMBER

    Do not want to hear a single word about pollution, Co2, Koalas, coal, coral reefs, rents, traffic jams etc if this ever gains traction.