Why is Labor pushing a Big Australia?

[The following is based on a letter sent to Bill Shorten, Chris Bowen and Senator Penny Wong] Why is Labor still pushing the ‘Big Australia’ barrow – as evidenced by recent speeches by Chris Bowen at the Crescent Institute in September 2016 and Senator Penny Wong at the National Press Club on 8 November? For most of this century, Australia has had the second highest population growth rate in the OECD and 2.5 times the OECD average. Since … [Read more...]

Guy Rundle on population and immigration

Quite a few people on the 'progressive left' have a cosmopolitan outlook and are supportive of universal human rights. This often leads to something approaching an 'open borders' position when it comes to encouragement of immigration. In parallel, many on the left also reject analyses of 'overpopulation' and instead sheet home all our environmental and other ills to overconsumption and inequality. It is my contention that those on the left who … [Read more...]

Sustainable Development Commission to replace the Productivity Commission? It is past time to move beyond the Ptolemaic views of neoclassical economics

In a recent article on the The Conversation web site, several senior policy researchers have put forward a proposal to scrap the Productivity Commission and replace it with a Sustainable Development Commission . The central core of their proposal, however, is not just about renaming an institution -- it is about a paradigm change in how we think about economic growth and development: from the current neoclassical economic paradigm to a new … [Read more...]

Heading towards a big Australia? Comments on the Productivity Commission Draft Report on Migrant Intake

In a previous post I discussed my support for population stabilization in Australia and included some stuff from my submission (and others') to the Productivity Commission's public inquiry into Migrant Intake into Australia. Well, the Commission issued a Draft Report in November 2015 and invited further public comment.  The Draft Report clearly acknowledges that "Australia's immigration policy is inextricably linked to population policy" (p. 117) … [Read more...]

Time to Stabilize Australia’s Population

Cassowary crossing road near oncoming car.

The Productivity Commission's ongoing enquiry into migrant intake into Australia is a welcome opportunity to critically examine the contribution of immigration to Australia's high population growth rate, which is adding immense pressure to infrastructure, environment impacts, and cost of living (eg housing costs). The contribution of immigration-fueled population growth to these issues is studiously ignored by the major political parties and also … [Read more...]