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Regional Development, Urban Planning, Immigration, Skills Shortages and Population Growth

Regional Development, Urban Planning, Immigration and Population Growth

Don’t push migrants out of cities: Henry. FORCING immigrants into regional areas to ease population congestion in big cities would be a bad policy step, Ken Henry has warned. In a qualified nod to a Big Australia, the Treasury secretary yesterday told a Melbourne conference that high immigration was closely linked to strong economic growth, and because skilled immigrants tended to take jobs Australians couldn’t do or didn’t want, it would be unwise to interfere with the status quo. Dr Henry said while an additional 10.5 million people were projected to be living in Australia’s capital cities by 2056, using immigration policy to engineer decentralisation was not the right path….

… “If the skilled immigrants are coming into Australia to fill jobs not being filled by Australians, there’s a limit to which one should seek to interfere and push skilled immigrants to places where the jobs might not be. I don’t think that I’d be starting with immigration to intervene in the geographic distribution.”

Better solution is paring down state powers, stopping state capitals taking resources, investment, employment and immigrants, then developing regional government, with better transport, infrastructure and complementary internet based communication.

Migration to the cities emerges as one of world’s great challenges. AS the world marches towards urbanisation, governments face the great challenge of housing millions of their citizens in cities. AS the world marches towards urbanisation, governments, particularly in Asia, face the great challenge of housing millions of their citizens in cities.

Wide brown land could be as pleasant as Italy. THE maths of a bigger country of up to 100 million people adds up. In matters of availability of raw materials, wealth of mineral resources, simple topography and absence of weather and tectonic hazards, Australia compares favourably with the US. Given the progress in engineering and technology anticipated in the decades ahead (especially the “manufacturing” of water), our continent could surely sustain more than 100 million people. The challenge is unlikely to be the physical carrying capacity of our land or the 2per cent annual increase in demand on our resources, including energy….

..That leaves immigration. By the middle of the century, there will be global competition for young families and skilled labour as key economies struggle with falling populations of workers and ageing demographics.

Size does matter when it comes to city services
. IN March, I was involved as an advisory panel member to the Queensland government’s growth summit. During this event, I outlined the case for a bigger Australia to an audience that was, for the most part, genuinely interested in what I had to say.

The feedback was that no one had previously spelled out why managed growth was good for the nation and the people. I was speaking with a senior property executive when I mentioned my disappointment that there was not a culture of open support for a bigger Australia among business leaders. I thought the case would be enhanced if the business community was more inclined to talk about the benefits of managed growth… He agreed but added: “The problem is that if we do come out and publicly support the big Australia issue we’ll just be accused of having vested interests.” …In a free and democratic society, everyone has the right to say whatever they think on any subject, let alone a matter of public interest. The anti-growth lobby’s rejoinder of “vested interests” is in fact an attempt to shut down any opposing argument. And most shocking is the fact that, in some quarters, this strategy seems to be working…

…If bigger cities and bigger economies have nothing positive to offer, why are there 500,000 New Zealanders in Australia but only 60,000 Australians in New Zealand? Surely all those Kiwis would be far better off living the high life in their green and pleasant and moderately populated land. And yet they are over here in record numbers. Why? Because they want to participate in a bigger, stronger economy with a greater range of job opportunities and life experiences.

There are are genuine environmentalists who are anti growth, no surprise, but these arguments are used by politicians to make up for policy failures in the past, Bob Carr, or those who oppose immigration and prefer a white Australia, Bob Birrell, through conflation of these related issues, which aided by the media alarm people. Meanwhile both sides of politics are in a race to the bottom appealing to or appeasing perceived anti immigration, anti refugee and racist sentiment via opinon polls and or bogans (personally I think it is more the middle class white media) masquerading as anti political correctness, i.e. unable to lead but following Australia’s base negative instincts.

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