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Australian Urban Planning, Sustainable Population, Immigration and Politics

Australian Urban Planning, Sustainable Population, Immigration and Politics

Urban planning policy? That was then, this is now. I HAVE advice for business and others concerned about the political hype that threatens to reduce the population growth rate of Australia…

In other words, it is technically possible for politicians (of all persuasions) to tighten this figure throughout the whole of the next term of office before it becomes absolutely essential that labour, skills and the tax base are boosted to put the nation back on the 350,000 trajectory. And by then, the political, bureaucratic and popular opinion landscape will have changed…..

In three years time, the sharp edge of public opinion will be elsewhere. Three years ago it was the skills shortage; two years ago it was the global financial crisis; one year ago it was the ETS; and today it is the desperate need to save Australia from the ravages of over-population.

Stay calm and trust that within three years, when the issues associated with the ageing of the baby-boomer generation become critical, the public mood will have shifted: the impact of the hyper growth will have subsided; there will be in all probability at least one new leader of the two main parties, perhaps even a different prime minister….

Stakes high in immigration row. AUSTRALIAN elections, being largely non-ideological, inevitably come down to auctions. Auctions, with their inherent competitive tensions, can and frequently do lose touch with market reality, especially when the stakes are high. For Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott, they don’t come much higher….

….The one marketable theme she has come up with has been to disown Rudd’s “Big Australia”. This rationale is built on sand in that Rudd’s use of the expression came in a throwaway line when posed with an unexpected question about population growth.

But it has been seized on by Gillard as providing a respectable and populist way to not only muddy the waters over the issue of asylum seekers but to defuse the temper of Sydney’s west, which has reached a tipping point because of the state Labor government’s mismanagement and ineptitude. Transport congestion, decaying infrastructure and rocketing housing costs are being attributed to high levels of immigration…

…The former is a theme opposition migration spokesman Scott Morrison has been developing for some time and Abbott has now come to the party, calling for a Productivity Commission inquiry into “sustainable” population. As a result, we now have the first Australian election since World War II in which migration has become an issue

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