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Population Puzzle distorts reality

Climate Change Social Change

Dick’s Smith’s Population Puzzle, a documentary that aired on ABC1 on August 12, made no modest claims. It went for the direct, hard sell. Its message: “Cutting immigration to Australia is a great product, and you should buy it.”

It said a smaller Australia would not solve just one or two social problems, but more than a dozen.

The documentary claimed cutting immigration would reduce overcrowding in our cities, end urban traffic jams and make houses more affordable. It would reduce hospital waiting lists and crime, improve public health and put a stop to unsustainable development.

It would help prevent water shortages, avoid expensive fuel imports, stop Australia turning into Bangladesh and ward off the prospect of widespread starvation by mid-century.

Having fewer people in Australia would also improve public transport, stop climate change and help Third World economies develop. Smith even appealed to unemployed Australians who, he said, were…

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