Australia: Too Many People? - The Population Question
This title was first published in 19/11/2001: This text addresses important questions about Australia's population size and distribution which are likely to dominate the country's politics in the 21st century. The book's approach to the population question begins with a broad analysis of Australia's wellbeing. A decline in the quality of life for many Australians, growing inequality and conflict suggest that Australia is overpopulated. Population size, however, does not explain Australia's problems. These are considered in the following chapters in the context of the shortcomings of Australia's democracy; the costs of maldevelopment in the distribution of the population; the mismanagement of resources; and the level of foreign ownership. The book then focuses on the changing external milieux and Australia's engagement with Asia. This analysis provides an understanding of building pressures for Australia to accept more migrants as well as the desirability for migration to promote Australia's integration with its Asian neighbours. In the last two chapters, the book examines the main domestic forces at work for a bigger or smaller population. It argues that Australia should be more generous and accept many more people than it presently does. Australia has room for many more people. Population distribution, however, is a critical issue in Australia's quest for a better future and population growth needs to be diverted away from the eastern seaboard and the main cities of Melbourne and Sydney to regional Australia. The book makes a case for population growth in coastal cities as part of northern Australia's regional development.