Population Minister cannot wait until after election day

3 April 2010

Population Minister cannot wait until after election for
action

The Prime Minister’s appointment of a new Population
Minister to investigate population strategy must be matched by action
said Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown.

“After so many years of government failure on this issue
I welcome the Prime Minister’s move to take up Australian Greens’ call
for a comprehensive national investigation into population strategy,”
said Senator Brown.

“But the announcement today means any action to address
urgent population issues will now be put off until after the federal
election, at the earliest.

“In 2008 I called on the Government to establish a
population policy and the Greens currently have a proposal for a
national population inquiry before the Senate.

“The work by the Greens follows 15 years of failure by
successive federal governments to implement the results of the last
national population inquiry delivered in 1994 by Barry Jones.

“Australia cannot support a population of 35 million by
2050 as discussed by both the Prime Minister and the Opposition.

“The major parties population growth plan is
outstripping Australia’s infrastructure and environmental capacity and
affecting quality of life.

“We cannot wait until after the election for action.

“The Greens have already proposed immediate action the
Government can take to manage population, including:
– Increasing Australia’s overseas aid budget by 0.7 percent of our
GDP with more funding for literacy and reproductive health
– Reducing skilled migration while increasing our humanitarian and
investing in skills and training.”

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