Senate candidate says WA needs to tackle population growth for future
- KAITLYN OFFER
- April 05, 2014 6:00PM
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Sustainable Population Party candidate Peter Strachan at the voting poll in North Fremantle. Picture: MARIE NIRME Source: News Limited
SUSTAINABLE Population Party top candidate Peter Strachan is glad to have finally put the state’s record population growth on the political agenda.
At times during the senate re-run it looked like Mr Strachan may be a dark horse for the elusive sixth Senate spot thanks to preferences.
Last night, he said even if he didn’t make it to Canberra he was happy because he had put an often neglected topic on the radar.
“The population’s been growing in Western Australia at 3.2 per cent per annum,” he told The Sunday Times.
“The global population is growing 1.1 per cent per annum – so Western Australia’s population is growing nearly three times the global average.”
Mr Strachan said such growth put pressure on traffic, water, food, education, health and employment.
“When I came here in 1995, you could get virtually anywhere in Perth in 20 minutes,” he said.
“And now, a journey that used to take 20 minutes typically takes 40 minutes or an hour.
“We’ve got to the point now where as soon as Fiona Stanley (Hospital) is completed, we’re going to have to start building another on because the population is growing so rapidly.”
The Sustainable Population Party other candidate, William Bourke, is the president and founder of the party and ran as the lead candidate in NSW last September.
Mr Bourke was not in Perth yesterday to help rally voters with Mr Strachan – he was in Melbourne for a family event.
However Mr Strachan said the party had been buoyed by the support of entrepreneur Dick Smith during the campaign, who not only endorsed the group but even
Mr Smith endorsed the party back in March, putting his name in their campaign and funding radio ads.
It was the first time Mr Smith has publicly endorsed a political party during an election.
Mr Smith said Australia could not afford to keep rapid population growth because “you can’t grow forever in a finite world.”