WA Greens echo call for population inquiry

15th March 2010 - The Greens (WA) today backed Australian Greens leader Bob Brown’s call for an independent National Inquiry into Australia’s population capacity to 2050.

 Greens MLC Robin Chapple said that although current boom conditions in Western Australia had created an understandable push for more skilled migration, the State will have to look at the realities of resource depletion and long-term environmental trends when considering the impact of a larger population.

 “The reality in WA is that our resources, whilst vast, are not infinite and in some cases are well on the way to depletion,” Mr Chapple said.

 “For example, gold production has dropped 16 per cent in recent years.  Barring significant new discoveries, even our iron ore reserves are predicted to be depleted within the next 50 years.”

 “No one is asking what happens to our industries and infrastructure, and the people they employ, when the boom conditions end – as they inevitably will.”

 “If we are to encourage population growth, including a greater intake of skilled migrants we must take into account both the accelerated depletion of resources as a result of more industry and more consumption, and also the long-term viability of our resource-based industries in terms of employment.”

 Mr. Chapple said that the environmental impact of a growing population, particularly with regards to drinking water and agricultural sustainability, made the proposed inquiry a necessity.

 “Bob’s call for a detailed National Enquiry into Australia’s long-term carrying capacity is most timely.”

  •  Media Contact: Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263 or 9486 8255
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