As Australia hurls into the federal election, population has become the centre ground of debate between the major parties. Yet there is very little difference in the opinions they offer, and both have avoided providing any coherent policy beyond turning back boats of asylum seekers.
Jessica Brown from the Centre for Independent Studies says even if we halved our migration intake we’d still need another six million houses by the middle of the century. While talk is about how we limit migration, there’s no focus on the need to improve our infrastructure.
In this edition of BTalk Jessica says part of the issue is that the benefits of population growth are felt nationally, the cost if borne locally. Discussion of how to cope with this growth needs to consider ways of encouraging local and state governments to want population growth, so they live up to their part of the bargain.