Opposition backs call for population inquiry
The ABC News (Australia), March 15, 2010
The Federal Opposition is supporting a call by the Greens for an independent national inquiry into Australia's population target.
The population is projected to reach 36 million by 2050 but the Greens say the nation cannot sustain that many people.
The Opposition's immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison, says there should be an inquiry into how many people the nation can support.
'It's about what the carrying capacity is,' he said. 'We need to get that perspective from regional areas as well as metropolitan areas, where issues of congestion and housing affordability are major problems as well as public transport.
'What's more important, is the process for planning. For example, the states and territories have no input into questions of immigration and migration intakes but they're the ones at the end of the day that have to service the needs that are created by it.'
On Sunday, Greens Leader Bob Brown said he was writing to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd this week to ask him to set up an inquiry into the issue.
'So that politicians do have an idea of the carrying capacity of this country, its infrastructure, its ability to deal with those quite worrying projections of 35 million people by 2050,' he said.
'We've got to do better than just say well let it happen.'