Voters 'don't want bigger Australia'
April 14, 2010 7:07AM
A MAJORITY of voters don't want a bigger Australia, a new survey shows.
More than 3000 voters were asked whether they supported population growth in the latest survey of social attitudes by the Australian National University.
Almost seventy per cent said they didn't support population growth, citing local jobs, urban congestion and the environment as reasons.
Those who favoured growth, around 30 per cent, did so for economic reasons like addressing the ageing population.
But less than a quarter favoured immigration as the main contributor.
Dr Katharine Betts, who has written a report on the findings, says Labor is “very much out of touch with Australian voters” on the issue of population growth.
“The (population) road train's steaming ahead with a lot of unhappy passengers,” the Monash University academic told ABC Radio.
“There's a large sway of voters out here who would like the train driver to put on the brakes.”
The survey also showed opinions differed between states.
About 75 per cent of Queenslanders said they were opposed to population growth, in contrast to the ACT where half of voters support growth.
The survey was completed in the three months to February, and is in contrast to a recent Lowy poll that found people wanted a bigger Australia.
Treasury has forecast the nation's population to reach 36 million by 2050.
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