Greens won't set population target
Australian Associated Press,
August 2, 2010
Greens Senate candidate Lee Rhiannon has refused to nominate what she thinks would be a sustainable Australian population, saying 'we're not going to set numbers on what that should be'.
The issue of population has dominated Julia Gillard's short prime ministership, with both major parties against a 'big Australia' of 36 million by 2050, as forecast by Treasury.
Asked for a Greens population target, Ms Rhiannon told reporters the party didn't have one.
'We don't have the expertise, we're not the department of immigration,' Ms Rhiannon said on Monday.
'We haven't got government resources to set a figure so you set the guidelines, you set the principles.
'The issue here is that we have obligations in terms of skilled migrants coming to this country, of people seeking asylum in this country.
'We're not going to set numbers on what that should be.'
Greens leader Bob Brown has called for an independent inquiry into the population issue, saying a 'big Australia' of 36 million was not sustainable.