On Vuga and co

John Burke writes: Re. “‘Love Australia or Leave’ is now a political party” (yesterday). The article on Kim Vuga and her newly registered loony party has the effect of wedging those who are really concerned about Australia’s population. As we have built up to 24 million people  since white settlement, we have caused land and river system degradation on a massive scale, have seen absurd rates of wildlife extinction and severe deterioration in key sites such as the Great Barrier Reef. On top of that, the NSW and Queensland governments are intent on allowing broad-acre clearing of native vegetation that will accelerate the despoliation. At present we are on a path to double our population every 50 years or so and that rate of growth is supported by powerful forces such as the main political parties and the BCA along with the rent-seekers, the unthinking and the despoilers. At that rate of growth we shall have some 50 million in 50 years, 100 million in 100 years, 200 million in 150 years and so on: so few of us seem to understand the power of exponential growth. A more sensible course would be to maintain our immigration at about 70,000 p.a., which would allow plenty of scope for refugees while eventually stabilising our population. It behoves papers like Crikey to break through the taboo surrounding population discussion and to question the course we are on. If it’s not to be hundreds of millions of people in Australia then we need to decide by what process a decision will be made. Will it be when Australia is so degraded that it’s an undesirable place to live or, being an intelligent society, can we talk about it?

Peter Murphy writes: A good article, but there is one error therein. Australia is one of the least densely populated countries in the world, but it is beaten by Namibia, Mongolia, and (if you count it as a country) Western Sahara. It is not beaten by Finland, which has roughly the population density of New Zealand.