Australia's Population and What is Right Level

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Australia's Population and What is Right Level


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Old 05-30-2010, 12:29 AM
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Australia's Population and What is Right Level

There was a release a couple of months back of a report that indicated Australia's population could be close to 35 million by 2050 based on recent growth figures extrapolated foeward.

The PM stated in usual glib manner " I can live with that " or something to that effect in an interview in typical fence sitting that all politicians practice when caught unawares unless their name is Barnaby, Julie, Tony or Wilson but the question in many peoples' minds is more " what is a good population for Australia "

There have been some television forum programs on the issue and some views can be simply amazing.
The opening salvo on one show was " I flew from Perth to Kunnunurra and it took five hours over all empty space and so many many people can live in Australia "
My thought at the time were that person needs to drive the trip and then live up there for a year or so and it may be a different song sung.

Same person near the end of that show bluntly put that Australia was a racist country, supposedly for not allowing millions of people to live between Perth and Kunnunurra or in other desirable real estate, that's if you want an awful death from lack of thirst, not to mention costs!

Anyways, I have just responded to a new member of our forum who has also raised the capacity of Australia, following being an extract of my reply.
Quote:
As to resources, yes we do produce food and export some but we also do import much and the recent good rains in many areas aside, our dams are not always in the right places so governments have not been constructing desalination plants for no small reason.
Though to me it is rather stupid policy as against being more diversified with dams locations to facilitate a major water grid and also diversifying population, the shortage of water at time of droughts does emphasise there is a limit to population carrying capacity, quality of life in capital cities being another aspect.

Some people may say Oh well, lets stick in more and more desal plants, they just being high energy users and so where does the power come from!
Sun and Wind? - not always sunny nor windy except for pollies.
Yep, back to burning more coal or gas [ if we have it ] and the pollution.

We currently have a Labor government and Labor governments are supposedly the governments of unions, they having initially been associated with trades.
And yet we have a deputy PM who is also Education Minister proposing that much higher %s of people ought to get university education!
University education in what you might ask and that's if they have the aptitude for it, and then what work will they be doing and there's still a lot of hands on productive work that is needed for all societies to survive.

Yep, employment is another matter and whereas we once rode on the sheep's back, we now have a reources sector very dependent on international economic conditions of which the future is quite uncertain and yet the government wants to do all it can to kill it off.
It is that international trade that allows us to have the life we do now.

So yes, there are many many different aspects of what population is good for Australia and I must say that to say lets have heaps more is in my mind more than questionable.
And the question is open to discussion.





Last edited by Wanderer; 06-06-2010 at 01:36 AM.

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Old 05-30-2010, 06:49 AM
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One thing to remember is that in regards to resources our utilities (water, power etc) were once managed by the government and if you ask me, that was a much better system. Once the private companies took over they cut back on maintenance of the infrastructure and as a result we have more blackouts than ever before. It is a false picture to think that a country with only 22 million people cannot sustain it's population on the basis of "not enough power" resources. I have been to cities that have almost all of Australia's population and they have no severe blackouts or anything.

As to water, I have a friend high up in one of the water companies and he has told me water has and is a highly political issue and that there are in fact desal plants being developed that do not use as much power as current models. Plus we should have had them 10 years ago or more and we might not be in the problems we are in now.

As it is, it looks like we can't sustain our current population, but in fact it's that we have incompetent governments handing it all over to a greedy private sector who mismanage our resources and create "artificial" shortages. Population management is the real issue here.

Our governments cannot manage our population very well (when compared to some other nations). Australia can be run better, and the population can be a part of the solution if it is the right growth rates.


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Old 05-30-2010, 09:05 PM
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What is the right population? There is no such thing IMHO. You would call certain population right if the nation lives in prosperity, unemployment rate is low and resources are sufficient. However, the number in this case would change on regular basis depending on economic conditions.


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Old 05-30-2010, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Dexter View Post
What is the right population? There is no such thing IMHO. You would call certain population right if the nation lives in prosperity, unemployment rate is low and resources are sufficient. However, the number in this case would change on regular basis depending on economic conditions.
If it were so simple as two lines Dexter for regardless of wider economic prosperity there are a few things which will affect Australias share of that and the ability to have that share.
I'll see how your thinking cap is worn shall I?





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Old 05-31-2010, 07:08 AM
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Majority of Australians reject projected population growth

Here's an article I had read recently from www.dynamic business.com.au


By David Olsen on Thursday, 8 April 2010
One Comment

The majority of Australians reject the Government’s projected population growth figures, with 69 percent of Australians opposed to the idea of a population of 36 million by 2050.

Australian PopulationThe projected 36 million figure comes from the Government’s intergenerational report and has been examined in a new survey by the Lowy Institute.

“The poll shows Australians are comfortable with some increase in population size but are not in full support of the 36 million projected in the government’s intergenerational report,” Lowy Institute executive director Michael Wesley said in a statement.

In response to concerns over Australia’s bulging population, the Federal opposition flagged a cut to Australia’s overall immigration intake.

However this suggestion has been heavily criticised by business groups, arguing that restricting immigrant numbers would lead to higher taxes as Australia’s baby boomers moved to retirement age and placed an increasing burden on government funded services.

Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison cited the findings as evidence people supported the coalition’s stance on immigration.

“The coalition believes in having a sustainable growth path for our population and this survey shows that many Australians support that view,” Mr Morrison told ABC Radio.

“But they are not prepared to sign up to the level of growth Kevin Rudd is championing.”

22 percent of survey respondents indicated that they believed Austalia’s current population to be “the best target population” for 2050. While 43 percent felt a modest increase to 30 million by 2050 was optimal.

“Thirty million doesn’t seem to be that much different from our current 22 million; it seems like a natural progression,” Michael Wesley said.

23 percent of respondents cited 40 million as acceptable, with the remaining six percent happy for the the population to more than double to 50 million by 2050.

“I think most people see 36 million as really quite a substantial increase.” Michael Wesley said.

“Some of the concerns about overcrowding, about house prices, about the environmental strain that 36 million Australians would cause, are also starting to bite.”

The Lowy Institute’s survey, was conducted in early March and included 1000 Australians.


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Old 06-06-2010, 12:57 AM
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I agree with Frank that Australia's current situation is a result of mismanagement by our government in critical infrastructure.... Water, Light/Power and dare I say Telecommunications. Most of these have fallen into a state of disrepair due to the money grab by management.
Australia given the right leasdership can support 35 million people (or more) and I think the added expertise from some of those extra people would contribute favourably to Australia and I agree with the immigration shift in that area.
We may be in physical isolation from the rest of the world but we are still part or it and one only has to look at the progress made in other countries in the above mentioned areas to see how far behind we are lagging.
I have been to countries where there are 20 million people in 1 city....all are clothed, housed and fed (with good fresh food too) not like here but that is a topic for another day .....
France for example has their internet running through there power lines and is inexpensive due to the already existing infrastructure. Maybe we need to seriously look at the advances made elsewhere (and not just a junket for the pollies to take a short geek and then holiday).
I mean seriously the majority of our local Councils are going broke and some State Governments too and it's due to gross negligence by unqualified people all wanting a slice of the pie that is getting smaller.
Why not introduce more foreign investment into Australia or seek investment opportunities in other countries?
Having been savaged in the last 12 months due to price increases in basic utilities I began to look at the cause and without a doubt it's government mismanagent of our infrastructure.
Can we maintain a population of 35 M or more ? only if we have qualified people making the decisions

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Old 06-07-2010, 01:19 AM
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It is not surprising that politicians are showing their usual love of sport in making a football out of this and that is partially the problem with all governmental action - democracy means a governments prime interest for much of their term and especially towards the end of a term will always be to win the next election.

But taking a few points from the Lowy survey:
Quote:
The Lowy Institute’s survey, was conducted in early March and included 1000 Australians.
Wow, a thousand people!Most who no doubt have little exposure to population increase other than living in forever expanding cities.
And from that:
Quote:
The majority of Australians reject the Government’s projected population growth ........... of 36 million by 2050.
A majority indeed
To Rudd's credit he has annointed a junior MP to take on board a study into various aspects, whether or not anything meaningful will come of it.
Far better to look at basics of life and then have responsible authorities make submissions on what levels of population can be supported, where will the water come from for instance, flow on efffects and the cost/head.

Whilst the business of an ageing population is bandied about, all populations have always been ageing and they have always coped one way or another, so I do not know that that is such a gigantic deal, the most pertinent comment on the survey being
Quote:
“Thirty million doesn’t seem to be that much different from our current 22 million; it seems like a natural progression,” Michael Wesley said.
For yes, there has been a progressive increase in Australia's population, more accelerated since WW2 and with increasing numbers, it'll likely keep increasing with or without immigration and just by increased life expectancies alone.
Coping with the increase as it occurs is as much a problem as ageing.
And that is somewhat indicated in todays communities along the lines of
Quote:
“Some of the concerns about overcrowding, about house prices, about the environmental strain that 36 million Australians would cause, are also starting to bite.”
Though I'd expect that people would be more concerned with cost of living with things like food/water/services costs, transport issues and medical services more so than the environmental strain, and whether or not we have a super speed broadband connection or all schools getting new halls etc., whether they need them or not.

I'll put another post about government services.





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Old 06-07-2010, 02:47 AM
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Government Services Versus Privatisation

Having something of a technical background and having worked in both private industry and also organisations under government umbrellas, my view is that the question of government incompetency is a bit irrelevant.

In the first instance, we do live in a democracy and having a whinge about who has been elected may feel good but that is as about as good as it will get.
And then we have our public servants and whereas you'll have most government departments working to policy and regimentation more so than what the bottom line is, you'll have people of all levels of competency in all organisations.

You can take the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill as a crude [ yes, a good pun if I must say so myself! ] example of massive imlications as to where the mud may best stick!
Who is incompetent in it all?
How did the fire start in the first place might well be asked?
Who should have made sure the shut-off mechanism worked?
Why was it not fixed?
Should the well not have been drawn from until it was fixed?

A lot of private organisation management questions there.
And also for government regulators.
Or indeed re government policy as to the extent of regulation.
And yes " Yes We Can " do something about that or should according to Obama.

What in effect will that mean if there is not a globally enforced standard?
Just the price of fuel going up!

The cost of services is somewhat behind privatisation of utilities that Frank has referred to and governments, one way or another have come to see that whilst there is a need for regulations, they being the environment for operations but governments perhaps not the best constructors nor operators.
I am not too sure where Frank is having blackouts but compared to the late 50s and 60s when a lot of eastern coast coal fired power stations were still being constructed, power blackouts in recent times other than those brought on by storms damage seem to be so minimal that they get little press coverage.
It is interesting that there have been no new significant coal fired power stations brought on line since the latter part of the nineties and a few things have happened in that time:
. privatisation and rather than lack of maintenance, some private organisations have done significant overhauls of older power stations to get greater generation and for a longer life.
Hazelwood PS. for instance in the Latrobe Valley east of Melbourne commenced operation about 1960 and 30-40 years was always the nominally thought of life span or a coal fired power station.
It is still running some 50 years later and at far greater output than pre-privatisation.
Yes, private companies have invested billions of $$$ in purchases and upgrades of plant, so why would they let that investment fall in a heap through lack of maintenance.
It could be that government over regulation saw over maintenance and certaibly there is a difference in work cultures between a government organisation and private industry.
Governments are no longer held to ransom on power supplies by Unions as they used to be in the past.
. And then For the eastern seaboard, there has been a far greater interconnection of state syatems to form one larger power grid and that effectively through management of planned plant outages has meant that there greater generating capacity is available, going some way to meet demands.
. Further to meeting demand levels and you do have a situation where peak loads are far in excess of average, there have been quite a few gas turbine generating units installed, they having the ability of being able to be brought online quite rapidly compared to a coal fired power station, the coal boilers and steam turbine plant designed to be run at constant load for greatest efficiency and minimum wear and tear.

Meanwhile, Anna Bligh, Premier of Queensland has stated it is her government policy not to have any more coal fired power stations constructed unless CO2 emissions can be stored underground - another whole issue!
The history of Lake Nyos or even the Indonesian mud ooze might make you wonder whether you want to live anywhere near where Anna claims CO2 will be stored [ if at all it is ever proved reliably feasible ]
Savage Planet: Volcanic Killers-Degassing Lake Nyos
Radio Australia:Asia Pacific:Story:New report says oil drilling behind Indonesian mud volcano
Indonesian Mud Volcano Woe Could Widen As Concrete Ball Plugs Fail
Only been going for about four years now!
Would in fact you want to rely on government regulation infinitum re underground CO2 storage and would you be prepared to accept that the process/storage would be safe in anyone's hands given the Gulf saga.

It is the kind of thing that certainly puts a huge question mark over competency of political leaders to make decisions solely based on what advisors may be putting in their ears and that coming from various limited technical knowledge or more likely what has been shaped by the bottom line $$$$$.

Sorry for the lengthy technical exposure but there is a bit more to running utilities than what most people are aware of, aside from that bottom line of course.
No one, Frank or I included is particularly too keen on higher taxes to meet higher costs.

The question of water that Frank posted on and being that desalination essentially works on a process of pumping seawater at ultra high pressure through ultra high resistance but permeable membrane material, the friend high up in a water company might well be asked on details of power savings.
Sure there may be different materials but there is always going to be the micro filtration aspect and pressure means power, moreflow for same pressure will mean less filtration and so something else will be needed for same quality.

I'd suspect Frank that your friend may be talking of marginal change at best.
I think it may have been in Victoria that they there is an intention to put in generation wind farms in association with desal but that is just an alternate power supply [ and mains power will still be needed when the wind is not blowing strong enough ]

There sure are plenty of huge cities about the planet Lenore, List of cities proper by population - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and City Populations – World City Population, Biggest Largest Cities in the World - Worldatlas.com being good lists and their climate/food chain obviously does not have them all starving but it does not necessarily mean that making Australia more of the same is at all feasible.

With France and it's intent for power line internet services, there is always new technology being tested/developed and I'm not too sure that France have an extensive ISP grid based on powerlines yet.
There are a number of issues that you can read about on Power line communication - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and Internet service over power lines looks like a bust - Yahoo! News certainly gives an interesting insight.

The French certainly do some interesting things!

And sure, all levels of government are under various forms of stress, a lot of that also being caused by rate of population increases in some areas and getting areas established, Australia being something of a greenfields site as against most developed countries that have had a lot of infrastructure about for a far longer time and more static populations to contend with.

As for capital investment, that essentially equates to borrowing and the one loaning seeks a return.
A bit like always being in debt just because you want a newer car or a bigger house, the latest electronic gizmo etc.

You can easily see where that has got the global economy!

As to the right people in government, there's basically two ways of achieving that; democracy or dictatorship, communism being a form of the latter you could say.

And yet even with democracy it seems even at local government levels, you have elected representatives and the workforce removed from oneanother and also far far removed from the people they are supposed to serve and little electors can do but contact their both groups and the media in hoping to use embarassment for change.

Meanwhile, there's still an awful lot of thought to go into where in Australia should increased population be and what ought they to be doing.





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Old 06-08-2010, 11:49 PM
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This is what the wiki says about the Australian economy, it makes for an interesting read.
Australia's balance of payments - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I read with interest the links you provided Wanderer about the BPL, not sure why it is successful in France perhaps its because the power lines are underground.
I also watched with interest a few massive projects taking place around the world (bridge from Yemen to Djibouti over the Red Sea), (bridge constructed in Hong Kong) and the construction of a dam in china by 5000 workers in 20 months, hydroelectric enough to service 60 million people.
All of these projects were at some stage a dream but have become or are in the process of becoming a reality. If we are to sustain an increase in population to say even 50 million then the planning of the infrastructure needs to be done now and the money needs to come from the government AFTER it pays off the national debt.
Really it does not matter who is responsible for the current situation but if we dont start plans now then we would never have a hope to accommodate an increase in population. The government pays advisors for things so my suggestion would be to sack the current ones and get some new, younger, enthusiastic and better qualified ones.
so my thoughts are;
1) reduce debt
2) retain some good advisors (better qualified, if we don't have them here headhunt them from abroard, take a look at who did what and where they did it and get them)
3) make some big plans for infrastructure (all public utilities)
4) fund the projects from the savings of no debt servicing
5) open up direct communication from the people to the government via the internet and forget about an internet filter it's a waste of money and wont work anyway (replace that with an opt in if you want it).
Just my 2 cents worth

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Old 06-09-2010, 04:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenore View Post
This is what the wiki says about the Australian economy, it makes for an interesting read.
Australia's balance of payments - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I read with interest the links you provided Wanderer about the BPL, not sure why it is successful in France perhaps its because the power lines are underground.
I also watched with interest a few massive projects taking place around the world (bridge from Yemen to Djibouti over the Red Sea), (bridge constructed in Hong Kong) and the construction of a dam in china by 5000 workers in 20 months, hydroelectric enough to service 60 million people.
All of these projects were at some stage a dream but have become or are in the process of becoming a reality. If we are to sustain an increase in population to say even 50 million then the planning of the infrastructure needs to be done now and the money needs to come from the government AFTER it pays off the national debt.
Really it does not matter who is responsible for the current situation but if we dont start plans now then we would never have a hope to accommodate an increase in population. The government pays advisors for things so my suggestion would be to sack the current ones and get some new, younger, enthusiastic and better qualified ones.
so my thoughts are;
1) reduce debt
2) retain some good advisors (better qualified, if we don't have them here headhunt them from abroard, take a look at who did what and where they did it and get them)
3) make some big plans for infrastructure (all public utilities)
4) fund the projects from the savings of no debt servicing
5) open up direct communication from the people to the government via the internet and forget about an internet filter it's a waste of money and wont work anyway (replace that with an opt in if you want it).
Just my 2 cents worth
Certainly BPL is being developed as an alternative technology but like all technologies there are various limits and requirements to allow use just as there is with all information transmission systems.
I think you might just find it is just one of the different technologies in use in France and not necessarily the mainstream system.
If you want to pay to access more @ France - Broadband Market - Overview, Statistics & Forecasts - BuddeComm you can no doubt get something of a picture.
There is much more on the internet that you can find re the technology in general.

I would always expect that newer technologies will be looked at in European, Asian and the Americas theatres for the very reason of this topic and that's population and technology development here in Australia will always be linked to population, the potential users and the ability to pay.
That's why there are bridges/tunnels across/under Sydney Harbour, the Yarra and Brisbane rivers [ and even the economies of the Brisbane tunnel are not looking so hot ] but it'll be some time yet before we ever see a bridge/tunnel for the Rip and a high speed eastern rail link still likely generations away.
Likewise, Europe and the US have their Motorways, Autobahns and Interstate networks far more extensive, the population for use being there even if in some instances maintenance is another question.

Have a look at Djibouti and Yemen and even with a significant population for the latter, you do have to wonder on the economies of the bridge, not to mention other issues and they forecast 100,000 users a day!, and a city of 2.5M in a country that has less than 1M and relies on importing food for they have such an arid landscape.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridge_of_the_Horns
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Djibouti
If you reckon Australia could be better off with advisors that are of the like to advise for such a project, I'm very glad you're not involved in appointing them.
The hydro scheme on the Yangtze River was certainly a huge undertaking and with water catchment and flows, of course it was always going to be of a huge scale but hydro is not new technology by a long shot.
The snowy mountains scheme in Australia may not have the same size dam by a long shot but in some ways it is far more remarkable with how much more limited water sources have been made use of.

I agree it is best to plan rather than have nightmare scenarios develop and planning needs to take account of what are the reliable natural resources that can be harnessed.
Droughts are not new to Australia and the recent period emphasised how there have been difficulties with many water supply sources.
Quite a bit of infrastructure work has been done for water recycling and desalination and now with some good rains a lot of that may sit idle, only to likely provide for further headaches when recommissioning is attempted.

Australia is the driest continent and it seems a lot of people fail to recognise what that means.
One infrastructure project that has been mentioned at various times over many decades, even for near a century is to harness northern tropical waters and pipe/channel them south to our major southern river systems on the eastcoast and do flood mitigation works at the same time, perhaps employ many indigenous people as well.
But again, there is not a year long wet season and evaporative losses would also mean substantial works needed in regard to water storages in appropriate locations.

So that may be one area that can be investigated further and is typical of what needs to be effectively looked at as part of determining how good a water supply can we sustain to support what level of population.
There's the old horse and cart principle and whereas a horse can pull a cart better than pushing one, so it would be a nightmare to say well lets have 50M or 100M and now we'll decide where water supplies can come from.
You look at what water is used for and you can start to see all sorts of areas where problems can occur for it's not just for drinking!
. farming and agriculture needs
. foods processing
. power generation cooling water supplies
. sewerage systems
and then there'll be other miscellaneous uses such as parks and sports fields watering, general cleaning and industry uses before we have some left for the environment.

As to who pays, you shouldn't be too surprised to know that governments do not have a huge piggybank and what money they can put to projects does come from the society as taxpayers one way or another, or they borrow it.
You have a smaller population in a massive land scape, you have less in the way od manpower or finance resources and certainly limited capacity to support borrowings.

I agree, it would be ideal if there was no debt and we would all live within our means and countries and economies could grow at a sustainable pace.
That's an ideal way but irresponsibility and greed do not make for an ideal way.
Ironically the worlds greatest dictatorship - Communist China is the one country that has shown some awareness for population control with their one child policy.
Only time will tell the full outcome for Chinese rural families prefer sons to work the land and there is already a growing imbalance of lads to girls!

You do not think there is some inconsistency in having no debt but headhunting advisors from abroad and then that might be fine if you really thought someone from abroad is going to be any wiser for what suits Australia's needs.
There are many Australians who no doubt may disagree.

btw., there is already no end of possibilities for the public to contact their parliamentarians and whilst you will get some who may respond directly, there'll obviously be others, ministers in particular that will not have the time to be responding to all.
I understand that and how ministers will have ministerial staff and also the departments they oversee to develop policies, it being departments that are charged with the authority and responsibilities to manage the application, that being how democracies work.

As far as what is done elsewhere, you have many more populous areas of the planet with unemployment issues far greater than Australia, not to say that ours cannot deteriorate and as a society we do need to address the basics of life re water and food production before we decide whatever population level is a fine target just to get there and then find that not only do we end up with substantially more unemployment but there is greater difficulty for the higher population to survive.

That'll only lead to more society issues of health, disease, crime and violence etc.





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