While South African ANC/COSATU/SACP Tripartheid 'African Ideal of Manhood' elite focus on their population explosion of poverty stricken cannon fodder and immorality (irresponsible breeding and lack of commitment to Gandhian non-violence); Australians are focussing on honest conversations about reality and sustainability
Can you imagine the day COSATU express their concerns on SA's ‘Population footprint’, or ‘Population Crisis’; as not only the most significant causal factor for Black African Poverty; but requiring some urgent frank-talk attention?
Now why would they do such a thing, when they can blame Apartheid and racist white people, for their poverty problems? How many blacks do you know who can admit that the majority of Black Africans are incapable of practicing responsible reproduction (i.e. refraining from reproducing until you are in a committed relationship and have concentrated financial wealth to be able to provide for a loving environment for your children's emotional, psychological and intellectual education)?
[Union leader says] Quality of life compromised when numbers increase
The case for a 'big Australia' raises the issue of whether we have the resources to support it
12 March 2010
John Sutton, Canberra Times, Opinion
Across Australia there are increasing public concerns about population growth, as more people question just how we can provide the water, homes and infrastructure needed to resource our projected rapid population growth. Population is shaping up to be the sleeper issue of this year's federal election. The Rudd Government would be wise to pause, take a look around and rethink blindly marching along with the "big Australia" cheer squad.
A broad range of voices across ideological boundaries is growing concerned that our nation does not have the water, the ecology or the infrastructure to pack in tens of millions more people.
It is not just greenies who now comprehend that our fragile ecology and limited water supplies are incompatible with net migration numbers close to 300,000 every year.
Even the 180,000 net migration the Government is projecting from 2012 will take our population from 22 million now to 36 million by 2050, with migration responsible for 80 per cent of this growth.
Commuters and public transport advocates are realizing the crumbling infrastructure in our cities must be rebuilt before yet more people try and pack onto that hopelessly choked peak hour train or freeway.
Blue-collar workers know their pay and conditions are at risk from the 457-visa program and temporary worker schemes. These have allowed business to avoid its responsibility to train our youth, in favour of importing captive and compliant workers with temporary status on lower pay. And everyone is aware of the crumbling infrastructure in our health system and schools, the expensive desalination plants being built around Australia as we struggle for water, regional towns with bone dry dams and the fact that we need ever more costly new base load power generation capacity.
These views and concerns are not anti-immigrant or racist. They simply reflect that concerns about population growth are well-founded and that significant constituencies are now lining up against the power elites, who are slowly growing more isolated in their championing of a "big Australia."
Sure, there are loud voices from the business world. At its crudest, you have developers like Australia's biggest apartment builder Harry Triguboff from Meriton Apartments who wants to cram huge numbers into our major cities. Harry and his ilk dream of making bigger and bigger profits. They seem totally unconcerned about their impact on current Australians and the legacy they will leave for future generations.
Multiculturalism has been a spectacular success in Australia and our society is richer for the wide and diverse nature of the cultures that make up modern Australia. The trade union movement embraced migrant workers long ago, and a union like my own has a substantial part of its membership from a non-English speaking background and many officials with diverse ethnicities. This debate is not about whether we should continue to have an immigration program or the source countries for tomorrow�s migrants. Rather it is about the size of our immigration program and whose interests the program should serve.
Increasingly our mass migration program is not serving the interests of Australian workers and their families. Their economic interests are in fact being undercut by the hundreds of thousands of temporary workers in Australia, often working for below market rates and forced to accept substandard conditions.
These temporary migrants and the business-sponsored skilled permanent migration program, are eclipsing the permanent unsponsored migration program that historically has served us well.
Indeed, the orientation of both our temporary and permanent immigration programs has shifted to serve the interests of the business lobby, whom the Federal Government freely acknowledges now calls the shots on immigration.
So I hope for a serious debate about population and immigration policy. There has never been such a disconnect between the views of the power elites on this issue and the views of the rest of us.
The left must take a serious part in this debate and not react with a knee-jerk analysis that these increasing community concerns about population growth are automatically racist. It must also engage more critically in the debate on the dramatic re-orientation of immigration policy to the interests of employers. There is a sensitivity about race and immigration in this country that retards serious debate. Historically, there is good reason for this, the appalling treatment meted out to Aboriginal Australians being the compelling example.
Our environment, infrastructure and standard of living are dependent on us having a mature national dialogue about population and immigration that is unshackled from issues of race. Intelligent voices now coming into the debate like Bob Carr, Tim Flannery and Dick Smith cannot simply be typecast as the old redneck racist brigade.
This debate is not about race, it's about fixing our infrastructure, ensuring a lower carbon footprint and that our first world wages and conditions are not decimated.
John Sutton is National Secretary of the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union
» » » » [Opinion page of The Canberra Times]
Population bomb 'ticks louder than climate'
Rosslyn Beeby, Science & Environment Reporter, Canberra Times
22 Jul, 2008 01:00 AM
Global population growth is
looming as a bigger threat to the world's food production and water supplies than climate change, a leading scientist says.
Speaking at a CSIRO public lecture in Canberra yesterday, UNESCO's chief of sustainable water resources development, Professor Shahbaz Khan, said overpopulation's impacts were potentially more economically, socially and environmentally destructive than those of climate change.
“Climate change is one of a number of stresses we're facing, but it's overshadowed by global population growth and the amount of water, land and energy needed to grow food to meet the projected increase in population. We are facing a world population crisis.”
In the past four years, the price of rice in Thailand had risen from $A200 a tonne to $A800 a tonne, and India had banned rice exports in a bid to ensure the country had sufficient supplies of this staple food, Professor Khan said.
“It would be a mistake for Australia's governments to assume they can adapt to declining water availability within the Murray-Darling Basin by deciding staple crops like wheat and rice can be grown in other countries. We need smarter ways to improve water efficiencies so we can continue to grow those crops.”
Before taking up the UNESCO post in Paris earlier this year which involves supervising sustainable water development projects in 190 countries Professor Khan led CSIRO's irrigation systems research and was founding director of the international centre for food security at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga.
The city's mayor farewelled him with a public reception, praising his passion and commitment to water reform and his role in championing rural communities. Yesterday, Professor Khan called for debate on national water reform to be ''opened up to include a genuine diversity of opinion'', claiming scientists ''are worried about being crucified'' by governments if they express dissenting views.
“Scientists are fearful, to be honest,” he said.
Many politicians were out of touch with crucial livelihood issues facing rural Australia, particularly poverty and the loss of jobs in communities built on wealth generated by irrigated food production.
“There is a disconnect and mistrust. You have politicians and scientists from the big cities coming up with ideas and warning of painful decision, but they're not bringing the communities who will be affected into the discussion.
“In my experience, irrigators are not vandals: they're trying to make a living for their families, often faced with great hardships, and have made a lot of effort to achieve water efficiencies. We should celebrate some of the successes achieved by our farmers, because there have been stunning successes in the Murray-Darling Basin.”
Australia must also think about the future social and environmental implications of its “population footprint”.
He said, “It's not something that should happen by an act of God. It has to be an informed decision about geographic spread and location, about benefits for indigenous communities, for river systems and wetlands. It's a big exercise and needs to be done very carefully.”
» » » » [Canberra Times]