It seems that DIAC, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, can't grasp the idea of sustainable population.
The Australian Financial Review (6 January 2011) contained a scoop that has left red faces in the Immigration Department. [‘Bigger Australia a must: Immigration’, Steven Scott, 5 January 2011].
Under Freedom of Information, the Fin. Review has got hold of large chunks of the Department's "Red Book", the briefing papers it offered to the incoming Gillard government after the 2010 federal election. Though much was censored, even what remains is an eye opener. Steven Scott reports:
The Department of Immigration said "it is unclear what level or range of NOM (net overseas migration) is compatible with sustainable population growth".Despite this, it wanted to keep our labour force growing at around 1 per cent per annum!
I'll leave you to read the rest at http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=11460
Now there's more...
I've just read the Immigration Department's very important new Report
Research into the long-term physical implications of Net Overseas Migration, July 2010
That's such a mouthful that henceforth I'll call it Long-term Implications .It is available online.
Its method is to take a series of different figures for annual net overseas migration (NOM) and show the likely physical results.
Here are some samples of its findings:
"...the larger the NOM, the larger are the (unmitigated) harms. Economic growth (per capita) combines with population increases to produce environmental impacts that are proportionally larger than changes in NOM levels. These impacts grow over time with the cumulative effect of higher annual flows of net migration. ... In particular, the propensity for immigrants to concentrate in Western Sydney and in Melbourne increases their negative impact on water security, traffic congestion and pollution, waste management problems, local fresh food supplies, CO2 emissions, and local biodiversity."
Other remarks and findings:
- Higher levels of NOM (Net Overseas Migration) impose greater adverse impacts on the quality of our natural and built environments, other things being equal.
- Under current migration rates, each capital would become an estimated one and a half times bigger, with massive gridlock-induced costs.
- Sydney would lose about half of its productive land used for fresh fruit and vegetable production. "Physically, the demand on land is going to be immense."
- Agricultural production to decline after 2030.
It sounds as though the Immigration Department got more than it bargained for.
Page one of Long-term Implications as it appears on the Immigration Department's website is not in fact part of the Report at all. It is an "introduction" inserted by the Department's "Policy Innovation, Research and Evaluation Unit" trying to distance itself from Long-term Implications .
I'll be publishing an article on this shortly.