Media Release PermacultureWest 1st March 2011
Permaculture Ethics: Fair Share, People Care, Earth Care, Limits Aware.
Populate and Perish: Australia's Growth Fetish.
What happens when the party is over?
“Reckless population growth and the alienation of Australian farm land to foreign ownership will leave Australia perilously short of food and water in just a few years, says Mark O’Connor. So far we have been selling the family jewels, our minerals, oil and gas, to pay our way. This can’t last”, he said.
Brendan Grylls, Leader of the Nationals in WA, says “you can’t find anyone in WA who agrees with a ‘smaller Australia’ policy”. (The West Australian, Feb 28th page 1). PermacultureWest has a different perspective. Poet and environmentalist Mark O’Connor, the co-author of Overloading Australia, will be in Perth this March at Christchurch College giving his reasons why we need to get off the growth spiral and aim for fewer, not more, people in Australia.
“Vested interests are flogging off Australia’s future,” says Mark. “The Bureau of Mineral Resources says that Australia’s oil, the commodity on which our lives depend, may be gone by 2020, and LPG gas by 2030.” By then Peak Oil will have made fertiliser, and other agro chemicals reliant on cheap oil, prohibitively expensive for Australian farmers. Food prices have already risen and certain to continue rising.
In a recent report for the Immigration Department, it was stated that Australia’s food and water security couldn’t be guaranteed if population keeps growing at the current rate. Our government’s response to this warning has been to continue to pay baby bonuses and run high rates of immigration. Under pressure from the mining industry, Julia Gillard is under extreme pressure to break her promise to the Australian people to abandon Kevin Rudd’s “big Australia” scenario.
Those who manipulated us onto this pathway are not those who will pay the price. It’s the future generations of Australian children who will find the cupboard bare of the essentials of life; healthy, affordable food, clean water and shelter; the cornerstones of political stability in any country, including Australia, the ‘Lucky Country’, for now.
“The sell-off of a billion-year heritage of minerals in just a couple of generations may leave Australia in the same position as the Middle East: bloated populations in denuded countries unable to afford the price of bread,” he concluded. How can we organise to conserve our water, keep our population sustainable and assure our food security? Mark’s talk will identify the vested interests that have bundled us onto the express train to “big Australia”; threatening to derail to ‘busted Australia’ once the party is over. He will also discuss alternatives to the present growth paradigm.
Mark will speak at the Senior Common room, Christchurch College, Queenslea Drive, Claremont at 7.30p.m. Wednesday 30th March 2011. Ample parking.
PermacultureWest has sponsored Mark O’Connor’s visit.
CONTACT: Mark O’Connor mark@Australianpoet.com Mobile 0451517966
CONTACT: Susan Hartley PermacultureWest 0438620348 email@example.com