The Stable Population Party (SPP) will lead the Malthusian charge for a Senate seat at next Federal election on a platform of less people in Australia.
The SPP has one simple message, 'population is an everything' issue.
"Population growth is causing or exacerbating all of Australia's major problems…. This is why population needs its own platform, and why it is important to not dilute the message with other divisive and less important policy positions (e.g. carbon tax, gay marriage, republic)," says the SPP website.
This is a brave manifesto, based in biological and systems theory, to take to the Australian people. According to the SPP, pokies, gay marriage, the Republic, Australia's trade position, social welfare, the health budget, conservation, urban design, university funding and defence, to name just a few, are all secondary or tertiary considerations to slashing Australia's population.
The crux of the SPP's policy agenda is creating a'balanced migration' program. In simple terms, it's 'one in, one out'.
"Permanent immigration would be equivalent to permanent emigration… This would reduce annual permanent immigration from around 250,000 (including NZ) to around 80,000, and include skilled, family reunion and humanitarian (refugee) components."
Permanent residency fluctuates from year to year but as of June 2012 it was 87,000 people, not 250,000. The SPP has confused temporary migration including students, 457 visas, working holidaymakers and tourists with all migrants including permanent residents. The total migration program outcome was 228,000 people to the year ending 2012.
Some visas periods are one year, some are two, others require employer sponsorship while still others are granted permanent residency. These visas protocols are complex and also include about 83,000 international students per year.
Australia has one of the lowest unemployment rates for migrants in the OECD and is one of only three OECD nations where migrant unemployment is virtually the same as the local born. Overall, our migrant program has been an extraordinary success. But it's true, they do eat and therefore are considered 'rabbits' by the Malthusians.
The 'anti-populationists' do not understand the nexus between immigration, skills, profitability and capability in the Australian economy nor do I believe the SPP has any conception of how a modern economy works.
Apart from the ridiculous prospect of foreign businessmen and women being forced to line up for months to work in Australia on international joint projects, the bureaucracy needed to undertake this scheme would be of a magnitude undreamt of in a modern economy.
The SPP has said that GDP per capita has fallen due to population pressure. Wrong.
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Malcolm King works in generational workforce change. He was an associate director at DEEWR Labour Market Strategy in Canberra and the senior communications strategist at Carnegie Mellon University. He also runs a professional writing business called Republic.