Last Updated Aug 23, 2010 2:28 AM EDT
(Episode 560; 9 minutes 22) As Australia hurls into the federal election, population has become the centre ground of debate between the major parties. Yet there is very little difference in the opinions they offer, and both have avoided providing any coherent policy beyond turning back boats of asylum seekers.
Jessica Brown from the Centre for Independent Studies says even if we halved our migration intake we'd still need another six million houses by the middle of the century. While talk is about how we limit migration, there's no focus on the need to improve our infrastructure.
In this edition of BTalk Jessica says part of the issue is that the benefits of population growth are felt nationally, the cost if borne locally. Discussion of how to cope with this growth needs to consider ways of encouraging local and state governments to want population growth, so they live up to their part of the bargain.
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The No-Brainer Congestion Cure | BTalk - Isn't congestion pricing an obvious policy step, particularly as faster broadband enables more of us to work from home more often?
The Size of the Migrant Intake - Australians might think the country is being flooded with migrants, but the facts tell a different story. Refugees are a small minority of the total migrant intake.
Why We Need Population Growth (And Where To Put It) - Australia's high population growth helped the economy to grow through the economic downturn. Now we need more.
BonaFide NIMBYism | BTalk - Tony Recsei, president of the Save Our Suburbs community group, argues that high density housing is not sustainable.