Too many Australians already making too great a demand
National President of AESP*, Dr John Coulter, slams the Australian Labor Party in an open letter to shadow minister of immigration, Mr Con Sciacca.

Dear Mr Sciacca,

  As never before, Australia needs politicians with some knowledge and understanding of biology and the absolute dependence of humanity on maintaining the integrity of the natural environment.  You are clearly not such a one.  You ignore all the evidence of very many biologists who have studied the nature and status of Australia's fragile environment and all you can offer is, '…if we can't manage our environment for more people, there's something wrong.'

* AESP = Australians for an Ecologically Sustainable Population, renamed in 2001 as Sustainable Population Australia Inc.

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  There certainly is, Mr Sciacca, and we want more than an expression of pious and unfounded hopes!  We would like to hear from you exactly what you are going to do to halt the decline in Australia's biodiversity, reverse salinisation of our soils, soil loss from erosion, restore fish stocks to sustainable levels, greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions to our fair share of global fossil fuel use, reverse the decline in the quality of practically every water body and river in Australia and a hundred other indicators of too many Australians already making too great a demand on the natural environment.

  Tell us where the money is coming from.  The present government can't find it and repeatedly tells us that we cannot afford to address all these problems.  Are we substantially to increase the price of food (user pays) so that farmers will have the income to address problems of soil and water on their land?  How will you do this when your party is committed to free trade and other countries do not adopt similar practices?

  Please put all your measures into place and demonstrate they will bring Australians to a sustainable relationship with our land before you worsen the environmental impact by further increasing the population.

  You show a moral depravity in your support for the poaching of trained people from poorer countries with much less wealth to educate and train their citizens.  And this at a time we have inadequate education and training in Australia!  The need to import skills has been used as an argument to support immigration since 1947.  What an indictment of the education and training offered to Australians by successive governments?  To paraphrase your hollow rhetoric - 'If we can't manage to produce the educated and skilled people from amongst our 18.9 million there's something wrong!'

  You show ignorance of elementary demography if you think that anything short of an enormous increase and endlessly accelerating migrant intake will make much difference to aging ,and have you not noticed -- migrants age at the same rate as native born Australians?  But then you seem quite sanguine about leaving these problems to later generations in your efforts to support the selfishness of certain business sectors such as real estate, housing and retail trade.

  Have you read the studies showing the infrastructure costs of each new migrant?  How can you justify this in a party that brought foreign aid to less than half the recommended UN minimum of 0.7% of GDP?  Are you aware that spending that which is now spent bringing a migrant to Australia, on increased foreign aid to some of those poor countries from which you want to steal the educated and skilled, would provide a hundred to a thousand times the amount of human welfare?

  How do you justify the 106,223 net migration gain last year (ABS data) when only 4,000 were genuine (U.N.-defined) refugees?  Surely Australia can be more generous to these in greatest need while cutting back on the overall intake so that we build an ecologically sustainable population in Australia, while addressing our international obligations and not leaving behind a despoiled and less supportive environment for our children.

  Do you really believe that our defence depends on having a human shield around our northern borders to absorb nuclear radiation?  This primitive and already out-of-date idea stimulated the start of the migration program in 1947.  'Populate or Perish'  Then, and to an even greater extent now, military defence depends on technical excellence.  It depends on deepening our economy, not broadening it by merely building more infrastructure for more people.  But more importantly, defence in the modern world depends on protecting one's environment so that it continues to support the human population.

  It seems you haven't yet started to learn that lesson but rely for your position on a mix of discredited cliches and selfish predation on the welfare of other nations and of our own descendants.

  Yours sincerely, Dr John Coulter, National President, Australians for an Ecologically Sustainable Population

Copied from Australians for an Ecologically Sustainable Population (Victorian Branch) = AESP, PO Box 1173, Frankston, Vic, 3199, Australia, Tel. (03) 9783 5047 , Fax (03) 97834556,   smnaesp§

Would you like to help Australia adopt sensible population policies? Send $25 subscription ($10 concession) to the former AESP,
from 2001 renamed SPA, Sustainable Population Australia Inc., P.O. Box 297, Civic Square, A.C.T., 2608, Australia  natdir§

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