14
   

Not coming to Australia now :(

 
 
msolga
 
  2  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 02:05 am
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:
I have mixed feelings about this. I have read that Australia is a uniquely fragile ecosystem that has faced external threats, and that Australia is swelling with immigrants and that there is going to be natural desire to preserve the status quo.


This is how I see it. Other Oz A2Kers are, of course, are free to interpret things differently. Also to add their own perspectives.:

A map of Australia. Those green bits around the edges (particularly around the SE coast, are where most people live, are the are (not surprisingly) the most populated areas. Most of the continent is is (till now) uninhabitable to Australians or to potential immigrants.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/ed/Australia_satellite_plane.jpg/250px-Australia_satellite_plane.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geography_of_Australia

http://www.mapsofworld.com/australia/images/populatilon-dencity.gif
http://www.mapsofworld.com/australia/thematic-maps/population-of-australia/australia-population-density.html

For the past 10+ years the most populous (southern SE) parts of the continent have experienced severe drought. Water catchments to cities like Melbourne (the example I know best) are now reduced to something like 34% capacity (the last statistics I saw). To accommodate the rapidly growing needs of the biggest growth in population we've ever experienced (3 million, with anticipated maximum of 7 million (!) ), amongst other "measures", water is being diverted to the city from country rivers (to the detriment of people who live & work in those regions, say nothing of the detrimental effects on the natural environment & wildlife, etc .. ask dadpad about this. He knows alot more about it than I do) As well, the state government has embarked upon a hugely expensive & unpopular desalination plant project with a private company, which is going to make the cost of water, down the line, much more expensive for ordinary people, say nothing of sucking up huge quantities of tax payers' money indefinitely.

Water is just one aspect of this. Consider the energy needs (& resultant pollution) of this huge increase in population. At a time when we are all considering ways of reducing our "carbon foot print". Are we to continue to rely on brown coal (extremely polluting) for our energy needs, or, as some are suggesting, do we "go nuclear"? What is our responsibility then, regarding nuclear waste? These are just some of the issues that need to be seriously considered.

Speaking of the impact of rapid development, we now have areas called "the green wedges" (land around what used to be the city perimeter & designated "green") under threat as a result of the housing boom. In my own suburb, the last remaining areas of of natural parkland are under threat of development. Saying nothing of a number of cases of hugely inappropriate developments.

I could go on & on about the impact on cities like Melbourne (which are the places where the new migrants wish to settle, because of work opportunities, understandably). You could argue that the problem is poor planning & I'd agree with you. But this is what we're dealing with .. without any community consultation, any government "pronouncements". It's just happening, apparently because it's good for business (eg we are experiencing a housing boom, in fact as a result of the incredible demand many new potential local home buyers can no longer afford home ownership, but that's another issue.) Yes, the huge numbers of immigrants have helped our economy survive the worst of the recession, better than many, by the sounds of it. But to many of us, the long-term impact on the environment & the quality of life for ordinary people in cities like Melbourne appear not to have not been a serious consideration at all. How long can we expect our economy to be based on a notion of endless growth? It is not at all surprising to me that increasing numbers of people are calling for a debate on population.

msolga
 
  2  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 02:15 am
@Robert Gentel,
A recent article from the Sydney Morning Herald:

Quote:
Reality check on growth
BOB BIRRELL
January 14, 2010/SMH

http://images.smh.com.au/2010/01/13/1035315/spooner_1401_main-420x0.jpg
Illustration: Spooner

Projections of 35 million people by 2050 deflate under closer analysis.

Most people will have a view about whether a major increase in Australia's population by 2050 will undermine their quality of life and harm the natural environment. My opinion is that it will be damaging on both fronts. A more interesting question is: where does the 35 million projection come from and why is there such widespread acceptance within government and business circles that it is inevitable?

The 35-million projection was prepared by the Commonwealth Treasury. It parallels recent Australian Bureau of Statistics and state government population projections. All assume that the current record high net migration levels and high fertility (relative to a few years ago) will continue.

If Australia reaches 35 million by 2050, choices about desired family size will play a minor role. The projections all assume that fertility will remain below the long-term replacement level. As a result, some 85 per cent of the projected growth from 22 million today to 35 million will derive from net overseas migration (including children born to migrants once in Australia).

In other words, the projected growth will largely be a consequence of deliberate government migration policy.

It is most unlikely that projections which assume that record high migration will continue unabated will come to pass. Our history is littered with such failures. For example, in the late 1960s, when migration and fertility were both high, the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works projected that Melbourne would reach 5 million by 2000. It reached 3.4 million. Pursuit of the migration-driven 35 million target will generate increasing vexations as governments struggle to accommodate the extra numbers. Opposition will increase, as will critical attention to migration policies.

Yet the 35-million projection has been seized on, indeed embraced, as a welcome challenge by the Rudd Government. Wayne Swan and his Treasury love rapid population growth. The economic activity deriving from the recent population surge prevented Australia from experiencing a recession. As a consequence, real aggregate gross domestic product increased by 1 per cent between 2007-08 and 2008-09. But during the same period, real GDP per capita, which is a better measure of economic welfare, fell by 0.9 per cent.

Those involved in the building needed for the housing, services and employment required by new residents have a direct interest in high population growth. They include Victoria's state government leaders, who are aware that the state's main growth industry is city building.

The Rudd Labor Government's stated justification for its high migration policy is linked to the impending retirement of the baby boomers (those born in the 1950s and early 1960s). The Government asserts that this will lead to a decline in the rate of labour-force growth in Australia and a decrease in the ratio of workers to people in the post 65-year age group.

The Government is correct that some policy response is required, although the issues will only seriously emerge in a decade or so and thus do not justify high migration now.

In any case, it is questionable whether high migration is the answer. ...<cont>



http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/reality-check-on-growth-20100113-m6ue.html?comments=41
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 02:43 am
I mentioned in an earlier post that I have a major gripe with (federal & also state) governments regarding the attitude to "paying" immigrants as opposed to refugees. One one hand, we have full fee paying international students involved in what is widely understood to be the first "stepping stone" to citizenship. On the other, we have refugees (many of them later to be declared "legitimate" on humanitarian grounds) arriving (or trying to arrive, often) to our shores via boats. Some have died as a result of that perilous journey, many more are locked up in detention centres (yes, they certainly still exist) till their cases are eventually heard, with god knows what further damage being done to them as a result.

So, on one hand, we are effectively selling citizenship to international students (which I find a completely abhorrent concept, on many levels & which accounts for the huge numbers choosing to study here) while making it as cruel & as difficult as possible for people who are actually seeking asylum in this country. Asylum seekers, in contrast with overseas students seeking citizenship, are a very small proportion of out immigration intake.

0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 02:54 am
I hope I haven't gone off on too many tangents from the thread topic?

It's all kind of inter-related. Well, to me, anyway.
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 03:41 am
I've always felt that population density should be in some way related to rainfall.
it is not the immegrants themselves that are a problem its the population as a total.

The reason education is offered as a carrot to potential immagrents is "the smart country" policy. refugees often are uneducated and unskilled. australia effectivly has a low requirement for unskilled workers but there is large demand for skilled and educated workers. check the job ads if you dont believe me.

India's teeming millions have out grown their countries capacity to provide. In days of old the solution would be a war with a neighbouring country these days it seems to be migration.

Population pressure is in itself catylyst for change. a need for change is seen and solutions are sought and provided. i'm not sure our environment and current lifestyle can stand the changes that will be necessary to accomadate projected poulation growth.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 03:53 am
@msolga,
I think people (especially foreigners) who think Australia can just keep growing and absorbing immigration just have no idea how much of the place is desert....and how that desert is growing.

This, while we have arable land covered more and more by housing.


And while global warming could turn a lot of the south into desert, too.

The wild card, to me, is the unpredictability of technology, and how much better we might be able to use this ancient, slowly dying, land in times to come.


I don't know what our real carrying capacity is, but I sure don't think endless growth is desirable or possible.


msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 04:00 am
@dadpad,
Quote:
it is not the immegrants themselves that are a problem its the population as a total.


Yes, of course.
I hope I didn't suggest they were the problem.
It is the overall size of the population & what the country can actually sustain that's concerning so many. However immigration levels to Oz are currently at their highest level ever.

(And the federal government's baby bonus, too, for that matter.)

Quote:
India's teeming millions have out grown their countries capacity to provide. In days of old the solution would be a war with a neighbouring country these days it seems to be migration.


And there are many who argue that "the problem" is not simply population growth in Oz , it's world population growth, in relation to the existing resources, which needs to be addressed. What we are experiencing is just a part of the overall problem of world over population.

Quote:
Population pressure is in itself catylyst for change. a need for change is seen and solutions are sought and provided. i'm not sure our environment and current lifestyle can stand the changes that will be necessary to accomadate projected poulation growth.


That's the worry isn't it?

There are those who believe the projected 35 million might be a conservative estimate.:

http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/population-to-hit-55m-by-2050-triguboff-20100125-mt45.html

0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 04:05 am
@dlowan,
Quote:
I think people (especially foreigners) who think Australia can just keep growing and absorbing immigration just have no idea how much of the place is desert....and how that desert is growing.

This, while we have arable land covered more and more by housing.


Yes, I think so, too, Deb. It looks like a huge, vastly under-populated continent, but the actual habitable percentage of land is actually quite small. (The "green bits" on the map I posted above.)
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 05:40 am
i tried 3 different spelling i think none of them were correct.

immigrants

0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 05:42 am
i keep thinking it might be possible to populate the north west coast but at what price?

BTW i have grave doubts about that population density map.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 05:54 am
@dadpad,
It may be out of date now. Quite possible. Things have moved so fast ...
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  2  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 02:01 am
Email from a friend tonight. Smile :

Quote:
Title: Vindaloo Against Violence WEDNESDAY 24 FEBRUARY 2010

Body: Protest racially motivated violence in Melbourne.

Dine at your local Indian restaurant on Wednesday 24 February 2010.
Let’s find a way to show support for the Indian community and signal that we will not turn a blind eye to violence in our city.
This violence threatens all Melburnians’ sense of safety and pride in their home. I want the Melbourne Indian community -and all immigrant communities " to know that they are welcome and entitled to feel safe here.
How cool would it be if Melbourne displayed a show of force by all going out and eating Indian food on a certain night, to embrace and show solidarity with our local Indian community?
Let’s do it!

dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 02:27 am
@msolga,
Go forth and eat!!!
Very Happy
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 04:49 am
@msolga,
msolga wrote:
I could go on & on about the impact on cities like Melbourne (which are the places where the new migrants wish to settle, because of work opportunities, understandably). You could argue that the problem is poor planning & I'd agree with you.


My position is actually that the flow of immigration would not continue if it were a worse situation than where they are coming from. So no matter what these very real issues may be doing to the community it's still so much better than where these folk are coming from that they are willing to take the plunge.

I understand the desire (and to some extent even, the right) to preserve quality of life within a community but I also don't like the nationality lotteries where being born in the wrong patch of sand means your lot in life is so drastically different. Despite the very real burdens the immigrants may be placing on society it's still much better than where they come from and for this reason I prefer to have wide open borders and let the quality of life average out more.

Sure, quality of life may dip in the worlds richest countries like Australia or the US but quite frankly I don't see that as a bad thing as long as quality of life is improving for others whose misery is far greater.

So my position on immigration growing pains is very mixed, I recognize that people are legitimately protesting diminishing quality of life. But lost in that perspective is that for the less fortunate immigrants quality of life has improved much more markedly.

Ultimately, I want humans to be able to walk this earth where they please, and not have their mobility and lot in life determined by lines in the sand that came before them. Sure, I get that sometimes the neighborhood may devalue but that's just one side of the picture. On the flip side of the decreasing quality of life is increasing quality of life.
Diest TKO
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 05:14 am
reading.

t
k
o
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  2  
Reply Fri 5 Feb, 2010 05:23 am
@Robert Gentel,
I think I would be more accommodating of your position, Robert, if a much larger proportion of the recent influx of migrants to Australia were in more serious need of a new country to settle in. (As I've said before) I believe state & federal governments view the fee paying student migrants as desirable because of their economic value to the Australian community in this recession. And I believe many of the recent huge influx of migrants are seeking a betterment of their material lives, rather than more pressing needs. I can certainly understand that motivation, but the seeming uncontrolled rate of population growth, with little consideration for long-term (primarily environmental ) impact, is extremely worrying. It is more a matter of what the environment can sustain, I think, than "diminishing quality of life".


Earlier post:
Quote:
I mentioned in an earlier post that I have a major gripe with (federal & also state) governments regarding the attitude to "paying" immigrants as opposed to refugees. One one hand, we have full fee paying international students involved in what is widely understood to be the first "stepping stone" to citizenship. On the other, we have refugees (many of them later to be declared "legitimate" on humanitarian grounds) arriving (or trying to arrive, often) to our shores via boats. Some have died as a result of that perilous journey, many more are locked up in detention centres (yes, they certainly still exist) till their cases are eventually heard, with god knows what further damage being done to them as a result.

So, on one hand, we are effectively selling citizenship to international students (which I find a completely abhorrent concept, on many levels & which accounts for the huge numbers choosing to study here) while making it as cruel & as difficult as possible for people who are actually seeking asylum in this country. Asylum seekers, in contrast with overseas students seeking citizenship, are a very small proportion of out immigration intake.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 11:38 pm
@msolga,
I have a bunch of people here Vindalooing Against Violence!!!

Apparently it's huge.


I have just sent out a bunch of emails to friends in case they want to organize their groups.

0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 12:09 am
what a really good idea. no indian restauraunt here though. my dentist is a seik. I might have a word with him.

Australian anti-racism vindaloo campaign

(AFP) " 1 day ago

SYDNEY " Thousands of Australians will let their tastebuds do the talking when they sit down later this month for "Vindaloo Against Violence", a mass dining event to protest attacks against Indians.

The brainchild of Melbourne digital media designer Mia Northrop, the grassroots campaign started as a humble event on social networking site Facebook but has exploded to more than 10,000 registered participants.

"We were looking for an idea that was the opposite of a boycott essentially, where you can go and embrace community, and this idea popped in my head," said Northrop, 24.

"It was a small gesture of going and dining at an Indian restaurant, but made powerful by the sheer number of people who would do it simultaneously," she told AFP.

Attacks against Indians, including beatings and robberies, have been on the rise in Australia, threatening to damage diplomatic ties and the country's 15.4-billion-US-dollar education export industry.

Media outrage in India has been stoked by the unsolved murder of 21-year-old Punjabi student Nitin Garg in Melbourne last month.

Australian officials had previously downplayed racism as a motive behind the spate of attacks. But Foreign Minister Stephen Smith on Tuesday acknowledged race as a factor and said the violence was "anathema" to modern Australia.

To be held nationally on February 24, the "Vindaloo Against Violence" campaign urges Australians to dine for a day at their local Indian restaurant as a show of support for the country's 450,000-strong Indian community.

Northrop said the idea, which started with an invite to 100 of her friends, had "really touched a nerve" among Australians as a whole.

Restaurants across Melbourne are booked out and schools and companies have registered events. Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has even taken an interest, joining the event on microblogging site Twitter.

"The intent of it is really to embrace the local Indian community, and also signal to the Indian media that everyday Australians don't accept racially motivated violence and racism," Northrop said.

"It's really not about the food," she added.

"Going to the restaurants is just a vehicle to tap into the silent majority basically, the people that are never going to go and march down the street in a rally. It's giving those people a vehicle to express how they feel."

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.
0 Replies
 
margo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 12:15 am
Too late to get a booking at a decent Indian restaurant. Confused
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 02:13 am
@margo,
Bugger.


A simple local one?
0 Replies
 
 

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