Media Release


Should Australia Double Its Population in Another 45 Years?



UDIA puts population on National Agenda

The Urban Development Institute of Australia (Victoria) today said the rapid growth of Australia's population, which is expected to double in 50 years, should be part of the National Debate for the next Federal election because of the failure of governments to keep up with current infrastructure and services.

Tony De Domenico 
Executive Director

The organisation's comments support the warning by Former Treasury Secretary Ken Henry that the current tax system will be unable to fund the infrastructure needs of the extra 14 million Australians forecast by 2050.

Tony De Domenico, Executive Director of the UDIA (Vic) which will host the UDIA 2013 National Congress in Melbourne next March said, "The theme 'Population Vision for a Nation' has been specifically chosen to focus on the need for all State and Federal Governments as well as the private sector to be active in planning and providing future infrastructure."

Mr De Domenico said, "Australia needs to come to grips with the reality that we are in some cases three decades behind in funding infrastructure on all fronts from transport, schools, health facilities, business infrastructure and human services.

Current governments are facing a massive backlog through poor planning or lack of funds by their predecessors and the failure to address issues has compounded leaving capital cities choked with transport gridlock, housing developments without services, and a major demand for public housing and health services with a rapidly ageing population."

The major question is: should Governments actively be working now in a designated catch up period and introduce policies and budgets to harness the new growth focused on productivity and borrow funds at the lowest rates in history to kick start major projects?

One could ask the question why all carbon tax credits being planned to go overseas and support overseas businesses should not be directed into other initiatives such as environmental infrastructure, sustainable housing in Australia and public transport projects for outer suburbs? This is just a starting point.

"The current financial situation on lack of funding for basic infrastructure places a spotlight on failed expensive government programmes which can add up to billions of dollars being wasted at a time when Australia desperately needs to be building the nation's capacity to cope with the increasing population," Mr De Domenico said.

*A baby is born every 1 minute 46 seconds.
A person dies every 3 minutes 40 seconds.
And an international migrant arrives every 3 minutes 5 seconds.
*Source: ABS
That's a total population increase of 1 person every 1 minute 37 seconds.

Media Enquiries:
Ron Smith, Corporate Media Communications, UDIA (VIC) Mobile: 0417 329 201