Sustainability starts with a stable population

By Dr Jane O’Sullivan, Branch President for SEQ, Sustainable Population Australia

All areas of sustainable management from biodiversity, water resources and waste to food security, transport and the built environment, depend on attaining a sustainable population.

A novel analytical approach to evaluating the economic impact of population growth reveals it to be strongly negative, and largely responsible for growing fiscal deficits in a boom economy.  The myth of population growth as an economic stimulus will be deconstructed, and the costs of growth explained.

Population stabilization would change the demographic profile and consequently the economic and resource demand profile of the community, requiring adaptation by industries.  However, these disruptions hold more opportunities than risks, and would be small compared to the economic instability of maintaining population growth while a number of primary resources reach supply peaks and enter a period of price volatility. 

An examination of policy options to achieve population stabilization suggests that appropriate policy settings are readily accessible in Australia and compatible with generous support for families and refugees.

Dr Jane O’Sullivan
Taking Care of Business: Sustainable Transformation Conference
Radisson Resort, Gold Coast – May 21 & 22, 2012

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