LETTER: Bigger is not better

BILL Hoffman is absolutely spot on. (Growth agenda lacking any critical analysis, SCD June 4).

The underlying issue affecting everything is Australia's rapid population growth, fuelled by record high immigration.

Rapid population growth is making us less able to cope with future environmental shocks that short-sighted urban <FZ,1,0,9>planners don't care to factor in to their short-term business models.

The easy cost-effective development options are long gone: flat cleared land without environmental values serviced by infrastructure that has spare capacity.

More people are living in potentially vulnerable locations in settlements and cities on floodplains or near the coast. This urbanisation has led to a much greater investment in infrastructure in these areas.

Consequently, the damage bill resulting from extreme weather events has been increasing rapidly in the past few decades in both economic and social terms.

A bigger Australia is not a better Australia: it's worse. Just look around you: the negative effects are there for all to see.

So it is left to David Attenborough, Dick Smith and Sustainable Australia Party to tell us what we should know.

Yes, politicians should be explaining the economic and social benefits of a bigger population. But given that the benefits are enjoyed by a few while the costs are borne by the majority, why would they?

SIMON COLE, COOPERS PLAINS


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