Brotherhood of St Laurence
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March 2012 Includes bibliographical references

Immigration brings advantages, but it also carries or accentuates some problems - like crowding in the capital cities. Australians can gain from moderate levels of immigration that are supported by good settlement arrangements, and by an adaptable suite of good social, environmental and economic policies - policies that are desirable, whatever the level of immigration, and whatever the size of the population. Fears of crowded Australian communities reflect fears of poor policies, since there are many examples of countries and communities that have prospered with large populations and high population growth rates. The more flexible and adaptable the economy, and the better our government policy settings, then the more likely the benefits of immigration will spread widely throughout the Australian population. Moreover, there needs to be a feedback loop - if the Australian political system can cope well with the growth in population, then a larger population becomes more desirable. However, if the political system cannot cope well with a growing population, as has been widely asserted recently, then the rate of immigration should be lower. The 'barriers' to improved wellbeing arise mainly from policy and institutional restrictions, and not, in particular, from deficient water volumes or any insoluble problems of infrastructure provision. In particular, if we price infrastructure services fairly and efficiently, and facilitate the appropriate investment and associated finance, we can sustain and increase the average living standards of Australians.

A greater Australia_population, policies and governance report2012final.pdf


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