ABS population projections report

The Government notes today’s ABS population projections report and also notes the figures are just projections based on past growth rates.

Under the Government’s population plan, announced by the Prime Minster this week, the growth of Sydney and Melbourne is likely to be slower than past years in order to allow the infrastructure to catch up and keep up.

Melbourne and Sydney have been amongst the fastest growing cities in the developed world. Most of the growth has been due to migration. In Sydney’s case, around 80 per cent.

However the infrastructure and services that the states have prime responsibility for, have not kept pace with this growth, resulting in roads which are choked and schools and hospitals that are full.

Under our population plan, our migration rate will be guided by bottom-up population plans of the state and territories. The Prime Minister will be asking the state and territory governments to inform him of what their population carrying capacity is for their existing and planned infrastructure and services.

We anticipate that this will lead to a reduction in our current migration settings, particularly into Sydney where the Premier has been clear that the current population growth is too high.

The plan, however, will also allow for faster growth into the states that are seeking it, such as South Australia and the Northern Territory.

It will also assist those regional areas, such as the Goldfields or western Victoria, which presently cannot find enough people for the jobs available. The Regional Australia Institute estimates there are 47,000 job vacancies in the regions today.

Our population plan will finally ensure that migration is tied to infrastructure and services carrying capacity.

It’s about improving how we manage population growth in Australia, so we can get the balance right.