Tuesday, 30 March 2010 Entries

Open doors for debate on growth

We need to have a serious debate on growth in the ACT, because this subject will not simply to away or stay static if we ignore it.

Rather than staying the same, the population here is more likely to grow if we remain economically stable or wither if we don’t.

In action is in itself a decision, and if the community want the population to stay the same (not a view held by the Property Council), we will need to take strenuous steps to prevent the growth and prosperity which will attract extra people. 

We will need a migration policy, and possibly physical barriers to prevent people coming her and staying, and maybe even some sort of legislation limiting the number of children allowable per resident family.

In any case, addressing this issue is good for the ACT and will assist the Territory Government in its deliberations on housing, infrastructure, public transport and all the other issues which must be taken into account when planning for the future.

As Tanya Plibersek, Federal Minister for Housing and the Status of Women said recently when she quoted Jeb Brugmann at a conference on the subject: “If we can just learn how to design, govern, and manage the growth of our cities, we can also design solutions to many of the global problems that confront us.”

As she said in her speech, population growth in Australia is inevitable and likely to represent a demographic and a quantitative shift.

In Australia, the number of households is projected to increase by more than three million in 20 years. And the nature of those households will be different.

The average age of our population will rise and the number of single-person households is expected to increase by 64 percent by 2028, with the number of couples without children increasing by 37 percent.

That means different housing needs, transport requirements, and demand for health services. But whether the future holds demand for bigger or smaller homes, it will hold demand for homes if our population grows, and at present the ACT has a shortage of housing of all types.

So, let’s start talking about this subject, and working out how to plan for future population, whatever it ends up being.

Catherine Carter | Tuesday, 30 March 2010 1:00 AM | Add Comment

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