There has been a debate on Australia’s quality of life and population size as some worry that the country’s increasing population could affect the Australian’s established way of life. The population boom was partly due to the large migrant intake, leading some to believe that it’s time the government comes up with a population policy that will curb immigration and control housing prices.
If the state governments fail to increase housing supply, the Federal Government may have to reduce immigration to ease pressure on housing prices, infrastructure and social cohesion. Other countries are suffering from declining populations because of low birth rates but based on government figures, Australia does not have that problem as residents have increased by about 388,000 in 2017. From 24 million residents, the country’s population is expected to reach 36 million in 30 years. By 2050, Sydney and Melbourne are predicted to be about the size of Hong Kong and London today.
According to a 2017 research, 54% of Australians favored reducing immigration levels because of their fear of an unaffordable Australian dream – a detached house with a backyard. Australia has an abundance of space but the cities lack vision and planning and it could result to Australians living in high-rise tower blocks in the future.
Others believe that immigration and the increasing population come with opportunities, saying these are the reasons why Australia was able to avoid recession over the last 20 years. Some want to bring young, highly skilled immigrants in the country to pay taxes and help build the nation. The education system is highly dependent on immigrants with international students contributing $28 billion to the economy in 2016 – 2017. Property investors have also benefited because of rising house prices.
Infrastructure Australia warns against inaction though, saying if we fail to anticipate and respond to growth, it could lead to declining economic productivity, environmental pressures and a reduced quality of life.
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