Haven’t written for a while, though there have been quite a few articles on population issues; I feel disheartened that nothing ever seems to change regarding the problems faced, and that governments and business remain in denial of overpopulation’s negative effects.
“Fast-growing Melbourne heading towards becoming Australia’s largest city”, H-S, 3/4. Dismaying news for my home city, and this will completely destroy its livability, despite the positive statement of the apparently-delusional Premier. At 4.35 million now, traffic on the roads virtually grinds to a halt at times every day, and public transport is beyond capacity. Victoria’s population has also been growing rapidly as a whole (from overseas and interstate), currently at 5,768,000, most of whom head to Melbourne. It has become too popular and this is ruining it. But all Premier Denis Napthine does is “welcome” the strong growth.
“Mumbai: Bright lights, tight city”, The Age, 21/2: article from February on the extreme overcrowding in an Indian city. The situation is quite horrifying, and the people questioned are obviously unhappy about their situation – “We have already reached saturation point. We’ve got skin-to-skin contact on the trains. How much closer together can we live without going mad? There is nowhere to walk, nowhere to throw a ball or have a picnic”. It is obviously extremely unhealthy both mentally and physically. The proponents of high-density living in other countries (including those in Australia) should read this as a cautionary tale: an ultimate outcome of uncontrolled population growth and urbanization.
There has been a lot of recent attention on foreign buyers purchasing residential property in Australia – estimated at one-fifth of all buyers – particularly those from China. Our lax laws encourage this, and it is a major factor in driving up property prices to ridiculous levels, along with strong population growth. Canada recently (and sensibly) cancelled its own 28-year-old visa scheme designed to attract wealthy foreigners to the country, so Australia is now the next easy target for buyers. Of course such attention inevitably attracts criticism that such concern is “racist”, but a government’s priority should be toward its own citizens in providing essential services – shelter is a basic human right – and in this it is failing. The trend is also fuelling unwanted demolitions and inappropriate developments in once-pleasant suburbs, as a columnist laments.
Some collected letters: