“Premier John Brumby warns of dangers in growing too fast”, Herald-Sun, 28/7. The Victorian Premier actually admitted that the state’s population growth is causing problems! Perhaps he read the letters I and others have had published this year! But will he do anything to reduce this unwanted growth? Probably not.
John Brumby has conceded Victoria’s population growth is pushing its limits, thanks to the baby boom and immigration. The Premier said pressures on the transport and health systems showed the need for caution. In his strongest comments yet on the state’s booming population, he said: “I think we are probably at the limits of growth.”
In an interview marking his first year as premier, Mr Brumby told the Herald Sun that Victoria needed to keep an eye on its ageing population and plan for the future. And he questioned the sustainability of high growth. While stressing the strength of the state’s multiculturalism and its value, he said immigration had doubled over five years and Victoria had attracted a quarter to a third of that intake.
“Plus, fertility rates are high. More women are having babies – that’s a good thing. I think it’s a sign that people are more comfortable about the future,” he said. “But I think we’re at the limits; we’ve got pressures on our public transport system, we’ve got pressures, obviously, on our health system.”
His comments are the first sign the Government may be forced to put the brakes on population growth as Victoria struggles to keep up with providing transport, health and police services.