Family a matter of affordability
Mr Abbott is wrong with his nanny rebate scheme. It’s a mistake Mr Costello made with his baby bonus.
If you want children, fine, but make sure you can afford them.
I, and hopefully many of my advanced aged group, are fed up with federal governments encouraging population growth with handouts.
– Tim Stafford, Mt Eliza
Start cuts with asylum seekers
WAYNE Swan says the Government will have to cut programs to ensure a budget surplus.
What about cutting immigration and doing something about the asylum-seeker issue?
We have thousands of people flooding into the country, not enough infrastructure, jobs or housing to support them, and yet he talks about cutting programs!
Chris Hodgins, Somerville
CYNTHIA (“Multiple issues for my daughter”, March 30 – see below), if a couple do not have adequate funds to raise a family, then don’t have one. I can’t say how fed up I am with my hard-earned paying for you all to raise your families.
– Kath, Richmond
Multiple issues for my daughter
MY daughter (after several miscarriages) has a son, eight months old, and is pregnant with twins – wonderful news for all of us.
Her dilemma is that she will have three babies under 12 months old.
Unfortunately, Centrelink does not recognise twins as a multiple birth, and therefore no additional help is forthcoming.
She and her husband run a business, much of which she can do from home, but with three babies, this is basically impossible.
She will have to hire a nanny. They are not part of the “upper income families” referred to by Liz Lochhead (“Tony’s nanny state is really a bit rich”, March 28).
Unfortunately, they will not be able to benefit from this wonderful suggestion by Tony Abbott.
– Cynthia, Echuca
It just doesn’t seem right to me … we are losing jobs big-time, yet still we bring more people into the country. Am I missing something?
– B. Winstanley, North Altona
Green line drawn in the sand
FED up with traffic congestion? Getting harder to find a nice, uncrowded place for a holiday?
Our economic system relies on ever-increasing consumption and continuing population growth.
Remember Peter Costello’s “one for mum, one for dad and one for the country”? Unless we can somehow come up with a different system that is sustainable, we can expect even worse traffic congestion (been to Jakarta recently?), more pressure to develop areas that we would rather keep natural and fewer places to “get away from it all”.
Next time you criticise a “greenie”, take a minute to think about their motives and the motives of those who put them down.
Who is really on your side?
– Daryl Backwell, Breamlea
23/4 – on reports about overcrowding in schools due to population growth:
ANOTHER example of the many problems associated with growth and growth policies. We really do need to slow and then stop population growth. We keep ignoring crises like this one in schools and incapacity on trains.
IT WAS Peter Costello who said have one child for yourself and one for the country. Poor planning on his behalf, because now we have an overpopulated country with poor facilities and lack of schools.
The Age, 18/3:
New wave should stay put
SOME 65 years ago, after the end of the Second World War, Australia and indeed the world had potential for growth.
It is a different story now. Apart from the mining sector, there is no or little growth in Australia. Non-mining industries are struggling, with manufacturing contracting relentlessly; the “real” underlying unemployment rate is considerably higher than the published 5.2 per cent. Environmentally, from a carrying capacity viewpoint, Australia has reached saturation; more people will not enrich the country long-term. To believe that we can have endless economic and population growth is just kidding ourselves and will only lead to our demise.
What these young, skilled, energetic, enthusiastic professionals (“Another wave of European migration in the offing”, 11/3) should really do is stay in their own country and help turn the fortune of their country around, even if it comes at some pain. Running away from the problem will not solve anything either over there or here in Australia.
– MARGIT ALM, Eltham
Two-child policy ideal
HOW much more money do we taxpayers have to shell out to subsidise these parasitic families, as suggested by Tony Abbott (“Abbott’s nanny state”, 25/3)? In most cases families don’t need nannies, they need grannies to look after the preschoolers.
Earth’s environmental problems are largely caused by families that have too many children. The “populate or perish” slogan from the 1950s should be replaced with populate AND perish in the 21st century. Two children good; four children bad.
– ADRIAN JACKSON, Middle Park
An opaque system
URBAN planning is now focused on managing population growth rather than creating wholesome urban spaces, balanced with human needs, good amenities and environmental qualities. It has become a closed system of giving permits to developers, and public input is being eroded.
Melbourne’s population increased by 20per cent over the past decade, and urban sprawl is outstripping our state’s funds to provide infrastructure. “Planning” is seen as the magic solution to burgeoning populations, in the belief that it can conserve living standards and contain higher populations. Families need backyards, and urban sprawl is inevitable.
Last year the Centre for Independent Studies surveyed Australia’s local councils. More than half of the 121 councils that responded had increased their rates to “cope with population growth”. They struggle to protect economies of scale due to the demands for an economy based on growth – one that benefits a few privileged and influential business lobbyists at the expense of the majority.
– Anna Fletcher, Highton
One problem, Ted
TED Baillieu tells farmers to prepare for the “ growing Asian food boom” (The Saturday Age, 21/4). I wonder if he has factored in the needs of the millions more people he wants to pack into Melbourne. Ironically, along with developer-controlled planning, his population obsession had led to a steady loss of good farming land around Melbourne. I am not sure where all this export food will come from, given that Australia was a net importer of fruit and vegetables during the recent drought.
Politicians who refuse to confront the issue of over-population, both here and overseas, must take responsibility for the inevitable worldwide food shortages.
– Pamela Lloyd, West Brunswick