We say that Australians must be allowed to democratically choose our own population size; and that we need to do so now as a sovereign nation, so that we can plan our future well in advance. This is doubly important because the future is likely to be turbulent; and our finite resources, including energy, minerals, and fertile soil, may be much less abundant than now.
Stable Population Party policies represent our core values in action, being: Sustainable Living, Egalitarian Democracy, Fiscal Responsibility, Global Citizenship and Productive Innovation.
In order to achieve our objectives, we advocate the following two-point plan:
1. Limit government birth payments to each woman's first two children
2. Adopt a balanced migration program, where permanent immigration is equivalent to permanent emigration
It is important to understand that population stabilisation is about both migration and native fertility. In relation to the withdrawal of some birth payments, a stable population will ease cost of living pressures including housing, water, energy and transport - these are all driven up by population growth, as more and more people demand finite resources.
A stable population would help relieve Australia’s (and the world's) major problems, all of which are now linked to rapid population growth. We won't resolve any of our major problems until we first resolve 'the everything issue' - population.
As outlined in our website, population growth is now linked to all of Australia's major problems. Yet no other political party is tackling this critical issue. This is why population needs its own platform, and why it is important to not dilute the message with other divisive and less important policy positions (e.g. republic, carbon tax, same-sex marriage). If elected, prior to forming policies on such areas we would properly consult our membership and all community stakeholders. Some decisions may also come to to a conscience vote, if a majority of party members require this.
As noted above, we won't resolve any of Australia's major problems until we first resolve 'the everything issue' - population.
South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon was elected on a narrow platform of 'no pokies' - and whilst this is an important issue, it is nowhere near as important as 'the everything issue'. Senator Xenophon now deals with a broad range of issue on a case-by-case basis. The Stable Population Party would also take this approach, backed and guided by our broad community party membership, including expert candidates and national committee members.
NB: Future Stable Population Party policies will always represent our core values in action.
* Labors proposed new birth payments of $2000 for first-born babies and $1000 for subsequent child would be made through the Family Tax Benefit A (to families earning around $100,000 or below that do not qualify for paid parental leave).
** Under the Trans Tasman Travel Arrangement, New Zealanders can live and work in Australia freely and are not included in Australia's immigration quotas. The number has increased rapidly, from 16,364 in 2003-04 to over 50,000 in 2011-12. This includes a significant number (around 1 in 3) of 'secondary' entrants from other countries who have simply used NZ as a stepping stone. The Stable Population Party is open to a limited preferential migration arrangement with NZ, but this should be within a balanced migration program.
*** It is important to note that asylum seekers arriving by boat have not increased Australia's rate of population growth in any material way. However, we do not support the annual refugee increase from 13,750 to 20,000, then 27,000 as proposed by Labor and agreed to by The Greens. This merely represents a (now failed) stop-gap measure to slow boat arrrivals until after the election, by flying asylum seekers into Australia. The scale of the humanitarian program must be contained. The Stable Population Party supports the (formerly) bipartisan Liberal/Labor intake of around 13,750 genuine refugees per annum (the highest per capita resettlement in the world). While welcoming this generous resettlement, we should also acknowledge that overpopulation drives the resource scarcity behind most current conflicts and forced migration. Rather than aiming to resettle ever-increasing numbers of people, our policy aim is to deal with the root cause of forced migration and help people to live in peace and harmony in their homeland. This is, after all, the first preference of genuine refugees. We need better-targeted foreign aid (see above) and rigorous diplomatic endeavours to focus the UN on the population issue. As global citizens we need a global solution, not policy band-aids.
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