The quality of life for all Australians will inevitably plummet as the population soars. When I first came to Australia in mid-2009 to study—one of the first encounters I had with the Melbourne Metlink trains was a sad, yet comical one. When the train arrived, I stared blankly at the sliding doors—waiting for them to slide open. Never did it occur to me that the train doors were not automatic—and that they had to be hauled open by hand. It never crossed my mind that a wealthy, industrialized country could have such an outdated transportation system. My culture shock didn’t end there. Upon boarding the densely packed train, I quickly realized that I was at the mercy of a train that had the speed of a drunken snail on antidepressants. Fortunately, I have since gotten used to the sub-par transportation system in Melbourne, the late busses, and the mysteriously disappearing trams. Unfortunately, this old, aging system will only crumble under the massive population growth projected over the next few decades. (Irvine, 2009) Federal Liberal MP and former immigration minister Kevin Andrews, said in a speech to the Australian Environment Foundation, “Our roads are congested, our public transport overcrowded…Journeys that once took 30 minutes often take an hour. The congestion has spread beyond peak hour to much more of the day.” (Austin, 2009) If these problems are happening already in Victoria, they are only guaranteed to worsen with population growth. Additionally, there will be challenges regarding housing and rental supply with the projected population increases. Consequently, housing prices are expected to soar—making housing unaffordable for the young. (Austin, 2009)
Australia’s famed natural environment and water supply are under threat from continued population growth. In fact, the latest statistics from the Global Carbon Project state that Australia holds the lead of the highest carbon emissions per capita among developed nations. (Clarke, 2009) The more Australia’s population grows, the more energy will be required—thus, adding to the already sky-high emissions figures. Already scarce water supplies will also be pressured, leading to water restrictions and price rises. (Austin, 2009) Additionally, animal extinction will be a serious issue. (Austin, 2009) Australia already has some of the worst biodiversity extinction rates in the entire world. (Austin, 2009) With the direct correlation between population growth and animal extinction—one can expect an environmental crisis in the near future.
Unfortunately, businesses want strong population growth, as they say it increases profits and helps to boost the economy. Kevin Rudd and his many elite business supporters praise the high projected growth rates. They say business profits are benefited by large markets. The more people you are able to sell to—the