Letter to Editor of Advertiser 20/11/2013

Growth price tag.

Mr Angove of the Property Council attempts to make a case for population growth in SA (Letters 11th November).

However, his arguments do not stand up to close analysis.

For example, he says "successful cities are those that welcome the innovation and intellectual capital that an injection of new blood can bring". Firstly, he does not define "success" or give examples of those "successful cities". Secondly, one could argue that adding a few individuals like Bill Gates would benefit us, but not the hundreds of thousands that Mr Angove advocates.

Mr Angove is disappointed at the fact that "Adelaides total urban population density has only increased by 7% since 1996". I suggest that is good, not bad. Our roads are already snarled at peak hours, our water supplies are precarious , our fisheries under pressure, and residents are already having to fight high rise in their neighborhoods. In short, we already have problems with a 7% increase - the last thing we want is more.

Mr Angove suggests "we are smart enough to produce a better outcome without stressing our existing tax base". I have news for him - it is already stressed. Household budgets are already strained and the state has a record deficit. I see no evidence that flooding this state with hundreds of thousands more people is going to help, especially as each new person will cost approx $200,000 in infrastructure (hospitals, schools, roads, etc) needed to support them. For the 560,000 persons the SA Government wants to add in the next 30 years that is 112 BILLION dollars.

Mr Angove says "(population growth)" is critical to lifting productivity and labour market participation". Exactly how does population growth increase labour market participation when present unemployment levels are so high. And exactly how does it increase productivity. By depressing wages because there is more competition for jobs, I suppose.

Mr Angove goes on to say : "Vibrant cities are those that harness people power". Firstly, I am not sure what this sentence means. Secondly, I note that the property industry loves the word vibrant. They use it all the time to promote their developments. It actually means "noisy and crowded" and its use should be prohibited as misleading advertising.

Like Mr Angove, I am interested in the future of the many thousands of good South Australians engaged in the building industry. It is clear to me that many, many thousands of SA houses and business premises are in need of major renovation. Further, we need to look closely at building more small factories which can engage in import replacement manufacturing. I suggest that Mr Angove and his Property Council look to these areas to maintain their work.

But we do not need more people in SA. We have enough now.

Bob Couch
Stop Population Growth Now Party
Marino, SA