Letter to Editor of Advertiser 20/11/2013

Birthrate howler

I SUGGEST that we reintroduce the stocks for people who promulgate wilful misrepresentations.

It would add some vibrant activity to the city centre.

Malcolm King's claim ("Populate carefully", The Advertiser, yesterday) that we only have 0.9 births per woman is a howler.

It's up there with Minister for Planning John Rau's recent claim that, if population growth stopped, "SA will be the nursing home of the future; someone in a frame will attend someone in a bed".

These statements are no more than scurrilous scaremongering.

Mr King knows South Australian women average 1.9 births and that we have twice as many births as deaths, since the number of mothers is constantly increased through immigration.

There is no risk that we will not replace ourselves, as there will always be plenty of people willing to migrate here if jobs are really vacant.

If those that come don't stay, it is because that promise was also not real - there are no jobs for them.

Demand is weak because population growth has diverted our spending to mortgages.

Is Mr King too xenophobic to want foreigners to maintain our population? Is that why he is so concerned about "replacement rate" births?

At least he was right on one count: "The state cannot and will not survive on state and federal government handouts".

Since population growth never pays for itself, in terms of the extra infrastructure needed, the best course to prosperity is to minimise population growth.

JANE O'SULLIVAN
Chelmer
Queensland