martes, 5 de septiembre de 2017

Australia: 100 million strong and an “Asian country”? | September 5, 2017 | MercatorNet |

Australia: 100 million strong and an “Asian country”?

| September 5, 2017 | MercatorNet |

Australia: 100 million strong and an “Asian country”?

Is a large Australia inevitable?
Marcus Roberts | Sep 5 2017 | comment 4 

Although Australians might like to portray themselves as outback living, Crocodile Dundee types, the lucky country/West Island/world’s largest penal colony is actually very urbanised. Its population is concentrated on the coast in a few cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Newcastle and the Gold Coast. The only inland towns of note are Canberra and Alice Springs.
In short, the country is massive (the sixth largest in the world, Australia is 95% the size of the continental USA) and it is largely empty in the middle. In fact, it is largely empty full stop – (there are only nine countries with a lower population density than Australia, and one of them is Greenland). Its current population is a bit over 24 million people, and it is currently growing at about 350,000 people a year, a population rate increase of about 1.5%. However, two-thirds of that population growth is due to net migration of 210,000 people per year. And some think that that rate is too high and is putting pressure on Australia’s infrastructure and social cohesion.
Dick Smith, the entrepreneur behind the electronic chain store, has recently launched an anti-immigration ad campaign, calling for the current net migration levels to be dropped back to the historic average of 70,000 people per year. Mr Smith and other commentators have blamed “unsustainable” high immigration levels for falling living standards and rapidly increasing house prices.
In response, another Australian businessman, Gerry Harvey, a billionaire owner of Harvey Norman (another electronic and homeware company) has predicted a future for Australia that is very much larger. Speaking to an Australian new site, Harvey said that Australia is a “great big place and no one lives here”. Compared to China, India, Indonesia, Australia was “one funny little country”. And the status quo cannot remain:
“It's not possible you can maintain a population of 25 to 30 million people. In 100 years from now Australia will have a population of 50 to 100 million people. That's going to happen regardless of what Dick Smith thinks, I think or you think, it's just inevitable.”
Why is it inevitable? Doesn’t the Australian Government and the people have some say in whether or not Australia quadruples in size in the next 100 years? Not according to Harvey:
“‘The problem is you can't control it,’ he said. ‘The rest of the world at some stage is not going to let you control it. Sometimes when you smell the inevitable you've got to go along with it.
You're going to come under immense pressure, it may be like boat people coming in huge numbers. It's a utopian idea that some people have, in a lot of ways I can see the worth of it, but will you ever be able to hold it to some number under 25 to 30 million? Not a chance in hell.
It was obvious to me [since] university. Australia is going to become an Asian country, 100 per cent for sure. It's just a matter of when. You might have close to four billion Asians in the world, where do you think they're going to live?’”
Now, when you have large numbers of people coming to Australia who aren’t wanted, that’s called an invasion isn’t it? And according to Harvey, the Australian people should just accept it and move on. Get used to being an Asian country of 50-100 million people. But surely the people of Australia do have a choice; unlike Europe, it is not that easy or short a boat ride to Australia. The Australian navy and air force can still control the borders unless there was outside military aid supporting largescale migration.
Migration is the hot topic of the moment, and will continue to be in the next few decades. However, I cannot see how stating that something is “inevitable” is that helpful really. It really tends to shut down debate with a meaningful discussion. And unfortunately there is too much of that already happening in immigration debates around the world. For now, Australia has the sovereign ability to choose its immigration levels. There is nothing inevitable about an Asian Australia of 100 million people. 
Marcus Roberts is co-editor of Demography Is Destiny, MercatorNet's blog about population issues. 


September 5, 2017

“Good news from Africa” is the theme of our Harambee blog. This week Mathew Otieno reports from Kenya on what may prove to be a very positive development. The country’s Supreme Court has nullified the results of the presidential election held on August 8. Kenyans will have to return to the polls later this year.

Bear in mind that hundreds of people died in the wake of the last election, in 2007, in which President Uhuru Kenyatta won. It must have taken great courage for the judges to decide that the Kenyan electoral commission had “failed, neglected or refused to conduct the presidential election in a manner consistent with the dictates of the constitution”. They knew that the President and his supporters would be outraged.

Whatever the merits of the judges’ decision, their courage in defying the power of the executive is a victory for an independent judiciary. This is essential for a democratic nation which respects human rights. This really is good news from Africa. 

Michael Cook
What the annulment of Kenya’s presidential election means for Africa
By Mathew Otieno
It is a lesson in independence for all judiciaries.
Read the full article
The latest target of the hate police is Christopher Columbus
By Vincenzina Santoro
A New York politician wants to remove his statue because he promoted slavery
Read the full article
‘Cheap Sex’: mapping the new mating market
By Helen M. Alvaré
A review of a new book on the sexual culture of younger Americans.
Read the full article
Another ruthless attack on a pro-family group
By Jennifer Roback Morse
Corporate America flexes its muscle to enforce conformity
Read the full article
Massachusetts executed two Italian immigrants 90 years ago: Why the global fallout still matters
By Moshik Temkin
Even if Sacco and Vanzetti were guilty, their trial was still a disgrace
Read the full article
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