Monday, February 21, 2011

Migration Consequences Studied

The Immigration Department has funded a major report by the National Institute of Labour Studies at Flinders University. Its full title is Long-Term Physical Implications of Net Overseas Migration; Australia to 2050. It can be found at
“Long-Term Implications” find that neither the environment nor our resource security nor our quality of life will benefit from the very rapid growth of population that business lobby groups continue to demand.
It looks systematically at differing levels of New Overseas Migration (NOM) per annum, from zero up to nearly 300,000 a year.  It shows all of them lead to worryingly unsustainable positions, but that higher figures for Net Overseas Migration lead to much worse outcomes. Water supplies to Perth, Melbourne and Sydney will be far worse at higher NOMs.
Writer Mark O’Connor points out that the Report identifies trouble ahead on the oil and food fronts. Nitrate fertilisers, without which we cannot feed even our present population, are made with enormous energy inputs from oil or natural gas, and their price tracks the upward curve of  energy prices.
Mark O’Connor says the world is running out of phosphate fertilisers, much needed by Australian soils. Price has tripled, quality is falling, and supply is erratic. “Long – Term implications” backs up Dick Smith’s concerns about food, saying “The security of production of food in Australia (and imported from overseas) is in question” (pp 129-130)

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