Australia has a long series of polls on attitudes to the number of migrants coming to the country but, because of general ignorance about demography, these cannot be used as reliable indicators of attitudes to population growth. However recent, very rapid, growth has sparked a new and wide-ranging debate about population growth, and the role that immigration plays in forcing the pace. In future voters should be able to draw more accurate conclusions about this role. There is now a groundswell of community concern; for example, in April 2010, 87 per cent wanted Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to either stay the same size of have a smaller population. While some commentators see the pro-stability position as racist, or as the product of political manipulation, the evidence shows that it is based on concern about local training and the stress that growth imposes on both the man-made and natural environment.
People and Place,
Vol. 18, no. 3 (2010), pp. 32-51