What is a ‘sustainable Australia’? William Bourke says we need a holistic policy framework that redefines growth in our finite world.
In 2010, in her first policy promise following the disposal of Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister, former Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the nation should not ''hurtle down the track towards a big population''. Ms Gillard declared she does not believe in a ''big Australia'', signalling a major shift in policy away from our nation's rapid population growth.
More specifically, Ms Gillard said ''I don't support the idea of a big Australia with arbitrary targets of, say, a 40 million-strong Australia or a 36 million-strong Australia. We need to stop, take a breath and develop policies for a sustainable Australia. I support a population that our environment, our water, our soil, our roads and freeways, our busses, our trains and our services can sustain.''