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(generated from captions) in the ACT Sunday, the in the ACT Sunday, falling over

the coast over the weekend, heavier north Around Australia - showers Brisbane and Sydney. Melbourne sunny. Fine in Hobart. Hot for Adelaide. Usual wet season storms tomorrow - hot and dry to the storms for Darwin. Locally

west. Cloudy possible showers in west. Cloudy morning with afternoon for the possible showers in the

drizzly down the coast. . For the ACT - cloudy to but it will remain fine. The the ACT - cloudy to start with,

winds from the east, there'll winds will continue to blow

light to moderate. 14-29. from the east, there'll be Showers on Sunday, with maybe a millimetre or two in it. Fining up Monday. Looks like a mixed bag weather

weekend. Don't forget to your Nasturtium leaves, they are good for you. Right, OK, I'll give it a try. Not hangi though. Thanks Mark. Before we go , a brief recap of the stories, teachers threaten go , a brief recap of the top strike action if the Government doesn't make changes School's website. World agree to set up a $150 million School's website. World leaders

fund to reward Taliban fighters who agree to weapons in who agree to lay down their

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Live. This Program Is Captioned

Live. Welcome to this special

edition of the '7.30 Report'.

Each night this week we have

reported on aspects of Australia's projected

population growth. It's a vast

subject and perhaps we've just

begun to scratch the surface

but if the Government's

projections are due, based on

past and current immigration

and birth rates, we're looking

at a 60% population increase to

35 million in the next four

decades. In this scenario

Sydney and Melbourne will grove

to 7 million, Brisbane will

more than double as will Perth,

other cities will also grow

dramatically, the whole eastern

seaboard would be the focus of

intense growth. For some people

that cause for excitementx for

others apprehension. Last night

we spoke with the Prime

Minister y think it's fair to

say he's more excited than apprehensivech after tonight's

program there will be an online

forum starting at 8 and closing

at 11pm eastern daylight saving

time but to finish the series,

tonight we've invited four

guests, each prominent in their

field too, discuss the key

questions that have emerged

over this week's series of

special reports. Bernard Salt,

a KPMG partner and one of

Australia's best-known

demographers, he's articulated

and charted the generational

lifestyle changes of

Australians and regularly

conducts forecasts and consults

with big business and Government. Scientists and

author Tim Flannery, Australian

of the Year in 2007, has become

a leading voice on environmental issues and the

climate change debate and he's

a member of the Wentwort Group

of Concerned Scientists.

Heather Ridout is chief

executive of the Australian

industry group representing

business employing 750,000

people and is on the board of

Infrastructure Australia,

charged with prioritising

projects that might plug the

significant gaps in the

nation's big infrastructure

needs and she's also been a

part of the sweeping Henry tax

review, one of the most

sweeping tax reviews in the

history of the country which

goes to the heart of how we'll

find the money to underwrite

our future population needs and Professor Brendan Gleeson is director of Griffith university's urban research

program. He's advised the ACT

Government on planning and land

development and has wered in

Britain, Germany, New Zealand

and the USA, he's written books

on challenging planning in

Australia's suburbs. I want to

ask each of you how you think

this nation is well placed to

meet the challenges of the

future we have been focussing

on this week, Bernard Salt?

The first point I would make is

that the forecast population

from 22 million to 35 million

does in fact represent a 60%

increase in population over the

next 40 years, however, over

the last 40 years, between 1970

and 2010, the population has

increased from television

million to 22 million which -

12 million to 22 million which

is a 75% increase. We have been

here and done it over the last

40 years. That's the big

picture perspective. How well

have we done it? This is the

issue. In some respects we'd

say we're very happy with our

society and want to keep it as

it is and don't want to compromise our quality of life

into the future. The issue

there I think is that a lot of

the approaches we adopted over

the last 40 years are not open

to us over the next 40 years.

For example, we are not likely

to build new dams or in fact

new coal-fired power stations,

so I think that what we need to

look at is if we are to head

towards 35 million then we need

to change the way we organise

society. Maybe it will be

necessary for every household in Melbourne and Sydney and

Brisbane to have their own

water tank. Maybe every

household will have a solar

panel to make a contribution to

the power grid. I think we'll

need to reorganise society if

in fact we are to go from 22

million to 35 million. Tim

Flannery, is Australia on solid

foundation on the basis of how

we've been able to manage our

continent thus far, to

guarantee a healthy framework

to future population growth?

sustainable development because I'm glad Bernard mentioned

what we've seen in Australia so

far is anything but sustainable

continues to get worse development and the situation

unfortunately. If you look at

the key performance indicators

from an environmental perspective, things like

greenhouse gas emissions

continue to grow despite the

efforts of Government to

introduce legislation to deal

with that. The water has had a

huge amount of focus on it from

Government but water isn't

getting more plentiful, the

reverse is happening. We're

seeing a decline in that

indicator. One of the big surprisicise biodiversity.

We've lost two species of

mammals in Australia over the

last year, the first extirnings

in 75 years and there's more in

the pipeline because we can see

species getting close to the

edge as a result of human

impacts. If I was to summarise

overall, the situation from a

sustainability perspective is

continuing to decline and yet

at the same time we continue to

build our population so there's

a big disconnect between what

we wish to happen and what is actually happening on the

ground and that really goes to

the heart, I think, of this issue for us. Are issue for us. Are we going to

continue to build our

population and disregard these

indicators or are we going to

try to seek a balance? Heather

Ridout, you're part of a

process now of Governments

playing catch-up on

infrastructure. They failed -

this is infrastructure they've

really failed to deliver on in

past years. How do you score

the state of the nation now to

meet the needs of the future,

given its past record? I think there's no doubt there's no doubt we underinvested in economic

infrastructure such as the big

port, rail, road projects,

energy grids, water and across

the board we had a very big

fixation on not running

deficits so the easiest thing

to cut was capital spending at

the same time population was

growing, the economy was growing, the need for growing.

We had that problem. On the social infrastructure side like

education, we were having a

catch-up on schools maintenance. It was

maintenance. It was a disaster.

We've had a real

underinvestment in education

not only in the physical side

but on the actual level of

education and we've got big skill gaps in Australia which

is a big problem for our growth

going forward. Across the

board, I think we really did

underinvest. What's in place

now, I think t is a much better

process to deal with it going

forward. We are yet to deliver

on that but it is in on that but it is in place.

Infrastructure Australia seeks

to take a national approach to

what our infrastructure needs

are rather than a states-up

approach. There will always be

that balance but for the first

time we're putting in place a

process which prioritises

projects in terms of their

productivity, contribution to sustainability, a whole prism

of things. That's important. In

other areas like tax review,

what we have to do is not look

to the next election but to the

next generation and all these

investments of time and

planning will take time to

deliver but we badly need to

make them if we're going to

improve our score card. Do you

have a sense we have an

overarching population policy

in this country? Population

policy is not just about

numbers. That's what I mean.

It's everything. We've got

about 870,000 or so people over 80 in Australia at the moment.

By the year 2050 we'll have 2.7

million Australians over the

age of 80 on current

projections. You think of this,

the next apology to Australians

will be made to people in

nursing homes if we don't match

this age care issue very

carefully. As well we have a

shrinking population. We're

going to halve the number-

Hang on, you say we've got a

shrinking population- A

shrinking workforce within the

population, it will halve in

the next little while so those people are going to have to

support many, many older

people, more older people, so

we're going to have to work out

all of that. In terms of the

demand on the public purse,

they're going to rise, they're

going to have to be dealt with

efficiently and as smartly as

we can and we need to keep

growing the cake otherwise

we're going to have lower

standards of living. Brendan

Gleeson, we're talking all the

building blocks of a civil

society - housing, transport,

energy, water, food,

environment, social cohesion -

how have we done up to this

point from your perspective?

The starting point is cities.

We are a nation of cities

cities and suburbs. We haven't

been very good at recognising

that as a central feature of

our national life but I think

it's important we put cities

and their health or otherwise

at the centre of this discussion because the large majority of the population

disgrothed going to occur in

our cities so how well are they

faring? How well are they

suited to providing the base

for another surge in population

growth? My assessment is

beginning with the social which

is the most important question

when thinking about population growth,

growth, we've allowed serious

cracks in the social base to

open up which would cause some

great concern in my view for

any idea about the future

population extension so we've

allowed Paulerisation, the

growth of poorer community

which are manifesting our

cities and at the ether end of

the scale we've got opting out

and gating out. You mean gated

communities? Gated

communities, yeah. So two forms

of ex exclusion in a way. You

think the issue of social

equity is getting worse not

better? I didn't think think

it has got worse over the last

comp of decades and I think we

went into the big growth surge

which Bernard talked about

after World War II with a

firmer social base, we were a

fairly egalitarian society without the extremes and I

think that was probably the

most important most important foundation for

that growth after World War II

which is the social base and

that is where I say should be

the greatest area of concern

because I think social cohesion

and solidarity have diminished

and we have seen it manifesting

as cultural tensions in our

cities in the last couple of

years, something I think we all

regret but we can't shift away

woo, we have to confront those

issues. What issues. What about fundamental

shift in the nature of housing,

much more medium to high

density for instance than the

kind of classic backyard

suburbia most of us have been

used to. Urban consolidation

has been the aspiration and

urban policy for decades now

but we're in a stand-off in our

cities in that debate. It's

become polarised. People would

like to Manhattan-ise our cities, go to cities, go to very high

densities and others who want

to continue the business as

usual growth at the fringe. I

think neither model is viable

from a social or ecological perspective in Australia. I

think what we're going to have

to do is much more sensible,

well targeted and well designed medium density development in

our cities to accommodate just

the population growth we can

expect rather than any of the

more heroic figures on the

huerising. I think we're going

to have to do something about to have to do something about

the suburbs which is where

theivist majority of our

population lives. Built

environment is fixed capital.

It changes very slowly. If we

want to do things to make our

cities more sustainable and

secure, we can't imagine we're

going to be able to obliterate

whole section of the cities

overnight to affect that. We

have to look at retrofitting

suburbs and helping households

to be more independent in terms of

of immediate resource needs. In

those terms, how enlightened do

you think the planning of

Governments is from your

observations? Are governments

heading in the right direction?

Is the thinking where you think

it should be? How much resist

sns there in the urban planning

and building and architectural

field? Here's the point where

I probably have to leave the

country after this interview. I

think the biggest think the biggest problem we

have is a governance deficit

for cities. It is inappropriate

that State Governments are

managers of our major prerpt

areas. They are so funtedmental

to everyday life for most

Australians that we musabout

take the gufrber nns of cities

for granted and for a variety of reasons the State

Governments have not proved

adept managersers of the

cities. We can go into cities. We can go into areas

where they have mismanaged, in

my view, the cities. The record

of the management of the cities

has been a very episod scpk in

many ways amateurish one. What

I think and a lot of other

urbnists think, is we need

independent metropolitan

governance for the cities,

stand-alone independent

commissions that would take the

everyday management and some of

the long-term planning for

cities off State Governments. I

think many State Governments would

would quietly be welcoming of

that. To To a degree. Not many

politicians like surrendering

power. I think the issues

around metropolitan management

are coming so toxic for State

Governments that that situation

may change. If you look

atwaterer, energy, transport,

we've retch reached some really

critical thresholds in our

cities where we've got some

serious dysfunction. We're

dependent in our major

metropolitan areas on

desalinated water. I think

we've reached some thresholds

which suggest really

problematical resource futures

for our cities and I don't

think State Governments know

how to solve them. Tim

Flannery, how optimistic are

you about State Governments you about State Governments building desalination plants

and saying, " We'll recycle the

water and build more dams." It

varies city by city. There are

some places like Perth where it

clearly made sense to build a

desal plant, there was a long-term rainfall decline,

they were in crisis and needed

to do something and that is now

an integral part of the city's

water supply. Interestingly,

not apparently as they

promised, powered by renewable

energy but through the dirty

old grid making the problem

worse. In a place like Sydney

we have variable reign full

fall and it is better to have a

desal plant like an insurance

policy that you only run if you

need. It the over all picture

is a Band-Aid solution because

the water deficit is a symptom

of a bigger problem which is

the global climate problem and

we can see as a result of that

sea levels rising by 3mm a year, the Federal Government

has said in the sext century we

could expect a metre or more

rise in sea level which will

have huge impacts around

Australia's coasts. Water is a

symptom, a little Band-Aid for

a bigger problem which is the

sustainability issue. How we

deal with this and lower our footprint on the environment to

give us a better future and

Government so far really have

done a very, very poor job of

dealing with those issues. You

said the economy seems to drive

immigration policy, really it's

a triple bottom line, there's

environmental, social and

economic aspects but we're not

seeing that from current

government that is a major

concern. Heather Ridout, how

were you reacting to what

Brendan was saying about the need for need for city authorities? I

think there's no doubt about

it, our discussion about our

cities, our plans for our

cities is a very underdone area

and it's very much on the

agenda now which is a good

thing. Sydney hasn't had

integrated transport plans

since Bradfield. It is very

ordinary performance. You mean

since the Harbour Bridge was

built? That's right And this

really came through a lot in really came through a lot in

the IA process when we started

to say, "What's going on here

and there?" Victoria's been

much better at that. They've

been more presiant about these

sorts of issues. SA is not bad.

Brisbane has been buckling

under rapid growth and they're

now focussing much more on it.

There is no doubt one of the

major frontier issues for

Australia over the next decade

will be the future of our

cities and it is not beyond our

wit to shape them how we want

to shape them. If-T is a really

good thing we're going to have

this debate and we're thinking

about transport as part of the

broader issues of urban

development and globalisation of the Australian economy, transport issues, they're all

on the agenda. I don't think State Governments will give up

control of the cities. The

Commonwealth can use their

leverage over money and the

Prime Minister will be a master

of that, he'll try and extract

as much as he can but I think

Sydney, Melbourne, I think the

states will still try to keep

control of the cities. Sydney's

had a problem because of its

planning authorities. We are in

Australia building 40,000-plus

fewer homes than we need every

year and a lot of that is in

Sydney and gnats reflecting bad

urban planning, arrangements et

cetera so I welcome the debate

but I think we can have great

ideas about city commissions,

we have a major cities unit now

which is dealing with this in

sort of universitial but I doubt the State Governments

will give up control of their

cities. Bernard Salt, how well

do you think we, as a culture,

will adapt and are adapting to

the likelihood of more and more

medium to high density, fewer

and fewer backyards? I mean,

20 years ago people talked

fondly of the quart acre block.

It very rapidly shrank. I

think this is a big issue. At

the beginning of the decade

around the year 2000 there,

were a series of metropolitan

strategic plans that came out

effectively promoting the densification of our sit scpyz

a shift away from the quarter

acre block to medium density

and so forth. The problem there

is there was an assumption by

planners that a strategic plan

or direction from above would

encourage Australians to dense

it up if you like, but

Australians will not, in my

view, easily let go of that

suburban ideal. We invented the

quarter acre block.

'Neighbours', if you like, is

absolutely integral to the

Australian psyche. I thought

Americans were happy about

suburbia too? No, we invented

suburbia, the quarter acre

block and neighbours et cetera

which we project to the rest of

the world and it's modified

over the last few years. The

quarter acre block at 1,000

square metres does not exist,

the suburban block is more

likely 450 quer metres. I think

it's a big ask to expect

Australians to densify suburbia

significantly over the next 10

years or soyism think this is a

slower trajectory, a bit like

turning a super tanker t won't

happen overnight. You've got to

allow Australian values to

change slowly to reflect the

new reality of outer suburbia.

In the meantime, what, we keep

spreading the tent kledz

further out and with inadequate

service s? I the way I see

Australian cities evolving is

almost like the

subregionalisation of our

cities. Our cities work at the

moment where you can commute

from the city edge to the city

centre, where petrol is $1.25 a centre, where petrol is $1.25 a

litre. At some point over the

next 10, 20, 30 years that

might be $5 a litre and the

entire model breaks down. What

then happens is that all of the

jobs in the CBD and inner city

decentralise to regional

locations so people live, work,

play, go to shops, go to

hospital, go to university all

within regions or components, almost like

almost like a mosaic of cities.

You then reduce the commute

time. You will have more people

commuting from home. I see a

mosaic of cities or regions

making up metropolitan

Melbourne and Sydney in 20, 30

years time. It's a very

different model to this

Manhattan model that we seem to

be pursuing at the moment and

the chis predicated on the

assumption that Australians

will if let go of their quarter

acre block and happily move

into apartments. Brendan

Gleeson, how does your reality

match that vision of Bernard

Salt's? A large degree of over

lap. I think what Bernard's

saying, and it's quite true, is

we've allow ed our cities and

metropolitan reenling toons

become too overcentralised in

terms of employment and other

activities and we have neglect

ed the suburban form. We did

suburban form almost better

than any other nation in the

World War II period, better

than the US because we did it

on a more egalitarian and

inclusive basis. In the US

suburbia is often code for

white middle class. We had a

more inclusive model which

created opportunities for a

wider proportion of the

population and it was better

planned. We mustn't be sanguine

about the situation in the

suburbs now and we may be underestimating the stress

Bernard is talking about in the

future that families are

already under, research shows

suburban stress is reaching

high levels in some areas particularly in relation to

transport costs. I think we

need an urgent intervention in

the suburbs. We can't - and I

agree with Bernard - imagine a

sudden rebuilding of the

suburbs, that's not going to

happen. What we need to do is

help the suburbs become more

independent in terms of their

energy and water needs and

provide public transport. We've

talked ourselves out of that as

an idea and it's nonsense- Tim

Flannery, I'll come back to

water, one of your colleagues

in the Wentwort Group, Mike

Young, said in the series this

week that in a sense the

realities of water supply will

stop the incredible growth in

the southeast corner of

Queensland in its tracks at

some point. There will come a

point where people simply will

not be able to pay or willing

to pay for the cost that's

involved, that you can't keep

building desalination plants

which then draw on more and

more energy which is going to

be more expensive and so on so

is there a reality that going

to keep us in check anyway?

Look, there is an ultimate

reality out there somewhere. I

guess which will constrain

Australia's population overall,

and maybe in the southeast

water is it but could I say all

of these things are

interconnected. It's not well

understood that for example 20%

of our water supply goes to

cool coal-fired power plants so

20% is used for electricity. If

you want to save water, turn

off the light. Everything is

connect would everything else.

And despite what's been said

about urban planning, you can

see the problems on the grown.

Every time I fly into Melbourne

with I see the suburbs

expanding out into the

countryside. They've all got

lovely green lawns l of the

swimming pools are fall. You

look at to farmland, the grass

is dead, the farmlands are

empty and you can see this unsustainable model is growing

and growing in the cities and

we're not doing what we need to

do in terms of constraining

partly because it is hard to

change people's views on these

things. When you increase the

growth you increase all of growth you increase all of

those problems. My argument

really with this is, yes, let's

have the planning, let's have

everything else but we have to

actually be patient enough to

wait for growth until we've

demonstrated that we actually

can deliver. You suggested

within the stories that we had

on this week that we should

think about having a kind of

Reserve Bank institution, in

other words an independent

authority that would, what, set

the population levels or set

the immigration levels? What?

Set population targets for the

medium to long-term. The reason

I said that is that it's self-evident that business will

always want more customers.

Business will always argue for

bigger populations. Government

wants greater populations

because it's a greater taxpayer

base and makes them look

important on the world stage.

The people of Australia have

their own view and they're

expressing that by their

reproductive rate, they're

below replacement. We need to

look at the issues and take

them into account to set an

appropriate target and leave to

issue the yearly immigration

intakeses or whatever they

want. One of the issues that

hasn't been raised is the

global population. At the

moment there are 6.5 billion

people on the planet. In 20 70

that number will rise to a peak

number of 9.1 billion so just

over 3,000 million people will

be added to the planet over the

nexus t half - next half

century. Think about the

reality of this. Here we are 22

million people saying, "We're

full up. We're concerned about

the fragility of the

environment," which is a

legitimate concern. How

realistic is it for us to be

the only country to claim

sovereignty over resources for

an entire continent in a global

environment that goes from 6.5

to 9 billion. We need to be

sensitive to what is happening

in the rest of the world. We

can't be fortress Australia and

say, "We're concerned about our environment, you worry about

the rest of the world." The

rest of the world I'm not sure

is going to look favourably

upon that in the middle of the

21st century. With the time

left, I want to touch briefly

on the issue of social cohesion

and you're talking about

cultural and you're talking

about equity. Can we have a mature debate, are you

confident we can have a mature

debate in this country over the

next decade or so about this

evolving culture that we face

well beyond the traditional

white, Anglo European mix,

Bernard ? I certainly see

almost like a divided Australia

going forward, metropolitan

Australia and regional

Australia, and in metropolitan

Australia there difference

between Melbourne and Sydney

and the rest is quite stark

thra.s the main port oaf entry

for our migrants at the moment

and I think that if there are

issues of social cohesion the

flashpoints will be in those

cities. I've very positive view about the Australian community

and our inclusiveness. 40% of

the Australian population was

born overseas or had a parent

born overseas. I think there is

a great deal of sympathy and

empathy for us as an immigrant

nation. Except some peoplunse

with they've got here like what

they've got and don't want to

share it with the next round

coming. Maybe but I think

there are flashpoints that need

to be managed and they've surfaced over the last 12

months but I don't want to

think that is reflective of

broader mainstream Australian

thinking. You think we have

the maturity to deal with what

lies ahead? Yes, but we need

to deal with the flashpoints.

I agree. We increased our

population 75% from the basis

of the white Australia culture.

Some of my members have 56

national alts in their

factories and they celebrate

it. That is a good starting

point. We shouldn't play with

tawdry politics about race and

I hope we can get some

bipartisanship around that

issue. In relation to equity,

we do have the most progressive

income tax and transfer system

in the world, in the OECD, in

Australia. We haven't been too

bad at trying to grow the cake

and redistribute it. We should

celebrate that too and protect

it very, very closely. I have

great confidence in us as a

nation and I see this every

day, including in the suburbs,

which are becoming more cause

mu-Paulten than we tend to

recognise, I have great

confidence in us making the

transition as a society if we

pay fyntion to the issue of

economic insecurity. We have

allowed the bottom 10 to 20% of

household to fall behind in

term oofz greater shift in

terms of polarisation and from

there will come tothe well

springs of resentment. We might

see this foreshadowed in the

America of today which has this

incredible cosmopolitan society

represented by the election of

Barack Obama but there's

another America that exists in

antipathy to that, an America

that feels left behind and is

angry and is asserting its

voice at the moment. We haven't

gone down that track yet but I

think we ought to pay attention

to the issue of social

polarisation because that the

thing that's going to bring the

cosmopolitan project undone.

I've got great confidence in humanity, particularly during

good times, we can get on. As

you said, if we get inequality

in our society that's a major

stressor. If we go through an

economic downturn and things

start to look black, that's

another big problem. I don't think we can go forward imagining things are going to

be like they have for the last

decade for the next century. We

are going to face downturns and

stressors and we have to build resilience into our society and

a way to do that is building a more equitable society and

having an eye to the future in

terms of growth rates. Not to

be pursuing massively high

growth rates when there's a

prospect of these sorts of

declines occurring yism think

we have to proceed cautiously,

I guess would be my fuelt. As I

said at the start, this is just

the beginning of what going to

be a long debate and we have

barely scratched the surface

but nonetheless, well

worthwhile. Can I thank Tim

Flannery, Bernard Salt, Heather

Ridout and that's the program

for the week. If you want to

join frus our live online forum

you can go to abc.net.au/news.

Stateline will be back on air

next Friday for the year and I'll be back at the same time on Monday but for now goodnight. Closed Captions by CSI