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Minister comments on the CSIRO study on the environment impact of populations of 20, 25 and 32 million people.

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Monday 4 November 2002


Minister comments on the CSIRO study on the environment impact of populations of 20, 25 and 32 million people.


HAMISH ROBERTSON: The Immigration M inister Philip Ruddock commissioned the CSIRO population study which, as we've heard, looks at possible populations of 20, 25 and 32 million people.


Mr Ruddock says that Australia can't afford to allow its population to be reduced and that all the options in the study can be achieved.


He's speaking to Simon Santow.


PHILIP RUDDOCK: Well I think what this report, when it is released, will demonstrate is that when the sorts of range of possibilities, provided you are prepared to make appropriate adjustments and meet some of the costs associated with particular outcomes, there is a capacity to be able to pursue any of the particular scenarios but each of them do have particular cost penalties associated with them.


SIMON SANTOW: Well what the scientists seem to be saying is that Australians would have to settle for a lower standard of living and things like that.


Do you think that Australians are prepared to sacrifice in order to keep growing?


PHILIP RUDDOCK: Well it depends on what sort of elements of a standard of living you are speaking of.


But I don't see that with any of those scenarios, other than changes in the way we live, and people would have to make some adjustments, that any of the scenarios present insurmountable problems.


HAMISH ROBERTSON: The Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock speaking to Simon Santow.


And tonight's Four Corners on ABC television will further be exploring the debate between scientists and economists over environmental sustainability in Australia.