AAP, March 1, 2010
THE public has rejected plans to massively boost Australia’s population.
The federal government wants to increase the population from 22 million to 35 million by 2050, largely through immigration.
But a poll has found three-quarters of respondents think Australia does not have the services or infrastructure to cope with more people.
More than 60 per cent wanted immigration slowed.
And a majority of the 1000 people surveyed by Essential Research late last month thought the environment was too fragile to cope with more people, and there was not enough space for them.
The government wants to boost the population because it means more young taxpayers to pay for the high costs of an ageing population.
But the public aren’t buying the economic argument either–just over half of those surveyed thought more people would not help the economy.
The poll also found that just over half the respondents–51 per cent–approved of the government’s plan to means test the rebate for private health cover. A third of respondents opposed the plan.
The government wants to wind back the rebate for single people earning more than $75,000 and couples earning more than $150,000 a year.
Support for the move, which is in trouble in the Senate, was stronger among Labor voters and those on low and middle incomes.