02 October 2009

Demographer says Australian immigration key to replacing boomers

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An Australian demographer has written an opinion piece for the national newspaper The Australia arguing that the report released recently that projected the Australian population will reach to 35 million in 2048 had implications for city planning.

Demographer and KPMG partner Bernard Salt, wrote in his opinion piece that the notion of Australia growing to 35 million by mid-century has been around for 12 months, but the implications were profound.

Mr Salt said all metropolitan plans developed in the previous five years had to be rethought: in the state of Victoria, Melbourne 2030 has been recast as Melbourne @ 5 Million; Adelaide in South Australia has a new 30-year plan; and southeast Queensland has a new regional plan.

"All of these new city visions are based on the revised outlook for a faster-growing nation," he said.

Mr Salt said the reason for this change is that Australia, and he suspects the rest of the developed world, has entered or will soon experience heightened population growth and encouraging people to emigrate to Australia would be key to the country's economic success.

To offset the loss of funds involved in a larger base of people exiting the workplace, and to pay for services needed for the older population Mr Salt believes that governments will look at expanding migration.

Australia will be competing with other Western nations for the net addition of 180,000 migrants per year, a figure at the heart of Australia's revised projections (up from 110,000 per year).

"Indeed, I would say that recruiting workers [and students who turn into workers] from overseas must remain one of this nation's growth industries over the next 20 years," Mr Salt said. 

Those workers who emigrate to Australia will be stimulating national growth and an aid the Australian economy.

 


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