Getting behind the lies, fake news and spin on refugees and asylum seekers

By JOHN MENADUE | 13 February 2019

Our discussion on asylum seekers is ill-informed. It’s a disgrace. Our politicians and our media have failed us. With boat arrivals stopped, people smugglers have turned to the air to bring asylum seekers to Australia in record numbers. Peter Dutton and the media have turned a blind eye to this breakdown in our border protection.

The “debate” on this week’s Insiders program was all about the politics and the politics of fear. We were incessantly warned that boat arrivals would start again if we did anything serious to support the 1,000 wounded souls that we have abandoned in Manus and Nauru. It is dishonest nonsense and propaganda to assert that the Australian Navy in cooperation with Indonesia cannot stop boat arrivals.

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It’s poor long term planning, not the size of the population, that’s the problem

LAURIE PATTON | 21 November 2018

As Christopher Pyne has pointed out, “We don’t need to put a handbrake on population growth, we need to manage our population growth sensibly in a country which quite frankly can take a lot more than 25 million people”. Pyne comes from Adelaide, of course, where the state government says it would like to see a lot more people living.

We do need to think carefully about how we make our cities more liveable and more sustainable however, and we need to question whether so many people should be crammed into already congested capital cities like Melbourne and Sydney.

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Decentralisation is a solution to population growth

By LAURIE PATTON | 6 August 2018

As Christopher Pyne recently pointed out, Australia has roughly the same land mass as the United States yet a fraction of the population. Despite accommodating 300-plus million people only a handful of American cities are anywhere near the size of Sydney or Melbourne.

Government agencies all argue immigration creates economic growth. So it’s not about how many of us there are, it’s about where we all live.

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It’s not about the size of the population, it’s about where we’re all going to live

By LAURIE PATTON | 29 July 2018

Another week, another newspaper devotes thousands of words to the vexed question of population growth. The conclusion, once again, is that we need a more rational discussion – and, above all, a plan.

Sadly, some people are using the size of our population and its growth to justify campaigns that are simply racist and uncalled-for in this country.

The way I see it, we keep asking the wrong question. It’s not about how many people live here, or where they come from. It’s about where we’ll all live in the years ahead.

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