Australia’s Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese is right. In his latest vision speech he pointed to the benefits of decentralisation. It’s time we stopped cramming more and more people into already overcrowded cities. It’s predicted that pretty soon 90 percent of all Australians will live in our sprawling capitals. But does that really make sense?
The current health crisis has seen people forced to work from home. We’ve discovered that with modern technology we don’t all need to gather in CBD offices. It’s likely home working will continue when we emerge from the threat of the coronavirus.
There are numerous regional centres across Australia crying out for economic development and keen to encourage businesses and the people they employ to move there, voluntarily of course. Both would benefit from a lower cost of living, cheaper housing and so on.
It’s not about how many people live in our country, or where they come from we should be thinking about. It’s where we’ll all live in the future that matters. And it’s about how we leverage modern technologies to make living outside a handful of overcrowded and increasingly dysfunctional capital cities more viable.
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 greater 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.