Does Bigger Mean Better? Working Towards a Big Australia

In recognition of the UN’s World Population Day, this conversation between Dr Katie Allen MP (Federal Member for Higgins) & Ms Maria Vamvakinou (Federal Member for Calwell) in conversation with ABC’s Norman Hermant was about ‘What should Australia look like by 2050?’

With the impact of COVID19 looking like it will be with us for a few years, human and resource mobilisation will not be like it was in a pre-COVID world, where self-sustainability will be a key priority of many governments. Australia’s growth is contingent on productivity and innovative development. It needs a sizeable and skilled workforce population to propel the nation forward.

However, the composition and population size of Australia is a controversial and vexed topic at times, with some commentators saying the current rate of organic population growth with a controlled immigration program will serve the nation well – both from an economic growth perspective and from a social cohesion angle. The alternative argument believes Australia is under-utilised and can service a larger population which can increase productivity and allow for innovation.

How will Australia navigate its way through the next few decades by balancing the changing dynamics of the labour markets and resource mobility whilst maximising the utilisation of their existing human capital ? Should Australia continue to grow by increasing skilled migration ? Is our nation growing at a suitable rate in the Asian century, maximising the opportunity that awaits us ?