Look to the fu­ture

The Saturday Paper - - Letters & Editorial -

Mike Sec­combe’s ar­ti­cle raises some thorny ques­tions for the cen­tre left of pol­i­tics. Only a few days ago the ACTU signed up with busi­ness and other lobby groups to sup­port the cur­rent high lev­els of im­mi­gra­tion. La­bor and the Greens re­main silent about high pop­u­la­tion growth rates, de­spite opin­ion polls show­ing sub­stan­tial pub­lic con­cern. A po­lit­i­cal vac­uum is thus cre­ated into which racially tinged ar­gu­ments from the hard right read­ily flow. The key ques­tion is the num­ber of peo­ple, not their race, eth­nic­ity or re­li­gion. Race should not be used ei­ther for set­ting im­mi­gra­tion tar­gets or to shut down genuine de­bate on pop­u­la­tion. Aus­tralia now needs to squarely ad­dress how we are go­ing to join with the First Aus­tralians to be­come true cus­to­di­ans of this con­ti­nent. Pop­u­la­tion num­bers, lev­els of con­sump­tion and our at­ti­tudes to na­ture are all vi­tal as­pects of the di­a­logue.

– Peter Cook, Palm­woods, Qld

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