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The Stable Population Party has a completely different take on boat-arriving Asylum Seekers, than other parties. They say Asylum Seekers are only a small part of the main issue of population. They believe the whole Asylum Seeker issue that we all seem to be talking about now, is a big distraction from the larger, and more important population debate. The party wants to tackle the issue of population holistically.

William Bourke, the founder and president of the Stable Population Party, makes it clear that population is not “all about refugees,” even though the major parties talk about nothing else, and the majority of Australians don’t appear to see the issues clearly. He says “Asylum Seeker policy is part of the wider population debate that does require consideration.”

Refugee Intake

Mr. Bourke says that the Labor and Liberal parties, by allowing 5% of the problem to dominate 95% of the headlines, are misleading Australians. He says the population issue is not about Asylum Seekers or Refugees or Boats.

“Australia’s total refugee intake is only about 5% of our population growth,” Mr Bourke says. The other 95% comes from legal immigration and births exceeding deaths.

When asked specifically about the Labor Party’s recent approach to Asylum Seekers, he said, “We don’t think this is the right approach, it isn’t a holistic approach. Just putting fences around Australia will not work.”

Protecting Sovereignty

Bourke says Australia has a right to protect its sovereignty, but there should be very vigorous global action to help people live in peace and harmony, sustainably, in their own homeland. If that was the case, there would be no need for most of the large and desperate migrations we are seeing around the world.

The reason the party is concerned about the “Big Australia” policy is that overpopulation drives resource scarcity and it is behind conflict and forced migration.

Mr Bourke has a business background, and has been concerned about population issues since the mid 1990s.

Alarmed by Kevin Rudd’s “Big Australia” ideas, and Tony Abbot’s declaration that Australia should have “as many people as possible,” Bourke decided it was time to take action. He had joined the environmental group Sustainable Population Australia and read the book Overloading Australia by Mark O’Connor and William Lines. He says he was concerned that Australians were being lead on a path that they wouldn’t be happy about, if they understood what it really meant.


Democracy and Choice

The Stable Population Party aims to provide democracy and choice on the most important issue facing Australia: “the everything issue” – population. Overpopulation drives resource scarcity, and Bourke says economic, environmental and social issues are all inherently linked. The SPP wants to educate and inform Australians.

Mr. Bourke said “The SPP advocates first and foremost that we tie foreign aid, wherever possible, to help people to live in sustainably within a sustainable resource base. We want to base some foreign aid around female education, family planning services, so all births are wanted, so we can stabilize populations. We need strong, vigorous action, globally, to help people stay where they live.”

“We should not only lead by example and stabilize our own population, but we can help others to do so, due to the tremendous benefits that come out of that. By stabilizing their populations, many developing world nations will protect food security, maximize resilience to climate change, free up investment to build up prosperity and develop, and avoid labour exploitation.”

Stable Population Party on Costs

Adding more defences around Australia’s border is expensive, as is moving people to camps. SPP believes their idea is a broader policy approach.

Bourke says the party believes the world’s resource base is the true source of our wealth, and it underpins our social and economic well-being. Mr Bourke says “spreading those finite resources ever-thinner leads to more conflict, over water, over land, over oil. Everyone must recognize the fundamental point, that has been demonstrated throughout history, that more people mean less resources per person.”

Mr. Bourke says “for each person we resettle, it costs Australia hundreds of thousands of dollars. We could help thousands of people to live in peace and improve the quality of their lives, in their own homeland. We need to make sure we are not engaging in counterproductive activity that only helps the privileged few and ignores the broader problem and creates  further inter-generational poverty.”

Asked about the recruiting of highly skilled people, such as doctors from Africa, Mr. Bourke said, “We should not be depleting people with skills from other countries. We should be helping other nations to raise their skills, helping other nations to live sustainably, helping other nations achieve gender equality, helping to bring reproductive health and family planning services, so we can help lift other nations up.  That should be the broad approach.”

To wrap up, Mr. Bourke said, “Australia has a proud record of refugee resettlement. We have resettled over 700,000 refugees since WW2. We can certainly be compassionate and solve Australia’s population growth problem at the same time. We just have to make sure that we take a holistic approach and understand that overwhelming natural resources with more and more people, often leads to conflict and refugee movement.  If we understand that fundamental point, then we can engage in a more holistic approach than a three word slogan.”

See more information about the Stable Population Party at their website.