Voters say no to population growth: survey

More than two thirds of Australian voters are against population growth according to new data from the 2009-2010 Australian Survey of Social Attitudes.

The data, analysed by Swinburne University researcher Associate Professor Katharine Betts, was published in the journal People and Place.

The survey showed that 69 per cent of voters believe Australia does not need more people, with 31 per cent believing it does.

It also showed voters living in Queensland are more likely to say no to growth (73 per cent) than voters in other areas. Voters living in the ACT are the least likely to say no to growth (50 per cent).

“Voters who wanted growth tended to give economic reasons, such as boosting general economic growth, offsetting the effects of ageing, and a need to import skills,” Ms Betts said.

“In contrast, voters who wanted stability emphasised the need to train our own skilled workers, rather than take them from other countries, and the need to protect the environment.

“Stresses on the natural environment, water resources, and urban congestion were all high on their list of concerns.”

The survey was a mailout questionnaire administered by the Australian Social Science Data Archives at the Australian National University. It drew on a random sample of 3,142 voters and was held from December 2009 to February 2010.

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