‘No wonder we’re having so many social problems’: Dick Smith says Australia needs to slash its migration rates in half
- Businessman Dick Smith said Australia needs to half it’s immigration rate
- Experts are recommending that Australia increase its size to 60 million by 2050
- Mr Smith said Australia is losing quality of life due to increased population
Dick Smith believes Australia needs to slash its immigration in half to preserve quality of life and reduce congestion in the capital cities.
The millionaire electronics chain founder said he was concerned about the negative impact a rapidly growing population would have on Australia.
‘If we brought our immigration down to 70,000 a year, which is the long term average, our population would level off at about 30 million,’ Smith told 60 Minutes.
‘That’s what we should be doing. Ask someone who’s sitting in a traffic jam. I just think this is ridiculous. Our politicians say, we just need more infrastructure. Crap!’
The former Australian of the year said the continual development of infrastructure and increasing congestion was decreasing quality of life for Australians
Mr Smith’s comments follow Scott Morrison’s government’s announcement that the population intake would be capped at 160,000 after the cap was previously set at 190,000.
Mr Smith said the continual increase of congestion and build up of infrastructure around Sydney was depressing him.
‘People are taking up to two hours to get to work and that’s two hours there, two hours back. Just wasting so much family time, no wonder we’re having so many social problems.’
Mr Smith said he wants to halve our current immigration intake to 70,000 a year
Australia’s population reached 25 million in August last year and is predicted to reach 26 million by 2021 at current rates.
The former Australian Of The Year has previously said he is for migration but wants it to be on a sensible level.
Mr Smith mentioned examples such as increased house prices that have left many unable to buy their own home.
He also pointed to the city of Geneva as an example of a city with more gradual population growth.
The Swiss city has frequently rated highly for overall population happiness and quality of life due in part to strong social environments and accountable governments.
Australia has ranked higher than average immigration rates for western countries at 1.6% compared to the United States at 0.7% and the UK at 0.6%, however these countries already have a significantly bigger population.
The successful businessman said families are spending more time in traffic than ever and less time with their families due to congestion