Helping Australians to make sense of the pieces of the population jigsaw will be vital to find common ground on Australia’s first population strategy, Business Council of Australia President Graham Bradley says.
“The release of the government’s population issues paper, along with reports from three advisory panels, highlights many of the factors that need to be considered to achieve social, economic and environmental goals for Australia,” Mr Bradley said.
“But what will be critical for Australia to move forward in developing a strategy that achieves common goals is a process that helps people make sense of the vast amount of information now before them,” he said.
“In coming months the government’s consultations will need to enable people to sift through the information so they can contribute in identifying national goals and understanding the role population plays in helping us to achieve them.”
Mr Bradley said the BCA’s Framework for the Development of Australia’s Population Strategy, released on 1 December, offers a step-by-step guide to help Australians weigh up these different population choices.
“It is not unexpected that the government’s advisory panels have presented differing perspectives and priorities,” said Mr Bradley. “But what is now needed is a way for people to sort through it all and formulate their own view.
“The BCA’s framework is designed to help people consider the implications of different choices and come to a landing on what we collectively want for the future.
“Achieving a carefully considered approach to population policy will be a major test of the credibility of the government’s longer-term national agenda for a stronger economy and community prosperity.”