MELBOURNE, (Xinhua) — More than half of all Australians think the nation is “full” and oppose further population growth, according to results of a survey published on Tuesday.
Melbourne’s The Herald Sun newspaper reported that 51 percent of Australians think that further population growth will be detrimental to the country, while just 37 percent said growth was good for the nation.
The survey also shows that two in every three Australians believe the nation’s population should not exceed 30 million.
Currently, Australia’s population weighs in at just over 24 million; however major cities such as Melbourne and Brisbane are expected to more than double in size by 2050.
Concerns about employment, overcrowded cities and the ethnic mix lead the list of reasons given by respondents who were against growth.
Dr Katherine Betts from the Australian Population Research Institute told News Corp that many thought “we have too much cultural diversity already, with migrant enclaves rather than peaceful assimilation.”
“These concerns are closely followed by a desire to train our own, and worries about unemployment,” Betts said.
Despite the results showing that more than half of Australians think the nation is “full,” Australia is one of the largest land masses in the world, and it also happens to be the ninth least densely populated country in the world, with just three people residing per square kilometer.
Public figures have slammed the results of the survey, with Melbourne’s Lord Mayor Robert Doyle telling News Corp that Melbourne wouldn’t be the vibrant hot-spot it is if it wasn’t for overseas migration.
During the gold rush, Chinese flocked to the city, while after the two world wars, a number of German, Italian and Greek migrants made their way to Melbourne’s shores.
In the 70s, the city experienced an influx of Vietnamese migrants, while Indians also make up a significant proportion of the migrant population.
The results have also managed to reflect the somewhat negative attitude that some Australians have towards refugees; a debate had raged for more than a decade as to whether Australia could accept more asylum seekers, with left-wing groups arguing that there is enough room for all who want to settle here.
However, as noted by the Australian national anthem that the country having “boundless plains to share,” it seems modern Australians are not as open to the idea as their forefathers.