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The creation of a new ministry of population by the Federal Government is most opportune.Australia stands at a turning point in its demographic development and it is crucial that a vision of our future population is developed which takes full account of the best scientific and policy thinking and knowledge but which is also inclusive of the wishes and opinions of all Australians. The population and immigration debates in Australia have too often been dominated by interest groups and focused on extreme positions. On the one hand are those who believe Australia should increase its population as rapidly as possible and strive to attain a population of more than double current size. On the other are some extreme environmentalists who argue for an immediate cessation of population growth. Both of these extreme positions would have negative consequences for Australia and most Australians. What is needed is a midway position, which involves growth as well as sustainability.

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