Member for Gympie David Gibson.
Member for Gympie David Gibson.

Family sizes on debate

A RECENT poll that asked if family sizes should be limited to help the environment shouldn’t influence policy, Member for Gympie David Gibson says.

A recent Australian National University poll into public opinion towards population growth in Australia showed about 24 per cent of Aussies surveyed wanted family sizes limited to two children and 18 per cent said families should have no more that three children.

“What the poll shows is fairly divergent opinions on family size within Australia,” said Mr Gibson.

“I think that it’s very clear that there is no push or any need for legislation to limit the size of families within Australia.”

Data from the poll revealed more than half of Australian’s wanted the country’s population to stay at or go below current levels.

Opposition to population increase was broadly-based, with people concerned about the effect on the economy and the environment.

And a majority of Australians thought the world’s population was too large and caused environmental damage.

Mr Gibson said the poll showed environmental and economical concerns needed to be addressed but limiting family size was not the way to solve the issues.

“The other issues is immigration issues. I believe our immigrants have brought diversity to Australia and I believe we’re all immigrants.

“My wife is an immigrant and we have a blended family of five and I wouldn’t have my life any other way.

“If we limit immigration and family sizes we’re not going to have that diversity we enjoy in Australia.

“The extension of the argument of limiting family size is how do we do that? In a civilised country like Australia we’re not going to go down the path of forced sterilisation to limit family size.”

Public opinion towards population growth in Australia took a wide-ranging snapshot of Australian attitudes towards population policy, environment and infrastructure, immigration and fertility and the ageing population.

It showed half the country say people should consider limiting the sizes of their families in order to minimise the impact of population growth and 16 per cent would want to see population increase through more immigration rather than through increased fertility.

Gympie Times

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