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'Economy doesn't depend on growth'

Dick Smith.
Dick Smith. TRACEY NEARMY

ELECTRONICS multi-millionaire Dick Smith may have made a fortune from growth but he intends using the money to argue the case for an economy that does not depend on it.

He told the Daily he remained very positive that business could prosper without growth, though acknowledged it would be a harder way to make money.

He has committed $1 million, to be awarded to the person under 25 who could design a sustainability plan for Australia.

It is called the Wilbur Wilberforce Award in recognition that the world's economies didn't collapse as predicted with the abolition of slavery.

Mr Smith said despite similar claims being made about the impact a no-growth policy would have on our economy, the world needed to find a new way forward that didn't require the accelerated consumption of finite resources.

Smith was galvanised to act by a phone call from his daughter during the Copenhagen climate change summit saying that population was the “elephant in the room” that was not being discussed.

Smith has spent much of the past six months producing a documentary on the issue to be shown on ABC on August 19.

He says politicians were making no linkage between the lack of water of our future ability to feed a massively increased population.

Beyond a population of 26 million, Mr Smith is convinced Australia would struggle to produce sufficient food.

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