AUSTRALIA’S growth over the next 90 years will still leave us with a small population compared to the world’s largest cities, according to demographer Bernard Salt. Even so, we need to plan carefully to keep our major growth areas viable.
Salt says with medium migration of 180,000 a year, the national population will grow from 22 million to around 35 million by 2056, and Australia is likely to remain a migration destination for at least another century.
The growth, he says, will probably be concentrated around the job centres of Sydney and Melbourne with the population in each city reaching around seven million.
This may seem huge but, as he points out, large cities, such as London, Paris and Chicago already contain more and Los Angeles has 18 million, New York, 23 million and Tokyo, 34 million.
It is possible that new cities may be formed over the next few decades, but look at the last century – only two cities were formed in Australia, the Gold Coast and Canberra, and these combined reached only a seventh of the population of Melbourne and Sydney by 2000.
So, says Salt, it is more likely that three mega regions will develop around Sydney, Melbourne and south-east Queensland, and that these will require careful urban planning.
Of course, projected population growth in the ACT will be on a much smaller scale than any of the mega regions, but the value of strategic and integrated plans for accommodating growth is the same for us as it is for them.
Salt calls for vigorous debate on the subject, and that is what Canberra has been conducting in recent months. We are already further along the track towards such planning than those places forecast to receive huge population growth.
About Bernard Salt – Australia’s Leading Demographer
Bernard Salt is one of Australia’s most compelling and entertaining speakers. He is engaged by business to generate thought-provoking discussion at conferences and seminars.
Bernard is a Partner with KPMG based in Melbourne with special expertise in demographic and generational trends. He holds Bachelor of Education and Master of Arts degrees and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Bernard Salt is an experienced media commentator and is a regular guest on television programs such as Sunrise, Today Show, Today Tonight, A Current Affair and 60 Minutes.
Bernard’s current business interests include the following:
• Heads KPMG’s Property Advisory Services group which provides demographic and workforce trend advice to business
• One of the most “in demand” speakers on the Australian corporate speaking circuit
• Columnist with The Australian and the Melbourne Herald Sun newspapers
• Author of the best-selling book The Big Shift published in 2001 (now in its 3rd edition) and The Big Picture published in 2006 (now in 2nd edition)
• Chairman of the Tourism Forecasting Committee reporting to the Tourism Australia board
• Director of the Fitzgerald Foundation which is a fund raising charity for brain cancer research.
In 2007 Bernard Salt was engaged by KPMG International to direct and complete a study of Generation Y’s attitudes to the funds management industry. The output of that study, a book entitled Beyond the Baby Boomers, was effective in gaining global exposure for the firm. It also placed Bernard on the international speaking circuit.
Presentations by Bernard Salt involve a pacey and dynamic examination of the generational changes and demographic shifts that are currently shaping the business environment.
• Retaining Generation Y staff - training and development
• Sponge cities and regional growth - regional economic development
• Generation X as agents of social change - consumer and business trends
• The Man Drought and the Fella Filter - social trends
• The Seachange Shift - social and lifestyle trends
• Job Shifts: what’s hot and what’s not - employment trends
• Global trends in the labour market - global trends
• The new “technocrats” - technology trends
• The rise of retirement and portfolio lifestyles - aged care and financial planning
• Demographic and social change across Australian cities - urban and strategic planning
• Australia on the Move - housing and urban development
• Labour market shrinkage and the Baby Bust – workforce planning and immigration
Bernard Salt Profile - www.platinumspeakers.com.au
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