Population Growth Exceeding Tree Growth

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6th April 2010, 11:20am - Views: 884

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Media Release

Population growth exceeding tree growth

April 6th, 2010

Population growth is increasing pressure in the environment with the latest projections showing Australia’s

population is on track to reach 36 million by 2050, mostly due to increased migration and a lower death rate.

Tony Burke, who was appointed Population Minister on Saturday, said that while there was an economic

need for the country to keep growing, in some areas this could not be sustained for environmental and

economic reasons.

Greening Australia’s Chief Executive Rod Bristow said that the Government’s investment in built

infrastructure needs to be matched by investment in natural infrastructure to ensure population growth

results in liveable cities with quality water, food, wildlife habitat, and recreation supplied by intact and robust


“Australia is leading in terms of investing in built infrastructure - $22 Billion this year alone will be spent but

only $500 million in natural infrastructure through the Governments Caring For Our Country Program.” 

“That’s less than $2 per hectare across the vast Australian continent.”

Australians spend more on coffee than on the conservation and repair of native vegetation and the vast

array of goods and services it provides, he said.

David Freudenberger, Director of Science with Greening Australia said “Another 10 million Australians

equates to an additional 300 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents per year based on current emissions of 30

tonnes per person per year.”

To offset just 10 % of this rise in emissions would require Australia to plant 75 million trees. To offset all the

emissions due to projected population growth would require 750 million trees, he said. 

“Our organisation has been working with farmers to cope with the increased effect of climate change and

the increased need for sustainable agriculture. We can’t ignore the real need for money and the support of

federal and local governments to deliver on large landscape scale restoration projects.”

“We have over 6000 volunteers nationally to help deliver these projects and are uniquely placed to restore

Australia’s natural landscapes”

For more information contact:

Lainie Grigg on 07 3902 4427 or 04 3325 2503 or email lgrigg@greeningaustralia.org.au

Rod Bristow on 0404 849 652

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