63% of Australians think North Australia will benefit from more people

by 25 May 2012

Newspoll: 63% of Australians think North Australia will benefit from more people

In a landmark Newspoll conducted exclusively for the Institute of Public Affairs, 63% of Australians said that increasing the population of North Australia would be a good thing for the area. Only 15% said that a higher population would be bad for North Australia.

Clearly public opinion is firmly on the side of a higher population in North Australia.

Northern Australia is crying out for more people, but those calls are largely going unheeded in our south-eastern centres of power.

The poll asked 1,203 people across all states: ‘Overall, do you think increasing the population of this area would be a good thing for Northern Australia or a bad thing for Northern Australia?’

A majority of respondents in all states and across all age groups said that an increase in population would be a good thing for North Australia:

- 71% in West Australia said a population increase in North Australia would be a good thing
- 65% in New South Wales said a population increase would be a good thing
- 64% in Victoria said a population increase would be a good thing
- 58% in Queensland said a population increase would be a good thing; and
- 56% in South Australia said a population increase would be a good thing

Australians realise that a prosperous North Australia will benefit the whole country. They want to see policies put in place that will stimulate economic and population growth in these under-developed areas.

Clearly what is needed is a skilled migration programme directly targeted towards work and residency in Northern Australia. EMAs go some way toward addressing this, but more is needed.

John Shipp

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