In a landmark Newspoll conducted exclusively for the Institute of Public Affairs, 63% of Australians have said that increasing the population of North Australia would be a good thing for the area. Only 15% have said that a higher population would be bad for North Australia.
Director of the North Australia Project, John Shipp, said that 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 going unheeded in our south-eastern centres of power,’ Mr Shipp said.
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,’ Mr Shipp said.
The North Australia Project is a joint project of Australians for Northern Development and Economic Vision and the Institute of Public Affairs.
The Newspoll was conducted via telephone, amongst 1,203 people aged 18 years of age and over, over the weekend of 18-20 May 2012.
For the purposes of the poll, North Australia was defined as including Far North Queensland, the Northern Territory, the Pilbara and the Kimberley.