Australia’s growth rate is 2.1% p.a., compared to 0.7% for the UK and 0.9% for the US, making Australia one of the fastest growing countries in the world. Lucky old Australia! Thank the Leftist Rudd government for Australia’s shortage of affordable housing, its packed commuter trains and its ever more congested roads!

Australian immigration is once again being blamed for a hefty rise in the population of Australia as figures rose above 22 million. The figures released today, show that the population topped 22 million in September of last year. The actual figure is 22,066,000. Many critics of the Australian migration program are blaming immigrants to Australia for the rise.

Overseas migration for the year ending 30 September 2009 was 297,400, more than half of the overall increase for that year. This keeps the growth rate at 2.1%, compared to 0.7% for the UK and 0.9% for the US, making Australia one of the fastest growing countries in the world.

Western Australia, currently experiencing a mining boom and are actively recruiting migrant workers to fill skilled shortages, recorded the largest percentage gain at 2.9% whereas Tasmania had the smallest gain at 1.0%.

Critics argue that such a fast growth spurt could have devastating consequences for the economy as it struggles to support such a population surge. Environmentalists too are concerned on the impact of Australia’s fragile ecosystem and have urged population growth to be listed in the federal environmental laws as a threat to biodiversity.

This is all in contrast to Kevin Rudd’s plans for a “big Australia” as outlined in October of last year when he announced plans to sustain such a huge population growth: “This Government is building for the future – we call it nation-building for the future. But let’s be optimistic about the fact this country’s growing, so many around the world are heading the other way.” “I actually believe in a big Australia I make no apologies for that. I actually think it’s good news that our population is growing.”

Back then Mr Rudd was criticised for not having any sustainable plans for water infrastructure, the protection of the environment and maintaining quality of life and prosperity.

Former Premier of New South Wales Bob Carr has urged the government to slash the Australia immigration program by half and Federal Labour MP Kelvin Thomson has said that the figures are “a recipe for environmental devastation.”

The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship have already tightened the immigration program, putting a cap on general skilled visas, raising the criteria for English language skills and overhauling the skilled occupation list.