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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 495 asked in the Legislative Council on 26 June 2018 by Hon Charles Smith

Minister responding: Hon R. Saffioti
Parliament: 40 Session: 1
Answered on 26 June 2018

      495. Hon CHARLES SMITH to the minister representing the Minister for Planning:
I refer to calls earlier this year by NSW Labor leader Luke Foley for the states to work with the commonwealth to devise a five-year plan on immigration in order to better manage population growth. Mr Foley cited a 2016 Productivity Commission report recommending that Australia publish a national population policy, after finding that the costs of immigration fell disproportionately on the states as they are responsible for providing infrastructure and services.
      (1) Does the state government support such calls for a national population policy to be developed by the commonwealth in consultation with the states?
      (2) Does the state government concede that a slowdown in immigration-fuelled population growth would forestall the need for a significant expansion in infrastructure and thus reduce pressure on the state's finances?
I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question. The following information has been provided by the Minister for Planning.
      (1)–(2) The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage estimates that approximately 3.5 million people will live in the Perth and Peel regions by 2050. New WA Tomorrow population forecasts are being prepared based on the most up-to-date data available, and the state government is working to deliver strong and evidence-based infrastructure programs through Metronet and the establishment of Infrastructure WA.