STATISTICS show there continues to be a strong link between population growth and economic performance, according to the Australian Housing Association.
Australian Bureau of Statistics demographic figures for the September 2017 quarter showed during the year to the September 2017 quarter Western Australia’s population grew by 0.9 per cent.
HIA senior economist Shane Garrett said Australia’s population rose by 1.6 per cent during the year to the September 2017 quarter, equivalent to 395,600 additional residents.
“The strongest performing labour markets in Australia remain those that have experienced the largest increases in population over recent years.
“Population growth in Victoria (2.4 per cent) is stronger than in any other part of Australia.
The economy there is very healthy with robust gains in employment over recent years.
He said the figures showed the number of jobs in Victoria had increased by 68,000 during the past year.
“In contrast, population growth in the Northern Territory has completely stalled, a situation which is hurting demand in that economy.
The number of people working in the NT has fallen by 3.5 per cent over the past year.
“Inward migration boosts the economy’s productive capacity and is an important support for consumer demand.
“Population growth does place additional pressure on our cities.
The solutions lie in better city planning, the fundinga and delivery of new and upgraded infrastructure, and job creation.
We cannot simply close down our cities.
“The long-term risk for Australia is that we will have too few people of working age over the coming decades.
The realistic option for us is to keep the door firmly open to the migrants we need.
“HIA supports a managed migration program that is sufficient to deliver ongoing growth in Australia’s economic performance, productivity and workforce capacity.
He said those conditions were essential for continuing to win investment from overseas.