It’s easy for Victorian State opposition to criticise the Andrews Government for supposedly underestimating the impact of population growth on our suburbs, but let’s not forget that the majority of Victoria’s growth comes from immigration, which is set by the Federal government.
In 2016, almost 400,000 workers and students arrived in Australia under an uncapped Federal temporary immigration program.
That is over double the number of people who arrived under the permanent migration program. How can any State government determine how many people might chose to locate in their State once they arrive in Australia?
Victoria is attractive to people from interstate and overseas because it has a strong job market and its a great place to live. So the more the State government does to improve jobs, housing supply, transport and liveability, the more attractive it will be for people to relocate here.
Managing population growth and its impacts is far from just a State responsibility.
The community expects State and Federal politicians to work together to manage growth in the overall interests of the nation, and to not just throw rocks at each other.
Recent reports by the Federal Treasury and Grattan Institute shed more light on these challenges. You can also read more on my take on these issues here.