A Summit, focussing on population, is being held in Darwin on 13-14 October 2005 to debate one of Australias most pressing issues - its need for a vision.
Hosted by The Australian Population Institute (Apop), supported by the Australian Davos Connection (ADC) and the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) and in partnership with the Northern Territory Government, the Summit is bringing together the countrys top experts in economics, the environment, demography and international relations and defence.
Apop President Jane Nathan firmly believes Australias population, its growth or decline, influences every facet of our life.
"Population is something we cannot leave to chance. We need to think about the future and what we want for our country. We need to document this into a vision. Without a vision we are taking pot-luck with our future," says Ms Nathan.
This Summit, unlike the four previous population summits hosted by Apop since 2001, will focus on the importance of a vision for a greater Australia.
"We believe its time to address the issues with regard to our changing demographics. It is time to create a Vision of a Greater Australia," says Ms Nathan.
"This 5th Summit will be the start of a process to forge that vision. The process will take 12-24 months and will result in a blueprint for a greater Australia."
In Apops four previous summits, population was placed on the political agenda.
"This 5th Summit will scrutinize our ability to look after our environment, our elderly, and how we can manage our health, defence and security in changing population conditions," says Ms Nathan.
"We need to ask ourselves: what is the level and type of national security we want for Australia? Our defence force wouldnt even fill half the Melbourne Cricket Ground. "
"Contrary to popular views, increasing the population will benefit every facet of our lives, not harm it, and this includes the environment."
"Population has an impact on our economy, our ability to defend ourselves, and in determining the level of investment in repairing the environment, as well as creating the social fabric of our history and our future. "
"The current trend in Australias ageing population implies increased costs for aged pensions and health, but there are also positives with regard to wisdom, knowledge and experience and how this can be applied to benefit Australia. "
Further information: Jane Nathan, President, Australia Population Institute, www.apop.com.au