For the good of the nation

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  • Published 20061103
  • ISBN: 9780733316722
  • Extent: 252 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

DURING THE 2004 Budget Lock-up, Federal Treasurer Peter Costello made one of those remarks that serve to encapsulate an entire policy debate. Discussing Australia’s ebbing birthrate, he said: “You know, if you can have children, it’s a good thing to do. You know, you should have, if you can … one for your husband and one for your wife and one for your country.”[i]

The furore this remark aroused underlines the gathering intensity of an uneasy dispute over population policy. Should Australia produce more children or, as some contend, welcome the collapse in the birthrate to lower the total population?

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About the author

Christopher Jay

Christopher Jay is a Sydney economic journalist who is a regular writer for the The Australian Financial Review.He is the author of several business...

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