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Call for population policy

WA Premier Geoff Gallop has weighed into the population debate, calling for a national population policy to be created.

Dr Gallop said such a policy was crucial, but Australia’s population should be managed at ecologically sustainable levels.

Economists agreed an increase in population would benefit both Australia and WA.

BankWest senior economist Alan Langford said there was a pretty good fit between WA’s migration growth and its economic growth.

A forum in Melbourne at the weekend, organised by entertainer Steve Vizard, brought together a number of diverse speakers, including businessman Dick Pratt and ACTU president Sharan Burrow to discuss Australia’s population.

Mr Pratt said Australia should endeavour to have a population of 50 million people by 2050. However, as a story in last week’s Business News pointed out, to achieve that Australia would need to bring in 500,000 migrants a year from now.

Dr Gallop said any national population policy should be outward-looking and consider issues such as the population drift from the country to the city.

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