Just noticed this from 2010...http://www.theage.com.au/national/austr ... -muho.html
Australia 'must plan new city' to cope with population
January 26, 2010
AUSTRALIA should plan for a new city, like a Gold Coast of the west, to cope with the population boom predicted by 2050, demographer Bernard Salt says.
The country has the resources to accommodate a projected 35 million people, but Australians will have to get smarter about where and how they live.
''It will require a significant modification in the way we have settled the country and our lifestyle,'' the KPMG demographer said.
''It might also be appropriate to look for a new city up north, in the same way that in the last 50 years we've created the Gold Coast.''
The rainfall and agriculture of the Pilbara and the Kimberley made it suitable for more intensive development, he said.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd stoked the population debate in the lead-up to Australia Day, warning of a squeeze on the health system as baby boomers aged.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott also weighed in, questioning the sustainability of increased migration.
Projections for long-term growth should not assume current lifestyles will be maintained, Mr Salt said.
For example, future Australians would probably use more water tanks and solar panels, rely less on cars, and work either from home, or closer to it, ameliorating the strain on resources.
By 2050, the global population is set to grow to 9 billion from about 7 billion today. As a nation of 22 million with the resources of a continent, Australia had a moral imperative to take its share of migrants, Mr Salt said.
''We need to project that we are a generous nation,'' he said. ''You might get away with no growth for the next 10 years, but then those pressures build up.
''The rest of the planet says, 'We're drowning in poverty and here's Australia sitting on 22 million people, and they don't want to accept migrants because it compromises the quality of their lifestyle'.''
Similarly, the University of Adelaide's Graeme Hugo said closing the door on migration was not an option.
''Because of our age structure, we're going to lose 40 per cent of our workforce over the next 15 to 20 years,'' the professor of geography said.
''It's not just a matter of new jobs, it's a matter of replacing people in jobs.''
Professor Hugo said a fresh look at Australia's settlement system was needed to determine if the nation's obsession with the coast was still an economic necessity or a mere continuation of ''a historical accident''.
''Jobs these days are much less determined by a particular location,'' he said. ''We have to look at the technological and environmental situation now.''
The approach of the '70s was to expand regional centres, but with increased mobility and city infrastructure under pressure, a new city was viable. ''Whether it's a new city or development in places less affected by climate change, such as Tasmania, or the northern parts of Australia, all those options have to be on the table,'' he said.
The North of Australia seems like a good place to build in. I think it is very unlikely a new city will be planned however. It is far more likely that places like Darwin and Cairns will become larger. I would be in favour of settling the Kimberly region, obviously in a way that minimized the impact on the native environment. And Darwin could do with a lot more people there, however it would certainly need a lot more infrastructure; wider roads, civic buildings, more open parks, public transport, a rail link that goes into the centre of the city, and drinking fountains because that city is HOT. In the future if Cox Peninsula was developed more, they might even end up with a harbour bridge. The main deterrent seems to be the hot weather without the respite afforded by beaches crawling with gators.