Australia faces a federally instigated migration drive aimed at increasing its population to 35 million by 2049. Immigration is welcomed by politicians, economists and businesspeople, who credit it with helping Australia fare better than other developed countries during the recent global financial crisis.
Australia’s capital cities will have to expand considerably to house the new migrants. Increased urbanisation, when not accompanied by appropriate town planning, is associated with higher rates of chronic disease. Despite the migration drive, Australia’s population will continue to age, and by 2056 one in four Australians will be over the age of 65 years.
Australian health services are already heavily burdened. Health professionals must engage with governments to ensure that appropriate plans are put in place to accommodate the increased burden of disease that will accompany a more populous Australia.
Failure to do so will compromise the health of our nation.
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