20/20: Growing Australia for a Prosperous Future

Download this report:
20/20: Growing Australia for a prosperous future (PDF, 931 KB)


The Future Party today announced their 20/20 vision report – a plan to have a total net migration intake of 20 million people over the next 20 years to guarantee Australia’s future prosperity. The plan is built on the back of modelling results that show a demographic crisis will occur within 20 years without an immediate change to immigration policy.


Report graphic

Party leader and NSW Senate candidate James Jansson says it is time for a new voice to be heard on this issue and a new, mature debate to occur.

“Those Australians who love and value migration to this country, those Australians who know we need a real policy response to our ageing population, have had no say in our political debate.

Mr Jansson went on to criticise the current approach. “The government wants to take the productivity gains of the future, which should improve our standard of living, to instead fund the costs of an ageing population. We want the next generation of retirees to have at least the same security as today’s, without our children having to work harder and smarter just to stop the country going backwards.


“Today our aged dependency ratio – the number of working age Australians for each person old enough to retire – is 5.4. Under the government’s 16% reduction in average net migration intake this falls to 3.3 by 2033 and just keeps declining.

“The Future Party instead proposes to increase net immigration by 207%. This plan would see 20 million more people in Australia due to migration by 2033, plus another 4.9 million due to natural growth.  This maintains an aged dependency ratio of 5.”

The model broadly accords with the findings of the most recent Intergenerational Report – but allows anyone to make their own assumptions about migration settings. Report co-author and Future Party director Jordan Rastrick criticised existing parties for being unwilling to engage in an honest and open conversation about the population issue.

“The analysis provided by the public service at the behest of the major parties tends to treat migration intake as a given, an assumption that has to be planned around. The truth of course is that migration intake is controlled directly by the policy settings of the government of the day – regardless of how uncomfortable they may be talking about it.

“Until now, the only parties who want to talk about population numbers have been the parties against population and against migration – but they prefer scare tactics and distortions over a rational debate.

“Prime Minister Rudd once supported a big Australia but backed away from his stance in the face of opinion polls. The Coalition tells us to worry about asylum seekers, and the Greens tell us to worry about 457 visa holders. However, little or no attention is paid to the huge contribution new Australians make, whether born here or overseas. And no one talks about how many working Australians we will need to pay for the pensions, aged care and health care of tomorrow.”

Full details are in the 20/20 vision report which can be downloaded here (PDF, 931 KB).

The model used to inform this report can be downloaded here (MS Excel, 1.44 MB).


Image credit: Lachlan Fearnley, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.


Showing 20 reactions

  • @SciencePartyAus tweeted this page. 2014-08-07 23:52:00 +1000
  • Science Party - Admin posted about 20/20: GROWING AUSTRALIA FOR A PROSPEROUS FUTURE on Science Party - Admin's Facebook page 2014-08-07 23:52:00 +1000
    20/20: Growing Australia for a Prosperous Future
  • Myles Cover
    commented 2014-08-02 16:45:31 +1000
    jamesjansson January 25, 2014 at 1:10 am

    > a) fund the infrastructure backlog
    The ageing population is currently making it hard and will make it it even harder to pay for the infrastructure. If we bring in new migrants, we can collect taxes from them on their income and on their purchases. Let me ask you, if we don’t bring in migrants to top up the infrastructure cost (which we are already failing to do) how would YOU pay for it?

    > b) put in place the infrastructure for the additional 745,000 net migrants
    It is envisioned that some of the migrants will be put straight to work building infrastructure. People complain regularly about the death of manufacturing, why don’t we put some of those low and middle skilled workers into infrastructure development?
  • Myles Cover
    commented 2014-08-02 16:45:13 +1000
    AustraliansForSustainability January 24, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    Indeed it is absurb Ecoengine Oz. We are at 23 million and growing at over 400,000 a year with 60% coming directly from immigration and we are unable to provide sufficient schools, hospitals, ambulance services, roads, bridges, transport as it is. The IMF puts the majority of the richest countries in GDP per capita terms as having less than half our population.

    Not only that, our current infrastructure deficit is estimated to now be around 800 billion. Would the future party kindly explain how they intend to a) fund the infrastructure backlog (which is reportedly costing us some 12 billion a year in lost productivity) and b) put in place the infrastructure for the additional 745,000 net migrants that they plan on bringing in?

    We have an estimated 2 million un/underemployed and around quarter of a million homeless. Who is going to fund the additional houses and infrastructure given we’ve sold most of our wealth to pay for the immigration program for the last couple of decades?

    Hmm, I don’t know why I’m bothering. The Future Party just offers more of the same grow and hope rubbish that we get from the Liberals and Labor and of late it seems the Greens. How it is people are more concerned with the 3rd world mindset of an ageing population than starvation, water shortages or sky rocketing living costs (primarily due to population growth) is beyond me?
  • Myles Cover
    commented 2014-08-02 16:44:43 +1000
    Ecoengine Oz January 24, 2014 at 7:09 am

    This is an absurd plan. It’s a myth that ongoing population growth brings prosperity! Australians are facing great cost of living hikes due to population growth, and instead of improving, our living standards will decline. Australia was more prosperous in the past, when we had a much smaller population, and tertiary education was free. As for an ageing population threat, adding more migrants will only make the “ageing population” problem even greater down the track. This is Ponzi demographics and adding migrants will only give a short, temporary injection of “youth”. There’s no elixir of eternal youth, individually or as a whole. We need to face the reality of ageing, and learn from Japan. It needs to be a time of increased productivity, innovation and skills, not more people!
  • Myles Cover
    commented 2014-08-02 16:44:24 +1000
    David Rose September 8, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    I also believe that the specifics of immigration policy (i.e. selection) should be delegated to the market (rather than managed by bureaucracy).

    For analogy, the State is like the seller of a house (which is like the lump entitlement to public goods), all the buyer (potential immigrant) needs to do is to find a commercial mortgage provider who is willing to finance the deal. The broker will sort out the screening details.

    This is similar to the LDP’s “tariff” model, which would enable relatively free migration based on a “Public Goods Contribution”
    • Pre-payment for public goods and services.
    • Actuarially priced, unit-based.
    • Unit price set by:
      – At 90th percentile of native contribution.
      – Auctioned at present quota.
      – Regulatory adjustments…
    • Financing:
      – Lump-sum.
      – “Mortgage” loan screened by private markets.
      – Built-in associated compulsory insurance (IPI, SAI etc.)
    • Subsidies:
      – Merit-based skill scholarships.
      – Regional subsidies.
      – Private charity funded humanitarian subsidies.
    • Status: Protectoriats.
      – PR; (automatically renewed).
      – Revocable only in severe circumstances.
      – Travel documents.
      – Local participation (e.g. council elections).
  • Myles Cover
    commented 2014-08-02 16:44:02 +1000
    jamesjansson September 8, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    Technology will have a place in reducing the costs with aging, I’m sure. And with the possibility of extremely long and productive lives, it may be an issue that might not need to be solved in the very long term. In the short term, there are also social issues, I believe, which dampens fertility due to the impact that raising children has on the quality of life and careers of young women which we can work to resolve.
  • Myles Cover
    commented 2014-08-02 16:43:47 +1000
    David Rose September 8, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    You may have a viable point. Though exporting the gerontology problem is not a sustainable solution for the long term, a short or medium term tweak in policy can plausibly buy some time for us to eventually solve it through development in medicine and technology.
  • Myles Cover
    commented 2014-08-02 16:43:33 +1000
    jamesjansson September 8, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    I personally think that the free movement of labour will do more for worldwide poverty than any aid program will ever achieve. That said, there is a real clump of people who are in the baby boomer generation. Every year since 1978, fertility has been below replacement. The lower than replacement rates can and should be complemented by increases in immigration.
  • Myles Cover
    commented 2014-08-02 16:43:10 +1000
    David Rose September 8, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    Back to the topic, I believe free movement of labour (as of goods and capital) can improve the Pareto efficiency between advanced (and even not so advanced) economies. But it has very limited impact in solving the chronical demographic problem.
  • Myles Cover
    commented 2014-08-02 16:42:54 +1000
    David Rose September 8, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Indeed an euphemised term may sound less controversial. I would like to see a come back of the science and social impetus in their well-being promoting and modern forms, namely universal availability of programs for prenatal, perinatal and infant nutrition and health, prenatal screening, techonologies for parental intervention in selecting gametes (as well as a whole range of fertility related consultation services), and social policies such as paid parental leave and childcare etc.
    While population policy engineering relates to the macro level and over generations, these specific interventions concern the micro and operational level of putting deliberate decision making into the process of procreation.
  • Myles Cover
    commented 2014-08-02 16:42:34 +1000
    jamesjansson September 8, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    I would be very careful with the use of the word “eugenics”. It can mean a lot of things, so I’m going to leave it here if you want to clarify what you mean.
  • Myles Cover
    commented 2014-08-02 16:42:21 +1000
    David Rose September 8, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    Quite possibly the only solution would be large scale community-wide interventions such as social rearing, demographics engineering, even applied eugenics. It won’t be effectively addressed without some fundamental changes to our society.
  • Myles Cover
    commented 2014-08-02 16:42:05 +1000
    David Rose September 8, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    There’s clearly a practical paradox here:
    1. Foretold demographic crisis of worker-to-retiree ratio;
    2. Possible solution by importing a large number of young, skilled workers;
    3. Skilled workers with prospect of economic output and social integration come with sources with high human development;
    4. Those sources are looking at the same dire situation of projected demographic crisis…
    This is probably why a proposal like this often attracts accusations of “Ponzi demographis”…
  • Myles Cover
    commented 2014-08-02 16:41:50 +1000
    Pon Arunagiri – India August 30, 2013 at 1:19 am

    I sincerely feel that the Future Party’s policy about the migration is appreciable visionary statement for the good of Australia’s economy. Experience has shown that countries with a good ratio of working population is progressing. The working population is the major determinant in creating more goods, services and also demand apart from creating human wealth for the country in the long term. Hence agressively working for this is good
  • Myles Cover
    commented 2014-08-02 16:41:30 +1000
    jamesjansson August 29, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Yes, we need to be careful about creating a future demographic crisis by solving this one. But theoretically we could choose to instantaneously increase the number of migrants with the right age mix to balance out the lump of baby boomers such that the current age distribution matches the mortality distribution over the next 20 years or so. Our plan comes close to the idealised distribution that would avoid such a problem (in 20 years you can reduce migration flow and maintain a good ratio of working age to retirement age for quite a few years). This is especially true if we maintain a rate of 1.9 for fertility. The main demographic crisis in Australia is actually the lump of baby boomers, not ridiculously low levels of replacement such as in China and Japan.
  • Myles Cover
    commented 2014-08-02 16:41:13 +1000
    Sean August 29, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    This ‘vision’ is a policy based on fighting fire with fire.
    It may make some people feel like they are helping, and doing the right thing, but in the end it is utterly unsustainable and will instead hasten the inevitable collapse of “more folks – less resources”.
  • Myles Cover
    commented 2014-08-02 16:40:56 +1000
    Michael Strack August 31, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    Sounds good Jordan, thanks for the response.
  • Myles Cover
    commented 2014-08-02 16:40:34 +1000
    Jordan Rastrick August 30, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Agreed, migration isn’t a complete long term response, especially to the secular trend of population ageing due to falling mortality as opposed to the component that is due to the Baby Boom.

    If you read the report, you’ll note we have specifically left the door open for some further increases in the retirement age. Our general policy to reduce effective marginal tax rates on people receiving welfare also applies here, to people who wish to claim a part pension but also say work part time.

    We are also looking to develop more policies around health and aged care costs.
  • Myles Cover
    commented 2014-08-02 16:40:12 +1000
    Michael Strack August 29, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    This may very well be a sensible short to medium term response to an aging population (I’d have to do more reading to have a firm opinion). But what happens as migrants age? In the true long-term, it’s vital that we restructure the relationship between age and productive citizenship. As education and technology (hopefully) continue to improve quantity and quality of life, including for recent migrants and their families, it doesn’t seem sustainable to, for example, have everyone retire at 65 and have another 20-25 years without work. Is it?

    For most people, presumably, we want to continue to contribute, in some form or other, until we attain room temperature. At the moment the available/encouraged avenues for contribution drastically reduce as we age. We need to enable and encourage people to be active, productive, engaged and happy citizens for absolutely as long as they can, in whatever manner they are able/required/desire. It’ll be better all round.
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