A Queensland conservationist says it should not take the new Federal Population Minister a year to develop a national population strategy.
Federal Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Minister Tony Burke was appointed Australia’s first Population Minister at the weekend.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says a strategy for managing the nation’s population growth will be created over the next 12 months.
Queensland Conservation Council spokesman Simon Baltais says the appointment of a Federal Population Minister is long overdue.
Mr Baltais says the population strategy should be created sooner because Australia’s high growth rate is one of the most important national issues.
“Twelve months is just a little bit too long,” he said.
“There’s plenty of information from the CSIRO that’s been collected over the years – I don’t think he needs to wait that long.”
He says while he welcomes Mr Burke’s appointment, he is concerned it was driven by politics.
“I think this is where some of the scepticism starts to creep in and that is is this just to deal with the politics of it,” he said.
“Is this just about trying to smooth waters over and get them over the next election or is this a genuine desire to fix the problem?
“There’s plenty of research around – they know what they need to do, they know where the problems are and I would hope they would come up with something a lot sooner than 12 months.”