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Business leaders have been more vocal today in expressing their concerns about the Prime Minister's push for a sustainable population.
Opinion polls suggest that swinging voters in marginal seats in Queensland and New South Wales are scared about an increasing population.
But those running businesses, particularly in industries facing skills shortages, are asking whether Australia can sustain economic growth without a growing population.
From Canberra, Brendan Trembath reports.
As Australia's population tops 22 million there are more people on the roads, making the drive to work in the biggest cities a slow one.
This was the radio traffic report in Melbourne this morning.
Airport to West Gate stop start all the way, second gear grind, pretty much from Brunswick Road and over the Bolte.
Most Australians live in the state and territory capitals.
The Opposition's finance spokesman Andrew Robb says the Coalition supports sustainable population growth.
It is a fact of life that there hasn't been the planning done to accommodate the massive increases in immigration that we've had in the last few years.
He argues the Coalition would manage population pressure better.
We need to have made some plans as to where they'll go, how we can accommodate them so we don't end up with the traffic report that you just had.
Andrew Robb has told ABC local radio's Jon Faine thought that though that some growth is good.
We are for growth.
No you're not. Tony Abbott, Julia Gillard you're both running around the countryside saying we don't want too much growth. Australia's already pretty much at capacity, which is just plain nonsense.
Its scaremongering and pandering to the lowest common denominator.
Western Sydney is one of the biggest industrial areas in Australia.
There's a lot of semi-skilled factory work, metal fabrication and manufacturing in that area. So they want to employ local people that can actually get to work locally rather than having to transfer to the city to get there.
Narelle Stoker is the general manager of the Cumberland Business Chamber.
In the area that we're in, the infrastructure is lacking OK, the roads, the transport, even the housing requirements are really low. So you're already at maximum. To bring more people into the area with the lack of infrastructure is putting us probably backwards.
Not moving forwards as the Prime Minister Julia Gillard like to say.
She also says she supports sustainable population growth. And she's tried to empathise with people in crowded parts of the country.
I suspect they would say things like I'm spending more time on the road and less time with the kids. I think they would say things like I'm spending more time waiting at the medical centre and less time at the dinner table.
There's more to consider though than the standard of living in the big cities.
Australia's thriving resources industry is crying out for more workers.
John Nicolaou is the chief economist at the West Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
CCI has recently done some economic modelling around the current and future labour needs of this state and we expect that this state alone will need an extra 500,000 workers throughout all industry sectors, but certainly mining and construction will be dominant sectors in terms of labour demand.
But on the basis of current population growth and policy settings we're going to fall over 200,000 workers short of that mark. So that does, by the end of year 10 - so 2020, so that does signify the importance of this issue from this state's perspective and really it's an issue of national importance as well.
A labour shortage in the west, but crowded cities in the east. It highlights Australia's population paradox.
Brendan Trembath reporting.
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