Options to 2050 for Australia's population,
technology, resources and environment
A CSIRO technical report by Barney Foran and Franzi Poldy,
Resource Futures Program, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems
Accessing the Report
There are two documents available for download, both in Adobe
Acrobat pdf format. If you are unable to access or read this
file format, please contact the Resource Futures Program at CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems.
Please Note: if you have arranged for a printed copy
to be posted, PLEASE ALLOW 10 DAYS FOR DELIVERY.
A 61 page summary document, Dilemmas Distilled:
A Summary and Guide to the CSIRO Technical Report, can
be downloaded from the CSE Web site.
Please Note: Printed copies of this summary document are
being distributed through the Commonwealth Department of Immigration
and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA).
The full 337 page report, Future Dilemmas: Options
to 2050 for Australia's population, technology, resources
and environment, can be downloaded from
the CSE Web site. Alternatively, individual
chapters can be downloaded as required.
Printed copies of the report can be obtained by contacting the Resource Futures Program at CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems for information.
Future Dilemmas Report in Separate Chapters:
About the Report
What impact will the size of Australia's future population
have on the environment, the physical economy, the national
infrastructure and our quality of life?
To gain insights into what the future might hold for Australia, researchers at CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, in collaboration with whatIf? Technologies Inc., developed the Australian Stocks and Flows Framework (ASFF)1, a unique tool that provides new capabilities for understanding and modelling the dynamics of the Australian economy in physical terms.
Future Dilemmas is a technical report that encapsulates
the results of this research, which was commissioned by the
Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous
It explores the future effect of three population/immigration
scenarios on infrastructure, resources and the environment
out to the year 2050.
- The first scenario considers what would happen if the
net immigration rate was zero persons a year (described
as the low scenario in the report).
- The second considers what happens if the rate was 70 000
a year (the current policy setting, and described as the
- The third examines the consequences of an immigration
rate set at two thirds of one percent (0.67%) of the current
population per year (described here as the high scenario).
The low scenario (zero immigration) represents the policy
position of some environment groups. Based on current population
growth, it would see a domestic population of 20 million by
2050. The medium scenario gives a population of 25 million
by 2050. The high scenario (0.67% growth pa) is a position
advocated by many business interests. It gives us 32 million
people by 2050.
Future Dilemmas explores the consequences of these
three scenarios for people, urban infrastructure, the natural
environment, energy, water and a broad range of other issues.
Future Dilemmas: options to 2050 for Australia's population,
technology, resources and environment was officially launched
on Thursday 7 November 2002 by the Hon Philip Ruddock, Minister
for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs.
1 ASFF was designed and implemented by a project team that included Robert Hoffman and Bert McInnis, principals of whatIf? Technologies Inc. (formerly Robbert Associates Ltd), of Ottawa, Canada. ASFF is implemented using the whatIf? suite of modelling tools developed and distributed by whatIf? Technologies.
Please send all enquries to CSE Resource Futures.