New Australia PM rejects population growth plan


Gillard SYDNEY — New Prime Minister Julia Gillard signalled a change in the government’s approach to population growth on Sunday, saying she did not believe in a "big Australia".

Gillard, a former lawyer who wrested leadership of the Labor Party and the government from Kevin Rudd on Thursday, said population policy needed to strike the right balance between growth and sustainability.

"I don’t believe in a big Australia," Welsh-born Gillard said.

"Kevin Rudd indicated that he had a view about a big Australia, I’m indicating a different approach. I think we want an Australia that is sustainable," she told the Nine Network.

With 22 million residents, Rudd had expressed optimism about a "big Australia" with a population of more than 36 million people by 2050, achieved through rising birth rates and immigration.

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