Economically I think we need to populate or risk becoming insignificant on the international stage. There'll always be growing pain in regards to Infrastructure, but we need the people to pay the taxes so we can afford to upgrade. If in the far future we become insignificant there would be no pressure/motivation for the larger powers to honour treaties and would make us a more enticing target.
From what I understand (And I am no expert on the matter)we are a massive net exporter of food so in my opinion the argument of infertile soil and water shortages comes up short. I've heard reports that our water infrastructure is so bad that we lose 66% between the source and the target. As technologies and water becomes more scarce this will be addressed.
We can never compete with Asia and to an extent eastern Europe in manufacturing, but we have an excellent services sector, as globalisation and digitalisation expand we can market Australia as a services centre of excellence. Of course we also have the resources that again as technology advances will become more and more cost effective to extract and sell to the world.
my 2 cents.
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