03 December 2009

Australia. Continent, but no longer a single country

I'm 34. Will it be in my lifetime that climate change, demographic reality, shifting identities and loyalties change Australia from a single nation to a continent of nations?

When I look at the size of our landmass and the precarious land use in other countries--Pacific islands, Bangladesh, the Maldives--I wonder how seriously they look at us and think of emigration. And how seriously must we consider opening our borders?

There are problems. Do we let whole nations or ethnic groups move to Australia, and if we do, will they, should they, assimilate or do we carve off a portion of land to be theirs? And if we start dishing out land, other nations will come looking. China, Indonesia, India. The world is interested in our mineral and energy resources, and also in the food security of owning our land. Could our generosity start a war? Would we be generous?

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