Why vs Why Not: Big Australia

Why vs Why Not: Big Australia

Jessica Brown & Oliver Hartwich vs Mark O’Connor, Pantera Press

This little book is part of a series in which experts in the field are invited to argue their case both for and against a complex issue.

The concept is in some ways very familiar, using the principles of debating. Each “side” gets to make its case with seven key reasons, then conclude by rebutting the opposing view. The presentation is simple yet effective. Read the yes case, then flip the book around and read the no case.

The beauty of this series is that both sides get to make its case and rebut its opponent without the usual ranting and petty jibes usually present in discussion of emotive topics such as this.

Arguments against Big Australia as outlined by Mark O’Connor, who has served on Sustainable Population Australia for ten years, are unsurprisingly around long-term sustainability, damage to our natural environment and quality of live.

Brown and Hartwich, authors of Populate and Perish, on the other hand argue that we have nothing to fear, indeed plenty to celebrate in our future, in a Big Australia.

There is also an interactive element to the booklets. Readers are encouraged to go online to express their opinion on the hot topic — in this case whether Australians should say yes or no to Big Australia www.panterapress.com. The reader is also encouraged to suggest future Why or Why not topics — those topics where there is public controversy, dissension or misunderstanding.

This would make an ideal study group resource for groups interested in discussing topics important to Australian society at this time.

Karyl Davison

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