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Opening address given by the chair, Jenny Goldie, Professor Frank Fenner and Liberal MP Mal Washer.

Emeritus Professor Frank Fenner was born in Ballarat in 1914 and graduated MB BS in Adelaide University in 1939. He enlisted in 1940 and ended up as a malariologist in New Guinea. From 1946-48 he worked with MacFarlane Burnet at the Hall Institute, then for a year with Rene Dubos at the Rockefeller Institute in New York. In 1949 he was appointed Professor of Microbiology at the John Curtin School of Medical Research, in 1967 Director of the School and in 1973 Director of the Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies. After retirement in 1979, he spent the next 25 years writing books, 22 in all. He was deeply involved in myxomatosis to control rabbits and the eradication of smallpox, for which he shared the Japan Prize. He is a Patron of Sustainable Population Australia Inc.

Dr MalWasher 'retired' from a successful career in medicine in 1998 when he was elected to the Federal seat of Moore in WA. Aside from medicine, he is passionate about science, innovation and the environment. He is Deputy Chair of the HoR Standing Committee on Environment and Heritage and outgoing Chair of the Parliamentary Group on Population and Development.

Back to: SPA Canberra Conference 2008 page.

Population growth and the MDG's.

Population growth and the Millenium Development Goals. Canberra, Australia. March 14-15, 2008.

At 6.7 billion, the human population has quadrupled in the last 100 years.

86 % of future population growth will be in the developing and poorer countries.

If we had universal family planning available we would save 30% of maternal mortality and 20% of child mortality.

In East Timor the birth rate of 8.5 children per woman results in high maternal mortality. 40% of pregnancies are unplanned. The price of not being able to plan can be death. The environment is being depleted to serve human hungers dependent on the environment, eg. deforestation, salinity of Murray Darling basin, where new bores are still being permitted. For every kilo of bread we have produced, Australia has lost a kilo of topsoil.