According to the latest report of the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Melbourne has the highest population growth over 2019. Melbourne is followed by Brisbane among the highest growth rate of capital cities. The latest Regional Population Growth report by the ABS showed a 2.3 per cent (113,480) population increase over 2019. Net overseas migration was a major contributor to the increase in Melbourne. Other factors include net integral migration and natural. All three components evenly contribute to the population growth in Brisbane of 2.1 per cent (52,287).Melbourne’s population is now more than 5.2 million surpassing Queensland’s total population late last year. Victoria’s capital city is well on its way to overtake Sydney soon.
The impacts of population growth in both Melbourne and Brisbane are growing. There is an increasing demand for housing, infrastructures and living standards. Billions worth of infrastructure are underway in Melbourne including the $9.3 billion inland rail from Melbourne to Brisbane and the $11 billion Melbourne Metro Tunnel. Several projects for various purposes including air travel, road networks, healthcare and community engagement are in the midst of construction in both majour cities.
The Australian government announced stricter restrictions in the country to prevent further spread of the Covid-19. Social-distancing, self-isolation and lockdown are now in place in efforts to flatten the curve. According to University of Melbourne epidemiologist Tony Blakely, to flatten the curve does not mean stopping the transmission. He explained that the phrase means to slow down and contain the contagion into a manageable level. It is vital that the situation “pick up a bit and then hold” said Blakely.Blakely also said Australia’s approach to achieving herd immunity with “over 60 per cent” being infected. This means the majority of the population will have developed immunity to protect them from the virus. Herd community will then disrupt further contraction despite the absence of the vaccine. Immunologist and Nobel Prize winner Peter Doherty said the virus will flatten in the “next couple of weeks.” Doherty commended the federal government’s actions in battling the pandemic. “Basically, the government is stepping up to the plate. I think the steps announced by the Prime Minister and the premiers will dampen this down,” Doherty said.