Originally published in The Canberra Times on June 23, 2012

As our population continues to grow rapidly, the government is faced with choices is doesn’t like to make. According to the latest census, Canberra’s population has grown by 9.9 per cent (compared to 7.9 per cent nationally) in the past five years – a growth, which among other things, places incredible pressure on the ACT budget. While private companies are elated when the number of customers grows, our obsession with budget surpluses means that an influx of new taxpayers is typically seen as a big problem. Indeed, a big problem to be solved by reducing the quality of services provided to existing residents.

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