The Australian finance minister has hit back against suggestions the country is overpopulated and confirmed he welcomes continued immigration.
Speaking to the Property Council of Australia, Lindsay Tanner described suggestions the expatriate community is already too large as "nonsense".
He suggested the country should endeavour to make better use of its urban spaces, pointing to European cities as examples of much higher population density.
According to the minister, Melbourne has around 487 inhabitants per sq km, compared to Dublin with 1,273 per sq km.
"If Australia seeks to persuade the rest of the world that we are overpopulated, we will be rightly laughed at," the Melbourne Age quotes Mr Tanner as saying.
The federal government is preparing to release the latest Intergenerational Report, which is expected to predict Australia’s population will grow by 65 per cent in the next 40 years, reaching 35 million by 2049.
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