Dick Smith defends funding population doco

Dick Smith has defended his role in part-funding an ABC documentary, Dick Smith’s Population Puzzle, which looks at the ramifications of an exploding Australian population in the future.

The documentary produced by independent production company Real Pictures will air at 8:30pm on Thursday night followed by a Q & A special discussing the points raised.

Dick Smith contributed up to 10 per cent of the estimated $500,000 budget and gave his time to the production free of charge. He also appears in the documentary.

“What could happen if we go to 45 million or indeed 100 million?” he asks in the preview.

“It’s obvious that there’s no plan.”

But Friends of the ABC said his co-funding of the documentary gives the perception that people can fund programs to get their views on to the ABC.

”I think the ABC has been very brave and very responsible in purchasing this documentary because no commercial channel would,” Smith told The Age.

ABC Director of Television Kim Dalton is reported to have supported the documentary from its pitch last year provided other points of view were represented.

Source: The Age


  1. Really enjoyed the documentary and must say that it provided the thinking of the majority of Australians. The main issues are a plan for expansion, if indeed expansion is to be, but my fear is that of food and particularly water. Where will it come from? Most of the country has been on water restrictions for a number of years now and will continue. Great work Dick Smith – you have done it again – thinking about Australia. Stand for PM and you’ll walk it in!!

  2. Dick Smith and the ABC, I commend you. With the human population growing at the rate of 90 million each year, I don’t know if i want to imagine what it will be like in another 100 years. Half the people of the world can hardly get enough food to feed themselves as it is. Oh we of the lucky country (mostly desert), hark let them come. We will find a way. Let that river flow freely.

  3. Why is everybody already commenting on teh program without eve seeing it first? Get a grip people! Immigration is the problem if you don’t have infrastructure in place to accept a large new population. our polis are listening too much the big business that is driving with no other responsibilities to accommodate them. Let’s furst watch it and then comment it.

  4. I really can’t see the difference between ‘producing’ a documentary and ‘funding’ a documentary. If he’d just put the money up and called himself executive producer, there wouldn’t be this fuss. It’s just the PC crowd trying once again to shout down his argument.

  5. I’m not saying it’s not an issue that needs examination, but Dick Smith is an egomaniacal loon, and does the “cause” no favours. Essentially paying for a platform for his quasi-political views is really quite dodgy.

  6. He was very arrogant and completely biased on 7pm project I wanted to shove a sock in his mouth. I can understand issues about population but his arguments were unjust.

    And ontop of all of this the whole population debate ends up coming across as racist and intolerant on our nations behalf.

  7. how many docos has any of the “friends” of the ABC made in last 20 years….anyone…anyone…Beulla ? As an indy prod and tried to pitch more docos than hot dinners, all rejected of course, one will realize it is harder than one can imagine to get ANY project up, so if DS wants to chip in 10%, more power to them…

  8. Against population growth

    Why should Dick Smith have to defend his role in having his documentary aired on the ABC? Why do the commercial TV stations want to ignore it? This is a very important issue that can’t be ignored? Do people Want to be crowded out with the 100 million that threaten to crowd the coastlines of this dry landmass??

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