On Friday, it was revealed in Fairfax that the major parties have agreed not to debate immigration policy this Federal Election, effectively shutting down discussion on the issue.
This comes despite an Essential Research opinion poll last month showing that the overwhelming majority of Australians do not support the high levels of immigration experienced over the past decade:
As shown above, 59% of Australians surveyed believed that “the level of immigration into Australia over the last ten years has been too high”, more than double the 28% of Australians that disagreed with that statement.
Over the past decade, Australia’s population has grown at one of the fastest rates in the developed world and far above the historical average:
It was the sleight of hand of John Howard that originally mislead the Australian people on immigration. While Howard talked tough on the arrivals of boat people, he opened the backdoor to economic migrants arriving here by plane, leading to a giant surge in the levels of immigration and population growth.
How do I know this? Well John Howard admitted this obfuscation in a Radio National interview in 2014:
“Every country does have the right to decide the composition, the manner, and the timing of the flow of people. And that’s something the Australian people support…
One of the reasons why it is so important to maintain that policy is that the more people think our borders are being controlled, the more supportive they are in the long-term of higher levels of immigration.
Australia needs a high level of immigration. I’m a high immigration man. I practiced that in Government. And one of the ways that you maintain public support for that is to communicate to the Australian people a capacity to control our borders and decide who and what people and when they come to this country”
This obfuscation continues today, with reports that the Department of Immigration has ignored tens of thousands of cases of visa rorting by people arriving in Australia by plane.
Correct me if I am wrong, but when did John Howard ever articulate to the Australian people that the Government was going to dramatically expand the nation’s immigration intake?
From my recollection of events, Australia’s immigration intake was increased by stealth first under the Howard Government, then continued by the Rudd/Gillard Governments, and now under the Abbott/Turnbull Governments. There was never any community consultation on the issue or any national discussion.
Worse, the lion’s share of the population growth has poured into Australia’s two biggest and already most overcrowded cities: Sydney and Melbourne:
With Sydney and Melbourne, in particular, straining under under the weight of continual high population growth – think widespread infrastructure bottlenecks, rising congestion, and record low housing affordability – it’s amazing that the population ponzi has been ignored for so long.
The Greens, too, have refused to speak-out against Australia’s excessive population (immigration) growth, despite population size having a direct impact on the environment. Like the major parties, they have wrongly conflated the issue of immigration with boat people and asylum seekers, despite the overwhelming majority of new arrivals being economic migrants arriving here by plane.
The silence from all sides is amazing given immigration affects many facets of life, including:
- whether you can afford a decent home a reasonable commute from work;
- how long you spend stuck in traffic;
- whether you can find a seat on a train, bus or tram;
- whether there is a bed for you in hospital or a spot for your child at the local school
Due largely to immigration, Australia is on track to double its population by 2050 to more than 40 million people, despite virtually no discussion or mandate for this dramatic change, nor any plan on how to cope with this growth.
Australia desperately needs to openly and maturely discuss the whole immigration and population growth issue, not shut-down debate, as our major parties have done.
The only political party that is willing to discuss this important issue is the Sustainable Australia Party, which is why they have my vote in the Senate in the upcoming Federal Election.