MB submission to the Migration Program review

February 2018


Submission to the Department of Home Affairs’ Managing Australia’s Migrant Intake Review


At MacroBusiness we support immigration, but at sustainable levels.

Australia’s immigration levels are too high – higher than our cities can absorb. The infrastructure costs of high immigration are excessive and Australia’s infrastructure supply is not keeping up with demand, despite our best efforts.

The economic arguments frequently used to justify high immigration fail the evidence test. Empirical data does not support mass immigration. Excessive immigration also damages Australia’s employment market and the environment.

It is time for an honest debate.

Currently, Australia’s immigration program is overloading the major cities with tens of thousands of extra people each year to stoke overall economic growth (but not growth per person) and to support business (e.g. the property industry and retailers), despite growth per person stagnating.

Meanwhile, individual living standards are being eroded through rising congestion costs, declining housing affordability, paying more for infrastructure (e.g. toll roads and water), environmental degradation, and overall reduced amenity.

The economic evidence for the above is contained in this submission.

The Australian Government needs to stop ignoring these issues. Australia’s living standards are at stake.

MacroBusiness urges the Australian Government to reduce Australia’s immigration intake back towards the historical average of around 70,000 people per annum.

1. Australia’s immigration program is unprecedented:

One of the most profound changes affecting the Australian economy and society this century has been the massive lift in Australia’s net immigration, which surged from the early-2000s and is running at roughly triple the pace of historical norms (Chart 1).

In the 116 years following Australia’s Federation in 1901, Australia’s net overseas migration (NOM) averaged around 73,000 people a year and Australia’s population grew on average by around 180,000 people.

Over the past 12 years, however, Australia’s annual NOM has averaged nearly 220,000 people a year and Australia’s population has grown on average by 370,000 people.

The principal driver of Australia’s population increase has been the Australian Government’s permanent migrant intake, which has increased from 79,000 in 1999 to nearly 210,000 currently, including the humanitarian intake (Chart 2).

Due to this mass immigration ‘Big Australia’ policy, Australia’s population has expanded at a rate that is more than 2.5 times the OECD average, easily the fastest of advanced English-speaking nations (Chart 3).

This rapid population growth is expected to continue for decades to come, with the Australian Government’s Intergenerational Report projecting population growth of nearly 400,000 people a year – equivalent to one Canberra – until Australia’s population reaches 40 million mid-century (see Chart 1 above).

However, the problem with Australia’s mass immigration policy is not just the extreme volume, but also the concentration of migrants flowing to Australia’s largest and already most overcrowded cities.

As shown in Chart 4, around three quarters of Australia’s NOM has flowed to New South Wales and Victoria, principally Sydney and Melbourne:

In the 12 years to 2016, Melbourne’s population expanded by nearly 1.1 million (30%), while Sydney’s population expanded by 845,000 (20%). There was also strong growth in Brisbane (537,000) and Perth (502,000) (Charts 5 and 6).

The migrant influx helps to explain why dwelling price growth has been strongest in Sydney and Melbourne, and why housing is most unaffordable in these two cities (Charts 7 and 8). While the Australian Government and property lobby likes to blame a ‘lack of supply’, the problem rests primarily with excessive demand from mass immigration.

The chronic problems around housing and infrastructure will only get worse under the current mass immigration policy.

State Government projections have Melbourne’s population expanding by 97,000 people each year (1,870 people a week) and Sydney’s by 87,000 people each year (1,670 people each week) for the next several decades until both cities’ populations hit around 8 million people mid-century.

To put this population growth into perspective, consider the following facts:

  • It took Sydney around 210 years to reach a population of 3.9 million in 2001. And yet the official projections have Sydney adding roughly the same number of people again in just 50 years.
  • It took Melbourne nearly 170 years to reach a population of 3.3 million in 2001. In just 15 years, Melbourne expanded by 34% to 4.5 million people. And the official projections have Melbourne’s population ballooning by another 3.4 million people in just 35 years.

No matter which way you cut it, residents of our two largest cities will continue to feel the impact of this rapid population growth via: traffic gridlock; overloaded public transport, schools, and hospitals; pressures on energy and water supplies; as well as more expensive (and smaller) housing.
It is a clear recipe for lower living standards.

2. No economic bonanza:

Politicians and economists frequently claim that maintaining a ‘strong’ immigration program is essential as it keeps the population young and productive, and without constant immigration, the population would grow old and the economy would stagnate.

For example, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has stated previously that “anyone who thinks it’s smart to cut immigration is sentencing Australia to poverty”. In a similar vein, former KPMG partner and “unabashed supporter of a bigger Australia”, Bernard Salt, has produced reams of articles warning that Australia faces economic and fiscal catastrophe without ongoing strong immigration.

Economic models are often cited as proof that a strong immigration program is ‘good’ for the economy because they show that real GDP per capita is moderately increased via immigration, based on several dubious assumptions.

First, it is generally assumed in these models that population ageing will result in fewer people working, which will subtract from per capita GDP. However, it is just as likely that age-specific workforce participation will respond to labour demand, resulting in fewer people being unemployed, as we have witnessed in Japan, where the unemployment rate is below 3%.

Even if this assumption was true, the benefit to GDP per capita would only be transitory. Once the migrant workers grow old, they too will add to the pool of aged Australians, thus requiring an ever increasing immigration intake to keep the population age profile from rising.

Indeed, the Productivity Commission (PC) has for more than a decade debunked the myth that immigration can overcome population ageing. For example, in its 2010 submission to the Minister for Population, the PC explicitly noted that “substantial increases in the level of net overseas migration would have only modest effects on population ageing and the impacts would be temporary, since immigrants themselves age”.

Academic demographer, Peter McDonald, has also previously stated that it is “demographic nonsense to believe that immigration can help to keep our population young” .

Second, it is generally assumed that migrant workers are more productive than the Australian born population and, therefore, labour productivity is increased through strong immigration. However, the evidence here is highly contestable, with migrants generally being employed below the level of their qualifications, as well as having lower labour force attachment than the Australian born population (more information here).

Third, economists and their models generally ignore obvious ‘costs’ of mass immigration on productivity. Growing Australia’s population without commensurately increasing the stock of household, business and public capital to support the bigger population necessarily ‘dilutes’ Australia’s capital base, leaving less capital per person and lowering productivity. We have witnessed this first hand with the costs of congestion soaring across Australia’s big cities.

Moreover, the cost of retro-fitting our big cities with infrastructure to cope with larger populations is necessarily very expensive – think tunnelling and land acquisitions – with costs borne largely by the incumbent population. This fact was explicitly acknowledged by the PC’s recent Shifting the Dial: 5 year productivity review:

“Growing populations will place pressure on already strained transport systems… Yet available choices for new investments are constrained by the increasingly limited availability of unutilised land. Costs of new transport structures have risen accordingly, with new developments (for example WestConnex) requiring land reclamation, costly compensation arrangements, or otherwise more expensive alternatives (such as tunnels)” .

Finally, while economic models tend to show a modest improvement in real GDP per capita, the gains are more likely to flow to the wealthy, whereas ordinary workers are made worse-off.

In 2006, the PC completed a major study on the Economic Impacts of Migration and Population Growth, which modelled the impact of a 50% increase in the level of skilled migration over the 20 years to 2024-25. The modelling found that even skilled migration does not increase the incomes of existing residents. According to the Commission: “the distribution of these benefits [from skilled migration] varies across the population, with gains mostly accrued to the skilled migrants and capital owners. The incomes of existing resident workers grow more slowly than would otherwise be the case” .

Of course, there are other costs borne by incumbent residents from immigration that are not captured in the economic modelling, such as worsening congestion, increased infrastructure costs, reduced housing affordability, and environmental degradation – none of which are given appropriate consideration by politicians nor economists.

Adding a Canberra-worth of population to Australia each and every year – with 80,000 to 100,000-plus people going to Sydney and Melbourne – requires an incredible amount of investment just to keep up. Accordingly, Australia’s infrastructure deficit has fallen badly behind over the past decade, and will continue to do so under Australia’s mass immigration program, thus eroding residents’ living standards.

3. Empirical data does not support mass immigration:

While the economic models might show small per capita gains from immigration-fuelled population growth, based on faulty assumptions, the actual empirical evidence shows no link between population growth and prosperity.

Since Australia’s immigration intake was expanded in the early-2000s, trend GDP per capita growth has plummeted to recessionary levels, suggesting falling living standards (Chart 9).

Chart 10 plots the growth in GDP per capita versus population change between 2000 and 2016 across OECD nations and shows no correlation (Australia denoted in red):

Meanwhile, there is a slight negative relationship between labour productivity and population growth (Chart 11):

Whereas there is zero correlation between population growth and multifactor productivity across OECD nations:

A recent study by economists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) also found “that even when we control for initial GDP per capita, initial demographic composition and differential trends by region, there is no evidence of a negative relationship between aging and GDP per capita; on the contrary, the relationship is significantly positive in many specifications” (Chart 13).

There is also evidence to suggest that mass immigration is partly behind Australia’s trade and current account deficits, as well as the nation’s ballooning foreign debt.

The lion’s share of Australia’s export revenue comes from commodities and from Western Australia and Queensland in particular (Chart 14):

However, the majority of Australia’s imports and indeed private debt flows to our biggest states (and cities), New South Wales (Sydney) and Victoria (Melbourne). Sydney and Melbourne also happen to be the key magnets for migrants (see Charts 4,5 and 6 above).

Increasing the number of people via mass immigration does not materially boost Australia’s exports but does significantly increase imports (think flat screen TVs, imported cars, etc.). Accordingly, both New South Wales and Victoria have driven huge trade deficits as the extra imports have far outweighed exports (Chart 15):

All of these extra imports must be paid for – either by accumulating foreign debt, or by selling-off the nation’s assets. Australia has been doing both.

Australia would improve its trade balance and current account deficit, as well as reduce the need to sell-off assets and binge on debt, if it simply cut immigration.

Australia will ship the same amount of hard commodities and agriculture regardless of how many people are coming in as all the productive capacity has been set up and it doesn’t require more labour.

4. Lowering immigration would raise wages:

Hand wringing over Australia’s anaemic wages growth (Chart 16) hit fever pitch recently, with politicians, economists and media all searching for answers.

One cause that has received scant attention is the role caused by mass immigration in driving-up labour supply and reducing the bargaining power of workers.

Employer groups often argue that a strong ‘skilled’ migration program is required to overcome perceived labour shortages – a view that is supported by the Australian Government. However, the available data shows this argument to be weak.

The Department of Employment’s 2016-17 Skills Shortages report revealed that Australian skills shortages “continue to be limited in 2016-17”, and that there are a high number of applicants per job (Chart 17):

The Department of Employment also revealed a record number of Australians studying at university (Chart 18):

Of whom many graduates cannot gain meaningful employment (Chart 19):

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ labour force data also shows that Australia’s underutilisation rate remains high, especially for Australia’s youth, despite the recent improvement in the labour market (Chart 20).

Curiously, Australia’s permanent skilled migrant intake is significantly higher today (128,550) than it was at the peak of the mining boom in 2011 (113,850). Why? Unlike then, labour shortages are “limited”, wages growth is running near the lowest level on record, and labour underutilisation is high. What is the economic rationale for running the highest permanent migrant intake on record when economic conditions do not warrant it?

Standard economic theory claims that net inward migration has minimal long-term impact on wages. That is, when the quantity of labour increases, its price (wages) falls. This will supposedly increase profits, eventually leading to more investment, increased demand for labour, and a reversal of the initial fall in wages. Immigration, so the theory goes, will enable the larger domestic population to enjoy the same incomes as the smaller population did before.

However, a recent study by Cambridge University economist, Robert Rowthorn, debunked this argument. The so-called ‘temporary’ effects of displacing incumbent workers and lower wages can last for up to ten years. And if there is a continuing influx of migrants – as is the case in Australia – rather than a one-off increase in the size of the labour force, demand for labour will constantly lag behind growth in supply .

In other words, if the Australian Government was to stem the inflow of foreign workers, then workers’ bargaining power would increase, as will wages growth. It is basic economics.

As noted in April last year by The Australia Institute’s chief economist, Richard Denniss, the very purpose of foreign worker visas is to “suppress wage growth by allowing employers to recruit from a global pool of labour to compete with Australian workers”. In a normal functioning labour market, “when demand for workers rises, employers would need to bid against each other for the available scarce talent”. But this mechanism has been bypassed by enabling employers to recruit labour globally. “It is only in recent years that the wage rises that accompany the normal functioning of the labour market have been rebranded as a ‘skills shortage'” .

Australia’s youth is effectively caught in a pincer by the Australian Government’s mass immigration program. Not only does it hold down their wages, but it also inflates their cost-of-living via more expensive housing (both prices and rents).

5. It’s time for a national debate and population policy:

The Australian Government under both the Coalition and Labor has long supported mass immigration and a ‘Big Australia’ on flawed economic grounds.

Behind the scenes, the ‘growth lobby’ of retailers, the banking sector, the property industry and erroneously named ‘think tanks’ all push the growth-ist agenda, while completely ignoring the cost burden on ordinary residents.

At the same time, many on the left pursue the globalist agenda of ‘open borders’ citing spurious social justice concerns.

Currently, there is no coherent plan other than to inundate the major cities with extra people each and every year to stoke overall economic growth (but not growth per person), to support big business (e.g. the property industry and retailers), and to prevent Australia from going into recession (despite growth per person stagnating).

Meanwhile, individual living standards are being eroded through rising congestion costs, declining housing affordability, paying more for infrastructure (e.g. toll roads, water and energy), environmental degradation, and overall reduced amenity.

Never have Australians been asked whether they want a population of 40 million-plus mid-century. Nor whether they want Sydney’s and Melbourne’s populations to swell to eight million mid-century.

Yet immigration and population growth affects every facet of Australian life, including: how long one spends stuck in traffic; whether one can get a seat on a train or a spot in hospital or school; and/or whether one can afford a good sized home within a decent commute to where one works. It is a key determinant of living standards above all else, yet is rarely questioned by the media nor politicians.

Without mainstream political representation on this issue, divisive elements like Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party have emerged to wrongly use the ills of overpopulation to attack the small number of refugees arriving in Australia, as well as Muslim and Asian immigration.

As this submission has shown, there is strong justification to reduce Australia’s permanent migrant intake back to historical levels primarily by slashing skilled migration, which has been the driver of the influx. This would take the strain off the major cities, put a floor under wages growth, and safeguard Australia’s environment.

Australia could achieve such immigration cuts without affecting its global obligations via the humanitarian migrant intake. Indeed, much of Australia’s 130,000 strong permanent skilled migrant intake comes from countries where skills are more desperately needed than in Australia. Australia’s immigration program is depriving these countries of skills, and we have a moral obligation to limit the brain drain.

More broadly, Australia desperately needs a national debate and a population strategy, led by the Australian Government. The Government needs to conduct a population plebiscite asking Australians how big they want the nation to become, and then set immigration policy accordingly. The Australian Government also needs to provide a comprehensive plan detailing how and where it will accommodate all the extra people, while safeguarding incumbent residents’ living standards.


    • Yes well done ooh underpaid one but note: Life is a warfare against the malice of men. Sagacity fights with strategic changes of intention: it never does what it threatens, it aims only at escaping notice. It aims in the air with dexterity and strikes home in an unexpected direction, always seeking to conceal its game. It lets a purpose appear in order to attract the opponent’s attention, but then turns round and conquers by the unexpected. But a penetrating intelligence anticipates this by watchfulness and lurks in ambush. It always understands the opposite of what the opponent wishes it to understand, and recognises every feint of guile. It lets the first impulse pass by and waits for the second, or even the third. Sagacity now rises to higher flights on seeing its artifice foreseen, and tries to deceive by truth itself, changes its game in order to change its deceit, and cheats by not cheating, and founds deception on the greatest candour. But the opposing intelligence is on guard with increased watchfulness, and discovers the darkness concealed by the light and deciphers every move, the more subtle because more simple. In this way the guile of the Python combats the far darting rays of Apollo.

    • That’s if it makes it past the selection committee. Only submissions exalting the skilled stewardship of present and past governments are acceptable.

    • Elective government (“government-by-politician”) is essentially, unavoidably and predictably corrupt.

      Elective government grants a near-monopoly on power to the winning team. And because it demands such an enormous investment of time and resources to win, it “adversely selects” those individuals (and their supporters) who place the highest value on dominating other human beings.

      As Jean-Jacques Rousseau astutely observed, the trick to designing good government involves “taking men as they are and the laws as they may be”, not the other way round. As long as politicians make the rules of the game they will make those rules to suit themselves.

      Ultimately the only solution is to take such rule-making out of the hands of the players and give it to the citizens. This means some form of initiative and referendum.

      Unless that happens we are all doomed.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        I like your Democracy advocating Stephen.


        Do you agree with Mr Benn (and Hitler),…that real Democracy will always lead, to some degree of Socialism?
        I do.
        Of course, without real Democratic oversight,.. all the ism’s get as courrpted as each other.
        More real and persistent Democracy, is the only way to combat the never-ending courrupting influence of Power.


      • “Ultimately the only solution is to take such rule-making out of the hands of the players and give it to the citizens.”

        Except that it won’t be “the” solution, as Solon had found out about 26 centuries ago. History repeats itself.

  1. DarkMatterMEMBER

    The high immigration rates match countries with high standard of living. What we are seeing is the systematic elimination of the first world. Based on that, it is futile to argue that immigration is causing decline – that is the intention. What we don’t know is if that benefits the elites? We don’t even know if that outcome is what they intend to happen.

    • Yep. Any proposal that makes the rich squeal like pigs is a bloody good proposal. As simple as that.

      Negative gearing phase out? They hit the roof. Any suggestion that a massive tax be put on 457 visas? They throw a hissy fit. UBI proposal? They squeal like pigs.

      • How does UBI work in reality? That the wealthy are against it isnt enough for me- the wealthy would also be against wholesale slaughter of the working class. Doesn’t mean we should to it..

    • Agree, its deliberate destabilising of the population. Also note that the Anglo countries, with the exception of the US, have rabid anti-firearm or pro-public disarmament views being perpetuated. No coincidence IMO. Look at the madness in Sweden, UK and France because we are headed there if we don’t avert course.

  2. Well done MB!

    Push to allow EU-style visa free travel between Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK.

    Seventy per cent of Australians were in favour of the idea with only one in ten opposed.

    It shall be called CANZUK. Absolutely shut the open border with have with the 3rd world and have CANZUK instead. AUS is actually the most corrupt nation in CANZUK!

    • Disagree with this. This was a good idea 20 years ago but not now. Canada allows returning ISIS fighters back into the community and the UK is a mess. NZ is a back door visa entry to Australia.

      No thanks, the ship has sailed.

      • Stephen, we already had terrorist attacks in AU very recently. We currently have mass immigration from South Asia and China. If CANZUK means we have mass immigration from Britain and Canada instead – then it has to be better than having mass immigration from India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh.

        I know 200,000/year is way too many but if 100,000 of them are British passport holders, then that means less room for 3rd world passport holders.

      • Um, the people that have got UK/CAN/NZ passports over the last 20 years are from those countries you mention. They’ve gone through the same immigration madness we have and they are now citizens. Many foreign fighters are dual citizens.

        The ship has sailed. Too late.

      • Stephen, what do you mean by the ship has sailed and it is too late?

        Too late to have terrorist attacks? That makes no sense.

        If AUS had an open border with Britain earlier, then surely terrorists could have come over earlier. Or do you think AUS could have quit CANZUK as soon as ISIS started recruiting Canadians and Britons?

      • No, I’m saying it’s too late for open borders with those countries. All that will do is worsen the problem we already have AND you will allow said terrorists to move more easily between countries a la the EU. Terrible fkn idea.

        Maybe we should charge those people $50 train tickets and that should solve it right?

      • British terrorists can already come over on tourist visas:

        Of the other 18 9/11 hijackers, 14 came to the United States on six-month tourist visas

        The way I see it is, if we get a tsunami of Britons and Canadians coming here, they will squeeze out the 3rd world passport holders:

        myna was squeezing out native species by stealing food and nesting spaces.

        3rd world males are squeezing out Aussies by stealing jobs and nesting spaces.

      • I know 200,000/year is way too many but if 100,000 of them are British passport holders, then that means less room for 3rd world passport holders.

        Why would 100,000 whitefirst world immigrants have less of a deleterious effect on local wages and house prices than 100,000 brownthird world immigrants ?

    • Jacob, that is not a smart proposal.

      Making it discriminatory based on country of origin invites the calls of racism – basically eliminating the chance for any change. Further I’d rather an intelligent hard-working productive person over an uneducated lazy unproductive one – it doesn’t matter what country they are from.

      Immigration should be merit based, with an overall quota based on a calculation of effect on living standards, that’s it.

      • Jason, everything we do is called racist anyway. If there is a proposal to stop foreigners from buying houses here illegally, it is called “racist”!

        The EU was ok till they let low-wage Eastern European nations in.

        Of course 3rd world males should be allowed to work in $150k jobs here – and they are allowed to – the issue is most of them come here to work for illegal or barely legal wages.

        AUS has had an open border with NZ for 20-40 years and is any political party calling for that to be abolished?

        We do not have merit-based immigration now. We have mass immigration of exam cheats and tax evaders who come here to work for $10/hour or less. At least Britons who come here have gone to a proper school instead of a corrupt 3rd world “school”. And with the lower unemployment rate in Britain along with a design and manufacturing industry, maybe Aussies will be able to get proper jobs in England.

  3. GunnamattaMEMBER

    Great effort, on behalf of those people concerned about the sheer craziness of Australia’s Population Ponzi – thanks!

    Here are some other charts which add a tad

    The first is Australia’s relative proportion of foreign born people – which is pretty staggering and is significantly higher than like nations

    And the next two are the raw numbers (according to the OECD) from 1998 up to 2015 – it is an extraordinary pickup

    also worth noting the actual call for submissions


    I will be very interested to see who else makes a submissions well as how detailed and comprehensive they are

    • No surprise to see it’s the white western countries that have the highest foreign born populations. I have no doubt the ethnic composition of these immigrants is overwhelmingly non white There’s a population replacement policy going on in the white west, a cultural genocide
      The cultural genocide commenced in Australia at the end of the Menzies reign.It was dictated by the elites, that our future lay with Asia. and to facilitate that end we needed to endear ourselves to Asia by changing the immigration towards an Asian intake – Asianisation.

      From Graeme Campbell – Immigration and Consensus
      “There had been simmerings of discontent among the general public at the rate of increase in Asian immigration from the time of the Fraser government. It was known by the “elites” that the general public was not happy with both the composition of the immigration intake and the policy of multiculturalism, but the general public was easy to handle as long as it had no focus and was not organised. All the elites, including crucially the great bulk of the media were in agreement that these two issues should not be publicly discussed, or if discussed, in such a way as to discredit those who question them.”

      Nothing has changed – immigration is still taboo

      • You’re spot on, this is all about white genocide. It may be too late but even the “normies” are starting to get it…

      • Absolutely ridiculous. Australia has never had a single cultural identity and never will, from Day 1 the country was settled by a diverse bunch of people from different backgrounds, ethnicities and class.

        People complaining about a cultural genocide are kidding themselves. What part of Australian culture is actually in decline? Sinking a carton of VB, smoking a Winnie Blue and then doing some burnouts in the Commodore?

  4. Racist.

    We need more diversity.

    Australia is such a bland, boring monoculture. The only way to fix this is a rainbow coalition of vibrant new Australians.

    • I reckon Congo needs to pull its socks up and accept more migrants… oh … and China… look at their monoculture!

      • The ccp would like you to think the Chinese are a single identity ie Han Chinese but unfortunately not.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        No Conspiracy by Gunna, Brother,…read the top of the chart.
        Their population is to low to place it in a list of “50 most populous countries”

  5. TailorTrashMEMBER

    Great job …….love the title ………and after pondering this even blind Freddy could not but agree that current immigration levels are destroying what was the best country on the planet ……………( you should also slip a copy to Tones I think he is going to come out strongly on your side in the next short while )

    • We’ll find it classified as Top Secret in the next load of second-hand furniture for sale from the government in Canberra… 😀

  6. Tassie TomMEMBER

    Absolutely brilliant submission guys. I really hope you get some traction with this – even if one dissenter on the committee decides to talk about some of your arguments it will be better than the current (lack of) conversation.

    Please keep us informed as to the progress of this inquiry.

  7. Well done MB. If Australia is going to maintain the level of immigration, can we get some diversity into the mix. We need a multicultural immigration mix as right now th3 majority of immigrants come from just 2 countries and are overwhelmingly male.

  8. Good and comprehensive submission. It may not be well received in Canberra, it’s always amazing how durable old and bad ideas are. However, if more people and business understand, there is a chance the stubborn twits who decide may change the policy.

  9. Neither major party will cut the immigration. Both know that will burst the RE bubble and cause severe recession.
    We need a party that can explain to the people that it needs to be done and we need to go through this difficult period in order to become competitive and give our manufacturing a chance to grow again.
    But then again if anyone tries to tell voters that first house prices need to come down by at least 60%.. good luck with that.

    • That was a valid view a few years ago, but they don’t need to cut immigration to cause the bubble to burst because it’s already bursting.

      Way too many factors on the table now that immigration will cut itself when housing goes under.

      The end outcome will be the same it’s just a matter of how we get there.

      • it is a slow meltdown and that is what politicians want. Probably hoping to stop the falls once they hit about 8%.
        Cut immigration in half and rents will fall by about 30% if not more as we will have too much to chose from.

    💀💀💀 ☠️☠️☠️☠️☠️

    • St JacquesMEMBER

      Yep, we’re caught in a pincer movement. Eventually it will end rather painfully, one way or another.

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      Yes, this message can only gain traction during a boom or at the bottom of a bust.

      We are entering a “Slow melt” or worse period across the Countries real-estate markets,…No Political Party wants to bear the blame, for “the recession we had to have.”

      I was in my early 20s last recession/property bust and was having a ball as most of us do at that age,…work was very insecure & intermittent though,…but that meant more time for Surfing and Cone smoking, so no bad feeling from me towards Keating’s Recession we had to have.

      My older Sister on the other hand, borrowed heavily into the property Boom of the late 80s/90, struggled for years and years, being over leveraged, and ending up with nothing after 3 or 4 years of 60+ hour weeks to service the loans,…Rather than accept any responsibility herself,…She was to never forgive Labor, for burning her so Badly, holding them totally responsible.
      That experience has held her back from investing in the current post 1996 real-estate boom in Sydney,…all this was much to her consternation,…so now this mostly Progressive, Proud, successful, Career driven woman has never voted for Labor in her adult life, post 91,… I’ve meet dozens of people with similar stories, who will never forgive.

      No Political Party wants to “own” the next Real-estate crash,…most people forgive and forget many things,…but not their being, “Wiped out” losing a decade of gains,….if prices do Crash 30, 40% or more even! How many Voters are going to be “Zeroed” and looking for someone to blame,…Half a Million?,…more?

      I can’t see any party running hard on this until a full “Bottom out” has occured,…then is the time to strike, in the hope of a real change.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Another good story by Ermo, liked the bad client one the other day as well. It could be a sign of the times, Its been like that for me all year, getting screwed down and brains picked for a cheaper guy to do eg pure nickel welding of cathodes, fibre optic cable trans Pacific m/c, hydraulic rod end caps etc etc, but the tee slot milling may come through OK.

      • boomengineeringMEMBER

        Sign of the times refereed to may be a result of 457’s and immigrants, sneakily pick our brains for how to, which and where to find correct consumables to use to have it done by them.

  11. Not read whole thing but looks great so good on you for doing such a valuable thing for Austtralia. One glaring thing that you said at start needs major adjustment to drive home the intensity of it immediately, not way down in the guts of the report ie most people read first few paras and skim the rest so best to say upfront…but I imagine you already know this…saying 200,000 upfront drives home point far better than tens of thousands

    “Currently, Australia’s immigration program is overloading the major cities with tens of thousands of extra people each year to stoke overall economic growth ”

    change to

    Currently, Australia’s immigration program is overloading the major cities with 200,000 extra people each year to stoke overall economic growth, with nearly 100,000 to Melbourne and nearly other 100,000 to Sydney ie full MCG stadium

    Also no mention of the govt always causing distraction by discussing 20,000 boat refugees (who we should help) each year rather than 180,000 economic refugees arriving by plane (who we should take 50,000 on your analysis) ie your John Howard bait and switch, or did I miss this? This is a key issue so if not in your report put it upfront because this will really liven things up for discussion. You guys look like mainstream if you gloss over these points which is why you are so different and useful…unlike useless mainstream media….well done…you are patriots

  12. This will absolutely get traction, (you did remember to pop in those two brown envelopes right? One marked LNP one marked ALP?)

    On a more serious note, great work MB team. It reads well.

  13. Great work, but pushing sh*t uphill I’m afraid.

    Become a big donor, you may get some traction….

  14. St JacquesMEMBER

    Well done MB. It will be filed away of course but we need to keep banging that drum. More are joining in and the daily experience of a deteriorating reality will do the rest, eventually.

    Vote Sustainable Australia.

  15. reusachtigeMEMBER

    We at the Relations Party will be entering a much more powerful and robust submission and here’s the detail – “Immigration must be substantially increased as it adds to the vibrancy of our otherwise boring cities”. Sold!

  16. mine-otour in a china shop

    Great work backed by an evidence base. If this report does get filed away with cabinet comments, lets hope it is in one of those secure cabinets that make it to the op shops around Canberra.

  17. This is why I subscribed to macrobusiness, well done! Unfortunately unless this submission is not accompanied by a donation directly or indirectly, it’s not going to go far.

  18. Wow so many defeatist whingers here. I stuck one in too, nowhere of the calibre of UE but still had a go. Your alternative is saying nothing and making it easier for them.

    Great job UE, now going to commit and sign up.

    • It’s not very hard at all for them to ignore it if they want to.
      From http://www.corrs.com.au/thinking/insights/key-trends-and-lessons-from-australian-royal-commissions-and-inquiries/
      “Research commissioned by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse revealed that out of 288 recommendations from 67 other inquiries, only 64% had been implemented (in full or part) and 21% were not implemented at all.”

      They ignore Royal commission findings, do you think the findings from a “Review” are going to mean anything.
      It is just circuses to keep the people distracted while they continue as they please.

    • For all of my sh*tposting and bluster – I am – ultimately – with Stephen here:
      Well done UE! Bravo for a well researched, argued and written submission!


    Nice work!
    24 months ago you were nearly all alone on the soapbox holding your placard and passer-by’s thought you crazy. Now, there’s a very interested, sympathetic and growing assembly who also think the volume of immigration is crazy. This sentiment is developing despite the efforts to ignore it by both parties.

    • Thanks to the power of social media. The ‘other’ media play to the tune of the politicians or is it the other way around.

  20. Forrest GumpMEMBER

    Im confused as to why the goverment of whom is so hell bent on imigration, will not allow the detainees in Manus into Australia.

    Oh…OK..Got it…They forgot to tick the box on the visa application that says Promise to Buy an Investment Property within 1 year of Entry

    My Bad

  21. Great work, another reason why a paid subscription is worthwhile. And as mentioned above, vote Sustainable Australia.

  22. Great submission. Sadly, it won’t change the mind of the ideologue no matter how compelling the data and evidence.

  23. Even StevenMEMBER

    A superb submission. Don’t underestimate the impact it will have. I’ve been surprised on a few occasions how few submissions are received by these sorts of public consultations. A well-constructed submission like this one could have significant influence on their report.

  24. Excellent job, but it would be very useful if sent to ALP and Green members too. Everyone has to read it.

  25. I must congratulate Macrobusiness for persistantly bringing topics like this out for discussion. This website is lightyears ahead of faifax, murdoch, abc news etc and is the main place I get my daily news on important issues facing Australians today, not flufferfakenews. I am thankful for websites like this who keep the bastards honest. Keep up the good work

  26. SchillersMEMBER

    A number of the points made in MBs submission were similar to recommendations made by the Productivity Council’s 2016 inquiry report “Migrant Intake Into Australia”. A report that was requested by the government of the day, delivered to the then Treasurer Scott Morrison and almost completely ignored. It is detailed, well argued, on topic and definitely worth a read.


  27. Looks good, gents.

    Only thing I think could have been added is some commentary around how the “skilled” intake is largely not going into jobs that need particularly high “skills”. It doesn’t seem like that stuff you’ve got there really raises that point (though I must confess I mostly skimmed it).

    I do wonder what the “skilled” intake would look like if the rules required something like at least a postgrad degree or ten years relevant work experience, a minimum salary of $100k and this was actually monitored and enforced.

    • drsmithy, minimum salary of $100k is easily enforced by mandating that 457 visa staff pay $26,632 income tax upon landing at an Aussie airport – or even before they land here. They can get their Aussie boss to pay that if their skills are so rare.

      Right wing pricks jail people for getting too much money from Centrelink, the left wing must jail payroll staff for wage theft.

      The fake left wing state governments need to get people on tourist visas to go underground and offer to work in a job (illegal to work on a tourist visa) in order to catch bastard bosses. If the 457 visa is no longer rorted – the tourist visa will be.

    • Let’s be clear – the government isn’t looking for any solutions. The solutions are staring them in the face; and it’s not that they’re too stupid to realise; it’s that their interests come first. There have been plenty of submissions over the years which are almost always ignored. They know the importance of keeping the housing bubble going, and there’s not a snowflake’s chance in hell they want to look at reducing immigration unless they feel pressured by the people – in fact only if so much pressure is brought to bear on them that they have no choice if they want to stay in government.

      I congratulate and endorse MB’s constant highlighting of this issue because slowly, very slowly the message is getting through to the voters. Unfortunately though, it’s going to take years to turn around this ship.

  28. Well done, well thought out and presented.
    Wonder if it’s worrh doing a one page, dot point cover sheet for those of us with goldfish attention spans?