Labor to embrace a ‘Giant Australia’

By Leith van Onselen

With Australia’s permanent migration program already an insane 208,000 people a year – 2.5 times the level at the turn of the century:

Labor looks set to raise Australia’s permanent migration intake even further – to around 240,000 people a year – by adopting The Greens’ policy of raising the humanitarian intake from 18,000 currently to 50,000. From The Age:

Labor’s policy committee is considering a plan to lift Australia’s refugee intake to 50,000, as left-wingers jostle to soften the party’s position on asylum seekers at this year’s national conference…

Fairfax Media has learnt a working group on the powerful National Policy Forum is investigating proposals to increase Australia’s annual refugee intake to 50,000 – the same target as the Greens…

The Turnbull government increased the annual refugee intake to 19,000, and the ALP’s current position is to increase it to 27,000 by the year 2025. The Greens want an intake of 50,000, with 10,000 of that to be for “skilled refugees”. The Labor for Refugees pitch made no such caveat…

The policy forum, which formulates the draft platform, is co-chaired by Labor leader Bill Shorten and party president Mark Butler, deputy chaired by senators Jenny McAllister and Deborah O’Neill and also includes 20 federal MPs, 20 branch members and 20 representatives from the unions…

Labor’s immigration spokesman Shayne Neumann said Labor took a “strong, progressive” policy to the last election. He confirmed the policy forum received submissions from various stakeholders and these “will be considered in the usual way”.

According to The Productivity Commission’s recent Migrant Intake Australia report, Australia’s population would hit 27 million by 2060 under zero Net Overseas Migration (NOM), 41 million under 200,000 NOM (close to current settings), and roughly 43 million under 240,000 NOM (essentially what Labor is proposing):

So Labor’s immigration policy would create an even ‘bigger’ Australia.

MB has previously supported Australia’s humanitarian intake being raised from its low current level of 18,000 people a year. However, this must be done alongside large cuts to Australia’s non-humanitarian intake (currently 190,000). Such a policy would achieve dual goals: significantly reducing overall population growth, thereby relieving pressures on infrastructure, housing, the environment, and wages, while also being a good and caring global citizen.

There is also a strong moral argument against poaching skilled workers from developing nations, in turn stifling their economic development, just so they can work in lower skilled roles in Australia.

In short, simply lifting the humanitarian intake to 50,000, and Australia’s permanent migration program to 240,000, is a retrograde step and would be destructive to both Australia’s natural environment and living standards.

Clearly, all the recent angst over mass immigration and a ‘Big Australia’ has gone over Labor’s head.

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Unconventional Economist


      • I voted Hinch and ON and those idiots ended up backing the company tax cut – go figure.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Blah Blah Blah Blah,….who you vote for will make little difference amongst Australia’s 16 million tribal voters

        You wanna change the Coporate/Neoliberal/ Globalisation agenda? Join the party with the traditional duty to represent Common people’s interests,…and throw out the traitors from within!
        There is only 50,000 ALP members!
        Much lower numbers required to defeat the sell outs, from Within,…that trying to do it, once every so many years on election day!
        Come on,…fight for your Democracy!

      • Agree tomicblives

        EP and drshiety refuse to acknowledge that they are the problem.

        Einstein’s definition of Insanity, “Doing the same thing ( voting for the same knobs ) over and over and expecting a different result.”

      • I don’t give a toss who is in power, let us vote on the budget allocation. Watch real change happen overnight.

    • What generous people these Lefties are!

      But only with ‘other people’s’ money. Quelle surprise ….

      • Nice try. It’s tough to defend the indefensible.

        The Left have one policy only: hand-outs to all their favourite causes, using ….. you guessed it ….. money confiscated from other people. Generosity abounds!

    • God help us! I don’t know how i will bring myself to vote at the next federal election all parties can rot in hell. They clearly have a plan to screw us over as much as possible.

  1. Yeah, it’d be cool if there was some sort of party that represents Australian workers.

  2. Starting to think Turnbull isn’t going to hit the 30 Newspoll target. ALP determined to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

    • I am wondering whether Pauline Hanson’s tax rate betrayal is going to cause a shift back to LNP. This ALP blunder wouldn’t help either.

  3. WHY……..huh?………..just WHY

    are these pseudo ‘progressive’ virtue signalers so remote from the consequences that are already plaguing the social stability of parts of Oz ……..or is it a matter of just overwhelming stupidity combined with a ‘I don’t give a stuff’ about what this country was – and still mostly is

    Is the sense of cultural suicide now so entrenched that no-one cares anymore. WTF – even Merkle has now acknowledged throwing open Germany’s borders was a serious mistake

    Wake up sheeple……….think about your kids and grandkids’ futures while there is still time to do something about it and before this madness becomes irreversible

    • Confused? How about this….

      (1) The LNP got hold of inside information from the Treasury or the RBA which showed that the ticking time bomb would detonate in less than 3 years.

      (2) The LNP decided to let the ALP win the next election so that the depression we had to have would not start under their watch, and started raiding national wealth for their mates while they were still in power.

      (3) The ALP finally caught up with what was going on and recently decided that it didn’t want the Lodge either.

      • Groan, I’ve been hearing this theory of branch X of the duopoly doesn’t actually want to govern crap at least as long as the housing bear calls.

        Curiously there is precisely ZERO evidence for that as all these cretins want is power….

      • You’re crediting them with too much intelligence and underestimating the quantity of sociopaths, narcissists and functional psychopaths in politics.

        Their ego’s simply couldnt let go of power.

      • Perhaps, but then what is going on? The LNP listening to their business masters and the ALP listening to their union masters?

        Businesses want Big Australia = big consumers, all right. And the unions?

      • Labor is battling the Greens in places like Northcote dumples, I thought everyone knew that.

        I was out on High St Sat night and over heard lots of Labor douchebags “celebrating” the win. Ie celebrating selling out our future… Horrible people!

      • I would have thought that the ALP battling the Greens would have led them to seek a point to differentiate themselves.

        Come to think of it, the me-too-ism of the failed Rudd is at the heart of today’s political landscape.

    • ‘…remote from the consequences…’ The people who are affected aren’t actually people to those progressing Australia off a cliff. These morally involuted self ascribed ‘progressives’ (I mean, you’re either with us or you’re against us and if you don’t accept a premise labelled ‘progressive’ then you’re a nazi) hate you, you’re not human human to them, that’s what people don’t understand.

    • Will it be the end of the ALP? Will it? Who knows about this? How much coverage is there? There’s a slim handful of us angry about immigration, it gets no play time in the media and when it does it’s about the RACISTS.

      There’s very very little chance the ALP will lose the next election, there’s also very little chance, the average idiot, will know of these proposed changes, there’s even LESS chance, if they knew, they’d understand the ramifications.

  4. Because why? Here’s a hint “left wingers” try looking after the disadvantaged here first….

  5. Every party is out to look after the status quo, ie look after the BB generation at the expense of the kids.
    Not one will stick their hand up and say enough is enough. This country has turned into a cesspool of greed and corruption that most cheer on because their Allright Jack! Only a painful Depression can fix it for the good of our kids.MAGA ✊

    • @T, I have come to the same conclusion that only a decent recession will save this country. If we get a decent recession, then immigration rates will fall (looks like no one in Canberra wants to cut the immigration rates). Additionally, cuts have to be made to budget such as removing negative gearing, reforming CGT, getting rid of imputation credits and getting rid of Super. I am just hoping that a decent recession is sooner rather than later otherwise this country will go down the plughole.

      • During the GFC, if you call that a recession, KRudd INCREASED the immigration rate specifically to reinflate the housing bubble. I’m guessing Labor can see a slowing down in the economy ahead, and that’s why they want to increase it further. There is nothing they won’t do to keep the bubble aloft.

      • And who could forget that fateful Sunday evening after the GFC had just broken, when channel 9 or 7 had a special last minute program with Kevin Rudd and a live tv audience, where he told young Australians that they should.go out and buy a house in what was already a huge bubble. To answer my own question…it seems nobody remembers it. It’s like The Mandela effect in reverse.

    • I agree I wish we had a Trump here. Problem is most wankers won’t get their head out of their arse until their house prices falls.

  6. Oh no!! – how does MB weigh up the vote for Labor now? Surely this offsets their negative gearing policy (and then some)? What has a greater impact on housing demand? Is it negative gearing or immigration?

      • You still end up voting for 1 of them.
        @ Gavin , there is still Tony Abbott.
        He will cut immigration AND bring on a recession on LNP’s watch
        The Wrecker is good for something.
        And, more importantly , I will win my $10 bet with Mrs B

      • Stephen Morris


        when the next election has come and gone, and when one of the major parties (probably Labor) has won a majority in the House of Representatives and 100% of Executive power which flows from that . . .

        . . . then let’s have a discussion about real Democracy. For it is only Democracy – genuine Democracy – that can save The People from the Holocaust which lies ahead.

        The corrupt system of elective government (“government-by-politician”) all but guarantees that self-serving political agents, organised into a major party or a coalition of parties, will take control of government after each election.

        They do so by picking off specific interest groups with targeted bribes until they have a majority.

        Remember that each voter gets only one vote, and they will cast that vote for the thing that concerns them MOST. Taking an extreme example:

        – Voter A is MOST concerned to get X but opposes Y and Z;

        – Voter B is MOST concerned to get Y but opposes Z and X; and

        – Voter C is MOST concerned to get Z but opposes X and Y.

        A politician can get unanimous support by offering X, Y and Z, even though every one of those policies is opposed by a majority of voters.

        In practice, politicians need target only a majority of votes (plus a margin of safety) while ensuring that they do nothing to upset the real power brokers: those who pay for their campaigns and offer them the promise of a million-dollar-a-year directorship when they leave office.

        The policy discussed here – increasing the humanitarian intake – is a classic example for this dynamic in action. There is a small minority of Australians who care about the humanitarian intake more than anything else. If Labor promises to increase that then they will tie up that minority. Those people might even prefer a lower overall immigration rate, but provided Labor offers them the thing they care MOST about (and the Coalition does not) then they will have tied up their vote.

        In the end the majority end up losing out to those who are able to game the system.

        The only hope for the majority lies in Democracy – genuine Democracy – by which they can hold corrupt political agents to account.

        As discussed elsewhere, this is a global problem. We are in the process of being refeudalised.

        The window of opportunity to stop it is closing fast.

        If the majority cannot hang together to demand real democratic change, then they will surely hang separately.

      • Here’s the catch Stephen – and BTW I think “coming holocaust” is a bit strong – Labor only has to pander to that policy because another party exists that will push that policy which is also broadly left. I guarantee you if Australian Conservatives started spouting increasing the refugee intake while cutting immigration every single one of those people you suggest “care about humanitarian intake above all else” would suddenly find something they care about more…

        The influence of propaganda is more pernicious than you give credit to. I’m 100% for direct democracy, I’m also for doubling the electoral divisions so the 5.5 million Australians we’ve added to the electoral role since the last expansion of parliament in ’84 get some voice back.

  7. An election that could be easily won by whichever major slashes immigration to (for once) help the living standards of Australians. But either kowtowing to party donors or virtue signalling to some small percentage of innumerate world socialists will probably mean it’ll be another close election with the general population the only guaranteed losers.

    • Whats the LNP’s current stance on immigration? They could be slashing it right now but they are not and we are at least 6 months away from an election.

      All this angst over people who are not in power seems rather pointless. I’d rather the pressure be applied to the current government and if Labor sees that, then they will change their policy pretty quick.

  8. What a pack of cnuts. And stupid, idiotic, moronic, election losing cnuts at that.

    All they had to do was sit quietly, and the idiocy and venality in the LNP would have handed them the next election. But no, they have to virtue signal their way down the electoral toilet.

    I’m starting to think that Ric is right…Labor are unelectable, and largely because they choose to be so in the interests of their shining “virtue”.

    The only good thing that will come from their impending electoral annihilation will be that Bill Shortarse will be given the flick, and we won’t have to listen to his incredibly turgid and unconvincing bloviation any more.

    Fcuk me gently, this is discouraging.

  9. Know Your Enemy

    If any Labor members are reading this, you can kiss this vote goodbye.

    If any Sustainable Australia has half a brain they will latch onto this and get their PR people to get them onto the idiot box and on the wireless wherever they can get.

    • As I said below, Sustainable was on 3AW this morning. I hope they are given increasingly more airtime.

      I just wonder why you were going to vote Labor in the first place. They have talked about neg gearing changes but I have suspected the whole time they would do nothing about decreasing immigration. Now that they want to increase it, it’s hardly surprising.

  10. as the demographic mix continues to shift, expect to see labor increasing its overtures to the idea of a big australia. labor isn’t just the working class party anymore, it’s a party that juggles between (unioinsed) working class people, immigrants and marginal greens supporters. the more dependent upon immigrant voters they become, the more you will increasingly notice them compromising out the ‘labor’ part of their party’s platform, and the more they will bleed the support of their traditional base.

  11. Its a shame because there housing policy is not to bad, liberal democrats will be getting my vote

  12. reusachtigeMEMBER

    I’m all for a much larger intake of foreign human capital but of the right sort, ie, those who are willing to invest large sums into our economy and particularly into property so that those living here benefit via higher house values. Refugees are the wrong sort of investment as they are poor and unsuccessful in their homeland and we don’t need anymore of that!

    • That’s not what’s washing in is it so your comment is pointless. Low/no skill and low income types that will, via ‘chain migration’, bring in more.

  13. Tiliqua scincoides

    Not sure why anyone is surprised by this. All the powerful political and lobby groups are huge beneficiaries of the current immigration rate. The average voter cannot see through the lies pedalled by vested interests. Endless demand is the best way to ensure the ‘negative sideways movement’ in house prices doesn’t turn into a crash. What is more important to the Government of the day than that?

    • Not surprising really as its been estimated at all levels of politics politicians have a combined property portfolio of over a billion dollars (Feds is over $300m). They will keep the property bubble going at all costs until it collapses which will be epic.

  14. No politician (Labor, Lib, Greens) has trouble buying a house. None of them are squashed into a dogbox they want everyone else to embrace. At the same time, by increasing the immigration they will be able to boast about their compassion, inclusiveness, diversity and non-racism. (Forget any compassion etc. to Australians whose way of life is worsening each day.)

    On another note, I heard Neil Mitchell talk to William Bourke from Sustainable this morning. The interview, though short and sweet was going well until William mentioned getting rid of negative gearing and CGT exemptions. He immediately lost Neil and probably a whole lot of listeners. William, if you’re listening, maybe you need to say you’re going to grandfather any changes to soften the blow.

    • Maybe William could have said a few nice words about the company tax cuts. That might have won Neil back and some of his wonderful listeners too.

    • I agree that some of the older 3AW boomers will never change but there are surprisingly a lot of them that who would support the removal. Melbourne’s at breaking point. Anecdotally speaking, when I lived there quite a few seniors and boomers I knew had started to come around as their suburbs were starting to see overdevelopment and traffic congestion had opened their eyes. The “old money” enclaves aren’t safe anymore.

      • Stephen, it’s not just older people who negatively gear. I don’t know the stats but rentvesting is now a thing amongst those priced out of buying themselves a home.

      • MD I’m well aware there are milennials and Gen X’s doing the same thing, my comment was in reference to 3AW’s target listenership, of which Boomers are #1.

    • Didn’t think Mitchell’s brief comments about NG/CGT amounted to much, and quickly moved on from. I’ve never listened to him but I guess he’s someone who thinks housing is for investment speculation. The fact that being able to own one’s own house without having to live in one of those far flung new suburbs improves the quality of peoples lives doesn’t matter to him (apologies to people who have to live there, it’s not your fault unless you vote NLP/ALP/Greens).

  15. This just makes it so much easier for the Right to dog whistle by blaming stuff on refugees.

    Remember the right wing pollie who blamed traffic jams in Western Sydney on Asylum Seekers, and got laughed at because of the trivial numbers? Well that would get a whole lot more rational.

    It would be open season for any rightie who wanted to blame school or hospital overcrowding on the new higher refugee intake.

    If you combined this rise with an equivalent cut the to main intake, you’d have a sensible position.

  16. What country are Labor living in? Look around ya f**ksticks, the country is stuffed and the punters are sick of the lot of you! Seriously, how disconnected can Labor be?

  17. Too distressing to read the article. I continue to be amazed on Twitter how all the commenters following McManus or Unions Australia never complain about immigration even when discussing their deteriorating work rights. Also Labor voters are like cult members. They’ll sacrifice so much sense and evidence for loyalty to their party.

    • Some are sock puppet accounts but I agree. Unions and Labor have been co-opted by the Far Left.

  18. Increase the huminatarian intake from genuine refugees currently rotting in refugee camps i.e. too poor to afford people smugglers and instead tighten the student visa program allowing study in the vocational sector as a pathway to permanent residence.

    • Cut the student visa program I agree with for sure but give the money to them in the camps and stop them leaving. Moving them around solves nothing. Our paltry intake does nothing for the cost, the locals or greater issue.

      • you got it Steve – the whole ‘aid industry’ is a pox on the planet.

        Want to really help these groups – come up with programs/ideas/money to make staying put a realistic option

    • Because they don’t want the slowdown in construction activity. Selfish pricks think their jobs matter more than anyone elses lives.

  19. We’re done for as Labour will probably win the next election. Time to look for some other country to live.

  20. The surprisingly entertaining Gogglebox has wide mix of Aussie’s commenting on tv shows from the comfort of their sofa. Its interesting to watch a cross section of Australians.

    Last night had them watching the 4 Corners episode on immigration and big Australia stretching infrastructure. The most common opinion on high immigration was “its fine if they go to smaller cities” like Bendigo.

    The tricky part is that new immigrants dont want to live in smaller cities like Bendigo and Kiama. They want to live in Melbourne and Sydney – just like every one else.

    • speak for yourself, i dont want to live in those sh1tholes. immigrants move to syd/melb bc thats where the jobs and their co-ethnics are, not bc theyre so much better than the rest of australia.

  21. danielhoeyMEMBER

    A bit of a beat up. The left try to soften the ALP refugee policy at every national conference. And every time the changes are rejected. No particular reason to think that it would be any different this time.

    From the age article:
    “It is understood the proposal is in a “maybe pile” of ideas that merit further discussion, although any final recommendation to change the policy would need the backing of the party’s leadership.”

  22. Talk about leaving the door open for the far right. Australian mainstream parties have been, so far, bloody lucky that nobody with any sort of nouse or intelligence has grabbed this space in Australia.

    Ermo wtf is the Labor Party’s perceived positive angle on this, can you give any insight!?