Fake Greens breaking on immigration?

Via The Australian today:

Addressing the National Press Club in Canberra yesterday, where he backed a new publicly funded “people’s bank”, the under-fire leader said the Greens would be “very happy” to have a debate on immigration levels, adding it was important Australia accounted for its “environmental limits”.

“The notion that we need a big Australia based on economic drivers is not one we support. Often this is an argument that is run by the business community,” he said.

Senator Di Natale attempted to distance himself from the former prime minister’s crusade to halve immigration levels but acknowledged the substance of the argument was worthy.

…Mr Abbott yesterday hit back at Harvard University cities expert Edward Glaeser, who argued Sydney and Melbourne had an “extraordinary capacity to grow”.

“I suspect the good professor hasn’t been in Sydney or Melbourne traffic jams recently and hasn’t been trying to buy property in Sydney and Melbourne ­recently,” Mr Abbott told 2GB.

“At one level we have more land than any other country but at another level we have got far too many people plonking into Sydney and Melbourne for our own good.

“We are an immigrant country and that is a good thing, but that doesn’t mean, for the benefit of Australians here now, we shouldn’t very significantly slowdown the rate of immigration at least until infrastructure and integration have caught up.”

The sooner the Fake Greens adopt a much lower population growth platform the sooner we can start calling them The Greens again.

It wasn’t always like this. As documented in Green Left Weekly in 1998, fears of being associated with Pauline Hanson’s “racist” and “xenophobic” views caused The Greens to abandon their policy of “stabilising” Australia’s population and “a zero net migration policy” to one of opposing cuts to immigration – hence their deafening silence as Australia’s population boomed!

Former Prime Minister John Howard wedged The Greens even further when he performed an immigration ‘bait-and-switch’in the early-2000s, effectively slamming the door shut on the relatively small number of refugees arriving into Australia by boat all the while stealthily shoving open the door to economic migrants arriving here by plane.

John Howard never articulated to the Australian people that the Government was going to dramatically expand the nation’s immigration intake. Why? Because he knew the electorate would be dead against it. Instead, Howard scapegoated refugees to give the impression that he was stemming the migrant inflow while proceeding in secret with his ‘Big Australia’ plan.

And rather than oppose the subterfuge, The Greens abandoned their roots and stood by silently for fear of being labelled “racist” and “xenophobic” if they opposed such high levels of immigration.

Worse, last year we witnessed The Greens attempt to scuttle the Turnbull Government’s modest (and sensible) changes to so-called ‘skilled’ 457 visas, accusing the Government of using “cheap politics of racism and crass anti-migrant sentiment”.

What few people realise is that under The Greens’ immigration policy, Australia would see its population hit a massive 43 million by 2060 – well over double the 19 million population that existed when The Greens abandoned its stable population policy in 1998!

One year ago, The Greens announced a plan to massively increase Australia’s humanitarian migrant intake without providing any offsets to Australia’s current permanent migrant intake of 200,000 (full policy announcement below):

The Australian Greens have unveiled a bold yet fiscally responsible vision to harness the nation building capacity that people seeking asylum represent, ahead of the 2016 Federal Election.

By closing the detention camps on Manus Island and Nauru while welcoming 50,000 people seeking asylum per year, which includes 40,000 under the humanitarian intake and 10,000 under a new ‘Skilled Refugee’ programme, the plan would create a safe way for people in our region to seek asylum in Australia.

“Australia doesn’t need to respond to people seeking our protection by turning our backs or locking them up – there is a better way ,” said Australian Greens Leader, Dr Richard Di Natale.

“Today the Greens are announcing a vision that would welcome a record number of people to live in safety in our community every year and recognise the contribution refugees have made to this country over generations and will continue to make.

“Our bold plan would not only welcome 50,000 people per year and offer a safe way for people to seek asylum in Australia, it would also save the budget $160 million over the next four years,” Di Natale said.

“For too long, the national political debate has portrayed migrants and people seeking asylum as a problem instead of an opportunity,” Greens’ immigration spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

“By offering 10,000 ‘Skilled Refugee’ places per year through the skilled migration pathway, we will be helping to save lives while letting those very same people contribute to the future prosperity of our economy.

“Modern Australia was built by generations of hardworking, self-started people who came to our country in search of a better life. People want to protect their families and to give their children access to an education and a life free of violence. We should be allowing them to get on and do that in Australia.

“Using the savings from closing the offshore detention camps to build a genuine regional solution, which assesses people’s claims for asylum where they are before flying them to Australia safely, will save thousands of lives.

“We need to get children out of immigration detention, including those who are on Nauru, and allow people to get on with rebuilding their lives in safety.

“The government’s cruelty towards people seeking asylum has gone on for too long. It’s time we treated others the way we would want to be treated and let them contribute to the future of our nation.”

As shown in the first chart above, Australia’s current permanent migrant intake is 200,000, comprising 186,000 under the non-humanitarian intake and 14,000 under the humanitarian intake.

Under The Greens’ plan, Australia’s permanent migrant intake would increase to 236,000 a year.

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 (The Greens’ old policy), 41 million under 200,000 Net Overseas Migration (the current settings), and roughly 43 million under 236,000 Net Overseas Migration (see below chart).

Since The Greens have advocated raising Australia’s already turbo-charged immigration intake, it would appear that The Greens support a very ‘Big Australia’.

There is a way for The Greens to once again become a genuine “green” party as well as ensuring social justice concerns are met: argue to increase Australia’s humanitarian intake (currently 14,000 per year) while massively cutting Australia’s economic intake (currently around 190,000 people per year). This way The Greens could achieve both goals: significantly reducing population growth and saving the environment while also being a good and caring global citizen. After all, when it comes to protecting the environment, it is the overall numbers that matter, not how the migrants come.

Of course, The Greens should also highlight the associated benefits from running a moderate immigration program, including less pressure on housing and infrastructure. But the environment should be its main focus.

It can’t come soon enough for the party or Australia.

David Llewellyn-Smith


  1. There is a Greens forum April 17 at the Melbourne Trades Hall coming up soon with Bandt regarding future directions for the party. More soul searching taking place

    • cycledseasoning

      Go there and pronounce loudly …

      A Vote for the Greens is a Vote for

      – A Big Australia
      – Increased Urban Density
      – Smaller Living Spaces
      – Higher Mortgages per sqm of living space
      – Shallow lip service to the success to multi-culturalism
      – Something nebulous about investment public transport

  2. Yes.

    Exposing the hypocrisy of the Greens in regards to their early years is essential – they are devastating the environment – socially, culturally, and ecologically.

  3. They’re too compromised by the SJW’s. Di Natale can bloviate all he likes, but the loonies in the party would rather spontaneously combust than do something sensible about immigration

    • Nah – they won’t spontaneously combust either – unless they can burn without releasing CO2.

    • I thought it was an April 1st Joke to see them discuss lower immigration. But it’s a bit late for that I suppose..

    • SJWs are a vocal minority – even the Greens are smart enough to see that the worm is turning on immigration levels nationally and they will sacrifice their SJW allegiances to keep their seats.

      Who would have thought that Abbott, in his petty war to discredit Turnbull, would have said something so useful?

  4. Yeh no thanks, lip service and self preservation. They won’t actually do anything and likely increase the refugee intake and continue on their merry march of identity politics and divisive rubbish.

    The death of the Greens can’t come soon enough. Jump ship to SAP and leave the far left loons to rot.

    • Good post. Will be popular with the bankers. You may wish to check your garage and get rid of any nail guns lying around.

    • A safe government bank offering savings accounts? You could call it the Commonwealth bank. Oh wait. We privatised that.

      • Yep,

        Everything old is about to become new again.

        Though the Greens should drop the mortgage idea. They will get flogged for that. There is simply no need for the RBA to play in that space. Any half wit can run a first mortgage investment fund.

    • Ha ha ha!

      That photo should be embedded in every article on the “Greens” – including this article.

  5. reusachtigeMEMBER

    Silly stuff. Inner city cultural vibrancy is way more important to the Greens nowadays than the environment. Good on them!

  6. Tony Abbott making total sense, ……….. the sky is falling.

    How can anyone NOT think it’s common sense? It’s so logical.
    I can answer my own question, the far left who insist, if it comes out of the oppositions mouth, it must be poison.

    These types of people (on both sides) will be the death of us.

  7. Di Natale finally calls for UBI.

    Greens leader Richard di Natale reeled off plenty of radical ideas in his Canberra Press Club speech on Wednesday, but none harder to sell than the ‘universal basic income‘.


    It is bloody easy to sell. “Do you want the $900 cheques again”? Yes. “Do you want one every month”? Yes. “Done”.

    They should have put in a very mild one when they put in a carbon tax and called the cheques “electricity bill rebate cheque”? Then they could have declared that electricity is free for the poorest 60% of the voters in AUS.

      • Rage. Nope. Polling says 46% of Americans want to pay higher taxes to fund UBI! I would imagine the figure in AUS is well over 51% – but who knows given that polling in AUS has not been conducted.

        65% of the Democrats want UBI while only 28% of Republicans want it. So I guess 90% of the Greens want UBI.

  8. So what’s changed with the snot greens. Has polling showed them they can’t win with thier hate Australia policies. Is the leadership ambitions finally showing where they say what they need to win seats. I think it’s all a load of crap. There is no way the white male hating anti Australian feminazis that run the greens will ever allow good sensible policy.

  9. FiftiesFibroShack

    Given the principles outlined at https://greens.org.au/policies/population it’s hard to see how they could support those increases without supporting cuts to immigration elsewhere.

    It does demonstrate how damaging having people arguing in bad faith is to the democratic process: not only is the original bad faith argument toxic, the opposition it produces is often unreasonable and damaging.

  10. sydboy007MEMBER

    In an email exchange with the greens I was told they don’t have a concept of a long term sustainable population for Australia.

    They made it clear that they didn’t want to be seen as racist by arguing for a reduction in the immigration rate.

    Time the party withers and dies

    • +1
      The current ‘greens’ are in the way of a true environmental party emerging. the sooner they die the better.

  11. For the Greens, political correctness is everything, but maybe Richard Di Natale has been reading some of the comments in the newspapers / websites discrediting any writer who wants to encourage us to embrace a Big Australia. He might have even taken a peek at MB and seen the daily commentaries against what has been happening in past years. I’m sure he is aware he could win votes by talking about lower immigration.

    But would he have a hope of convincing the rest of his party that they have to change tack and do a 180 deg turn on their policies? I don’t think so.

    • +1
      DiNatale might be sniffing the political wind but his ideologue colleagues will still be in fairy land…
      The thing about ideology is that it knows the answer before it knows the question.

  12. The only way to get the Greens to say something about reducing the permanent immigration numbers, would be to reverse the long time mix from 80% Asian to 80% European, they would be apoplectic.
    Not only would it hinder the Greens and the Liberal/Labor population altering/replacement policy, suddenly it would now become racist!

  13. Clearly there is movement in Canberra on this issue. Sentient politicians are no doubt smelling both opportunity and disaster.
    That the greens are staking out ground on this issue is a BIG signal in itself.
    I think announcements are in the pipeline from all the majors.

    The conspiracy of silence r.e. immigration is coming to an end.

    • well that’s GREAT …makes a big difference, so instead of voting the majors last like I said I was gunna I’m going to vote the majors last like I said I was gunna…